Regardless of the size or type of your business, you need to think about security. This is especially true in today's age of rampant corporate espionage and identity theft.

Devise, put into place and review periodically your business's safety and security plans. Get all your employees to put their signature on an agreement that specifies that they will abide by the company's security policies, and that they understand the costs of violating them. Put a copy of the agreement in their personnel file.

If you have no security plans, develop them (the internet is a good source of examples), or get a security professional do it for you.

  • Have a plan for emergencies, both at your business and your home. It should contain who to inform and what needs to be done in an emergency situation such as theft, fire, hurricane or robbery.
  • Once documents are no longer relevant, shred them.
  • Maintain a high degree of data security. Safeguard passwords, changing them frequently. Be careful not to write them anywhere or leave them exposed.
  • Fix and maintain locks on every door and window, especially storage areas. See that desktop computers, laptops, file cabinets, PDAs, etc., are also fully secured.
  • Fix and maintain good lighting, especially on the external areas of your business premises - which includes parking lots, back doors and loading docks.
  • See that there is at least dim lighting after office hours, so that security personnel and the police can look inside.
  • Make sure that there is an unobstructed and uncluttered view inside your place of business, unless it is your home. Burglars are usually attracted to places where they are not visible from the outside.
  • Ensure that every employee locks their belongings in a file cabinet, desk, container or closet.
  • Make sure your place of business has a doorbell to alert you if you have customers or visitors.

Make sure your employees are actively involved in the security plan.  In today's business world, security is everyone's business.