Risk management: (almost) everything you need to know


Read time

Risk management… while the clue to what it is may be in the name, so is possibly a sense of fear and dread. No matter which way you look it, confronting any type of risk – especially in business – can be daunting. 

But the good news is that it’s possible to both demystify and simplify risk management without losing any sleep. Right now, we answer some of your key questions, clearing the way a better path of risk management planning.

1. What is risk management?

The art and skill of risk management is seeing and understanding any business-related roadblocks before they appear and being in the position to deal with them effectively without incurring major losses. After all, failing to prepare is preparing to fail, right?

There are three key words we like to use when it comes to risk; identify, understand, and control. And a robust risk management strategy covers all the key areas in your workplace, from protecting your people to protecting your property and everything in between. 

A decent risk management process is NOT random fortune-telling or guesswork. And it’s not a one-off meeting or phone call. It’s an ongoing partnership with specialists that make the effort to understand you and your business and ensure that you are prepared for what may lie ahead. 

And in a time where some of the biggest problems are seemingly invisible but have the power to cripple a business in an instant – for example, a cyber threat – do you know, right now, how your business would deal with that? 

Discover more

2. Why do I need a risk management strategy?

Whether you’re operating a small business on a single-site premises, or the decision-maker for a global enterprise, you shouldn’t underestimate or overlook the importance of ensuring that you have a strong risk management strategy in place. The fact is that the process is largely the same for big or small. 

A simple scenario to illustrate this is if some key machinery in your factory breaks down. If there’s a risk management strategy and solutions ready to action, cogs are already whirring at the point that anything horrible happens……. You’re not left dealing with a sudden pause in production, not knowing what to do. There’ll be a contingency plan in place that ensures new parts, or a replacement can be swiftly delivered, and operators’ issues and complaints have answers, as well as helping to mitigate for any financial shortfalls that may inevitably happen until you’re back up to full speed.

Without it, any problem – from fleet vehicles being repaired to a serious accident at work – has the potential to exponentially grow into something that could significantly interrupt your business, whether that’s temporarily or even permanently.

Or in the case of a less tangible but equally serious threat; what if your digitised customer records were stolen and shared? Again, have you got a watertight solution in place in the event of a cyber-attack like the one mentioned in question 1?

With an agreed risk management strategy, you’re not simply protecting your business from those possible problems but becoming more resilient and futureproofed along the way. You’re also providing customers (both actual and potential) as well as your people with confidence that should the worst happen that you’re prepared.

3. What are the key benefits of having a risk management solution package?

A risk management process is more than a safety net from the fallout of a business hiccup or major disaster. After all, if it were simply that easy, we’d all just put up some safety signage, cross our fingers, and hope for the best. 

So, in terms of what you stand to gain, here are six for your consideration.

  • Protect your business, assets and people
  • Provide peace of mind to both you and your insurer
  • Improve business resilience by having a plan in place, giving insurers confidence that you can recover from an unfortunate event
  • Save money on your insurance premiums
  • Improve business reputation through a good safety culture and robust continuity plans
  • Provide opportunity, which puts you ahead of the competition while helping you obtain best terms from insurers and suppliers

4. What’s the worst that can happen if I don’t have a risk management strategy in place?

Statistics range dependant on where they’re coming from, but it’s agreed that a large percentage of UK businesses close for good following an unplanned or catastrophic event, often due to simply not believing that it would or could happen to them.

The “what if…” question takes us full circle back to those three words that are at the heart of Howden’s risk management practices; identify, understand, and control.  By taking all those things that keep you up at night, understanding the threat, impact (and opportunity!) and addressing them accordingly, you’re instantly moving your business into a different and stronger space. After all, a resilient business is a successful business.

5. How can Risk Management from Howden help me?

By putting your trust in us, in return you get a bespoke risk management solution that addresses all parts of your business and all areas of potential concern. We “don’t know what we don’t know” and we never want to scattergun our solutions at you, so we always like to start with our Benchmark Review, which enables us to better understand you, your business, and how you are currently performing under each of our five key pillars – People (H&S and HR), Resilience (Business Continuity), Asset Protection, Information Data & Security, and Occupational Road Risk.

The subsequent report will show us where you are strong and where you need further help. We then like to dig a little deeper in those areas to ensure that we fully understand the problem.

We can then talk to you about how we may assist.

In addition, we also offer a number of packages which can include risk management training, advice, and insight around many of these specialists pillars – all of which are thoroughly explained here in our resource hub.

And at Howden, we’re very experienced and adept at making the seemingly impersonal personal, and super-complicated straightforward. In short, you’ll get reasonable, affordable, and suitable solutions that make your business operate better, safer, and stronger – with a plan in place for almost every eventuality.

Want to talk to one of our Risk Management specialists to find out how we can support? Call  020 7623 3806, or fill out a query form here and one of our team will get back to you shortly.