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Risk Mitigation in Business Operation

As a business, minimizing risks is top priority. However, certain internal factors like human errors and technological mishaps can be beyond control. What’s worse is that it can impact your business leading to a downward spiral. While avoiding these situations isn’t possible, it’s worthwhile to note you can put in place some proven steps to mitigate the operational risks.

The best place to start is to understand the type of risks that can pull your business down. Taking necessary steps to minimize their impact can be a strategic play in the event of any unforeseen circumstances. Once you understand the risk types, tackling them systematically is the next step.

Types of Risks in Business Operations

External risks aside, internal risks are controllable to an extent. Because internal systems comprise processes, environment, and strategies that are within our control, risk mitigation can be managed by regulating and tracking them periodically. By ensuring there is a set system in place to identify and address these risks, people at work can follow due diligence to avoid impact on day-to-day operations.

Primary risk cases include errors or omissions, fraud, litigation, loss of key raw materials or supplies, and product failure. Each of these can often result in massive monetary loss leading to higher business impact across the board. Another reason you can’t ignore these risks is the severity of the risks and their direct correlation to long-term organizational goals. The quarter-on-quarter goal achievement can be a challenging task derailing your existing business goals in light of these risks.

Step 1: Avoid Risks in Business Operations

Since a lot of risks in our control are related to internal factors, keeping them in check is one way to avoid them.

A good starting point is going back to the existing documentation regarding this process. Understanding the safety-related issues and compliance is one way to look into it.

Monitoring often neglected operations like routine maintenance, cleaning, or upgrading software can avoid any undue stress at a later stage. And with the assistance of a combined feature of cloud-based storage and backup at your disposal, online data retrieval is less of a hassle.

Another way to avoid business risks is reducing risk exposure. Consulting system experts periodically bring in the right expertise at the right time. Random fraud checks mean business is protected against unknown surprises that can spring up. Often process leaks are a clear indication of a lack of solid strategies that need to be actioned.With frequent brainstorming, this can be reduced and eliminated over time.

Product failures can profoundly affect how your customers relate to your brand. It’s often an indication of the product market misfit. To avoid such a scenario, understanding where your customers relate to your brand in the customer journey map is an excellent place to start.

Step 2: Reduce Risks in Business

Setting clear expectations, especially with the business stakeholders, is the key to reduce operational risks. It also gives leverage to reduce any expected risks with internal teams, clients, and systems and processes.

Internal Teams: Avoiding manual errors is impossible. What’s possible, though, is assessing the impact of such potential risks. By prioritizing low and high priority risks for each department and project, it is least likely to have surprises, especially when it comes to meaningful projects with high potential and impact.

Clients: Client deliverables might not always be in sync with your offer. However, what can be in sync is clarifying the expectations from the start. Having a clear KPI, establishing a baseline, and delivering outstanding work is the starting point. To reduce the business risk, it’s vital to raise your invoice before commencing your projects so that you are paid partly or entirely before commencing work.

Systems and Processes: Without a system that works like a well-oiled machine, there will be glaring gaps in what you promise and what you deliver to clients. The typical risk mitigation in systems and processes involve regular maintenance, searching for loopholes, identifying issues, and getting rid of excess overheads in business.

Step 3: Transfer Risks in Business Operations

Planning for business continuity can involve factoring in risks that are beyond your control. Business operations can be at stake if there are many elements that you can’t foresee. In such cases, transferring the risks makes sense since the risk liability reduces.

Falling back on a few tried and tested methods can help. For high-risk projects, contracts can work to reduce risks. With contracts and leases, projects are protected by including indemnification clauses in them.

Few points to consider here is if the insurance adequately covers all aspects of things to consider before buying insurance and any additional information you need to make an informed decision.Few points to consider here is if the insurance adequately covers all aspects, is it within the jurisdiction, and any additional terms that need to be incorporated.

Step 4: Accept Risks in Business Operations

Often risk acceptance is the best option when the cost of avoidance or transfer risk is higher. Not all risk acceptances are bad. Some situations call for risk acceptance. Change in legal policies, technology, process changes, and changing third-party rules can imply that risk acceptance is necessary. At times, the probability of risk seeping into projects is evident.

Accepting some level of risk can actually be good for business. For example, large corporations tend to stick with the ‘tried-and-tested’ suppliers to minimize risks. However, by not trying new suppliers, they could potentially be losing out on higher efficiency and flexibility.

But because the hazard is small or negligible to the overall scope, risk acceptance is ideal. Another example of risk acceptance is the losses incurred for any risk not accounted for, unexpected risks, or uninsured or exempted risks. Such risks occasionally occur without much business impact.


Growing a business entails expanding and improving business visibility through networking. However, it also involves exposing your business to new risks. While risk avoidance is the best way, it cannot always be done. Alternatively, reducing risks is the next step that can help minimize the impact.

In the case of higher risks, risk transfer can protect your assets from potential hazards, thereby safeguarding you from any untoward impact both towards your people and property. There can also be some cases when risk acceptance is the most suited option to sustain and scale your business. Leaving behind small losses can be a wise step, especially when risk mitigation is not on the horizon.

About Shane Avron

Shane Avron is a freelance writer, specializing in business, general management, enterprise software, and digital technologies. In addition to Flevy, Shane's articles have appeared in Huffington Post, Forbes Magazine, among other business journals.

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