Protecting Small Businesses: What You Need to Know about Security Cameras

A security camera is a device that captures images or video footage of a surrounding area. Its use aims to deter prohibited or unauthorized activities or help provide information on these activities later. With the increasing incidence of theft across businesses, security cameras now play a key role in the security setup of many businesses, organizations, and institutions.

However, setting up security business cameras may be difficult and time-consuming, especially for small business owners. There are many types on the market, the terms could be too technical, and the installation and operation could be a complicated process.

Fortunately, there are now business security providers that can deliver solutions to your video surveillance needs. However, it is still essential that you have a clear understanding of security cameras and how they work. In this guide, we’ll talk about the basics of security cameras, video surveillance, and how this system helps protect your business.

Importance of Security Cameras

Like any other part of your security setup, business security cameras are an investment. As a small business owner with lean resources, spending on security might not be at the top of your list.

Hence, before making this investment, you should be aware of its value to your business. There are several uses and benefits to installing cameras as a layer of security in your business.

The first use of business security cameras is to deter crime. In a 2021 survey, almost 90% of small businesses reported being victims of shoplifting. Whether it’s your storage room or a physical outlet, there’s always the risk of theft. It could be an outsider breaking in, shoplifting, or even employees stealing. Having a well-positioned security camera system on your business premises is a good deterrent to theft.

Another primary use of security cameras is to monitor and ensure workplace safety. Remember that you also need to ensure a safe work area for your employees and a secure business area for your customers. A security camera system positioned at appropriate places within your business premises not only provides peace of mind to your employees or customers, but also helps your team spot emergencies, accidents, or any critical incident within the workplace at the soonest possible time.

Lastly, an important benefit of security cameras is that the footage also serves as a record itself. In cases where a critical event happened at the premises, your video footage serves as documentation that could aid law enforcement or help you in legal issues.

Types of Security Camera Systems

There are many types of security cameras out on the market, but there are two security camera systems mainly used.

First is an analog system, which uses traditional black and white orb-like cameras you see in many establishments. An analog system captures images or videos and connects to a physical digital video recorder (DVR) to convert that footage to a digital video and store it. For you to be able to watch the footage, you’d need to hook up the DVR to a monitor or use a router to connect it to the internet.

The second type is the internet protocol (IP) or wireless camera system. This system already captures the video in digital format, which you can easily watch from a remote location. These technologically advanced cameras are often packed with other security features, such as high resolution, motion detection, and analytics.

While analog cameras cost less upfront and are quite easy to install and use, IP camera systems offer more capabilities and could end up saving you more overall.

Types of Storage

Apart from the camera, storage is an essential element of your business security camera system. There are several storage technologies available, providing options on how you can view your live video feed or recorded footage.

Onsite video storage technologies include digital video recorders (DVRs), Hybrid Video Recorders (HVRs), and Network Video Recorders (NVRs).

As its name implies, DVRs record video in a digital format. It is either an analog recorder or an IP-based one. With a DVR, you can explore your footage by parameters such as date or time. DVRs are less costly than other storage options and straightforward to use. However, while this type of storage can be easily integrated, the downside is that the camera inputs that they can process are limited.

An HVR bridges the old analog technology with newer IP-based ones. With an HVR, analog cameras can work alongside a limited number of IP-based cameras. The downside is that HVRs cannot handle many high-resolution IP-based cameras. This type costs more than DVRs and usually requires a larger physical area for equipment.

If high-resolution video is on top of your list of features for your business security camera setup, then look at NVRs. As a software program, it records and processes the video within the camera itself. Hence, the NVR unit can be positioned anywhere as long as it is on the same LAN network as your IP camera. However, the crucial requirement when opting for NVRs is that you need to meet certain bandwidth requirements.

Over time, as your business begins to grow you might need scalable solutions. In this case, there are also scalable storage options such as Video Management Software (VMS) systems. In VMS, cameras, even analog ones, can be added to the system using video encoders. It is also capable of advanced analytics and provides remote monitoring access.

Factors to Consider When Getting a Business Security Camera

No one solution fits all when it comes to business security cameras. It depends on your needs, business requirements, and resources. Here are several key factors to consider when planning to have your business premises secured with a camera:

Location and area to be secured

The first thing you should consider and decide on is location and area. Various establishments have various needs. You’d have to decide which spaces you’d like to have secured with a camera and, more importantly, your objective for doing so.

