'Tis the season for holiday shopping, merriment, and crime.
If you've gone through a holiday shopping season before, you may know that this is the peak season for shoplifting and theft. But while most small business owners can't afford high-tech security surveillance systems, you should know that some of the most effective ways to prevent shoplifting are free.
Offer great customer service. If you greet customers at the door and stand by attentive to their needs, you not only make for a great shopping experience, but you also deter potential shoplifters, The Washington Post suggests.
Clean and stay organized. Keep the shopping areas clean and tidy. You should know where everything goes, and therefore have some sense when something goes missing. If your store shelves look cluttered, potential thieves will take this chance to make off with your goods thinking that you'll likely never know.
Keep your most commonly stolen items by the register. You should take extra precaution with your oft-stolen items. While you don't have to keep all of the valuable items right by the register, you should make sure that they are in plain sight and not in some dark recess of your store.
Wander around. You and your employees should wander around your store. Make sure there is no part of your store that is never staffed. As with Tip No. 1 above, this will also help with customer service.
Be neighborly. If you scratch your neighbor's back, they will scratch yours too. Similar to a neighborhood watch program, all retailers in a particular strip mall or at a certain location can and should band together to help each other look out for crooks and thieves.
The holiday shopping season should be the time when you get into the black. Take these steps to help minimize loss and increase your profits for the year.