The difference between a successful company and a not-so-successful one often comes down to the company’s ability to avoid – or at least minimize – the amount of detrimental occurrences it encounters throughout its daily operations.
While avoiding risks entirely is an expensive, resource-consuming undertaking (that may or may not be effective in the long run), it’s entirely possible for a company to limit the amount of obstacles it encounters by following a few simple rules.
Rule #1: Systematize Processes
The more your company runs like a finely-tuned machine, the better.
Think of your car: every time you turn the key, the machine goes through the exact same processes in order for the engine to start. If any part of the system is missing or not working properly, this won’t happen – and you’ll end up spending time and money figuring out what the problem is.
Having processes in place within a company ensures that certain goals are met with little to no downtime or other “hang ups” getting in the way. Whether it be an internal process, such as clocking in or submitting time sheets, or a client-facing process like processing an order or providing customer service, each individual within the process should know exactly what’s expected of them at all times.
Like with your car, if even one minor part of this process is lacking, it puts the entire system at risk of failure.
Rule #2: Minimize Points of Contact
The more back-and-forth you have with your clientele, the more chances there are for something to go wrong.
Say, for example, a client (company) designates three employees as points of contact regarding invoicing and payments to your business. You send the invoice to all three individuals, and one responds immediately with the company’s payment details (such as a company credit card). The next day, one of the other contacts does the same, providing a different company credit card. At this point, you’d need to track down each of these individuals before you process the payment, since you’d be unsure of which card to bill the payment to.
What should have been a simple back-and-forth between two individuals ends up turning into a three-way game of phone- and email-tag – and results in lost time and money for both parties.
Rule #3: Prioritize Focus
As we mentioned earlier, it’s nearly impossible to completely avoid every potential operational risk your company may face.
The trick, then, is to know which processes are essential to your business’ operations – and to work to ensure these processes are running at 100% efficiency.
Once these processes have been streamlined, you can then move on down the line to the next highest priority – and keep repeating this process in order to increase all of your business’ operations, and decrease the amount of risk you encounter on a daily basis.
Are you looking for additional advice on how to lower your risk?
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