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5 Easy Steps to Implement Risk Management for Small Businesses

5 Easy Steps to Implement Risk Management for Small Businesses

As a small business owner, managing risk is a vital part of ensuring the success and longevity of your business. However, with so many responsibilities on your plate, you may be wondering how to effectively implement risk management without overwhelming yourself. That's where this post comes in. In this guide, we will provide you with 5 easy steps to implement risk management for your small business. Whether you're just starting out or have been in business for years, these steps will empower you to take control of potential risks and make informed decisions to protect your business. So, let's dive in and discover how you can effectively manage risk without too much effort.

Step 1: Identify potential risks

A thorough assessment of your business is the first step. Identify the potential risks that could impact your operations. These could range from financial risks, such as unexpected costs or market changes, to operational risks like supply chain disruptions.

Think about each of your business operations, for example Marketing, Customer Service, Operations, Warehousing, Delivery, Payroll, Finance, IT, etc. Each of these will have critical risk areas.

Step 2: Analyse and evaluate risks

After identifying potential risks, you need to determine their impact and likelihood. This allows you to prioritise your risk management efforts. This process will only take 5 minutes:

Take the list of business operations from step 1. What would the impact be if each one stopped for 1 hour? 1 day? 1 week? 1 month? Give them a score from 1 (minor irritation) to 5 (the entire business stops) - This is the Impact Score.

Now calculate the Likelihood Score for each using another 5 point scale from 1 (can't imagine it happening) to 5 (extremely likely this will happen soon).

Multiply the two numbers together and you've calculated the risk score for each business area, from Relaxed: 1-5 (low impact, low likelihood) to Panic Stations: 20-25 (extreme impact, extremely likely).

Step 3: Develop a risk management plan

Next, develop a comprehensive risk management plan. This should include strategies to mitigate risks and contingency plans for when risks materialise. To do this you're going to generate a list of what could cause risks to materialise.

This is the REALLY FUN PART - think about your competitors ... how would you sabotage their business operations? This will kickstart your list of "what could go wrong" (this has the best results when you involve your managers & staff).

Next list the actions you can take for each risk to:

  • Avoid the risk

  • Contain the problem

  • Reduce the impact

  • Recover from the impact

  • Review what happened

Step 4: Implement risk management strategies

It's time to put your plan into action. This may involve implementing new procedures, training staff, or investing in new technologies.

Step 5: Monitor and review your risk management efforts

Regularly assessing the effectiveness of your strategies is key. This allows you to make necessary adjustments and keep your risk management efforts up to date.

You can do it! (but it's easier with help)

Managing risk effectively is within your reach. By following these steps, you can take control of risk management for your small business.

We also facilitate a half-day Master Risk Management workshop, at the end of it you have your own Risk Management Plan specific for your business. It doesn't get easier than that!

Interested? Get in touch today.



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