For small businesses, deploying the right surveillance can be challenging. Usually, they do not have a lot of money available nor do they benefit from government grants. Plus, they do not have the scale to justify becoming experts in surveillance. Despite this, surveillance is often needed to handle theft, break-ins, issues with employees, etc. Equally important, the surveillance system can be a remote monitoring/management tool enabling the owner to be more productive when away from their stores or offices.
A growing trend is small businesses buying surveillance online. Search engines like Google make this incredibly easy returning top results for dozens of stores on any video surveillance related search. Those stores offer low pricing and the promise of direct help and immediate shipping. This can save thousands on up front costs - a non-trivial amount for a small business.
However, this is a controversial topic, especially among dealers who see it reducing quality and cutting into their business (see our 35+ comment discussion on the impact of online product availability).
What do you think?
To help you better understand the issues and tradeoffs involved, inside the PRO section, we've done in-depth analysis on 4 real world cases:
- An insurance company's challenges in DIY surveillance
- A bar deploying its own IP cameras and the challenges they faced
- A small retail chain struggling with standardizing its systems across multiple stores
- An alarm dealer looking to expanding into surveillance but worried about dealing with IP technology