Small Business Brief

Safety & Loss Prevention

What Is Risk Management? A Simple Guide

No matter what size business operation you’re running, an element of risk is always at play. It doesn’t matter if you’re a mass-chain mega-store or a lemonade stand on the side of the street. Something could always go wrong.

Understanding and mitigating these concerns is the basis of risk management. What is risk management? It is a conscious process of working to lessen the potential impact of risk on your business. It’s an essential process that any successful business will go through.

What do you need to understand about risk management? Read on and we’ll walk you through some basic information.

What Is Risk Management?

As we mentioned, all businesses have risks that they face. Risk management is simply the process of identifying, assessing, and creating solutions for various risks.

In many cases, outright removing certain risky elements from a business operation just won’t be possible. Risk is always present. However, business owners can make a conscious effort to mitigate the potential impact of this risk on their enterprises.

The severity of a risk is often viewed as the potential damage it could have to a business’s productivity. A fire, for example, presents a severe risk. Mitigation is key. 

Two Types of Risk

When one talks about risk management, they usually speak on one of two kinds of risk.

The first is pure risk: this is the kind of risk where there is only one of two possible outcomes. Loss or no loss. A fire would be a pure risk because the damage would either be done to your business or it wouldn’t. 

In a pure risk scenario, there is no possible positive outcome. The most positive possible outcome would be a neutral one, where no real damage was done.

The other type of risk is a bit tricker to keep a hold on, and it’s known as speculative risk. This is risk where a loss might occur, but profit, growth, or other possible positive impacts might result as well.

An investment in the stock market is a solid and easy to understand example of a speculative risk.

Importance of Risk Management

A business that does not readily assess the various risks facing its day-to-day operations is a business that can easily be hit with a fatal blow should something go wrong.

It’s important that business owners take the time to understand how program risk management can help their enterprises stay afloat over many years.

Risk management can help preserve a public image, can protect employees from harm, and can reduce the chance of legal liability. It can also help to conserve resources that are precious to the life of a business: time, assets, property, and people.

Understanding the Role of Risk Management

So, what is risk management? Many business owners do some form of risk management without even realizing it. However, making a conscious effort to mitigate risks for your business can yield fantastic results. The above information can help.

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