Avoiding Common Risks in Business: Tips for Startups

June 2, 2022

Running a business has always necessitated risk management, particularly during a market downturn. In any economy, an unanticipated issue may swiftly affect your business operations if you don’t have the proper risk management techniques to prevent or mitigate the damage caused by that danger.

External factors are beyond your control which include but are not limited to, interest rates, exchange rates, politics, and weather. Internal risks are in your control, including data breaches, noncompliance, a shortage of insurance, and rapid growth.

reducing risks in business

Did you know that only 1% of all startups become unicorns? Qualifying for this position takes six years, and it’s frequently a challenging path. The secret to entrepreneurs’ success is to promptly correct their errors and ensure that the product or service they’re working on genuinely meets their clients’ demands.

However, this blog post will explore the major risks in business that startup companies can address to help avoid the risks that come with operating a business.

Risk Management

It is assessing, analyzing, and dealing with risk factors that are a part of a company’s everyday operations. It means attempting to prevent, as much as possible, future events by acting ahead of time rather than reacting. As a result, risk management can minimize the likelihood of a danger occurring and its potential consequence.

Risk Management Structures

Risk management systems are designed to accomplish more than identify present risks. A solid risk management plan should also project the risks’ effects and assess them. As a result, there is a choice between taking chances or avoiding them. The tolerance levels that a firm has established for itself are influenced by whether it is willing to accept or reject risks.

business risk

Suppose a firm establishes risk management as a systematic and continuous approach to identifying and dealing with risks. It may use the risk management approach to complement other risk mitigation efforts such as planning, organizing, cost control, and budgeting. When the business can effectively manage risk, it will not typically encounter many surprises because attention is placed on proactive risk management.

A solid risk management plan should also project the risks’ effects and assess them. As a result, there is a choice between taking chances or avoiding them.

Response To Risks

Risks are generally responded to in one of the following ways:

  • Avoidance: An organization endeavors to eliminate a problem by eliminating its source.
  • Mitigation: Reducing the estimated financial value of risk by lowering the chance of its occurrence of the risk.
  • Acceptance: A business may be compelled to accept risk in certain situations. This option is feasible when a company establishes precautions to avoid being harmed if the risk occurs.

When establishing contingencies, a firm must use a problem-solving technique. As a result, the strategy is highly detailed and may be implemented as soon as necessary. A strategy like this enables a company to overcome challenges or blockages in its progress because it can handle risks as soon as they appear.

Importance of Risk Management

Risk management is a crucial procedure since it provides businesses with the tools to identify and manage potential business risks. It is easy to counteract risks once they have been discovered. Risk management also provides you with the basis for making good decisions.

business risks

The best approach for a business to plan for potential problems that could get in the way of success and expansion is risk assessments and management. When a firm assesses its strategy for managing potential risks and then creates structures to address them, it has a better chance of surviving and prospering.

Also, progressive risk management methodologies ensure that high-consequence risks are addressed promptly and severely. Furthermore, the management will have access to all of the critical data they need to make good decisions and ensure that the business remains successful.

Top 9 Proven Ways to Avoid Common Risks in Business

1. Create Prevention Plans

Make efforts to think of methods to prevent each potential business risk. Even if certain risks are unavoidable, you may take precautions to minimize the impact on your business. This may imply developing a Plan B.

For example, if you need a material to produce your product and your main supplier cannot provide it, make sure you have another option ready if the first one could not meet up. This might necessitate a credit check by the backup provider and the placing of a few orders to establish rapport.

couple discussing risk management focuses

In a weather emergency, your employee should be aware of how to depart and how the business will operate during such a certain event. You should have alternatives for continuing to operate while your facility is shut down.

This may also indicate that a temporary workplace or another manufacturing facility has been acquired and is ready to go. Your IT department or provider should play an important role in any risk-management strategy, providing you with security features and updates and offsite data backup and storage.

2. Get Insurance

Insurance is another effective way to minimize business risk. Thanks to the growing insurance business, you may pick from a variety of insurance packages depending on your needs. Ensure to do your research to get the best bargain since some insurance salespeople may make exaggerated claims to pique your interest.

laptop showing risk management plan

When you obtain insurance, you can safeguard your firm from the costs of an accident or natural calamity. It also offers you comfort in the form of assurance that you can fall back on this if your business comes close to failing. An excellent insurance policy covers your assets as well as your workers. It should also provide extensive protection.

3. Meet With a Legal Practitioner

One of the essential strategies to reduce your company’s risks is to check all of the local, state, and federal legislation that might impact it. This will help you avoid fines from the government or employee or customer complaints.

ladies talking about financial reserves

Practice crisis management and public relations if a scandal or downturn hits your business. An excellent attorney can assist you in selecting the proper insurance coverage like director’s and officer’s insurance and general liability insurance. An employment attorney will help you create employee rules and company reporting processes that safeguard you and your business.

4. Establishing Internal Controls

According to the Corporate Finance Institute, internal controls are processes that help minimize the chance of money loss or overspending. For instance, you might decide that travel expenses should be pre-approved rather than waiting to submit expense reports after employees return from trips. You might want bids over a specific amount to be submitted to at least three suppliers.

You may need two signatures on checks worth more than a certain amount in certain situations. Surprise and annual audits carried out by an external auditor make it more difficult for employees to steal money over time and identify honest errors that might otherwise go unnoticed for months or years.

