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Security Cameras for Business, Big and Small

If you run a business, it really doesn’t matter whether it’s big or small: you need a sufficient surveillance system that will protect your property, your employees, and your customers. Whether you run a top law firm or sell lemonade on the side of the road, the simple fact is that where there’s money, there’s thieves.

But your needs for business security cameras will differ based on the context of your business and budget. The best business security camera system on the market isn’t going to be necessary (or feasible) for a lemonade stand, but that doesn’t mean you should go without.

Read on to find out what you need to know to protect your business, including what works for your specific needs, as well as the best in store security cameras for small business and larger scale businesses alike.

Why You Need Security Cameras for Your Business

Credit: CBS New York

Security Measures for Big Business vs. Small Business

Small business Big business
Safes – a failsafe (pun totally intended) way of protecting merchandise is to simply hide it. Speaking with the LA Times, security consultant Chris McGoey suggested that ‘modern merchandising is about getting your merchandise up in front. You want it highly visible.’

While this might not be a problem for big businesses where loss is minimal compared to the cost of prevention, small businesses simply cannot take that risk with expensive stock like vintage fine jewelry and watches. Consider hiding the most expensive stock rather than displaying it gratuitously, using images to represent it. 
Plexiglass – though the trend even in luxury stores is to display everything upfront, there is a lot to be said for placing items behind a transparent casing, like plexiglass.

Plexiglass can be slightly costly to install, especially since, ideally, it will need to be a thick enough piece of acrylic to stop a bullet (spoiler: plexiglass isn’t actually glass, but acrylic).

That being said, if the merchandise in question is valuable enough to warrant completely bulletproof casing, Lexan is likely a more ideal material to be used. Lexan is made of polycarbonate as opposed to acrylic, meaning it is less brittle and much more resistant to bullets. 
Modern cash registers (POS) – if your small business happens to be getting on in age, there’s a chance that some of your security measures are a little outmoded. This of course applies first and foremost to security cameras, but equally important is cash registers.

Older registers lack the sophistication of the latest models, which often boasts point-of-sale (POS) systems built in. In fact, many major manufacturers no longer even produce traditional cash registers. For top picks, check out this article
Security tags – considered essential by most big business retailers, security tags, be it for clothing or other products, serves not only as an excellent deterrent for theft, but also as a reliable means of catching it before resulting in profit loss.

Different types of tags exist, like ones that will spill a substance all over the product should it be broken. Most useful, however, is the generic anti-theft type that trips an alarm as the alarm passes the threshold of the store entrance. From there, security guards can deal with the thief. 
Card-only – an easily overlooked solution to till security concerns is to simply reject cash payments. As we race towards the cashless society of the future, it’s clear that paper money will be a thing of the past sooner than you might think (just 19% of all transactions in the US were cash in 2021).

While before COVID this might have proved problematic for smaller businesses, the rate as which cashless payments are being adopted means that only accepting card payments is now highly unlikely to turn away custom. In a word, no cash equals no till theft. 
Security and undercover staff – hiring, training, and paying security guards is costly, so as amoral as it may sound, it really is worth considering just how ‘big’ your business is when deciding whether to have them or not. After all, they aren’t police, so there is a limit to what they can do.

There’s no doubt that they are a great reassurance to customers and staff alike, but if profit losses from theft are so minimal as to be vastly outweighed by the cost of security staff, incorporating other security measures should take priority, like cameras, alarms, and tags. If losses from theft are significant, it may be worth considering undercover security; security guards dressed in plain clothes who pose as shoppers. 

The Best Security Cameras for Your Small Business

Arlo Ultra 2 Spotlight Camera

Available on Arlo. From $229.99 for single camera version.

Two Arlo Ultra 2 cameras with system. (Image via Arlo)
Image via Arlo

Available on Amazon. From $475.99.

Four Reolink cameras and a 2TB HDD. (Image via Amazon)
Image via Amazon

Another popular option for inexpensive but powerful security is Reolink. Unlike a lot of modern IP security camera manufacturers, they have various options for sufficient hard drive storage combined with multiple cameras. The affordable price also doesn’t hurt.

Cloud storage isn’t always the most useful or reliable in business settings, since a wi-fi drop out could result in lost footage, putting your business’ security at risk. Reolink’s 4K Security Camera System includes a 2TB HDD to ensure reliable 24/7 recording, with the option to install up to 6TB of additional storage for backup. With a total of four smart IP cameras, you’ll be able to cover all your bases.

AlfredCamera

Available on the App Store and Play Store. Free, with the option for premium upgrade.

Alfredcamera_home

For smaller businesses, like those run from home or in a space that isn’t used constantly, budgets may not be flexible enough for IP cameras and camera systems, which can become expensive the more cameras added. And having additional cameras may not even be necessary depending on your needs.

Alfred caught an intruder in my shed, I was alerted immediately and if not for Alfred I could have lost so much it been my shop and place of business.

The Best Security Camera Systems for Larger Businesses

Larger-scale businesses run the risk of greater profit losses due to theft, meaning there is far more at stake. A bigger business is also more likely to be able to afford to put more into their security. Here’s our picks of industry-loved security camera systems.

ADT Smart Business

Quotes available from ADT.

ADT business security cameras are among the most well-known and recognizable in industry settings, and you’ll likely know the ADT logo having seen it on the side of residential and business buildings alike—it’s been around for about 150 years, after all.

‘Smart Business’ is their latest security system package that combines a number of products and services, including outdoor HD security cameras, smart video doorbells, and automated lights. ADT is also known for the alarms it manufactures. Quotes will vary widely based on your needs, meaning you can customize the service based on your needs, including options for instant police response and keyholder notifications.

SimpliSafe Security Packages

Available on SimpliSafe. Packages start from $191.

SimpliSafe Business Essentials System. (Image via SimpliSafe)
Image via SimpliSafe

Although US-based SimpliSafe markets itself primarily as a home security solution provider, they also provide package and system deals designed for businesses, and they claim to have helped nearly 100,000 businesses save thousands of dollars a year.

SimpliSafe sets itself apart with no installation costs, with professional monitoring starting at about a dollar a day. Packages combine products including sensors and keypads, and also come with a free HD camera. Those looking specifically for restaurant security cameras will appreciate the Restaurant System, while offices will benefit from the Office System.

Comcast Business SmartOffice

Quotes available from Comcast.

A Comcast Business SmartOffice security camera. (Image via Comcast)
Image via Comcast

If you’re already a customer of Comcast Business Internet, you have the option to have Comcast business security cameras installed.

Available on a quote-by-quote basis, the 1080p HD cameras provide superior images while also providing motion detection analysis, wide-angle view, and night-vision. The corresponding app lets you check in at any time, from anywhere. And since it’s Comcast, you can expect pro installation and 24/7 support.

FAQ

Can I put security cameras in my business?

Yes, and it’s highly advisable that you do so! Whether or not your business sells products directly, valuables, property, staff and customers all need to be protected.

What security cameras do professionals use?

Which CCTV camera is best for offices?

An office space will need regular maintenance, so CCTV provided by a company like ADT or SimpliSafe would be most appropriate, since subscription fees will cover fixes, replacement equipment, and full access to services.

Which security camera is best for shops?

A large store will require a fully comprehensive system, the likes of which ADT and SimpliSafe can provide. Likewise, shops selling expensive products require robust security, so other measures are also necessary, like plexiglass casing. For smaller shops, like grocers and bakeries, this might not be needed, since the stock itself is less valuable: a couple of IP cameras, or an app like AlfredCamera, will suffice.

Which is better: NVR or DVR?

Conclusion