You’ve worked too hard to let your small business fall victim to theft and fraud. Losses from business theft are one of the biggest reasons small businesses like yours struggle. Theft is also a significant factor that can lead a business to file bankruptcy. And no matter how much it seems like one of those things that happens to everyone else, no business is immune.

Don’t wait until it’s too late to protect your business, your investment, and your future. Below are four business theft statistics you can’t afford to ignore.

1. Small business lose $25,000 to $33,000 every minute to shoplifters.

The University of Florida National Retail Security Survey estimates total retail losses of $44 billion every year, with 30-40 percent of those losses walking straight out the door. Shoplifting is a scourge on the retail landscape and its impact is huge.

According to the Hayes International Annual Retail Theft Survey, the average shoplifting case for all types of retailers totals approximately $50. That may not seem like much, but when you add it up you’re looking at as much as $18 billion in retail losses annually.

2. 64 percent of all small businesses fall victim to employee theft.

Not all dangers to your business come from the outside. Unfortunately, one of the biggest threats to a healthy bottom line is employee theft and fraud. In a survey conducted by Kessler International, 95 percent of employees admitted to stealing from their employer. So, if you think your company is the exception, it may be time to think again.

While some of that is office supplies, a 2014 study presented at the Annual Academy of Criminal Justice Sciences Meeting revealed that the majority of losses from employee theft are cash losses, with $20,000 being the average lost.

3. A typical business can lose up to 5 percent of its revenue to fraud.

Theft is one thing, but fraud and embezzlement can also impact the bottom line. In fact, according to a 2012 report by the Association of Certified Fraud Examiners, fraud conducted by executives and owners can reach up to $563,000. Of all fraud cases the average cost is $145,000, and in more than 20 percent of cases the damage tops $1 million.

One of the most startling things about employee fraud is that in 92 percent of cases reviewed for the 2012 report there was at least one common behavioral red flag that could have tipped off business owners.

4. Businesses are four times as likely to be burglarized as homes.

Your business is a much more tempting target to thieves than your home. According to a West Bend article, burglaries occur about every 10 seconds, and only one out of six cases result in an arrest.

It’s easy to see why your business is vulnerable. Consider the type of electronics and other equipment commonly used in businesses, not to mention cash on hand and retail product. A business burglary is likely to garner a heftier profit for the bad guys than a residential smash and grab.

While these statistics are certainly alarming, there’s no reason you need to be a sitting duck. You can take action to protect your company and discourage would-be thieves. There are a number of state-of-the-art security systems that can be customized to meet the needs of your business. The right alarm system can help you keep an eye on your employees and keep the bad guys at bay.

If you’re ready to take a stand against business theft losses, consult a reliable source, and start comparing your security options. You’ll be on your way to more secure profits in no time once you find the security solution that will help keep your business safe.

Written by Rebecca Edwards

Rebecca has honed her safety and security skills as both a single mom and a college director. Being responsible for the well-being of others helped her learn how to minimize risk and create safe environments. Learn more

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