Equipment is an investment for any businesses. Small businesses often feel the pinch of this investment more sharply than larger businesses. Regardless, of the size of your business, however, the need to protect your investment remains the same. These are just a few great ways your small business can protect your equipment investment.
Theft of equipment is a big concern for businesses of all sizes. Make sure you have adequate security for equipment on the property and encourage employees to observe proper security protocols for business equipment (laptops, tablets, mobile phones, GPS devices, vehicles, tools, large mechanical equipment, machinery, etc.) that are taken off-site as part of their jobs. Secure items during the day by restricting access to the equipment with buzzers or keycard systems, invest in video surveillance, keep the exterior of your business well lit at night, make high-ticket items inaccessible to potential thieves during operating hours, and keep a record of all serial numbers for equipment you’ve purchased.
Routine maintenance is a cost-effective means to prolong the life of all your office equipment. From computers and mobile phones to vehicles and major plant equipment and machinery, maintenance, when provided properly and routinely, can prevent problems from occurring, uncover areas of concern before they become problems, and helps keep equipment operating at optimal levels so that breakdowns aren’t likely to happen at critically inopportune moments.
There are two kinds of operational hazards to concern yourself with when protecting your business equipment: mechanical and non-mechanical. You can prevent many mechanical hazards by safeguarding equipment and tools. The purpose of safeguarding is to prevent workers from coming into contact with the hazard area while equipment is in the midst of an operating cycle, prevents interference with the machine’s normal operation, and allows for safe maintenance and lubrication o machinery. Guards are commonly used to keep workers out of certain areas while equipment is operating.
The non-mechanical hazards are largely manmade, though electrical surges present a bit of a hazard potential as well. Prevent manmade hazards through education and training, surge protection risks by investing in adequate surge protectors that are up-to-date and unplugging vulnerable equipment whenever lightning intensive storms are in the area.
Despite your best efforts to secure, safeguard, educate workers, and otherwise extend the life of your equipment, stuff happens. Break-ins occur, accidents happen, and things fall apart. These are the moments, when your best defense, for the sake of your business, is to have adequate business insurance (including equipment breakdown insurance and business interruption insurance)to help your small business recover. When combined with the steps above, insurance is the perfect way to round out your protection efforts so you can rest easier at night.