Playing the risk management game: How businesses can stay safe in 2022
Every business owner faces risks. Making moves to minimise risks is an important step in protecting your business and staying safe. With a new year on the horizon, here are some strategies companies can employ to steer clear of trouble in 2022.
The global cost of cybercrime is expected to top $6 trillion per year by the end of 2021, according to Forbes. Headlines often reveal large-scale data breaches that affect high-profile corporations, but every business is at risk. Statistically, small and medium-sized businesses are more likely to be targeted and many may not have the means to survive. There are several ways that businesses can reduce risks, including implementing cybersecurity guidelines and policies, providing employee training and utilising security programmes and tools to restrict access to networks and shield sensitive data.
Health and safety
Health and safety issues can impact business finances and reputation. All company owners have a responsibility to implement guidelines and comply with health and safety legislation to protect employees and customers. Legal challenges can be costly and they can also damage the reputation of the business. Employers should be proactive in carrying out risk assessments, providing safety equipment and training and ensuring that workplaces are safe, secure spaces.
Cash flow issues are one of the primary causes of business failure, particularly among start-ups. Managing the accounts should be a priority for every business owner. From the outset, there should be clear processes in place to manage payments, set deadlines for invoices and track spending. In addition to keeping a close eye on business finances, owners and directors should also be aware of the importance of reducing risks when it comes to making financial transactions. If you’re not experienced in running a business, or you have limited knowledge of how business transactions work, it’s wise to seek expert advice. If you have questions like, what is an LEI number, for example, it’s beneficial to find the answers before you think about engaging in activity with other businesses. You can save time and money and reduce risks by researching in advance and making sure that you have the information you need to make the right decisions.
Preventing customer complaints
More than 90% of consumers value online reviews. Customer complaints, negative feedback and bad reviews can encourage customers to buy elsewhere and damage your reputation. The best way to protect the business and avoid complaints is to go above and beyond to impress clients and deliver on promises. Customer service is as important as the quality and price of products and services. If people receive poor service, they will think twice about returning, no matter how highly they rate the product. The most common reasons people leave negative reviews include bad service, high prices and rude staff. Over 85% of customers have been put off by a negative review on social media.
Securing physical premises
Commercial premises can be appealing targets due to the value of the stock they house. Physical damage can be costly to repair and even if business owners have insurance, the cost of replacing lost stock can be substantial. There are multiple options to enhance security and deter thieves. Examples include smart security systems, which provide 24-hour monitoring, CCTV, security lighting, fencing and window guards and alarms. Security patrols provided by external firms can also minimise risks. Weigh up the options, compare quotes and think about which solutions would be best for your business based on your budget and the value of the stock you sell.
Reducing Covid-related risks
The pandemic continues to impact businesses all over the world, with new variants posing threats and consumers heavily influenced by policies and headlines. Company owners can stay safe by preparing for further obstacles and disruptions and being proactive in protecting customers and employees. Implement health and hygiene guidelines, make sure you have contingency plans in place for eventualities, such as staff shortages and logistical delays, and try to spot opportunities. While Covid-19 has wreaked havoc, there have been silver linings. Some businesses have adapted and adjusted to become more agile, which has enabled them to cater to new trends. New businesses have also launched as a result of rising demand for certain products and services. Keep an eye out for opportunities to capitalise on emerging trends and diversify your business to attract new customers and retain existing clients.
Business owners are going into 2022 facing an uncertain future. There are always risks to negotiate, but there are ways to manage risks to increase the chances of staying safe.