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What risks does your business face on a day to day basis? The chances are good you don’t really know if you don’t have any formal risk management strategies in place.

No matter the size of the business, or what it does, formal risk management is a must. Risk management is important for even small businesses as it helps them to protect their assets, improve decision-making, increase competitiveness, comply with regulations, enhance reputation and plan for the future, and facilitates growth.

Developing effective risk management strategies, and even gaining a full understanding of the risks your business faces, can seem like a huge task you aren’t ready or equipped to tackle though. That is, unless you have the help and guidance of an experienced risk management consultant.

What Risks Do SMBs Face Today?

It’s easy to think that your business, as a smaller business, probably does not have to worry too much about formal risk management strategies at this stage, as how many can there really be? The fact is that the answer is more than you might think, at least until you start REALLY thinking about it.

Financial Risks

SMBs in any niche face financial risks such as cash flow problems, unexpected expenses, and difficulty obtaining financing. If your business experiences a sudden cash flow bottleneck, or can’t afford to replace outdated equipment or tools right now what will the negative impact be? For many it could be significant.

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Operational Risks

Operational risks such as supply chain disruptions, equipment failures, and data breaches can potentially affect any business, but while a large corporation may have the purchasing and sourcing power to, for example, find new suppliers very quickly, unless they have risk management controls in place, a smaller business’ day to day operations will be seriously compromised.

Reputational Risks

Often business owners don’t give enough attention to reputational risks such as negative customer reviews, social media backlash, and damage to their brand caused by staff actions.

Which, at a time when a single tweet can lead to a viral scandal, and research shows that an increasing number of both B2C and B2B consumers are relying more than ever on reviews to guide their purchasing decisions is short sighted at best, potentially ruinous for their business at worst.

Working with a Pearl Lemon Consultants risk management consultant will not only help you better understand these risks but also give you access to tools and processes, such as review monitoring tools and media training, that have been proven to minimize these risks, especially when it comes to ensuring that staff and team members don’t make mistakes that will backfire on the business fast.

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Cybersecurity Risks

Small businesses are increasingly at risk of cyber attacks, as they often lack the resources to implement robust cybersecurity measures. They often don’t think they are, as their networks are small compared to large corporations.

But hackers don’t really care about business size or business prominence, they just want access to saleable personal information – which small businesses often have lots of, including sensitive personal customer data like credit card information and addresses – or even just to the computer power the business can ‘lend’ them for a DDOS attack or to even to mine crypto.

Working with Pearl Lemon Consultants risk management consultant team not only helps to identify these threats but helps businesses create and implement cybersecurity defenses that they could never have implemented alone, simply because they did not have the technological knowledge, or tools to do so. We do.

Legal and Regulatory Risks

Small businesses may face legal and regulatory risks such as non-compliance with laws and regulations, lawsuits, and fines. Ignorance is no defense under law, and claiming that your business was unaware it was breaking the law won’t help you a bit.

Our risk management consultants will help determine how well your business is complying with the laws and regulations that affect it right now and what might need to be changed to ensure better compliance.

Environmental Risks

Small businesses may face environmental risks such as natural disasters, and the need to comply with environmental regulations.

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Human Resources Risks

Human resources risks such as increased employee turnover, unintentional discrimination, and unfair labor practices can derail any business fast.

Without a large, experienced human resources department to guide your operations, as an SMB you are usually at greater risk than large corporations. Our risk management consultant team will help you understand what HR risks you are facing, whether they involve your outdated hiring practices, questionable staff policies or an inability to hire and retain the talent your business needs to thrive.

Economic Risks

Every business faces economic risks such as recession, inflation, and interest rate fluctuations. But the damage they can do in both the long and short term to a smaller business is much greater.

For example, 60% of the SMBs forced to temporarily close during the COVID-19 crisis have either closed their doors permanently now or are very close to having to do so.

Technological Risks

Small businesses may face technological risks such as obsolescence of their tech tools, and lack of access to new hardware and/or software technologies. Working with Pearl Lemon Consultants not only helps you identify these risks but can give you access to tech tools and knowledge to guard against them that you might not be equipped to obtain alone right now (like expensive software for example)

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How a Risk Management Consultant Can Help Your Business

Risk management is a critical aspect of any business, as it helps organizations identify, assess, and mitigate potential threats to their operations. These threats can come in many forms, from financial risks to operational risks to reputational risks. By identifying and addressing these risks, businesses can protect their assets, reputation, and bottom line. To do this effectively, working with an experienced risk management consultant can be extremely helpful, to say the least.

One of the key roles of a risk management consultant is to help organizations identify potential risks. This will involve conducting a comprehensive risk assessment, which involves analyzing the organization’s operations, processes, and systems to identify areas of vulnerability. The consultant may also review the organization’s financial records, insurance policies, and legal documents to identify potential exposures.

The risks, and the threats posed and possible consequences, will be different for every business. Working with a risk management consultant, like those on the Pearl Lemon Consultants team, will not only help you determine what threats your business needs to be concerned about but also how they stack up against each other.

Once potential risks have been identified, the consultant can help the organization assess the likelihood and potential impact of these risks. This may involve analyzing historical data, conducting simulations, or using other tools to estimate the likelihood of a risk occurring and the potential impact it could have on the organization.

Once risks have been identified and assessed, the consultant can help the organization develop strategies to mitigate or manage them. This may involve implementing new policies and procedures, strengthening existing controls, or purchasing insurance. The consultant may also help the organization develop a crisis management plan to respond quickly and effectively in the event of a risk materializing.

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Risk management consulting can also involve helping organizations to comply with relevant laws and regulations. This may include helping organizations to understand and comply with laws and regulations related to data privacy, cybersecurity, and workplace safety.

Another important aspect of risk management consulting is helping organizations to develop a culture of risk management. This often involves training and educating employees on risk management concepts and best practices, and encouraging them to report potential risks. It may also involve promoting a culture of continuous improvement, where risks are regularly identified and addressed.

As the business environment becomes more complex and competitive, the importance of risk management consulting has increased. Organizations face a wide range of risks, from natural disasters to cyber-attacks to economic downturns. By working with a risk management consultant, organizations can better identify and manage these risks, protecting their assets and reputation.

However, it is important to note that risk management consulting is not a one-time event, it is a continuous process. Risk management consultants can help organizations to develop and maintain a comprehensive risk management program, but it is ultimately the responsibility of the organization to implement and maintain these programs.

Organizations need to continuously monitor their environment, identify new risks and assess them, and implement strategies to mitigate them.

When you work with Pearl Lemon Consultants, our risk management consultant team is in it for the long haul. We can serve as the long term risk management partner you need to ensure that your business is ready, whatever new risks emerge. Contact us today to get started.

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