A risk strategy is a plan that outlines how a business will manage and mitigate risks that may negatively impact their operations. It is a proactive approach to identifying potential threats and putting measures in place to minimise their impact. A risk strategy should be tailored to the specific needs of the business and take into account various factors, such as the industry, location, and current economic conditions.

How can businesses develop a risk strategy?

To develop a risk strategy, a business should first conduct a thorough risk assessment. This involves identifying potential risks, assessing their likelihood and impact and developing a plan to mitigate them. Some common risks for businesses include natural disasters, cybercrime, supply chain disruptions and regulatory changes.

Once risks have been identified and assessed, a risk strategy should be developed that includes specific actions the business will take to address each risk. This may involve implementing new policies and procedures, investing in new technology, or purchasing insurance. The risk strategy should also include a plan for monitoring and reviewing risks regularly to ensure that the business remains prepared to handle any unexpected challenges that may arise.

Signs that you need a better risk strategy

Employers need to be aware of potential signs that may indicate a revised risk strategy is needed. Common red flags include:

  • Disorganised reporting practices
  • Rare risk assessments
  • Cost-cutting across different areas
  • Negative customer service reviews
  • Outdated training
  • Teams not meeting productively

Disorganised reporting practices

A lack of consistent and effective compliance procedures and reporting protocols can expose businesses to increased risks. Failure to enforce and communicate policies clearly can have great consequences. Employees may be unintentionally compromising the safety and security of company data, breaching laws and safety policies and acting against the interest of the company.

To better manage and mitigate these risks, businesses should establish a robust compliance framework that includes regular policy reviews, updates and enforcement. Enforcement plays an important role in deterring employees from intentionally committing a crime so companies should act and develop disciplinary action procedures. Employees should also receive ongoing training and education on the latest best practices and guidelines to ensure a safe and compliant working environment.

In addition, companies should prioritise transparent reporting systems that enable employees to report suspected or actual misconduct incidents quickly and effectively. Building a culture of accountability and trust encourages employees to take responsibility for their actions and fosters a proactive approach to risk management.

Rare risk assessments

Risk assessments are essential to understanding the potential threats a business might face and developing an effective risk strategy. Unfortunately, many organisations only conduct ad-hoc risk assessments, limiting their ability to identify and respond to emerging threats comprehensively. Not conducting regular risk assessments leaves a company open and vulnerable and it is something that could conceal misconduct and issues. 

To improve operations and outlook, businesses should conduct regular risk assessments, including penetration testing and vulnerability scanning, to identify weaknesses in their digital infrastructure. In doing so, they can address potential threats, update security measures and allocate resources more effectively.

Risk assessments should also cover different aspects of the business, such as its employees, third-party vendors, and supply chain. By considering the wider network, businesses can develop a more holistic and robust security strategy.

Cost-cutting across different areas

While cost-cutting might be necessary for the overall health of a business, it is essential not to cut corners when it comes to risk management. Undervaluing the importance of proper security measures can lead to disastrous consequences, both financially and in terms of the company’s reputation. If a business is investing a very small amount in risk management, it could be a sign that things need to change. 

Investing appropriately in risk management is critical to ensure the protection of employees, valuable data and the continuity of business operations. This includes allocating sufficient budgets for employee training, up-to-date security software, safer equipment, employee well-being and hiring skilled professionals capable of mitigating risks.

Businesses should also recognise that investing in risk management can be financially beneficial in the long term even though it might seem like an expensive activity in the short term. The cost of dealing with a risk after it has occurred can be way worse in terms of cost, operational disruptions and business feasibility.

risk strategy

Negative customer service reviews

Ignoring or downplaying customer concerns about the customer service they received can carry many consequences for a business. It is necessary to address the issues raised promptly and comprehensively. Doing so not only helps to resolve specific problems but also promotes trust and confidence among customers. If a business fails to address the complaints lodged by customers then it risks losing customer loyalty and future revenue. A survey showed that 94% of customers tend to avoid businesses if they see negative reviews about them.

To improve customer assistance, businesses should invest in better training for their customer service teams, ensuring that they understand the importance of customer satisfaction and how to respond to as many problems as possible. It should be emphasised that while employees will not be able to resolve every single issue, they should still look for every possible way they can be helpful. Additionally, clear communication channels should be established so that customers can report any concerns quickly and easily. Surveys with incentives can attract more respondents and highlight whether the new strategies are effective.

It is important to remember that a successful risk strategy must consider not only internal systems and processes but also how the company interacts with customers and other external stakeholders.

Outdated training

The types of risks a business may face vary every year so companies must ensure their employees receive up-to-date training to stay informed and prepared. Outdated training can leave employees unaware of the latest threats, increasing the threat of a risk materialising. Companies did not see or recognise cybersecurity and data privacy risks many years ago. However, today they are always ranked in the top five most important issues businesses must address.

A major element of a risk strategy is to improve cybersecurity awareness. This means businesses should implement ongoing training programs that cover the latest threats and attack methods, as well as the various techniques for identifying and neutralising risks. These programs should be adaptive and complement the company’s existing security measures and policies. Training is very often mentioned as a strategy, a solution to fix many problems. This is because employees always need to develop and grow and businesses have to facilitate this.

Teams not meeting productively

The absence of regular and productive team meetings can exacerbate weaknesses in a company’s cybersecurity posture. Without consistent communication and collaboration, there may be delays in addressing potential risks or inefficiencies in managing existing security measures. If employees meet and keep talking about problems without suggesting a solution, this can cause issues and indirectly lead to higher costs for the company. Long meetings that last an hour or more are also contributing to unproductive conversations. If your managers schedule long meetings with low frequency this could be a sign that actions have to be taken.

To counteract this, businesses should schedule regular team meetings to discuss issues, providing a forum for employees to share concerns, discuss best practices and collaborate on risk management strategies. These meetings should be inclusive and open, fostering a supportive environment where employees feel comfortable discussing potential weaknesses in the organisation’s risk strategy. In most cases, they should be less than an hour as staff may struggle to stay focused for a long amount of time and their performance and concentration will stay higher in shorter meetings.

Moreover, the incorporation of cross-functional teams can help to bring perspectives from various areas within the business, promoting a more comprehensive understanding of the importance of an effective risk strategy and its wider impact on the organisation. This is because it will allow for the creation of a risk strategy that has taken into account the many needs of the business.


Improving the risk strategy of a business requires identifying and addressing weaknesses that might otherwise go unnoticed. Employers should always look for indications that highlight that the business is not performing as efficiently and successfully as it could. After recognising the red flags, companies should take action and implement solutions that will increase risk control and awareness. This is crucial for an organisation’s growth and for maximising opportunities taken.

At Polonious, we want to ensure that our customers can focus on their core tasks while also managing the risks in their business. We simplify the process by moving risk assessments online and calculating risk ratings for our clients. We also offer automated follow-up cases with their own workflow that are managed through a central hierarchy. That way, risks can be cross-referenced along with their treatments. Our system shows the description of the risk, who is responsible, when it was allocated and when the next review is so confusion can be avoided while accountability is encouraged.

Do you want a system that is easy to navigate and can be accessed whenever and wherever you want? Request a demo and learn how we can help you improve your own risk management and develop a better risk strategy.