Theft part of small business
WHEN a former employee who’d borrowed $1000 left town without repaying the loan, Steele’s Bakery Cafe owner Gail Steele was “seriously” annoyed.
But after more than 20 years in business she acknowledges “every now and then someone you trust” betrays you.
The local woman, who has owned and operated bakeries as well as grocery stores around the state, said theft was the downside of business.
“You can’t expect to be in business without experiencing either employee or customer theft,” Mrs Steele said.
“Though you can’t work looking over your shoulder; you have to trust your staff.”
As for deterring light-fingered customers, Ms Steele said reducing self-serve options had cut the risk of theft in their bakery business.
“It is a very negligible problem here, compared with when we were in groceries and had a significant problem with theft,” she said.
“We had people stuff frozen pizzas down their pants.”
However, Mrs Steele like many small business owners, believed being self employed had overwhelming positives.
She was commenting on the results of a new survey from the Bank of Queensland Warwick (BOQ).
The BOQ Straight Talk survey showed employee theft was a big issue for 49.4 per cent of small business owners.
But BOQ Warwick owner-manager Gary Kelly said while these negative issues were identified, the survey also showed that most small business owners were happy.
“In spite of the stress and pressure involved in running a small business, 57.8 per cent said they saw themselves running the same business in 10 years time,” Mr Kelly said.
“Small business owners’ happiness was further illustrated by 35.4 per cent saying if they won $10 million in the lottery, they would pay off their debts and invest the rest in their business.”