First though, the biggest risk is anything that results in the loss of reputation, as without the trust of your client base there is rarely a business left. Businesses must protect their reputation at all costs, which flows through to all decision making in a business.
The top 6:
Save a dollar –
solving the problem is always the first priority, with cost to solve the problem a distant second. You cannot consider cost first, as you are compromising on the solution and you remain exposed to part of the problem, so what was the point of spending the money.
Failure to understand the impact of a potential problem and how this applies to the whole of the business.
Too often the impact across the supply chain is not considered which sees a substantial compounding of the original problem. Think across the whole business as well as customers and suppliers so there is a true picture of the actual impact to the business.
Signing contracts without reading them or appreciating the level of the size of the potential problem if things go wrong.
Signing a contract is the fastest way to go out of business. If you do not appreciate the potential problem you are signing up for take the time to get good advice.
Failure to get the right advice from the outset.
Advice is far cheaper up front than considering the cost of trying to fix something once it has already happened. Hindsight is great for learning, but best to avoid the problem from the outset.
Only insure for what you need.
Too much money is simply wasted on insuring for minor issues that have little to no impact on the financials. With more than 70% of businesses being under insured, this is the one area that should be able to be fixed simply by applying a better understanding of the risk / problem.
Failure to know what the top 5 potential problems are for your business
and not planning around these so they can be avoided. Most businesses do not have a list of key risks, and taking the time to think through these is critical, so that plans can be made to reduce these risks.