82% of small business bottom lines suffer due to crime
The survey of 500 Australian small business owners, is the most comprehensive research into small business security measures and perceptions in the last decade.
The humble lock and key is used as a security device for 85% of respondents with an alarm system (51%), CCTV (29%) and window bars (28%) also popular choices. Queensland small business owners are the least likely to invest in an alarm system – widely regarded as the most reliable option – with only 39% investing in this option.
Burglary is the most prevalent type of crime reported, with 55% of small businesses being a victim of this at some stage. Shoplifting (34%), vandalism (33%), employee theft of merchandise (24%) and employee theft of cash (21%) also rate highly.
In other interesting findings:
- 64% of small businesses have been a victim of crime more than once
- When considering security options, the latest technology is of greater significance to men with 21% taking new trends into consideration, compared to 13% of women
- Financial loss is attributed to stolen goods (82%), property damage (50%), business disruption or closure (32%) and loss of customers or orders (12%)
- Employees stealing merchandise is most rampant in NSW and ACT (32%) while burglary is most common in Western Australia (55%)
- Night time is perceived as the biggest security risk window (49%)
- 42% of small business owners see a rise in crime on long weekends and public holidays
Commenting on the survey, Managing Director of ADT Security Mark Norton said:
“As the survey results show, crime can be especially devastating for small businesses. The potential for the loss of profit and merchandise to overwhelm a business is high, not to mention the threat crimes like robbery pose to the physical safety of customers and employees,
“The retail sector in particular has been hit hard in recent times with low consumer sentiment and reduced household spending on discretionary items so now more than ever, security measures to help protect profit is crucial. It’s important for small business owners to be aware of trends in their local area and be up to speed on the latest security products and services that meet their specific needs,” said Norton.
Beyond the practical and financial impacts, small business owners also detailed the emotional fallout following their business being a target of crime. Generation Y was the most likely to admit to experiencing anxiety (48% compared to the national average of 39%), stress (67% versus 54%) and an inability to be alone on the premises (23% versus 7%).
“It was interesting to see that Generation Y had the highest recorded feelings of stress and anxiety in the aftermath of burglary, theft or property damage impacting their small business. It could be that this age group is more open to admitting their feelings than their older counterparts, rather than those feelings not being as prevalent among their older counterparts,” said Norton.
Age also plays a part in the perceived importance of 24/7 video surveillance with nearly half of Generation Y business owners seeing it as crucial (48%) compared to 45% of Gen X, 37% of Baby Boomers and 19% of Builders.
“It’s not surprising really that younger generations see video surveillance as essential given that most of them have grown up with technology at their fingertips. They see technology as a worthwhile investment in ensuring the successful day-to-day running of their businesses and place high value on the peace of mind it provides them,” said Norton.
“While it is impossible to completely eliminate the risk of crime, business owners can help minimise risks by implementing a comprehensive security plan including physical security technology, thoroughly training employees in the security system, identifying security threats and troubleshooting potential weaknesses.”
ADT Security is the world’s largest electronic security company and provides a number of cost effective security solutions including ADT Vision, a video surveillance solution designed specifically for small businesses.
For more information call 131 238 or visit www.adtsecurity.com.au
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ABOUT THE SURVEY
ADT Security commissioned leading online market research panel Pure Profile to conduct this survey of 500 small business owners around Australia during June to July 2010. For the purposes of the research, small business was defined as a business with less than 20 employees while the generations are grouped as follows: Generation Y (born 1980-1994), Generation X (born 1965-1979), Baby Boomers (born 1946 -1964) and Builders (born before 1946).
ABOUT ADT SECURITY
With more than a century’s worth of experience, ADT Security is the world’s largest electronic security company, providing electronic security solutions to more than seven million residential, commercial and retail customers worldwide. ADT Security’s products include alarm systems and integrated security applications that link access control, CCTV, electronic article surveillance and source tagging systems. www.adtsecurity.com.au
Security Lic: VIC No. 65201491P | WA No. SA36517 | SA No. ISL152299 | NSW No. 405187443 | ACT No. 17501009 | QLD No. 3258669