How to minimise risk in your business

The classic Kiwi saying “she’ll be right” might work tidying the garage or doing the ironing. It’s not so great when it comes to managing risks to your business. That’s when clear vision, fresh perspectives, and commitment to excellence are vital.


The biggest risk to your business will be an unknown risk. It’s hard to respond quickly and effectively when you’re caught off guard. To mitigate the chances of that happening the answer is some good, old-fashioned planning.

Risks come in all shapes and sizes so audit each part of your business and think about anything that may be a threat to operations. Some potential risks to consider might include:

  • security (of both physical and digital assets)
  • reputational (from disgruntled employees, customers or competitors)
  • intellectual property (loss of your unique business advantage)
  • succession (loss of vital knowledge and skills with staff changes)

You should also consider the ‘big picture’ risks that could impact the ability of the whole business to function, such as natural disasters. This is separate to your safety or evacuation plan; this is about ensuring business continuity.


For each risk identify the key members of your team that should be involved in a management plan for different risk areas. Consider also adding at least one person who is not a specialist in that risk area, as they will be able to look at your plan with objectivity and may see things others don’t. Professional services experts such as communications and human resources specialists should also be involved in all areas of risk management.

Work together to build a plan so that when a risk rears its head you have a roadmap to follow, everyone knows who’s in charge and everyone knows their role.


Just like other strategic and responsive areas of a business, it’s a good idea to keep reviewing and refreshing your risk management plans. They may need to change with new staff, changes in business direction, new technologies, economic or social upheaval, or even just a move to a new building.

Have a refresher session with risk management teams at least once a year to make sure everybody is up to date, and to check if there are new risks you need to plan for.

Go further

There are other things to consider that can impact the level of risk to your business and how you are able to respond:

CDL Insight Consulting can help set your team up for success. We’ll guide you through taking action to minimise risk and ensure any business changes are well thought out and sustainable.