For instance, you may want to monitor an entire inventory room to ensure that your stocks are in good condition. Or perhaps you’d want to focus on capturing movement along a specific corridor to ensure the safety of your customers. Also, think about issues or concerns that you may want the security camera system to address.

Knowing the exact location to be secured is also important to know what kind of camera would be right. For instance, waterproof cameras are better to use if you’d be securing an outdoor area.

It is important to have this information at the onset to help you or your solutions come up with the right system to suit your needs or preferences.

Features of business security cameras

Business security cameras, depending on the type, offer various features. When planning to get your business premises secured, it is also a good start to define and list down system features you want to have. For instance, you may want a video surveillance system with night vision capabilities. Some also have advanced motion detection features and can pan or zoom on a subject.

Knowing what you want out of your security camera setup is a good starting point in figuring out the features you’d want to have.

Installation, operation, and maintenance

Installation of business security cameras could be straightforward if the area to be secured is small. You can install it yourself if there are only a few cameras in the setup. However, if the area is relatively small but involves a multiple camera setup and installation in several locations, the job is best tackled by professional providers to ensure proper installation.

Likewise, the operation and maintenance of your business security camera setup are best consulted with professional providers. With cloud-based technologies used nowadays, you can easily access your security camera system remotely. Your security solutions provider can take care of this operation setup, so you could focus on more important aspects of running your business.

Further, they can help manage and support the system. For instance, to ensure your camera’s maximum performance and longevity, its environment should have proper ventilation or temperature control. Details such as these are best left to the expertise of professional providers.

Consulting with a professional service provider is also ideal when you have other security systems (e.g., fire protection) in place. In this case, they can assess the co-existence of your systems and provide insights on how you can best maximize your security setup.


Budget is also a key consideration. How much are you willing to invest in putting up a business security camera system?

The costs of the business security camera system would involve the camera hardware, system software, installation, and operation and maintenance. Total costs would depend on the size and location of the area to be secured and the functionalities and features you’d want to have (e.g., motion detection), among others.

Setting a budget would make it easier for you or your solutions provider to look at appropriate systems within the range you’d be willing to spend. To know more about how it might cost you given your needs, you can consult with a security systems solutions provider for a quote.  

Partnering with a Security Systems Provider

As a small business owner, you may have the burden of both limited financial resources and time. Choosing a suitable business security camera system may be challenging and time-consuming. Your business may have unique needs or risks that need to be addressed with tailored solutions. In scenarios such as this, it may be more cost-efficient and convenient to partner with security systems providers.

Fortunately, there are now providers catering to small businesses, such as Anchor Security. As such, these providers are more attuned to the needs as well as the resource constraints of small businesses. If you find setting up your own system too complicated or want to ensure that you’re getting the most appropriate and responsive system for your security needs, then consider consulting with a security systems provider.


Nowadays, a business security camera is an essential investment to protect your business and ensure the safety of workplaces. It not only protects your assets but also your people. As with any other investment, research and planning are key. Knowing the basics of a business security camera system is a good start to maximizing its value to your business.

There are two systems mainly used: analog and IP-based cameras. The main differences between the two are in terms of video processing and capabilities. Analog systems use DVRs and require cables while IP-based systems are much leaner in setup as the video output is already in digital format. Lower-priced analog cameras are also more straightforward to use than IP-based ones but may provide fewer features than more technologically advanced IP-based systems.

In terms of storage, several options are available, including DVRs, HVRs, NVRs, and VMS systems. Each one comes with its own set of pros and cons. However, in terms of development and features, NVRs and VMS systems provide you with more capabilities and convenience.

When starting to plan on getting a business security camera, there are several factors that you must consider. These include the area and location that you want to secure, the features that you want your system to have, installation, operation, and maintenance concerns that come with each system option, and your budget. You must have this information and preferences at the start.

When in doubt, you could consult and partner with a security systems provider to find an appropriate solution to your business needs. Getting the right business camera security system is key to maximizing its benefit to your business. It may be an expense in the present, but the right system is worth the payoff of long-term security and peace of mind.