As a small business owner, you are well aware of how a sound financial plan, effective risk management and intelligent decisions can benefit your company. In today's entrepreneurial climate, there are plenty of places for mistakes to pile up, and a lack of focus can cause little errors to turn into major headaches.
With that in mind, you should constantly be on the lookout for new, quality methods to mitigate risk and ensure solvent operations for years to come. Otherwise, your great idea may be derailed by something that was totally avoidable. If this sounds challenging, don't worry. There are a number of ways you can improve your risk management to help protect your business.
Understanding risks has value
Recently, Gerd Gigerenzer, director of the German-based Centre for Adaptive Behaviour and Cognition at the Max Planck Institute for Human Development, spoke with The Economist about how risk impacts businesses.
For starters, Gigerenzer stressed the value of understanding risks. He explained that without these hazards, there would be no point in starting a business, plus it would hamper innovation and take some of the fun out of it. However, all leaders must have a firm knowledge of the problems that affect their industries. Today's world is full of new technology – which can help make this task easier – and improved education that starts early can also help people become more aware of risk.
With an improved understanding of common problems, it will be easier for you to make intelligent changes and avoid serious issues with your small business.
Think about all the risks
In order to do that, you need to start on a broad level. Mike Periu, president of Proximo, LLC, wrote in an article for the American Express OPENforum that you can begin by identifying risks in your company.
For example, categorize threats to make them easier to find. Periu explained that some places to think about include property losses, business interruption, liability and injury to employees, among others. Once this is done, you can then determine how likely these risks are to impact your company. Also calculate the potential cost, so you can adjust your risk management and financial plan to account for the monetary effects.
Above all else, make sure you have a strategy in place to deal with these hazards. Periu recommended creating policies that address employee behavior, buying proper insurance, improving training and making smart choices, among many more. This way, you'll be ready for anything that the business world throws at you.