Benefits of using video surveillance in small businesses

Small business owners work hard. Arriving first and leaving last, they often take their work home with them to make their business as successful as possible. Because of this, many business owners don’t take vacations and, when they do, they spend a lot of time worrying about how things are running in their absence. A major concern is loss, and the devastating effects loss can have on small businesses. Therefore, professional security solutions must be a top priority.

One solution that effectively addresses loss is video surveillance. However, there is a popular misconception that video surveillance is expensive. In truth, there are high-quality, relatively inexpensive plug and play solutions that don’t require much configuration to get up and running.

Almost all solutions come with a means of accessing video – both live and recorded – remotely from a smartphone or tablet. In an “always on” world where our phones have become our lifeline to a lot of information, a security system must become just as easily accessible. Here I will explain how video surveillance can address many issues associated with loss to help SMBs work smarter, not harder.

Reviewing incidents

High-quality video surveillance systems with strong coverage allow small business owners to go back and find incidents to identify what happened. For example, if something goes missing from a retail store, reviewing the video will reveal exactly what happened and possibly who took what.

Video systems can also be valuable from a liability perspective. Slip-and-fall claims are common, but sometimes turn out to be false. Without video to verify claims, such incidents could be costly.

Other examples could be a customer who claims they were shortchanged, or a supplier who claims to have delivered three cases but only two are in the storeroom. Rather than wasting time counting money in the till or arguing over what has been delivered, a small business owner could simply review video footage to determine who is correct.

Checking in

For small business owners with surveillance systems, vacations can actually be relaxing. Rather than sitting on a beach worrying about their business while they’re away, an owner can use their smartphones to remotely view live or recorded video. That peace of mind is invaluable. Additionally, if something was to happen, the business owner would be notified and could then check video footage via the app to establish the source of the issue.

Training and staffing

Video surveillance can help make sure employees follow established policies while maintaining optimum staffing levels.

Small business owners can use video for training purposes, if they see that things aren’t being done properly. They can sit down with employees to review the video and explain the proper procedures, demonstrate proper techniques or recognize employees for a job well done.

Reviewing video can reveal busy and quieter business times to determine optimal staffing levels. This will help improve customer experience and potentially increase profitability.


Manufacturers often release firmware updates to protect cameras from malware and unauthorized intrusion. If just one device in a system is accessed, all other devices can become vulnerable. With checking for firmware updates not usually high on the daily agenda, it is no surprise that important updates often go uninstalled.

Today’s advanced video systems come with easy updating, which helps ensure constant protection. Other systems are available with auto-updating capabilities, which helps remove the pressure from small business owners to constantly remind themselves about needed updates.

A lasting solution

These are just a few of the benefits video surveillance systems offer small business owners. It is important to have the right camera for the right environment. For instance, a camera positioned at the back door of a business must have wide dynamic range to deal with changing light levels throughout the day. A camera used to monitor transactions must offer high resolution to identify bill denominations.

Today’s solutions are cost-effective, easy to use and offer the flexibility to monitor operations from anywhere at any time – giving small business owners the power to work smarter, not harder to grow their bottom line.


If you would like to know how video analytics could further help your small business, please read:

Video analytics to keep you ahead of the game