business risk management

Business Risk Management: a guide or beginners

Business 03 July 2024 7 Mins Read

Risk is inevitable. Your business lifecycle is marked throughout by risk. That’s why the concept of business risk management is so important.   

Experts define it as a stepwise process. It begins with risk identification. The following step is risk assessment. The final step is risk mitigation.   

In between, you must develop strategies to detect the likelihood and scope of risk in business.   

Most businesses use a metrics scale to measure both. We will talk more about that in the article.  

Importance of business risk management  

Importance of business risk management

 According to Robert Simmons of HBR: “Competing successfully in any industry involves some level of risk.”  

However, high-performing companies must endure more significant risks. As your business scales, you endure issues that grow in intensity.   

For instance, you may feel pressure from initial growth, such as staffing and training employees.   

Again, global businesses encounter even more significant risks like culture shocks, dynamic regulations, etc.   

To handle all these issues seamlessly, you need risk mitigation strategies.  

We will explore business risk management planning in detail here. We will also discuss the importance of various risk management approaches.   

Types of Risks  

Types of Risks

All businesses face risk at every beck and call. So, the baby step to master risk management is learning the types of risk. By categorizing risk, we can narrow down a suitable risk approach.   

Preventable Risks  

It simply refers to the risks that can be prevented with risk planning. For instance, you can avoid hazards in the workplace with planning and monitoring.   

In 2019, a US Postal Service carrier died while traveling in a non-AC mail truck. However, it occurred due to a fault of regulatory control.   

The upgrades of postal trucks. The same was not checked while duties were allocated. Hence, overheating couldn’t be avoided.   

Strategy Risks  

It refers to a gambling approach. Companies take strategic risks to ensure a higher return. For instance, Kodak dropped its digital camera, fearing it would disrupt its existing analog camera market.   

Eventually, other market players mastered its making and introduced digital cameras. Gradually, Kodak became irrelevant.   

If Kodak had taken the risk, they could have ruled the camera market for a long time in the US.  

External Risks  

These risks are beyond the control of the organization. If a flood affects a factory or hurricanes disrupt logistics and supply chain, a company can scarcely do something in the face of such risks.   

Creating a Business Risk Management Plan  

Creating a Business Risk Management Plan

We know about the types of risk. At the same time, you must realize the gravity of risk preparedness. The first step to risk preparedness is developing a business risk management plan.   

It’s your initial defense when you encounter a risk.   

Understanding the types of risks faced by the organization  

You can be more prepared to endure a risk when you know the kinds of risk you may expect.   

So, experts pester on increasing the knowledge of various risks in business.   

Kinds of risk  Description  
Hazards  Any event that impacts the productivity or efficiency of a company is a hazard. For example, fire breakout in the office building.  
Environmental risks These risks cannot be controlled beforehand. For instance, you cannot be prepared for a massive earthquake.  However, you can be prepared for a sudden slump in the share market. You may anticipate a fall in the value of USD.  
Competition Competitors are one of the biggest risks for a business. For instance, Blockbuster failed against YouTube. While the latter introduced a better service, the former couldn’t.  
Human resources  The workers can pose many kinds of risks. For instance, they can call strikes, impacting productivity. Again, higher employee turnover also results in the same results. 
Legal risk  Invitation of lawsuits, imposition of new legal regulations and many other such issues can hamper productivity. For example, Airborne had to pay $23.3 million as refunds to customers. They made false claims stating that their meds could ward off colds and boost immunity. David Schardt landed a class action lawsuit against the firm. 

Analyzing specific business activities and components  

It is an essential step as well. It involves a deep analysis of your company’s mainstream operations. A deep analysis would reveal the fundamental vulnerabilities of your day-to-day operations.  

For instance, your average shipping time to deliver stocks at retail outlets is 3 hours. But you see that customers’ demands are different. You lose a faction of customers due to delayed stock replenishment.   

After that, your job is to develop retribution strategies. Here, a common risk management strategy is to increase the fleet size or adopt other express delivery means.   

Identifying, analyzing, and responding to risks  

This is the third step in business risk management. In this stage, your objective is to formulate the risk management plan.   

The main outlines of the plan are the identification, analysis, and development of risk response.  

Steps Explanation  
Risk Identification  Understanding the effect of risks/threats on business objectives 
Risk analysis  Calibrating the risk impact and calculating the outcome of risk.  
Risk response strategy  Setting steps to reduce the risk outcome or avoid the risk altogether 

Monitoring risks and opportunities  

Monitoring is the final step of risk management for business. There are four essential steps of monitoring in business risk management. These are:  

  • Tracking the already identified risks   
  • Identifying new risks and scanning their probability  
  • Evaluating the existing risk management plan   

Ensuring Risk Avoidance  

Ensuring Risk Avoidance

Risk avoidance is the safest business risk management strategy. It implies ensuring that the risks will not impact the business. Or you must ensure that the risk impact is low, even if it hits your business.   

Advance planning and expert consultation   

Advance planning is the genesis of risk avoidance. Let’s take an example to understand risk avoidance better.   

Suppose you have a business project at hand. Ask your engineers to describe and justify the design decisions. It will give you clarity on risk preparedness. At the same time, you must ask them about backup planning.   

Your project may encounter failures or defects at any time. Robust design thinking should help you get through these contingencies.   

Insuring against risks  

Insuring against risks is the next-gen smart plan that businesses do. You can always protect your business from fire, embezzlement, etc.   

Prevention methods include employee training, background checks, and safety checks.  

Prevention techniques are the basis of risk management for business. In this regard, the first step would be employee training. Your bottom line of operations is the employees. So, they will have a more comprehensive idea of the impending risks than anyone else.   

Since employees are so important, you should be careful during staff recruitment. Common steps like background checks, detailed inductions, and other steps are vital for your business.   

It will help you to pick more innovative and more efficient employees.   

Not only that.   

Cautious staff selection allows you better to develop a workforce understanding of your business goals.   

Embedding experts within the organization to monitor financial risks  

 In the US, volatile asset strength and dynamic market growth can cause problems for your business. So, you need financial experts to tackle your issues.   

They can monitor your finances from the last three years’ logbooks. At the same time, they can fathom the effect of upcoming financial market trends on your business.   


The bottom line is that you need a unanimous approach to deal with the business risks. All departments may individually conduct internal checks to reveal the vulnerabilities they must overcome. And the risks of one is linked to another.   

For instance, poor HRM will lead to high turnover. It will also incur higher recruitment and training costs. Hence, funding the ongoing projects would be an issue.   

Our research shows that complete risk aversion is impossible. You can’t develop a contingency plan for all unforeseen risks. That’s why risk preparedness is a better plan than risk contingency planning.   

However, you need both to create a complete proof business risk management plan.   

In the article, we emphasized risk monitoring and expert consultancy. The prime intention behind these two steps is continuous improvement.   

Risk monitoring lets you fathom approaching risks quickly. So, you can frame a business risk management strategy in just time.   

Expert consultation is the latest trend in business risk management. It allows companies to recruit experts to scan the business environment.   

Ongoing risk monitoring and planning are inevitable steps in risk management for businesses.  


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