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Top Holiday Safety Tips for Small Business

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Along with more sales and more customers, the holiday season brings greater risk in the form of seasonal employees to track and larger stocks of inventory to monitor. On average, November and December sales account for as much as 30 percent of the year's business, according to research from the National Retail Federation. From employee theft to greater risk of accidents, here are our top holiday safety tips to help protect your employees, your customers, your stock and your business.

Preventing Employee Theft

Unfortunately, employee theft costs small businesses millions of dollars each year. According to a Retail Knowledge survey, employee theft is one of the most significant areas of store loss. If you hire seasonal employees, you could be increasing the risk of experiencing theft. Protect your business from the start by starting the hiring process early and giving yourself enough time to vet candidates thoroughly. Deter employee theft by:

  • Maintaining and frequently reviewing your business's policies on theft
  • Keeping close track of deleted or voided sales
  • Monitoring financial transactions and records
  • Keeping trusted supervisors out on the floor
  • Using cameras throughout the store and monitoring video feeds regularly

Promoting Employee Safety

Creating a safe workplace environment is key to employee safety. Start by providing proper training with a focus on workplace safety. During the holidays, it's essential to include refresher or additional training to help employees deal with additional inventory, such as proper lifting, pushing and pulling techniques. If you're hanging decorations or creating special displays, employees may need training on proper ladder use. Finally, pay special attention to issues that could cause trips and falls, such as keeping walkways clear and dry and ensuring that aisles are free of goods or debris that can be a tripping hazard.

Decor and Display

Holiday decor and special displays can attract customers in for a bit of holiday shopping, but be sure that you're decorating safely. Decor shouldn't cover exit and emergency signs, and it should never obstruct aisles or walkways. Similarly, don't obstruct windows or views from the street with decorations. If you're using decor made from paper or other flammable materials, don't hang it near heat sources. And forgo flaming candles in favor of battery-operated candles. Finally, ensure that any electrical displays or decor have intact, unfrayed cords and aren't overloading electrical outlets.

Protect Inventory

Thieves know that many businesses bump up their inventory around the holidays. Protect your stock by controlling access and activity. This might mean limiting access doors, keeping back doors locked from the outside, and using roped-off areas or "Employees Only" signs to direct and control customer movement.

When you start the holidays with properly vetted and trained employees and put safety measures in place, you'll have less stress during this busy season. Provide yourself with even more peace of mind by speaking with your insurance agent to ensure that you've got the right insurance coverage in place to help protect your business during the holidays.


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