CHICAGO — Safety is among the reasons that customers choose a laundromat, so a vigilant staff supported by crime-deterring tools can play an important role in a store’s success.
While digital security threats often dominate the discussion today, physical security threats can have equally devastating consequences for small businesses. Protecting your premises, assets, employees and customers from physical security risks is crucial to maintaining a safe and secure environment.
Before implementing any security measures, it’s essential to conduct a thorough risk assessment to identify potential vulnerabilities. When making this assessment, consider factors such as location, the area’s crime rate, customer flow, and existing security infrastructure. By understanding the specific risks your laundromat faces on a given day, appropriate security measures can be tailored accordingly.
This article will explore the greatest physical security threats faced by small businesses today and provide practical tips and strategies to help mitigate these risks; there could be some overlap, depending on the risk at hand.
Part 1 addressed the threats of theft, burglary, vandalism and property damage. Let’s conclude:
EMPLOYEE AND CUSTOMER SAFETY
Ensuring the safety of your employees and customers is essential. Self-service laundries should address potential physical security threats that can compromise their well-being:
• Cash-Handling Procedures — Implement strict cash-handling procedures to minimize the risk of theft. Limit the amount of cash kept on the premises and regularly deposit excess funds in a secure location. Make specific persons responsible for cash handling and then conduct regular audits to ensure accountability.
• Emergency Preparedness — Develop and communicate clear emergency response plans, including procedures for natural disasters, medical emergencies, or security incidents. Conduct regular drills and provide training to employees.
• Adequate Lighting and Visibility — Maintain well-lit areas both inside and outside your premises to enhance safety and deter potential threats.
• Security Personnel — Depending on your business’ location and budget, consider employing security personnel to monitor and manage physical security risks. Hiring off-duty police officers to patrol occasionally may be a possibility.
• Customer Service and Awareness — Train your employees to provide attentive customer service and to be alert to any potential signs of trouble or suspicious behavior, as they may be able to deter acts of theft and other unwanted behavior before they take place.
This is a significant physical security threat that small businesses need to address. It can occur because of disgruntled employees, customers, or individuals with malicious intent. To mitigate workplace violence:
• Develop a Zero-Tolerance Policy — Establish a clear policy against workplace violence, harassment, and bullying in your laundromat. Communicate the policy to employees and provide training on recognizing and reporting potential threats.
• Implement Access Controls — Restrict access to certain areas, such as employee-only spaces or areas containing vital equipment, to authorized personnel only.
• Maintain a Supportive Work Environment — Foster open communication, encourage employees to report concerns, and address conflicts promptly to prevent them from escalating.
• Security Training — Provide training for employees on conflict resolution, de-escalation techniques, and personal safety measures.
By prioritizing store security and safety, laundromat owners can create a protective environment that safeguards their assets, employees and customers. Maintaining a safe, secure store builds trust and confidence among your customers, leading to long-term success.
Miss Part 1? You can read it HERE.
Have a question or comment? E-mail our editor Bruce Beggs at [email protected].