Summer is finally here, which means peak vacation season and employees out of the office. For those who own their own companies, however, taking vacations and disconnecting is never easy, as business continues as usual while owners are away. In fact, according to the 2013 ADT Safety Data Index, more than one-third of small-business owners polled agree that running a business keeps them up at night, and the same number feel that running a business does not allow them to have work/life balance.
The good news is, with a few technology tips and tricks, business owners can enjoy a well-deserved break with the peace of mind knowing that their business remains secure and productive. As the country celebrates National Small Business Week June 17 to 21, 2013, consider these important tips to protect your business during the summer and all year long:
1. Create an electronic security plan to protect your assets
Whether your employees type on computers all day, have electronic cash registers or monitor inventory from smartphones or tablets, having the most up-to-date online security measures in place is critical. Be sure to install spam blockers, firewalls, virus filters and keep current on patches and other critical computer upgrades that keep your system and business protected. Business owners should also consider changing passwords on a monthly basis and making employees do the same.
2. Consider purchasing a security and business automation solution
Security and business automation solutions can help protect your business and employees, plus enable you to monitor productivity remotely, which is great for summer travel periods. Moreover, 84 percent of survey respondents in the ADT Safety Data Index agree that they are always looking for ways to make running a business a little less stressful.
A solution like ADT Pulse offers a variety of features perfect for small-business owners. Whether traveling near or far, you can receive email or text alerts when your business doors are locked or unlocked, or private rooms are accessed. Secure video also helps you oversee daily activities, including arrival and departure of employees, and customer visits. In addition, security and business automation solutions can help you manage energy consumption by being able to turn off lights and adjust thermostats from the other side of the globe, so long as you have an Internet connection.
3. Perform background checks on employees, no matter what the role
Hiring qualified employees with a reputable background is crucial, particularly during the summer when many small businesses hire seasonal staff. While background checks can sometimes be an additional cost for small businesses, it's particularly important for organizations with only a handful of employees, to ensure that assets are well-protected.
4. Secure or properly dispose of sensitive documents
Warm weather often means more criminals out and about looking for easy targets, and they aren't above dumpster diving. Shred all proprietary information that has been printed. A cross-cut shredder provides the best option for destroying confidential documents. Lock away sensitive information each night at close of business. Develop guidelines for employees who handle sensitive information - for both the business and customers.
Small business owners deserve vacations just like anyone else and following these important safety steps can help them rest assure that their businesses are safe and secure.
About the Survey
The ADT Safety Data Index was conducted by Edelman Berland and polled 497 Small Business Owners in the United States. The survey was fielded online from February 8-18, 2013. The margin of error for Small Business Owners (n=497) is +/- 4.4 percentage points.