How to assess and mitigate business risk

Businesses go through varying levels of risks when seeking to offer their products and services to the general public. The underlying responsibility of every business is to engage in the production of goods or the offering of service to the public in exchange for profit. Most times while engaging in these activities certain unforeseen events can occur and this can affect the production process in the business.

This article offers all there is to know on business risks and how businesses can avoid them. 

How business risks work

Business risks refer to the possibility of a company having below-margin profits (and occasionally losses) as a result of unforeseen circumstances. 

Over 20% of enterprises worldwide fail in the first year, while one in every five businesses in the United States fail in the first year, according to statistics. These businesses collapse for a variety of causes, including shifts in consumer preferences, strikes, an increase in competitors, shifts in governmental policy, and more.

Every business organization encounters different risk factors while undertaking business, and today more businesses than ever are at risk of failing and closing due to risk-related factors. As a business owner, understanding how to evaluate and reduce these risks puts your business on top of its game and prevents your business from eventual loss or worse wounding up.

Identifying possible risks in your business

A business must first determine the potential or possibility of threats to its operations before it can assess or manage risk. Business owners must first realize that business risk can come from both internal and external sources. Being able to predict all or most potential risks to the business will help the business in being increasingly prudent in the long term.

As a result, you must be able to anticipate potential risks as a business owner, whether they are short-term or long-term. By doing so, you become a proactive business owner rather than one who responds to events and is controlled by risks. When seeking to identify risks, consider the following:

I. Change in government policies?

II. What could go wrong now or in the nearest future?

III. What possible failures may occur in the business?

IV. Where does the business seem vulnerable?

V. Is there a force strong enough to sabotage our operations?

VI. What metrics can be used to determine whether we are meeting our goals?

VII. What kind of information can be trusted the most, and why?

Steps to access and mitigate risk in your business.

To determine how to access and mitigate business risk, the steps below and many others need to be thoroughly examined.

1. The first step is to accept the risk

Businesses must accept and acknowledge the risk and its consequences before taking further actions to assess, mitigate or eliminate it. Business risks are most of the time unforeseen and may tend to threaten the existence of the business.

Nonetheless, the very first step to assess and mitigate such business risk is to be prepared to always take responsibility by accepting and foreseeing the risk, accepting it and preparing for its occurrence.

2. Look to past and similar situations

When there is a risk to the business, observing past risks with a similar outlook is yet another crucial choice the business must make. The goal is to find previous situations that are comparable and to examine how those situations were resolved and mitigated in the past. The business should strive to define all possible dangers at the first instance.

If the business had an underlying risk situation that has never occurred previously, the business can move on to find solutions by speaking with business owners who have faced similar issues in the past. The support and answers you receive may not be fully appropriate for the problem or risk at hand, but they will still enable you to come up with your solution.

3. Think through multiple scenarios

There’s a chance that you’ll never have access to all the information needed to make an informed and final decision. The goal is to control risk and make deliberate decisions to cut losses for the business.

Research has shown that thinking about at least three potential business outcomes enables business owners to weigh the risks involved. A great way to examine different outcomes is to plan for the best, most likely, and worst-case scenarios. Businesses must also attempt to consider possible unexpected consequences.

4. Identify the business risk

Before creating any risk management plans, the business owner might wish to assess any risks that may have an impact on the overall business operations.

Working together with a wide range of stakeholders and experts with varying business perspectives is essential to the best chance of identifying all potential business hazards.

5. Make an analysis of the risk and treat the problem

Once the business risk has been identified, businesses must evaluate its likelihood and potential effects on their operations.

Businesses need to understand the nature of risk and how it could affect the aims and objectives of any or all its projects.

Having analyzed the risk, the final step in mitigating the business risk is to choose a mitigating action or plan and act on them. Create a mitigation plan that reflects the business’s core values and vision, and make the needed arrangements by setting up a committee of members that will act on these plans immediately.

Businesses must learn to act fast in their response to mitigating risks, this is to ensure the effects of the risk are cushioned within a short possible time. Also, be sure to list in a risk record each risk, its features, and the chosen preventive actions for future use.

6. Report your findings across the organization

Your company’s risk mitigation and assessment strategy may become even more effective if you share information about the risks, hazards, methods, best practices, and assessment and mitigation techniques across the board and within employees for understanding.

For stakeholders to make informed decisions, it’s critical to keep these reports of risk and hazards always within the business. Regular reporting may also reveal additional risks that weren’t previously apparent and detected. The best risk mitigation strategies incorporate risk reporting into regular business processes, such as daily or weekly workflows.


Businesses may perform better if they decide how to handle risk in a preventive manner. Business owners can achieve this by designating particular teams to manage risk and also conducting risk management training for its employee through risk records and reports.

Since risks are an unavoidable event in every industry, businesses must be proactive in identifying potential risk sources. In summary, risk minimization is a continuous process for the business. Operations will alter, new risks will emerge, and business risk management strategies will be updated regularly.

Must a business have a risk management strategy? Yes, risk management strategies offer the business a clear picture of what to expect and the actions to be taken when a risk occurs in the business. The risk management strategy acts as a master plan for the eventual risk that may arise in the business in the future. 

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Richard Okoroafor

Richard Okoroafor

Richard is a brilliant legal content writer who doubles as a finance lawyer. He brings his wealth of legal knowledge in corporate commercial transactions to bear, offering the best value that exceeds expectations.

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