How to Prevent Theft in Business

Business theft remains a major problem for businesses large and small. An estimated 10% of all sales are lost to theft. Worse yet is the statistic that about 2/3 of all theft is done from inside the company! It is estimated that 1/3 of all working Americans steal from their own employer!

Here are some basic preventative measures that can be taken in the fight against theft.

Utilize Excellent Customer Service

As annoying as many consumers find over-bearing sales associates, the practice is a very good loss prevention practice. Making eye contact, greeting as many customers as possible and providing personal service will not only make your customers feel welcome, but they will know they are being watched.


The sales floor should be continuously monitored physically. Security cameras are great, but they have blind spots and realistically can’t be monitored at 100%. Have areas with items more prone to easy shoplifting monitored closely. Don’t forget that employees need to be monitored too! Managers need to be vigilant and present to curb the possibility of register skimming or even basic policy-breakers. Having a physical presence makes potential shoplifters think twice. If there is no opportunity, theft won’t occur. Security guards are a great resource for larger establishments, but supervisory staff can be even more effective due to their knowledgeable insight into the product and store itself.

Add Security Tags to In Demand Items

Nothing is more embarrassing than walking out a door to a chorus of ear-splitting beeps. Whether you decide to choose inconspicuous magnetic stickers or the larger ink filled options, technology not only helps prevent theft, but it makes it easier to catch a thief in action.

Communicate the Consequences of Theft

Posting your policy on theft for both customers and employees will give them an idea of what they will be dealing with if they get caught in the act. For most people a given consequence is enough of a deterrent. A teenager who knows that the police will be called if they are caught will think twice before busting out their sticky fingers. Employees that know that the consequences are greater than simply losing their job will also be more conscious of their decisions.

Educate Employees

Some people are just not aware that some activities fall under the category of theft. Taking home office supplies is probably a very common practice. While it seems harmless, the overall costs of repurchasing even the smallest things add up in costs for every company.

Another thing that many people don’t realize is theft is revealing company secrets. How a company has built partnerships with other companies, product formulas and intellectual properties like handbooks and policies are all things that go into creating a business. Sharing such information can lead to a loss in competitive edge and millions of dollars. Take the time to properly educate your employees on all aspects of theft. Knowledge is power, and in this case can be money in your pocket instead of a thief’s!

Treat Your Employees Fairly

Paying a fair wage and offering good benefits gives employees fewer reasons to steal from the company. Disgruntled employees are more likely to steal than happy ones! A happy employee will not want to risk losing their job over even the pettiest of thefts.

About the Author

Breana Orland is a writer for Education Grants. Breana also gives advice on the pursuit of higher education and career options for young adults.

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