A risk management plan can help minimise the impact of cash flow issues, damage to brand and other risks. It will also help create a culture of sensible risk awareness and management in your business. Use our simple template below to make your plan.
Get everyone thinking about risk
Encourage people at all levels of your business to think about risk. In practice, this means to make sure everyone knows whose job it is to plan for and manage each type of risk. They should also know who to talk to when confronted by a risk they're not sure how to deal with. A side benefit is that when employees know who will manage each kind of risk, it creates a sense of structure. It also encourages people to be actively involved in the business.
Make informed decisions
Sometimes you may decide not to deal with certain risks because the chance they'll happen is slight or the effects are trivial. On the other hand, you'll need to plan for very likely risks with serious or major effects. For these you will need to have procedures so you can deal with them as they occur.
Don't assume risks exist in isolation to one another. Sometimes risks with minor consequences combine with unfavorable circumstances and other minor risks to create serious or major risks. Take the example of a getting a flat tyre when doing deliveries. It's after dark on a muddy track in an area that has no mobile phone coverage. The spare tyre then rolls down the hill and the torch batteries run out. You chase the tyre, fall over and break your leg. What was a minor inconvenience is now a major risk to your safety. Use your experience – and your employees' experience – to identify and plan for these possible combinations.
Use the combined Risk Register and Risk Treatment Register (template below) to build your own risk management plan. In part one, complete the Risk Register to identify and list your risks. For part two in the Risk Treatment Register, think through what options you can use to manage each risk. You'll also name who will carry out the plan for each risk and by when.
Each part of the two-stage template has a worked example to help get you started. Use the risk assessment table on the Assessing Individual Risks page to gauge the level of risk.