Security Experts are advising business owners not to be fooled by the latest crime figures which demonstrate a small increase in crime, because a third of all violent cases have been dismissed as ‘no crime.’Every security expert is aware that theft, burglary & robbery has increased during 2009. The most chilling crime statistic is that UK gun crime increased 89% in the last decade. This is bad news for business asset protection.Security experts advise it’s time for business directors to sit up and take notice because the current recession is attacking businesses in a way that many business directors are unprepared for.Economic hardship is hitting the criminal fraternity in a big way. Historically crime always increases during a credit crunch and this recession is proving no different except for one further unwelcome statistic.The number of reported firearms incidents in England and Wales has increased from 5,209 in 1998/1999 to 9,865 last year. This is a phenomenal increase of 89%. Some UK business regions have witnessed a five – fold increase and in eighteen different UK police regions gun crime has doubled.Add a sharp rise in burglaries, theft, robbery and street muggings also up by 12,000 cases in the UK during a three month period, and it makes sad reading for any business director. No more so than a director or business owner tasked with the provision of security and close protection security for any business asset protection.Asset protection international is one of the growth areas of the security industry and we are seeing a rise in the appointment of an individual threat expert into various companies. Business directors often misunderstand what constitutes assets requiring protection.Many confuse high monetary value assets with assets that don’t appear to have a monetary value. I was once contracted with an American security expert working for a Russian business director who dismissed his senior management team and rank and file employees as no value assets. In reality these were key employees who were the most valuable asset his business possessed.The fact that several of these employees had been targeted for kidnap for ransom by the Russian Mafia should have given the business director a strong indication of how valuable an asset they were. When I pressed the director about how his business would cope if two of his senior management team were kidnapped, he responded that his business would probably never recover. Every security expert working with clients from the former Soviet Bloc countries knows that once these Mafia groups kidnap business victims for ransom then simply paying the Mafia off is not the final solution. These Mafia groups are run by astute business owners who frequently tie in what they call a profit tax payments from all future business earnings.In the west we call it extortion payments, however I’ve heard a security expert compare profit tax in the East to commission payments in the West. The real difference is that you often have no choice about paying it in the Eastern Bloc, and the only alternative is to hire full time close protection officers and security from some of the former KGB officer’s business corporations.I once worked closely with an aviation business in the Southern Ukraine whose managing director flatly refused to pay any profit tax to the Ukrainian Mafia. He and his immediate family, and his extended family were targeted for assassination by this Mafia group. This director’s airline was flying extensive cargo missions for the UN into war zones and his cargo was deemed as valuable assets.I was asked to provide a security and close protection plan for the director and his family. The subsequent threat assessment indicated the Mafia were asking for a whopping 70% of the aviation companies gross turnover.The Mafia identified the business as an excellent vehicle for money laundering and the air transportation of illegal narcotics, arms and other valuable assets.Asset protection international figured very highly on the threat management plan. This particular director made a conscious decision to pay for full time VIP close protection services. This was not an easy decision as the protection team would be required for the rest of his life.About six months into the security contract during a little downtime I was chatting to the director’s wife. She was very angry at the Mafia for taking away her conventional lifestyle and for forcing her and her children and husband into a life full of life threatening risks and gross intrusion.She mentioned she was really despondent about their future business development after speaking to a Russian security expert witness who provided evidence against the Mafia only to see his wife executed as an example to him and others considering opposing the Mafia.I have to say that all security experts understand the risks and unfortunately these risks extend beyond the hiring of close protection and asset protection international specialists.Hiring security from any Eastern Bloc close protection security company is fraught with security problems. Every threat expert is aware that the Mafia have infiltrated these security companies with the same success as they’ve demonstrated in infiltrating the police, military and intelligence agencies.Security Expert Asset Protection International Skills #1Identify your true valuable assets. i.e. goods and products can always be replaced if adequately insured. Whereas key personnel can never be replaced if they are kidnapped and executed.This is a fact recognised by the UK Midlands telephone company whose workers were kidnapped and decapitated in one of the independent states of the former Soviet Union after a botched rescue bid.Security Expert Asset Protection International Skills #2Conduct extensive due diligence on the security close protection security company and personnel you hire. Don’t jump out of the frying pan and into the fire. It is critical to identify the key partners in any security company you retain.Security Expert Asset Protection International Skills #3Ensure all your corporate Insurance policies are up to date and fully compliant. I’m not just talking about your insurance policies covering your assets for theft, fraud, product tampering, vandalism and hi-jacking. I’m also talking about your company directors manslaughter liability insurance policy.i.e. if you are a company director and you send one of your company representatives overseas to represent your business and they are kidnapped and executed and you haven’t proved adequate security and counter kidnapping training then you and your fellow directors will be charged and you could be jailed.Of course you will also be subjected to an expensive civil case.Security Expert Asset Protection International Skills #4Protect your personnel assets as much as you protect your fixed tangible assets. i.e. Ensure you have adequate kidnap for ransom or K&R insurance for every company representative travelling as one of your business representatives. K&R insurance is not as expensive as you might think.Security Expert Asset Protection International Skills #5Hire the services of a professionally recognised security expert. If your assets are based in the UK then utilise a proven British security expert. If the assets are based in North America then utilise an American security expert. If your assets are being transported or travelling internationally then consider retaining an International security expert.
