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Protect your Business from Theft! Tips to Shield your Operations

culture people safety Jan 31, 2023
Protect your Business

No matter the season, business owners should put themselves on alert mode to protect their businesses from robbery, especially during the holidays or the summer, when crime tends to go up. 

  • The awful truth is that the vast majority of theft in your business will come from within. This means that either somebody on your staff is robbing you, or letting an external know how to best rob you. That is an absolute business statistic

Do you know how to protect your business and how to be ready if you discover a thief among your team members?

In this blog post, I’ll be sharing the rule of 10-80-10 of employee theft in the business industry and some recommendations to shield your operations throughout the year to prevent any losses. 

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Way back in the early 2000s, I spent time in the headquarters of a global franchise organization. I often collaborated with the security departments, whose main responsibility was to make sure that the people and the money were safe. 

The director of security at the time taught me the 10-80-10 rule of employee theft which, in general terms, states that:

  • 10% of the people in your team are always looking, proactively, for ways to steal things from you. 
  • 80% of your staff, given an opportunity and having a low chance of getting caught, would probably steal from you. 
  • 10% of your workers would never steal from you. You can literally leave money on the table and, instead of stealing it, they would ask who it belongs to. 

Knowing this, business owners need to put special attention to their interview, recruiting, and hiring process, so that they don’t bring in the first 10% of people (that would steal from them) but attract the other 10% (of honest employees) to keep the business safe. Unfortunately, the latter is really hard to identify.

Watch this behavioral interviewing tips to discover who the candidates really are 

To reduce the risk that the remaining 80% represents, what you should do is create systems, processes, and procedures so that the employees have a very low probability of theft and a high probability of getting caught if they do it.

Having those systems in place will keep your people away from temptation. But, what do you need to implement to protect your business?


3 Safety Systems for your Business
1. Have solid custody of cash procedures

If your business makes cash transactions, you need to have a very clear process of custodial to assure that the money that comes into your business actually makes it to the bank.

It would be best if you also assign someone to be responsible for the cash, and this person has to be of your total trust.

 2. Have a solid cash deposit procedure

This is critical not only to keep the money safe but especially to guarantee the safety and security of your people. I have seen a lot of terrible things happen to people because they do not follow procedures. 

3. Have your people know what to do if something happens

If you don't give your people specific processes and procedures to know what to do if there's a robbery, theft, or any incident, chaos will happen and their instinct will jump in.

That instinct may be right but it may also be the wrong thing to do. So, by giving them guidance on how to act you reduce the risk of things scaling from bad to worse. 

Don't let this happen! Learn how to have a clear safety and security plan for your team


Extra Safety Tips

Having the procedures alone is not enough. You need to define and document them to keep your people safe.

Then, you ought to communicate the safety systems to your staff so they know you have tools and procedures like cameras, audits, and constant reporting, to detect if someone tries to steal from you.

You also need to train your employees on these systems so that everybody knows how to execute them.

The follow-up is very important. You’ve got to monitor these procedures when you or your district manager visit the units. As either of you are there, review how these procedures are being followed and if they are done in a consistent, systematic way and with a high level of excellence.

Having the documentation and the training won’t work if your personnel doesn’t execute as they should.


What If you Discover a Thief?

If you ever catch anybody stealing from you, you have to hold people accountable considering the severity of the actions and their behavior. Otherwise, having all of those systems will be for nothing.

If you realize that you are lacking some of the systems and you want to have some help creating or implementing them, reach out to us!

The American Franchise Academy was born to benefit all business owners who wish to become more successful, grow and protect their businesses, and increase their chances of achieving financial freedom. 

There are many ways to connect with us! Follow us on FacebookInstagram, and LinkedIn, subscribe to our YouTube Channel and look at our guided programs so we can help you protect your American dream of business ownership


  • Do you think the 10-80-10 rule applies to your employees?
  • How well-established are your safety procedures and systems?
  • How can you increase the percentage of trustworthy people working for you, and decrease the risky ones?
  • Does your business model or industry require special safety measures to keep your people, money, and business safe?