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Safe as houses

Nov 2017 Security Systems, Smart Homes | Comments Off on Safe as houses
Safe as houses

Smart wireless security systems can provide both a comprehensive solution for small businesses and an upsell opportunity to installers, says Emma Segelov of Honeywell

Small businesses in Britain are booming – there are currently more than 5.5 million small to medium enterprises (SMEs) listed in the UK, and this number is only likely to increase over the coming months and years. In fact, according to ONS statistics, 75% of UK workers aspire to run their own businesses, and one in 10 – roughly 3.2 million people – stated an intention to go it alone and create a start-up at the beginning of 2017.

Furthermore, this summer it was announced that the UK Government had struck a deal with the major high street banks to increase lending to SMEs as part of broader plans to boost the economy post-Brexit, signalling strong potential for even greater SME growth.

However, regardless of the nature of the business, some considerations remain the same. Primarily, the introduction and maintenance of comprehensive security measures is a must across the board. For retail outlets, shelves full of goods must be protected, and for office-based companies, a building full of expensive computer equipment can represent a serious target for thieves.

According to the Federation of Small Businesses (FSB), almost half of SMEs have been a victim of offline crime at a shocking 48%. And, of that percentage, those affected have been targeted three times on average. This is no small consideration, as the approximate cost of each attack, per business, is around £6,000. On a grand scale, the figures are staggering – the cost of UK retail crime, for example, hit a record £613m last year.

This is not lost on small business owners, who are increasingly taking steps to secure their premises. In 2016, it was reported that two fifths (41%) of businesses had installed or upgraded a security system to protect their business. This demonstrates a major uptick in SME security awareness, representing a 25% increase since 2010.

Protecting businesses

From an installer perspective, these statistics illustrate the opportunities currently available and developing in the SME and retail sectors. Providing security recommendations while working on the electrics of a premises can mean a quick and easy upsell, especially in the current climate of security awareness. These days, most security alarms are relatively simple to fit, and the reasons why customers should invest in them are compelling enough to make an easy sale.

What’s more, there are now a number of innovative crime prevention products on the market which work with smartphones and tablets. This is a crucial consideration, as 83% of European SMEs believe mobile devices are transforming the way they do business, with 54% using tablets as part of day-to-day activities.

With this in mind, installers will likely find that smart product recommendations will prove most popular. Given that many SME owners run their business through their smart device, they appreciate the ability to effortlessly control their property’s security at the touch of a button.

Smart control via hub

The smart alarms currently available are generally centred on a hub that allows the devices connected to it to be controlled quickly, easily and remotely via a smartphone or tablet.

Because these systems are often modular, business owners can tailor them to suit their property. They also provide an ongoing opportunity for installers to upsell because additional elements can easily be added as a company grows and expands.

While basic wireless smart security systems can be set up to include core elements, such as internal sirens, PIR cameras and motion sensors, optional extras can be included to create bespoke configurations too.

These can include items such as additional sensors, which can report back when glass is broken or motion is captured, and are a great option for those worried about the safety of their business out of hours. Because these systems are connected remotely to users’ phones, the information can be relayed back almost immediately to ensure that the owner can act on it without delay.

The unit also offers peace of mind thanks to a GPRS SIM card in the hub. This means that should the broadband fail, or if a premises is based in an area at risk of intermissions, the alarm will continue to have access to the internet, ensuring a continued smart system at all times.

The wireless glass-break sensor accessory, meanwhile, can help to protect all points of entry. Because it works on acoustics, the sensor will react when any area of glass is broken to give users the maximum opportunity to react in case of an intruder.

Honeywell’s evohome security enables small business owners to modernise their security system, and comes with added benefits such as cameras that can take a snapshot when an alarm is activated.

Grow your client base

Small and medium sized businesses across the top 10 UK cities are forecast to contribute £217bn to the UK economy by 2020.This indicates the enormous scope of new and growing SME businesses flourishing across the UK, and therefore the burgeoning potential client base for installers.

There is real need for enhanced security solutions for buildings that house these enterprises, whether that’s initial installation or an expansion of security for a growing business, and this creates an ideal upsell opportunity for installers.

With smart, wireless technology becoming an increasingly central part of everyday life, products that capitalise on this are likely to be a real winner with SME customers and a quick win for installers.