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While some small businesses are gearing up for the Christmas sale rush, others might be winding down for the holiday season. And whether you're anticipating a rush of customers into your business or a flood of employees out on vacation, you also have to be on guard for the annual holiday crime spike.
Whether its shoplifters who can't afford or don't want to pay for a gift, or staffing illegally adding to their year-end bonus, take these five tips to heart when trying to prevent Christmas crime at your small business.
If you're staffing up for the Christmas rush, don't forget that employment laws can apply to temporary and seasonal workers as well. And if you're just hiring independent contractors, be careful about the kind of work they do, lest they be considered employees.
And if you're worried about your existing staff working through the Christmas holiday, don't worry -- federal law doesn't require that most employers give employees paid time off for the holidays, or any holiday time off, for that matter. Although you might want to provide it anyway, lest your staff begin calling you "Scrooge."
"Leakage" is always a problem for store owners, but tends to spike around the holiday gift-giving season. Being friendly and spending with customers as they shop can have the dual effect of making customers feel welcome and deterring potential shoplifters. And it also helps to keep your shop clean organized and keep your most shoplifted items close to the register.
Everyone wants to boost their sales during the Christmas season, but make sure you're doing it legally. Inaccurate price information on sales tags can get your small business in a lot of hot water.
Embezzlement doesn't take a vacation. And neither does tax evasion, for that matter. As much as you're worried about your customers breaking the law around Christmas, keep an eye on your own employees as well.
And if you're wondering how to prevent Christmas crime in your small business or respond to it, you can get help from a local business attorney.