Anyone that operates a business from home knows that home-based business security issues often come up. This is just part and parcel of running any home-based business.
Realistically, in order to be successful at a home-based business, a business owner needs to release their address and phone number to potential clients or buyers eventually. Even if this is not done, it is rather easy for potential clients and buyers to research and discover the phone number and location of a home-based business.
Therefore, it can be harrowing at times, for home-based business owners in the issues of safety and security, especially if their home-based business is indeed, in their home, exposing their family members to security and safety issues and risks, as well as themselves.
This is not to say that undue measures should be taken, or that undue fear should pervade. A home-based business is really at no more risk of crimes against person or property than a personal residence or any other type of business.
Pre-cautionary measures should however, within normal guidelines be employed, to prevent any untoward occurrences during the course of a business day and after office hours. These measures can include, but should not be limited to the following:
1. The locking of doors and windows as is convenient and the implementation of safety and security devices, even when the building is occupied. Many home-based business owners don't feel that they may legitimately keep the doors and windows "locked", as they may feel that this will inconvenience their clients. This is not true, as any visit to a corporate building will soon prove.
Whenever visitors enter a corporate structure, they are usually scrutinized well by cameras, security personnel and other safety and security methods. As a home-based business owner, you do have every right to employ locked doors and windows, and even implement security cameras and other devices. It is your right under law, and clients, overall, will understand this.
2. The use of structural security measures, such as deadbolts, dogs, fencing, and one-way viewing glass inserted into doors. Measures such as these are used routinely by homeowners and a business within a home does not rule out the use of these deterrents.
3. The use of a separate phone line for business needs. This is only a small added expense per month, but when clients call, no one in a home-based business person's "family" will inadvertently answer, thus lending to the belief that the business is not attached to a personal residence in any way.
4. The use of legitimate business e-mail addresses. No personal addresses should be used. If a business address is used, it leads clients to believe that the business is larger, with more employees present in the building.
5. Routine office hours should be kept. Answering the phone and taking orders ONLY within set regular business hours will prevent clients from "showing up on the doorstep" after certain hours, and will lend a more professional air to a business.
6. Keeping background noise down during office hours. Clients are quick to "pick up" on background noises. On a professional level, an office should be as quiet as possible, with no interruptions by "family" or "friends". This also is a safety measure, as clients will assume the business is strictly unattached from the residence if they sense no background noise.
7. Emergency phone numbers should be posted in clear view. This includes fire, police, and other emergency numbers.
8. A system of "check points" can be established, whereas a friend or family member can regularly call or enter the building or home, to determine if all is well.
9. An emergency system needs to be in place. Any unwanted visitors or unwanted attentions by others need to be reported completely and thoroughly to authorities, as soon as these instances occur. This is especially true if threats or accusations occur. Business owners do not need to "put up" with aggression or unwanted visits by clients.
10. Common sense is the best detriment to tragedies occurring in a home-based business. Never open the door to strangers, never work alone late at night in a deserted area, never deliver anything late at night to a bad neighborhood, or otherwise put yourself or your family in jeopardy. If something doesn't "feel" right, trust your instincts.
As you can see, running a business within the home doesn't need to be fraught by peril. It does require that safety and security measures are implemented, but this is true of any type of business. Remember, "safety first, money later"!
Vishal P. Rao is the owner of Work at Home Forum, an online community of people who work from home.