Keeping businesses safe and secure isn't the only benefit that comes with video surveillance systems.
Besides maintaining a lookout for criminals, video surveillance systems also provide small businesses with an abundance of extra insight into how their companies are run.
From being able to monitor their equipment around the clock to keeping track of what their employees are up to when working, small businesses owners say they have found a wide range of uses for their video surveillance systems, many of which go beyond security issues.
Here are nine of the biggest benefits small businesses get out of their video surveillance systems:
Anja Smith, CEO of Sabai Technology, said above all else, the company's video surveillance system provides the security the business needs to stay protected at all times.
"We use video surveillance because we have inventory to protect," Smith told Business News Daily. "If we were to have a break-in or internal shrink issues, our video surveillance provides a record and evidence."
Watch over employees
With video surveillance systems, businesses can not only look out for criminals, they can also watch over their own employees, said Rich Kahn, CEO of the search engine and online advertising firm eZanga.com.
"We have cameras set up throughout the office, and have used them in the past to catch employees leaving early or being where they were not supposed to be," Khan said.
Annette White, co-owner of the Northern California Italian restaurant Sugo Trattoria, said one key benefit of having a video surveillance system is that she can let her suppliers make deliveries when she's not there without fear that something might get stolen or damaged
"The system has allowed me to feel comfortable giving a key to and allowing regular distributors to do their drop-offs in the middle of the night," White said.
Bryan Phelps, founder of the digital marketing and creative agency https://www.businessnewsdaily.com and pull out ideas that didn't make it onto the whiteboard or into a summary email.
"It's helped us make sure no details were forgotten," Phelps said.
IT solutions firm Camino Information Services gets a big advantage from its video surveillance system, because the company can monitor its equipment at all hours of the day, said Sarah McMullin, a project coordinator and customer development specialist.
"Our company deals in IT solutions, and as such, our equipment cannot go offline without causing disruptions to our clients," McMullin said. "It gives us peace of mind and allows us to quickly check servers from wherever we are and assure clients that we are up and running."
Keith Miller, co-owner, of the Minneapolis area dog wash business Bubbly Paws, said his video surveillance system allows him to monitor staffing levels at each of the company's three locations and make immediate changes when needed.
"We can watch [in] real-time to make sure our staffing is correct during busy times," Miller said. "It also lets me know if I need to run in and help because it is super busy."
Video surveillance, especially when it includes outdoor cameras, also reassures employees and volunteers about security. They know that when they need to work outside the businesses, such as to take trash out to the dumpster, that they are still safe, said Jamie Thomas, executive director of the Motley Zoo Animal Rescue in Redmond, Washington.
"We want to have that available for their added peace of mind, and as a deterrent to anyone thinking of something unscrupulous," Thomas said of the video surveillance.
Added company insight
Dale Lemons, the owner of the communications services firm PhoneWave, said being able to watch video on how his business operates provides some valuable insight that goes far beyond just ensuring protection from criminal activity.
"Beyond security, [our video surveillance systems] provide real-time business intelligence," Lemons said. "Everything from tracking the peaks and valleys in customer traffic, optimizing staff schedules and maintaining consistent franchise-branding standards to helping employees hone their customer service skills and build repeat business."
Gillian Fealy, owner of the Chicago-based triathlon store Live Grit, said the business put its video surveillance system to good use just three months after opening: At that point, team members realized, after the fact, that a customer had paid for equipment using a counterfeit $100 bill. Using the video, the company was able to pinpoint the exact minute the transaction occurred and thereby identify the offender, Fealy said.
"The Live Grit team was also able to use the video to train staff on things to look for during sale transactions to mitigate loss or theft in the future," Fealy said.
Originally published on Business News Daily