Small businesses face some challenges that big corporations do not. For example, small businesses and startups do not always have the financial, infrastructure or human resources they think they will need to even conduct a thorough risk assessment, let alone follow through with the entire risk management process.
Big businesses can employ specialists or retain consultants, but that doesn’t always fit into the budget or the endless-to-do-list priorities of smaller business operators. Therefore, another barrier to even beginning the process is the burden of investing time and effort into learning about how to go about it independently.
The good news is that The International Organization for Standardization has developed a publication especially to help Small Businesses establish and maintain a risk management system. Now, you don’t need to wade through tons of big-business-oriented information to find those gems which are relevant to you.
“Designed to be used alongside ISO 31000, this handbook provides in depth guidance
for SMEs looking to improve their risk management practices.”
Although the whole document is geared to explaining the principles and processes in the small business context, there are also an additional 40+ pages of techniques, specific guidance and further references included in the appendices.
To complement the resources in the document, you are also welcome to download the free printable templates available on this site, and to tailor them to your needs as you work through the publication. Among the downloads available here are a Risk Schedule template (for assessing and measuring individual risk exposures) and a Risk Register template (to summarise all your business’ risk management activity).
The ISO 31000 – Risk Management – A practical guide for SMEs is available from the ISO website for a fee, but it may be one of the best investments you ever make.
Dr Kerri O’Donnell