Managing risk is essential for all businesses but there is a difference in the resources available for small and large businesses when it comes to risk. Large businesses have dedicated risk management departments and can spend millions of dollars on risk management technology. Small businesses cannot afford either of these. Most have dedicated risk managers but not whole departments, and off-the-shelf software solutions like Microsoft Excel are used to manage risk.
Small business risk management techniques need to consider the smaller pool of people and resources available. With that in mind, here are 3 techniques that work particularly well for small businesses.
1. Using the cloud to ensure business continuity
We have talked about this before in our blog Creating a Risk Management Plan to Ensure Business Continuity. It is important to ensure business continuity and there is no easier way to do it than using the cloud. Large organizations operate on the cloud, but small businesses need to move to the cloud as well. There are too many advantages to ignore.
Being on the cloud means that your business can always perform. If there is an extreme weather event happening in your city it will not affect the operations of your business, as everyone can work from their own homes. If there is a fire at the office and the servers go down, the website and the digital transactions will keep flowing, and so on. Business continuity through cloud thus becomes a great risk management technique for small businesses.
The most remarkable thing about cloud technology is how inexpensive it is. Moving to the cloud doesn’t cost more than keeping local backups – it costs significantly less. Online cloud services are easy to buy and start using immediately and most come with helpful tools that allow you to migrate everything yourself. Another huge advantage is that your employees always have access to the data they need, even if they are at a client’s site or out in the field.
2. Outsourcing IT needs
A business can only function in this day and age if they have access to their technology. There are often problems with IT systems in small businesses. Small businesses have fewer dedicated IT personnel and also have a smaller cache of spare parts and replacements – both factors mean that an IT related problem can bring the business to a halt. Small businesses need to have access to the IT expertise they need at all times.
A good solution is to use an MSP – a managed service provider. These MSPs take care of all your IT needs. They monitor your network to ensure there are no breaches, manage the hardware in your office, send IT experts if you run into a problem, and much more. Having an MSP on retainer basically means that you will have a whole IT department to help you when needed. Some MSPs even provide temporary IT personnel to help with major projects like data migrations. An MSP may seem like an unnecessary expense, but you will realize how important they can be the first time there is an IT problem in the office preventing anyone from working.
MSPs also ensure that all your software applications are updated, your anti-virus has the latest virus definitions, and your network is secure. Using an MSP can thus be a great IT risk management technique.
3. Automating risk management
Automation has traditionally been considered out of the scope for small businesses. It was always too expensive and too complicated for small businesses to consider an implementation. We have some good news – developments in the previous two years have made risk technology easily accessible for small businesses. Automating Risk Management is a proven risk management technique and the cloud solutions available ensure that businesses can afford it and use it easily.
If you want to see what risk management automation can do for your business, get in touch with us. Our Risk Management Software solution will monitor enterprise risk 24/7, automatically notify you if risks go above accepted thresholds, and much more. Once you automate risk you will be able to focus on the big picture – how to improve your risk management processes even further. Get in touch with us for a demo and for a month long trial of the solution.
About the Company
360factors, Inc. (Austin, TX) helps companies improve business performance by reducing risk and ensuring compliance. Predict360, its flagship software product, vertically integrates regulations and requirements, policies and procedures management, risks and controls, audit management and inspections, and on-line training and qualifications, in a single cloud-based platform based on artificial intelligence.