Big American businesses and government establishments have been spending generously on video surveillance and security systems for long. The sheer convenience, usefulness, and user-friendly nature of the CCTV technology have made it a hit and a go-to solution for all kinds of security concerns. It is a big business now, estimated to rise to $38 billion (globally) by 2015.
Since an increasing number of organizations in our country are relying on video surveillance for security purposes, it is inevitable for newer and even more advanced systems to hit the market on a regular basis. We have to, after all, keep in mind that one has to be ahead of the criminals and that the same technology that is available to us is also available to them to study and get around. Hence, constant updates and evolution are extremely crucial for a technology to keep serving us well year after year.
That is all well and good. But how does that help a small business?
We are getting to the point. One of the biggest positives of this rapid progression of technology is that we now have a great variety of alternatives to choose from.
On the one hand there are systems at the highend, whose costs run into thousands of dollars and whose sophistication would impress anybody. On the other hand, all of the improvement at the top has percolated down to the consumer base consisting of average Americans like you and I.
A widening customer base has led to security systems fitting different budgets being launched in the market. Forward thinking businesses have been making use of these for a long time, but small businesses, too, are increasingly placing their faith in these systems now.
A good security system is one that covers all the security concerns pertaining to a small business – theft, shoplifting, vandalism, and fraud, to name a few. If you are not convinced that a burglar alarm is all the security your business premises need, you may have at least considered other security equipment.
We understand that not all businesses have the luxury to spend thousands of dollars on elaborate security systems or on manpower to guard their premises. Fortunately though, you don’t even need to. In this post we take a look at some of the most inexpensive (but quality) options available in the market in this regard. We are sure you will have ditched your ‘proper security = expensive’ thinking by the time you are done reading this.
Budget options for business security
The type of security cameras best suited for your business would depend on your needs. We are looking at the simplest of security solutions here, keeping in mind the all-important clause of ‘low budget’.
How much does a simple wired security camera system cost?
It would vary from brand to brand but it can cost as low as $100. A four-camera system can effectively take care of all of a small business’s security needs. Place the cameras strategically around your premises and inside the office for best results.
Many of these cameras come with impressive features which go above and beyond their basic function of capturing a live stream and recording it. Case in point, a camera lens capable of infrared vision. That feature ensures that the quality of footage remains top-notch even in low-light conditions. These cameras come in housings that are vandal-proof so that they are not easily damaged. They will last you for years, being made of professional grade material, which makes them an excellent investment.
What else do you get for this price?
The exact features will vary, but in general you can expect the following:
Wide angle viewing: You can have a sweeping view of the outside depending on where you position the cameras and the varifocal abilities of the camera lens. You can keep an eye on your store’s driveway, its entrance, exit, front and/or backyard.
Day as well as nightvision: Watch people entering or leaving your premises regardless of the amount of light outside. A good camera will capture excellent quality footage (of people and objects as far as 65 feet or more away) so you need not fear the nights and all the strange creatures that come out during that time. Especially useful for those living in sparsely populated neighborhoods, or in mountainous areas where nightfall comes early.
Watch the high-resolution multiple video streams on your PC or a TV monitor from the comfort of your seat.
Record the footage and retrieve it whenever the need arises.
No more “he said/she said.” Cameras give you solid evidence of what happened, which works as a charm when trying to nab culprits. Check out how a security camera saved this shop owner.
You save on insurance premiums as better guarded and safer premises cost less. This effectively means that your security system will start paying for itself in a year or two.
For the same price, i.e. around $100, you will also be able to buy a full-fledged indoor security camera system, if you have the need for it. Prominently placed indoor cameras will dissuade shoplifters, or catch them in the act if they are foolish enough to ignore the cameras.
For $150-odd you will be able to purchase a good 8-camera security system. (If you can’t find a camera system for that price at your local store, locate the ideal deal on the Internet. You’d be surprised at the range of discounts on excellent systems to be found if only you look for them in the right places.)
If you find eight or even four to be a big number, you can buy cameras individually and mount them where you feel the need to do so. Wireless or IP network cameras are an excellent choice for this. For as little as $80 you will have at your service a top-grade camera that will keep you and your business secure single-handedly.
If you are going to stick with only one camera, or are thinking of trying a lone one out first before investing in a bigger system, we suggest picking up a pan-tilt-zoom camera. This can be mounted outside your property to pan a wide area, than would a conventional fixed camera, to give you a comprehensive coverage of your surroundings. You will save on installation costs and won’t have to make any changes to your existing construction as wireless cameras come without cables. The new ones also do not need any digital video recorders and can be accessed via a wi-fi network, and the footage watched on your PC.
These cameras are extremely user friendly and being wireless they can also be moved around without any hassle. Read more about wireless cameras here. Buying from a trusted company/dealer also means that you will have access to their technical support whenever you need it.
Any business, no matter how small, has the capacity to invest in a $100-security system. Even if you are running one from a single-room abode, it is more than reasonable to expect you’d be able to cough up that kind of cash. The only thing that may hold you back is whether you feel it is worth your money to invest in a security system at all.
So the answer to the question whether businesses can be secured on a low budget is a resounding yes. Not only that, many businesses across the country have been doing just that for years now. So if you are a small business looking to invest in a full-fledged security system but have your reservations about the cost, it’s time to lay those fears to rest. Do your research and you will find many options foryour budget.
In fact, you may find that the only problem you will face is that of plenty, given the vast range of choices in the market. As a means to help you, we have also covered the things to keep in mind when purchasing a security camera system for businesses.
Smartphone access makes it even better
The evolution of CCTV technology has beautifully coincided with the other technological revolution of our times – the coming of age of the smartphone.
Smartphones and other mobile devices play a big role in our day to day lives now, with their smart assistance only expected to rise substantially in the years to come. It is fitting therefore that they are also your reliable allies in securing your business.
Almost all big security companies provide a free app (compatible with Android and iOS systems) along with their security packages, which can be downloaded from the Internet and installed in your smartphone.
Once ready to use this app helps you with the following (exact features may vary depending on your settings and/or plan):
You can view the footage of your security system via your smartphone regardless of the time or your location.
You can remote control the system and its settings via the phone.
You receive instant email alerts when your security system detects any activity/breach. This means you can rest assured that your store is safe behind your back and that you are in the know about any breaches.
You can monitor the activity at your store from a remote location. This allows you to keep an eye on your employees and keep a watch on how things are holding up behind your back. (This feature is especially useful for those who simply cannot switch off even when on a vacation!)
And how much does all of this cost you?
Nothing, since the apps are free. You only pay for the Internet connection on your phone, which is something you are most likely to have even if you have no security cameras installed in your store/shop/home.
We hope this post makes you think twice about your misgivings about the cost of a proper security camera system. If there is anything you take away from this article, let this be it –security systems are NOT expensive. Whatever your budget, there is a quality system out there just for your needs.
The best part about living in this day and age, especially here in the West, is that we have an endless number of choices at our disposal. Companies are doing their best to make the best and the most useful technology available to the general public, which is reflected in the impressive price ranges to be found in the market. Since we are in the enviable position to use this technology for private and professional purposes, it would be rather stupid of us not to take up the offer. What do you think?