5. Reduce or Eliminate Your Business Loan

Many firms take business loans every time because they are so alluring. They may help you raise enough money to start or grow a business, but they also offer risks to your business. If you have no choice but to take a business loan, be sure it is manageable and has the lowest interest rate possible.

external risks in handling business loans

Ensure you can afford the scheduled payment plan and that they are compatible with your existing account. Also, don’t forget, only take out a loan if you truly need it. Otherwise, concentrate on marketing your business. You can eliminate one financial risk while simultaneously increasing your sales by performing this.

6. Document Everything Important

Maintain a log of significant transactions in your company, such as sales, income taxes, and operational expenses. Also, you must ensure that your workers keep track of everything, from signing cheques to balancing the sheets.

reduce business risk

Furthermore, keeping track of your documents with few mistakes is critical. It also helps to decrease the chance of theft and fraud. It aids in the tracking of your finances. This allows you to see whether your expenses are reasonable or not. While many businesses are guilty of making poor financial decisions from time to time, you can still prevent it.

7. Hire Significant Employees

The foundation of any organization is its personnel. That has always been true, and it remains so today. Without them, your company will not thrive. However, many workers out there do not have the skills required for the positions. You may hear of at least one individual whose degree doesn’t match his job. While some workers manage to thrive with mismatched skill sets, many don’t.

team discussing identified risk on their project

As a result, these workers despise their jobs. This has a significant influence on their work performance. To prevent this, ensure that your employees’ skills are appropriate for their performing tasks. If they cannot take on these responsibilities, you can assign them other duties.

8. Build Your Reputation

It’s great to achieve short-term success for your company, but it’s essential to keep going for a long time. You may achieve this by developing your reputation. A good reputation helps customers feel more comfortable with your firm. As a result, running your business becomes simpler.

entrepreneur tackling cash flow

A person’s reputation reflects his or her character, and it has a variety of beneficial consequences, according to Harvard Business Review. Businesses with a superb reputation are more valuable. They have a stronger customer base, and industry experts believe they may provide consistent profits.

9. Protect Your Data

Cyberattacks are on the increase, causing significant damage to many organizations worldwide. According to Harvard Business Review, these attacks do not just impact one company; they also affect businesses in the same sector.

risk events

Data security may save you a lot of money in the long run. It can also safeguard your customer’s data, which many governments now require businesses to do. It’s like getting two birds with a single stone: one is the legislation, and the other is your consumers’ confidence. Thanks to technology, it’s easy to keep your data safe these days.

You may hire a professional to secure your computers and set up an encryption system that allows you to perform transactions online securely. Also, employees must be governed by an ironclad privacy policy. Reducing risk in business risk should be a top priority for your firm. After all, you may not want to leave your business simply because you didn’t mitigate the risks.

The Best Practices in Managing Risk

1. Involve Stakeholders

To effectively manage risk, you must engage the stakeholders, beginning with the risk assessment. Managers, clients, employees, shareholders, unions, and other stakeholders are examples of stakeholders. Many of these people may be critical members of your risk management system, therefore critical to its success.

These individuals are all distinct roles and obligations in your company, so they provide you with a comprehensive understanding of everything about your business and each risk that it entails. Encourage stakeholders to participate in the continuous risk process by inviting them to contribute their insights to the question, “What bothers you the most?”

2. Tone From the Top

Developing a strong risk culture is the second key risk management best practice, and it’s an important step in any effective risk management program. The term “risk culture” refers to a widespread social group’s values, beliefs, and attitudes about risks.

team meeting on residual risk level

It is the duty of management and the board of directors to define company culture publicly and provide a tone for compliance from the top. The need for risk awareness is essential to ensure that the message about risk understanding reaches every employee in the company. What is your company’s risk culture, and how do you maintain it?

3. Communication

Communication is the key to good risk assessment and management. Another aspect of risk management that is often neglected is the need to communicate risks throughout your organization.

All departments are responsible for identifying and monitoring critical risks or risks with a significant corporate impact. Any new hazards are discovered, evaluated, and handled correctly. You must raise awareness of dangers throughout your company with the help of communication.

4. Ensure That Risk Management Policies Are in Place

Is the risk assessment policy correctly documented? Is there a clear understanding of the roles and responsibilities? Is there a policy or procedure in place to deal with all risks that have been identified? Have you established business continuity plans and incident response plans outlining how your firm will react to and overcome unanticipated risks?

planning oon risk occurring

Are all employees aware of these rules? Having these clear policies in place will allow you to identify all potential risks that may harm your company, assess the likelihood and impact of those risks, devise a strategy to minimize and avoid them, and track their occurrence.

5. Continuous Risk Monitoring

To control your risks, you must first identify them. Assuming that you’ve already completed your first risk assessment and implemented the necessary safeguards to manage and address these hazards, the next step is monitoring. A thorough monitoring strategy must be in place to ensure that all risk mitigation efforts are effective. This is a key component of any risk management appropriate process.

To control your risks, you must first identify them. Assuming that you’ve already completed your first risk assessment and implemented the necessary safeguards to manage and address these hazards, the next step is monitoring.

Conclusion: How Avoiding Common Risks in Business May Improve Your Startup Company

A single individual doesn’t build a successful business; surround yourself with subject-matter experts and mentors who can help you grow. Even though there are several startup blunders that you’ll want to avoid while establishing your business, there will be unavoidable mistakes, so keep your expectations in check.

market trends

Don’t be scared of failure; instead, use your mistakes as a learning opportunity to adapt your business model as required. Test new concepts, and get feedback so you can improve your product to fulfill the needs of customers better.

About the author: Joe Silk -

Joseph is a freelance writer who focuses on sharing our Startup Oasis team's abundant knowledge with the rest of the world. Our team has no secret for anything to do with Startups, SaaS software firms, technology, Web and mobile apps, IoT, UI/UX Design. View on Linkedin