Small Businesses: An Ounce of Prevention Is More Affordable Than You Think

Total Security Solutions understands the pressures on small and mid-sized businesses.  Security measures like bulletproof glass, bullet resistant counters, bulletproof package passers, and bulletproof transaction windows might seem like extra expenses that are hard to justify. But constantly worrying about the safety of your workers isn’t a great alternative.  Total Security Solutions is committed to helping you work within your budget and getting you the best security for your staff, cash, and merchandise.

Small and Mid-Sized Businesses Are a Target for Thieves

In 2013, the FBI’s Uniform Crime Reports (UCR) listed 345,031 robberies in the U.S.  These are, by definition, violent crimes in which force or the immediate threat of force are present. Firearms were used in about 40 of these robberies.  The UCR tracks robbery locations for seven location types, including gas stations and convenience stores.  In 2013, there were 7,292 robberies at gas stations with an an average loss of $830.  Convenience stores fared even worse: They were robbed 14,929 times in 2013 with an average loss of $1,171.  Together, these two location types accounted for 7.4% of robberies nationwide that year.

The FBI’s numbers underscore the fact that thieves like to target small and mid-sized businesses to make quick cash.  Targets include family-owned pharmacies, check cashers, convenience stores, independent jewelry stores, and gas stations.  Although the value of cash and merchandise lost may not seem large, the impact these events have on a small business can be devastating: Just considering the small-business robberies highlighted above:  22,000 incidents in which workers and customers were traumatized, injured, or even killed.  Certainly, the loss of $1,000 in cash or merchandise can be a disaster for a narrow-margin business like a gas station, but the psychological effects of a robbery on employees and customers can be even more difficult to recover from.

Reactive Security Is More Costly than Proactive Measures

Security at small shops can be incomplete or even nonexistent, which is part of what makes them so attractive to crooks.  Many small businesses do not make a serious commitment to security until they have experienced a loss.  After all, bulletproof glass—comprised of impact- and spall-resistant laminated acrylic and polyurethane—is more expensive than standard glass and may not always be a priority, financially-speaking, when a business owner is setting up shop.

But reactive security does not save money.  First there is the loss of income from the theft.  Often there is also physical damage to the property that needs to be repaired.  And finally, there is the uphill battle to earn back the trust of employees and customers.

Proactive security, by contrast, offers several key benefits.  First and foremost, a ballistic barrier is a powerful deterrent.  It doesn’t just protect staff during a robbery, but prevents robberies altogether, as criminals shift their attention to easier targets. On top of that, it communicates an important message to employees: Their well-being is a top priority.

Small Businesses: TSS Has Your Back

Total Security Solutions may be a small company–we have just under 40 employees, headquartered in rural Michigan–but we have decades of experience designing and installing systems for small businesses throughout the United States.  Our security design experts will assess the needs of your shop and recommend a solution that balances your needs against the security realities of your area.  When you get bulletproof products from us, they come fully fabricated, predrilled and ready for installation.  We can work with your local contractors, minimizing cost and streamlining the installation process.  This makes for very fast installations.  Your shop likely won’t need to be closed for more than an evening.

Aesthetics are important to Total Security Solutions, too. “When I first get that call, they’re worried about security; they aren’t really concerned about what it will look like as long as it’s safe and they can talk through it,” explains Jim Richards, CEO of Total Security Solutions. “They’ve seen the old bullet proof barriers at the check casher down the street: that awful, old, green-tinted bullet proof glass with a big metal backer over the talk hole that no one can hear through.”  They aren’t happy with the idea of bolting something like that up in their shop, but they don’t think they really have any alternative.

The bulletproof products that Total Security Solutions manufactures are sleek, modern and, in some designs, so seamlessly integrated that customers may not realize the glass in front of them is bulletproof.  Since many businesses only face robbery risk after dark, Total Security Solutions systems can include horizontal slider windows, so that the barrier can be slide aside during peak daylight business hours, and then locked down for after-hours operation.

“We’ll design a custom barrier system for you that will stay out of the way of business while it keeps your people safe,” Jim says. “We take pride in that.”


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