The experts always told me opportunists are the big threat to a local shopkeeper and that I should have noisy door entry systems, an intercom system for those moments when I wasn’t at the front of the shop, electronic tags for products, as well as the burglar alarm.
The intruder alarm I understood, that’s something we’ve grown up with these days.
Thing was though, the electronic tags are very expensive to buy and run, and in my experience of keeping a local shop I’ve lost more money through price ticket switching than anything else. A one man band, I just did not have time to keep up with the pricing changes caused by falls then rises in VAT and my bar code system went by the by. I made the changes once, took four nights of work on the computer, and simply didn’t find time to repeat the experience when the next change came in, and the one after that… That was a mistake. Should have made that more of a priority, but I thought that good old fashioned price ticketing would work well… hindsight is a wonderful thing.
Why Local Shopkeepers Need Door Entry Systems
Thieves come in all shapes and sizes, but they’re all sneaky. If you don’t have door entry systems, that are activated as someone steps through the door, they will creep in and out before you even notice they are there.
My shop had a lovely old fashioned bell that ‘dinged’ when the main side of the double doors was opened. I mistakenly thought customers would be charmed by that, as I was. The other side of the door was intended to be used only for pram, buggy or wheelchair access. I lost count of the number of times I found the second door, that didn’t have the alarm of the bell, open when returning from the loo… An intercom or one of the other door entry systems would have been a good investment for when I was away from the front of the shop, would have enabled regular customers to get into the shop and might have deterred the thieves.
Door Entry Systems and Intercom Systems for Access Control
Opportunists are looking for just that, opportunities to take from you! Unnatural, weird, and absolutely not you, but they’re out there looking to nick anything they can sell on. Displays like room sets are their favourite. Take something from there, it’s not wrapped and it looks as though it already belongs to you! If you’re selling higher value goods you need to know the movements of every person who enters your shop. Intercom systems is essential for that. Keeps you in control of who is walking through your door.
You’ll get to recognize some regular thieves, and if you find they’re making repeated visits to your shop for goodness sake do something about it! Make sure anyone who helps you in the shop is clued up about this too. Confronting thieves need not feel ‘confrontational’, a smile and a friendly greeting at close quarters is enough to deter even the cheekiest serial thief.
When the shop is closed you must maximize your security. You don’t want that middle of the night phone call from the police! An intruder alarm is essential, set it every time you leave the shop. Bars at the back windows too, however small, multiple locks, security lights, combined with that great burglar alarm, all give you the peace of mind to sleep at night.
As well as being horrible for you, losing stock through theft isn’t fair to your regular customers. Prices will have to be raised to pay for the losses, so that needs to be taken into account against the cost of putting in a good door entry system and an intercom system from day one. The burglar alarm is also essential to give you peace of mind when you’re not there. Finding a way to deter intruders is the name of the game, effective intruder alarm is, sadly, part and parcel of today’s shopkeeper essentials.
With this security in place you can get on with nurturing your business; becoming a part of the local business community can be a great source of helpful local information. To be a success, these days, you have got to be prepared for the people who will seek to take from you. I’m afraid I found that surprising, and more than a little disturbing. Why someone would want to profit by taking from others who are trying so hard to run an honest business is beyond my understanding. But they do. That’s that.
Put up your defences to them right from the start, buy the best alarm system you can afford, put in one of the many available door entry systems, like an intercom system, even if you’re not going to use it all the time – it will be there to protect you when you need it.