Headline news in April this year confirmed a 27.2% unemployment rate as 105 000 manufacturing jobs were shed. A staggering additional 93 000 jobs were lost in community, social and personal services, and 57 000 more in the trade. The Free State has been the hardest hit with a 1.6% growth in the unemployment rate and the Eastern Cape has the highest rate of unemployment of almost half the population!
What does this mean for business owners?
High unemployment weakens purchasing power which drives local economies. Landlords, neighbourhood retailers and other small businesses feel the impact of high unemployment as people change their behaviour. They stop eating out, buying goods and are often unable to pay the rent.
Those who are unable to fend for themselves, either through entrepreneurial pursuits or from UIF, may be forced to turn to crime to feed their families. It literally becomes a matter of survival.
Here has been a noticeable increase in violent crime of late, even in areas traditionally considered lower risk.
How to secure your home
Take extra precautions inside and out. Make sure that you secure the perimeter – test electric fencing and trim trees so that you have a clear line of sight as you approach and leave your property.
Be aware of any cars that appear to be slowing down as you approach your entrance and make sure that you don’t exit the car until the gate is closed behind you.
Make sure that sensors are fitted and working on all windows and doors and always activate your alarm. Even if you are indoors watching television, activate the rest of the house. Call your service provider to take you through the zoning process if you’re not sure how it works – it may save your life.
Never leave bathroom windows open at night.
Keep a panic button close-by. Invest in an extra one so that if the family is in different areas of the house the panic can be activated wherever an intruder might enter.
What to do to improve security at work
The risk exists internally where data should be protected and devices secured and externally, where unauthorised access can be mitigated by guarding.
CCTV is a useful tool to record activity in and around the premises and may be used to record activity throughout the day.
Advances in technology mean that guards can be connected to the vault or control room for backup and armed response.
What about insurance?
Make sure that you update your list of assets and provide your insurance company with a detailed and descriptive list of replacement values for furniture, jewellery, computer equipment, clothing, and other valuable items.
Check your policy wording carefully so that you are clear about exclusions and discuss these with your broker if you are uncertain about anything.
Remember to add the cost of software to the value of computer equipment so that you don’t just cover the device but the actual working and set-up cost.
Store a copy of your important documents off-site, back up your work and save it to the cloud.
Make a list of contact numbers so that you’re not left high and dry if your cell phone goes missing because no-one remembers numbers anymore!