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X5 CROPS Report – Risk Management – October 2013

This month’s CROPS Report has a focus on risk management.

Customer SatisfactionYour customer’s satisfaction is highly dependent on their experience with your company. There are many things that you can control and risks you can mitigate in order to improve the likelihood that your customers will be satisfied with the goods and services your business provides. Mitigate the risks that coud negatively affect your customers’ experiences to improve your odds at repeat customers and positive word of mouth.Risk Management

The feature article is listed below!

Operational Efficiencies

Managing your risk is highly associated with the operational systems and processes you put in place to prepare your company for unexpected challenges or roadblocks. As discussed in the feature article, a lack of documented processes can cause major issues in numerous facets of your business. Don’t get caught unprepared and disorganized.

People

Your people are the backbone to your business. Ensuring that they understand why mitigating risk is an essential part of your business is crucial to your business’ success. Knowledge is power. Empower your employees to cross-train, share knowledge and learning, and consistently support one another in order to build a company that is diversified and covers its bases. As mentioned in the feature article – deter solo missions.

Sales

Your sales success says a lot about the systems, processes and people you have in place. If you effectively manage your risk to deliver the best service and products to the end user, you will see positive results on your bottomline. Risk management may seems tedious at times, but the long-term positive effects it could have on your business could be priceless.

Feature Article: Risk. It’s Not Worth the Gamble. 

Operating a business definitely has it’s rewards and of course it will have it’s challenges as well.

If we can manage business risk more effectively, we can ideally maximize rewards and hopefully minimize challenges.

Every operating business in Alberta is unique, but some observations our team has made is that a few key business risks seem to be evident, with no preventative measures in place to reduce or eliminate the risk.

I will share two scenarios, based on real examples that we have observed.

Lack of documented processes and clear delegation.

A company commits to delivering a specific service to a customer with dates and action steps that are agreed upon after a meeting with the customer.  The main person handling the customer’s request takes a vacation. Two weeks lapse and the customer becomes impatient and follows up to determine if the requested service (which was already paid for) has been performed.  It is discovered that none of the requested tasks were performed.  What went wrong?  There was a lack of documentation to detail what was committed to the customer.  In addition, there was not clear delegation of duties and responsibilities during the absence of the main person handling the customer’s request. The ironic part is that customer’s requested service was very simple to complete. The reality is that it was not communicated or documented properly and things fell through the cracks.  Don’t let this happen in your business.

Solo mission.

This scenario happens more often than you may think.  One key person in an organization is responsible for many things.  No issue, when they are at work, right? One day the company gets a call from the key person’s family and he has a major health challenge, that was unexpected.  There is no back-up plan and the company scrambles to find out what the key person was working on and what commitments they made to customers and employees who reported to them. This company is successful yet failed to create back-up plans to prevent this type of situation from potentially crippling their business. Don’t let this happen to your business.

It is interesting to note that most organizations spend more time coordinating vacation schedules or planning fire drills than they do documenting system processes for seamless and consistent service, regardless of who performs the task.  They also don’t spend enough time planning “what if” scenarios if a key person is suddenly absent from the day-to-day operation.  Back-up plans are critical in any business.

Action steps:

1. Document business processes to avoid unnecessary business risk.

2. Cross train and establish back-up plans for key people in your organization.

Download our Professional Development audio by clicking here now.

Here’s to your business success!

photo credit: ~Matt LightJam {Mattia Merlo} via photopin cc

photo credit: Lisa Brewster via photopin cc

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