How to Design a Security Camera System for Small Businesses


By Aaron Smith

Small businesses are at risk from many types of criminal activity, including theft from their customers and employees. That’s why it’s important for small business owners to install security cameras to protect their assets. Here, we’ll cover how to design a security camera system for your small business so you can enhance security and deter crime.

Initial Considerations to Keep in Mind

1. The Type of Business You Have

This will dictate the type of security cameras you need. For example, if you have a retail store, you’ll need cameras that can capture images of people’s faces. If you have an office, you’ll need cameras that can pan, tilt, and zoom (PTZ) to better view the area.

2. The Size of Your Business and Operations 

This will determine the number of security cameras you need. A small business with one or two locations may only need a few cameras, while a larger business with multiple locations will need more. Your business operations will also dictate the number of cameras you need. If you have a lot of foot traffic, you’ll need more cameras to cover all the angles.

3. Your Budget for Investing in a Security System

This will help you decide which security cameras are right for your business. If you have a limited budget, you may want to consider getting lower-resolution cameras. If you have a bigger budget, you can get higher-resolution cameras and more of them. It’s always better to spend more on your security system upfront so you don’t have to worry about it later.

4. Your Security Needs

This will determine the type of surveillance system you need to install. Do you want indoor and outdoor surveillance? Do you want remote viewing? Do you want discreet cameras or ones that are more visible? These are all things to consider when designing your security camera system.

Designing Your Security Camera System

When it comes to designing your security camera system, there are a few things you’ll need to take into account. Here are a few tips to get you started:

1. Start With a Security Assessment

The first step in designing your security camera system is to conduct a security assessment. This will help you determine the type of cameras you’ll need, where they should be placed, and what features they should have. If you’re not sure how to conduct a security assessment, you can hire a professional company to do it for you.

Ask yourself a few questions:

  • Where is my business located? Downtown? Outside the city?
  • What are the greatest security risks to my business?
  • Who are my potential customers?
  • What type of camera system would best fit my needs?
  • What are the crime rates in my area?
  • What extra security measures do I need to take?

Once you’ve answered these questions, you’ll have a better idea of what type of security camera system you need.

2. Determine What Type of Security System You Need

Whether you’re re-opening your business and need improved security or want to upgrade your old security systems, you need to choose the right camera system. There are a variety of security cameras on the market, so it’s important to choose the one that best meets your needs. 

  • Bullet cameras are a good choice for businesses that need to monitor outdoor areas
  • Dome cameras are better suited for indoor surveillance
  • PTZ (pan, tilt, and zoom) are ideal for businesses that need to monitor large areasWireless security cameras are a good choice for businesses that need to be able to move their cameras around
  • Wireless cameras are a good option for businesses that need to be able to move their cameras around
  • Network IP cameras are the latest surveillance solution for businesses that offer high-quality images and ease of use
  • HD-CVI (coax cable) cameras are still the most widely used type of security camera

Once you’ve determined what type of camera you need, you’ll need to decide how many cameras you’ll need. This will depend on the size of your business and the number of potential security risks. For small businesses, we recommend a minimum of four cameras. You can always add more cameras later if you need them. 

3. Select the Recording Equipment and Storage Capacity You Need 

The next step is to select the recording equipment and storage capacity you need. This will depend on the number of cameras you have and the resolution you want to record at. For small businesses, you can opt for:

  • A DVR (digital video recorder) with at least 500 GB of storage. This should be enough to store up to two weeks of footage. 
  • If you want to record at a higher resolution and have IP security cameras, you’ll need to invest in an NVR (network video recorder) with at least 1-2 terabytes of space. These come with built-in storage and can accommodate more cameras.

When it comes to choosing the right recording equipment, you also need to decide how long you want to store your footage. Most businesses store their footage for 30 days. However, you may want to keep your footage for longer if you have a high-security risk business. 

4. Determine the Placement of Your Cameras

It’s important to place cameras in strategic areas, high-traffic areas, and locations that will give you a clear view of potential threats. You should also consider installing cameras inside and outside of your business. When placing your cameras, keep the following in mind:

  • The field of view: Make sure each camera has a wide field of view so that it can cover as much area as possible. 
  • The angle: Place cameras at an angle so that you can get a clear view of people’s faces. This will be helpful if you need to identify someone in your footage. 
  • The height: Mount your cameras high enough so that they’re out of reach and can’t be tampered with.
  • You should also consider hiding your cameras in plain sight. This will deter potential criminals from trying to disable your system. 

Once you’ve determined the placement of your cameras, you can start installing them. If you’re buying from companies that offer tech support for installation, you can save yourself thousands of dollars in installation fees.

5. Use a Mix of Cameras

Don’t rely on just one type of camera. Use a combination of PTZ cameras, bullet cameras, and dome cameras to cover all your bases. This will give you a more comprehensive view of your business and help to deter potential criminals. You don’t want to give them a chance to disable your system. 

6. Create a Plan for Monitoring Your Security Camera System

Once your security cameras are in place, it’s important to create a plan for monitoring them. As a small business owner, you’re responsible for monitoring your own CCTV system. It’s much easier and more convenient to have control over your footage. That’s why you need to choose a security camera system with the right features:

  • Remote viewing for monitoring your cameras from anywhere using a PC, smartphone, or tablet
  • Motion detection alerts that send you notifications when something is moving in front of your camera
  • Live streaming so that you can see what’s happening in real-time
  • Infrared night vision for 24/hour day and night monitoring
  • Wide-angle viewing so that you can see more of your business 
  • Weatherproofing for outdoor cameras to protect against the elements
  • Vandal-resistant design for outdoor cameras for added security

With the right security system features, you can have peace of mind knowing that your business is always safe. Don’t forget to review the footage regularly to ensure that your system is working properly.

Implementing Your Security System

By following these steps, you’ll be well on your way to designing a security camera system that’s right for your small business. Just remember to take your time, do your research, and choose the right equipment for your needs. With a little bit of planning, you can have a security system that will help keep your business safe.


Aaron Smith is an LA-based content strategist and consultant in support of STEM firms and medical practices. He covers industry developments and helps companies connect with clients. In his free time, Aaron enjoys swimming, swing dancing, and sci-fi novels.

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