We would suggest that you start by carrying out a risk assessment of your business. (We don’t want to start the year being negative – but assessing risk is a good start point for making positive changes for your business!)
Start by working out the key risks to your business i.e. issues that will cause loss to the business or limit opportunities to gain.
All businesses will have a different risk profile, for example:
• if you are a SaaS provider one of your key risks may be data protection;
• for a manufacturer it could relate to product liability; or
• if you are a creative agency it could be someone running off with your intellectual property.
So once you know the key risks, you can start to work out:
• the likelihood of the risk materialising; and
• if and how those risks can be mitigated,
and then prioritise accordingly.
Different risks have different management tools
For example, if your key risk is cash flow, you can implement contract documents to reflect your payment terms – but of course, this only gives you a contractual right to sue if your client can’t/ won’t pay. So it might be best to invoice upfront or at milestones to allow you to identify earlier if payment is going to be an issue – backed up with the contractual right to suspend services if payment is late.
Alternatively, if data protection is a concern – implementing a data protection programme within your business is likely to be required. Even with a data protection programme in place, people are often the weakest link – so having regular training and reviews will help mitigate the risk. See “Bloody Data Protection! A risk-based approach” for more information about data protection risk assessments.
The goal is not to get to a point where all risk is eliminated – as this is probably impossible! Instead, the goal is to have an informed understanding and have made decisions about which risks to accept, mitigate or eliminate (where possible).
Of course, each business is different, and therefore so is its risk profile. So if you need any assistance in identifying the risks in your business and how to mitigate them, please get in contact: email@example.com