There is a lot of talk today about being “global”. What does global mean? A person of the world? Every country is as different. So is every locality and city or town. The skills a business person needs to be successful in international business go beyond being global. While not comprehensive, this list based on over a dozen years of international business experience should help.TravelFor the international business person, travel is a way of life. Long distance air travel can be especially brutal. The best advice is to arrive one day before any important meetings or conferences to adjust to any time difference. In the air, eat, sleep, work and read but do all in moderation. Air travel gluttony is common among international travelers. The on thing you cannot do is exercise on an airplane.LodgingStay where your host, whether a local office or a client recommends. While cost is a consideration, so is safety, convenience to meeting locations and services provided. This is the home away from home so chose it with care.MealsEat in moderation. Business travel is not the time to make up for every diet that one has ever been one. There is the temptation to eat more than usual. On the other had, when with people who live locally, whether colleagues or clients, ask what they recommend when dining together. Apart from allergies, one should be open to eating local cuisine.DrinkingSome cultures drink more than Americans. Some drink less. And some not at all. The best advice is to drink in moderation or not at all. Similar to eating, international business travel is not the time to beat ones college drinking record. It is not healthy and it is insulting to clients and colleagues.DressMost American business people, even after the business casual trend, still dress much more casually than business people internationally. Find out from local colleagues or even clients what attire is appropriate. If you do not know, dress in traditional business attire (suits for men and for women). This can always be dressed down if appropriate. Dress like you mean business but more importantly, dress appropriately. The same applies to evening dinners and functions outside of business hours.MeetingsBe at meeting early. Do not leave until the meeting is over. Even if others leave to take calls, do not do so except at scheduled breaks. Eat in moderation if lunch is brought in. Do not drink too much coffee but bottled water is good. Clean up after yourself after the meeting. And do not sit in the meeting with your laptop and read your email. That is rude. Do make sure you bring plenty of business cards. Introduce yourself to everybody. Do not interrupt, raise your voice or swear. If you have other calls, schedule them for the evening when not meeting with the clients or your colleagues.RecreationIn the evenings it is common to have dinner with clients or colleagues. After dinner is often a time to relax, exercise and catch up on some work before the next day. If staying over a weekend or taking a day off, visit local historical sites, museums, cultural events and also shops and restaurants. Staying in the hotel doing work is not healthy and it does not make one more internationally-minded or cultured.CommunicationFind out how your clients and colleagues prefer to communicate when not face-to-face. E-mail is common today. Conference calls are important too. Video conference calls can be very effective. Snail mail and faxes are less and less common today but are still necessary from time-to-time. Keep all communications clear, crisp and to the point. On international conference calls, listen more than talk. And do not interrupt. Ever. Take notes or minutes and make sure they are distributed within one business day of the call. Never e-mail jokes, gags, anything obscene or off-color. Do not swear or raise your voice on calls or video calls. Listening and patience are valued in most non-US cultures.LanguageWhile most non-US business people speak 2-4 languages most from the US speak 1 or perhaps 2 and not well. To this end, speak clearly in English. Be patient if asked to repeat or explain. This is especially true on conference calls. It is acceptable to pick up local words or phrases. Make sure they are appropriate and that they are pronounced flawlessly. Do not make a joke out of local words or phrases. This is insulting to clients and local colleagues.While business has a lot to do with finance, technology, human resources, research and development and law, it has more to do with people than anything else. To that end, doing business internationally is about people. By traveling and working with dignity and respect for customers and local colleagues, one is taking the first step toward the extensive skills needed to be successful in international business.
When you travel within your country or outside it, you need to follow travel tips to make your travel effortless. But the international travel needs some extra care. We can follow some tips to make the travel abroad an enjoyable one.The first tip to follow is that in a foreign country it is very important for the travelers to know they are guests and they should make it point to obey the country’s laws and should not involve themselves in any illegal activities like smuggling and drug trafficking. If these are abided by then the stay in the country will be peaceful and enjoyable.Next is the baggage. It should be as light as possible but it should include all the essentials so that no difficulty is faced at any time. Also you need to check the things you carry until the last. This can prevent any theft from happening lest you get stranded.The currencies of the countries differ from each other. Knowing the exchange rates would help a lot. Before going to the destination you can carry some with you because you may need some to pay the taxi fare. One thing to be really careful is never to discuss the money matters and your finances in the public nor count them in public. You may be inviting some harm to yourself. Most countries would require the travelers to declare the cash that you are carrying.Next in line are the travel documents. They should be in place and all of them should be valid and you should be aware of the extensions possible. Also the tickets of the travel should be checked thoroughly and the route to the destination should be known properly. Another hurdle is the customs handling which is not an easy task. But if you declare your belongings and the items you purchased for personal use and as gifts you have nothing to fear.Thus international traveling can be pretty much enjoyable if these tips are born in mind to the core.