Convenience stores are a helpful addition to communities like Bedford, allowing customers to easily purchase essentials on the way to their final destination. However, the convenience of getting in and out of a convenience store quickly is also what makes it more susceptible to a potential law suit, injury, or crime. By following some key safety tips, you can help make your store safer for everyone and hence more profitable.
1. Purchase convenience store insurance
Though there is not a specific "convenience store" policy, many small stores can fit into a small business insurance program designed to meet the needs of such a business. For a convenience store this can include coverage for things like:
- Money and securities, for risk of theft or robbery
- Premises liability for risks like slip and falls in store or parking lot
- Liquor liability for the sale of alcohol
Not all convenience stores are the same, nor are all small business insurance policies so speak with an insurance professional to get an understanding of what your specific risks and concerns are for your Bedford store.
2. Install security cameras
A network of security cameras within the store and parking lot will help deter a crime, including fraud and theft. Be sure to transfer the data to a long-term storage device in case someone tries to make a claim against you well after the incident but within the statute of limitations. At HPM Insurance Bedford, we have seen quite a few law suits be dismissed when a security camera proved that a slip-and-fall did not actually occur as claimed by a customer.
3. Train and re-train employees on safety protocols
Because convenience stores often have a high employee turnover, it's important to stick to a regular training schedule to make sure everyone stays up to date. You should address topics as what to do in a robbery, what to do if someone is injured while in the store and how to mitigate slip and fall risks.
4. Maintain a well-lit store and parking lot
Good lighting will help employees monitor the customers in the store, decrease the chance of a fall in the parking lot and deter thefts. It is amazing what a little light can do.
5. Keep floors dry and free of debris
It's important to know how to deal with inclement weather in towns like Bedford as it seems to be a constant battle between October and May. Regularly treat icy parking lots to reduce slip and falls and use walk-off mats in the store to help trap debris and moisture from shoes. If there are wet areas, use proper signage to alert customer to the danger.
6. Limit the amount of cash in the store
By using a drop safe or other device, you limit the amount of money at risk during a robbery. This can not only help reduce your small business insurance premiums but also the stress of going through a robbery. People talk and if it is known, say by a former employee, that you keep large amounts of cash around, your business is at a greater risk than one who takes greater precautions.
7. Identify risk areas
Insurance is a great tool to recover from a loss but the best tool is being aware and proactive. By periodically assessing the incidents that have occurred, you can track and identify areas where you can improve. Being alert can improve safety for customers and employees.
As a convenience store owner, there are many things you can do to keep your business, employees and customers safe. Taking the time to understand and implement some basic safety ideas will help make Bedford a safer community for all. Because you can not eliminate all risks, purchasing small business insurance will help make sure you're financially protected when something does occur.
The foregoing information is provided for its educational value and to help reduce the risk of insurance loss but is not intended to include all potential controls or safeguards. Insureds remain responsible for their own loss control efforts and should seek appropriate guidance specific to their operations. By providing this information, HPM Insurance is not undertaking a duty to ensure, on behalf of you or others, that your property or operations are safe or in compliance with any law, rule, or regulation. This material is for informational purposes only. All statements herein are subject to the provision, exclusions and conditions of the applicable policy. For an actual description of all coverages, terms and conditions, refer to your specific insurance policy.