As the 2nd half of 2020 commences the world-wide economic and social landscape has changed irrevocably with the arrival of Covid-19. For businesses both big and small it is essential that your 2020 business plan has been reviewed and updated to ensure that there is a functional process embedded within it for the continual identification, monitoring, and action of potential risks that may either directly or indirectly impact the success and survival of the business.
For small to medium-sized businesses it is crucial to clearly identify the immediate risks impacting your business. Pre Covid-19 most small to medium businesses would have had several key risks clearly identified. These would include:
Prior to Covid-19 how many small to medium businesses wouldhave had a functional pandemic plan in place?
What about plans and processes to allow staff to workremotely / offsite?
What about interruptions to the supply chain(s) that supportthe business? (short and long term)
Most small to medium businesses will have in recent months hastilydeveloped and implemented these types of plans firstly to meet health andgovernment regulation and secondly to ensure that the business would continueto trade and remain solvent.
For the foreseeable future risks will be emerging on a dailybasis emerging in many forms and in many new ways that will require immediateand positive action to either eradicate or mitigate within the business.
As summer approaches the threat of bushfires will again grow to add another level to the risk for all businesses.
In the Covid-19 world risks now occur more frequently andunpredictably.
Work, Health, and Safety and government regulations are evolving on a daily basis adding additional administrative and economic impact to a business. Like Covid-19 the earlier a risk is identified and actioned the sooner the impact on the business will be mitigated or eradicated.
Critically it is vital that businesses ensure that all theirexisting workflows have been reviewed and updated – assuming that existingbusiness processes will remain viable is now no longer an option for anybusiness.
Maintaining and monitoring both customer and staff wellbeingis now more essential than ever – the cost of losing (or not retaining) customersand/or staff either temporarily or permanently will cost the business immediatelyand in the longer term.
Small and medium-sized businesses also face threats from new competitors entering the market – competitors that may have advantages such as new and modern digital and computing platforms, and more diverse supply chain options. Businesses that fail to update and upgrade existing business processes face the prospect of losing sales and market share to these new entry-level businesses.
What are ‘Big’ Risks?
Why are Big Risks important to Small and medium businesses?
‘Big’ risks are things that are generally reported in the media on a daily basis and discussed in business offices, cafes, and homes every day. Whilst a small to medium business owner may focus on their sales, customers, staff, and business environment ‘Big’ Risks need to be monitored and factored into a risk management plan for any business.
Big risks include issues such as international trade wars, changes to government support, taxation and expenditures, environmental/natural disasters (Covid-19, bushfires, drought, cyclones), economic recessions amongst trading partners, and cybersecurity and theft.
The biggest risk businesses of any size face today is ignoring or failing to identify both the big and small risks that emerge and making and taking immediate and positive action to address any actual or potential impact on the business, its customers, and employees.
Dean Gibson- Head of Business Intelligence , Mindful Risk
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