Few purchases are as important as the security system you select for your business. Far more than just rigging up an alarm, you are choosing a vendor whom you trust to install and monitor the system that will be protecting your employees, customers, and business assets. Follow the checklist below to help you make the best choice when it comes to safeguarding your business.
- Compile a List of Potential Vendors.
This is the easy step. Just collect a list of commercial security system companies and contractors from the internet and fellow business owners.
- Do Your Due Diligence.
Got your list? Now you need to do some research. You can rely on the company’s website, but you can also pick up the phone. Ask questions. What sort of insurance and licensing do they carry, and is it appropriate for the state where your business is located? How do they choose their installation and service technicians? Are they employees or contractors? Does the security company do drug testing? Background checks?
- Get References.
To adequately customize a system that fits your needs, the security company you choose needs to have experience working with companies like yours. Make sure to get references from their current or past commercial clients from an industry sector that is comparable to yours.
- Ask About Equipment.
Ask each vendor why they choose to offer the security systems they do. Why is it better than other brands or models? Are most of the features pertinent to your type of business? Will you be able to customize the system based on individual operators?
- How Will They Monitor?
It’s key to know and endorse which service the security company will be using. Are they staffed by carefully vetted and trained professionals? What is their reputation, and what’s their track record for responding in the event of robbery, fire, or other emergency?
- Internet Dependence.
Will the system you select continue to work if you lose your internet or phone connectivity? What is the backup strategy for remaining online if they lose power in the area where they’re located? These are things you absolutely need to know in advance of any sort of emergency.
- Understand the Terms and Conditions.
Don’t sign a contract until all your questions have been answered. Do you understand the total cost of the system, all in? What’s included…just equipment, or equipment + installation? What about monitoring? Are there additional fees charged for false alarms? What is the length of the contract? This is increasingly important for businesses who may not want to commit to a long term contract.
- Discuss the Warranty.
How long is it? What types of repairs does the warranty cover? Does it cover just the hardware, or will the security company be responsible for managing updates and maintenance to the system’s software?
This may seem like an in-depth process…and it is. But when you consider what’s at stake, taking the time to find the best security solution for your place of business is well worth the investment of time and money.