We spend so much time building our business, making contacts and measuring profit, we can overlook managing the chances of losing it. When we think of losing our business we think of dramatic market crashes and hostile takeovers. The truth is that every day risk can pull the rug out from under you one thread at a time.
- Loss Prevention ~ Specifically, loss of product via theft or breakage, is a real concern for every business. Pay close attention to opportunities for internal theft. Employees stealing is easy to miss and easy to hide. Theft from strangers is as old as crime itself. Stay current on trends in terms of stealing, popular products and savvy methods. Criminals work hard at being good at what they do. The industry is full of security software and equipment to monitor your merchandise. Finally, when actual product suffers damage or breaks in handling, this can sometimes be recovered by insurance or at least the item can sell at a partial profit. Evaluate the loss as you would an accident and decide what to do to prevent it from happening again.
- Safety/Avoiding Injury ~ Of course injuries mean loss, but preventing the injuries has its own price tag as well. The expense is certainly worth the reward, by way of low instances of injury and claim, but the expense is still worth considering and the most frugal choices made.
- Injuries and Claims ~ Injuries and the corresponding workman’s compensation and in some cases actual settlements, are by far the largest expense to any company, in correlation to their size and number of employees. Most work environments are kept incredibly safe. Fraudulent claims are actually the most common and the hardest to avoid.
- Turnover and Lost Time ~ High turnover is always considered a loss due to the loss of hiring and training time. While there is the recouped pay while an employee is missing, this almost always creates a lack of production or some other collateral damage while the remaining workforce tries to compensate for the missing manpower. Keeping good employees is as easy as keeping good friends. Behave as equals and humans and prepare to pay for loyalty and respect.
- Site and Facility Compliance ~ Keeping your location up to code, penalty free and fairly modern all comes at a cost. These complicated decisions include making predictions and forecasting need before the walls fall down. Professional assessments are the safest and most reliable in determining when and why your building needs renovations, new equipment, changes in floor plan or even when to consider relocation.
- Post Accident Response ~ Yes. After an injury or accident has occurred, after the immediate remedy, there is an appropriate response designed to help prevent a repeat of the incident. This may include a structural change, staff training, a change in company policy or all of the above.
As the man or woman in charge, you often wear many hats. Part of the job is knowing when to take one of those off and seek assistance. When you do have to hire a professional to report your risk, the hope is that their fee is minor compared to the money that you save by implementing their advice. You already know business is a balancing act of decisions. The best solution is awareness and action. We can’t predict everything. We can keep our eyes open and fix problems that we identify immediately.
Assessing risk management and loss prevention in any environment is an entire industry on its own. Communicate with other businesses and seek out online resources to stay ahead of changes and new advancements to continually keep your company’s risks as low as possible.