Business is better when you learn how to expect the unexpected. Life is a series of tradeoffs between risks and rewards. As you learn more about risk management and how to practice it best, you will position yourself to succeed in your business and life in general.
No matter how profitable or secure your business is, outside events can cause problems. Things like coronavirus, inflation, and trade wars can cause significant disruption through no fault of your own. In the best-case scenario, these kinds of events will have little to no effect on your business. In the worst-case scenario, it can cause you to lose profits or even file bankruptcy.
Your long-term success depends on your ability to adapt to unpredictable and risky situations. Keep reading to learn how you can be better prepared and ensure your business has the best chance for success.
- Building a Resilient Business Strategy
- What is Risk Management?
- Crafting a Decision-Making Process
- Preparing for Growth and Profit
Building a Resilient Business Strategy
Getting a business up and running is hard. Once you get over that initial hump, a thriving business needs to be flexible and resilient in order to stay healthy. Many businesses fail, not because their ideas are bad, but because they’re not able to successfully manage rapid growth. Who knew rapid growth was a risk? This is why having a risk management plan is so important.
Scooter Taylor is a great example of someone who used the coronavirus emergency as inspiration to take business ideas in new directions. He knew he had to adapt in order to survive, and being flexible is necessary when surprising and challenging situations emerge.
I like to think of resilience as a combination of hard work and keeping your options open. When something bad happens, it’s always nice to have an alternative you can turn to for support. I suggest you build a library of the best start-up business books to help you anticipate the problems and find the resources you will need.
Diversity is one of your most powerful tools when creating a resilient business. The more sources you scout out for support, the easier it will be to handle disruptions when they come (and they will come). Likewise, if you can diversify your products and services, you will be better able to manage changes in the marketplace.
As you are crafting your business strategy, always ask yourself what you will do if your initial plan doesn’t work. Brainstorm with your partners and consultants to try to predict the most likely problems you will face. The more aware you are of where your problems will come from, the easier it will be to ensure you are prepared.
What is Risk Management?
Nothing in life is certain, so it pays to be prepared. Success and risk go hand in hand. In many cases, the larger the risk you can afford to take, the larger the reward you will get if you are successful. That’s another reason why risk management is so important. When you plan carefully for the future, you will be able to avoid the most common mistakes and create a better foundation for success.
No matter how well you plan and develop your business, the people you hire and work with will always surprise you. If you can anticipate the problems that will arise, you can ensure most of these surprises will be good. Taking regular breaks to assess the health and direction of your company will help you manage your exposure to risk. It will also help you maximize your profits. Studying The Five Dysfunctions of a Team is an excellent way to eliminate many of the problems that will develop as your employees interact.
Last but not least, making plans for workplace safety will not only protect your employees, but it will protect the future of your company. It’s not just a good policy either. If you want to make a healthy profit, you have to protect yourself from liability and lawsuits. A safe workplace is not only the moral and ethical way to go, it’s mandatory to keep your profits in the black.
Crafting a Decision-Making Process
It’s easier to be prepared for the unexpected when you have a well-developed decision-making process. Most people are so used to making decisions that it doesn’t even occur to them to develop a formal method. Many businesses owe their success to having several different, well-thought-out plans for making decisions.
There are many different kinds of decision-making models. Most people think they rely on rational decision-making tools. With a little introspection, however, you’ll see it’s a bit more complicated. There are many different models we can use to make decisions. In addition to the rational model, you also have emotional, organizational, and consensus models. In fact, there is such a wide variety of decision-making models, that we cannot list them all here. We can’t even claim to know of them all.
Start by listing the different types of questions you expect to encounter, and collect them into related groups. Then craft a model for how to make each type of decision. It may sound redundant, but I guarantee it will save you time, stress, and money.
Teaching your employees how to make a decision is one of the most effective ways to protect and grow your business. When your business follows a standard decision-making process, project management will be easier to integrate into your long-term strategy. This will also help as you develop your risk management process.
The more elements of your business are standardized and correlated, the easier it will be to handle unexpected situations. It’s impossible to know exactly what you need at all times, so a focus on progress not perfection is vital to the health and success of your business. And after each emergency, you have the opportunity to update and change your models. This is how to maximize profit and minimize risk.
Preparing for Growth and Profit
How well are you prepared to face and manage risk? The stability and success of your business depends on your ability to provide quality goods and services. If you’re not prepared for accidents, disasters, and unexpected problems, you won’t be able to take proper care of your customers. And without happy customers, you can’t take care of your employees or yourself.
I recommend you develop a robust decision-making process and a risk management plan. If you already have one, revisit it regularly. If you don’t have one, take some time today to get started.
When is the last time you updated your risk management plan? Take ten minutes right now and give it some attention.