8 Golden Success Secrets for Small Businesses

Running a small business is as challenging as trekking to Mt. Everest without having oxygen cylinder, prior practice, and a valid map guide. The challenges are only because there are no authentic rules that can lead a small business towards success while other major obstacles comprise: low budget, limited manpower, and lack of efficient resources. But as a small business owner, you must delve into the passcodes that help you decode the secret patterns of operating a successful startup or small business. It not only helps you to sustain your current growth but also excel your business planning’s to achieve higher objectives. There are a few suggestions based on real-world experiences, which can assist you to hit the bull’s eye.

1- Utilize the power of social media:

Nowadays, the entire world revolves around social media and if you are able to use its full potential, it can immediately help you increase your sales and brand reputation with very minimum resource and effort. Social networking sites like Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn, help you connect with a large scale of users, where you can directly interact with them, thereby allowing you to convert them into your potential clients. It forms a two-way channel that not only allows you to put your message across but also, listen to what your targeted audience want, which eventually goes a long way in improving and growing your business.

2- Research and analyze your competition:

A business turns to be successful only if it runs on some finely grinned facts and figures. And competition analysis is one of the most important elements of the process. Competition analysis tells you the strength you will require to establish your brand in the market as well as it helps to prepare your business planning adequately so that you could avoid the chances of business failure. An additional benefit of competition research is it allows for designing and developing more feasible and user-oriented products that eventually help you attain a competitive edge over the current market.

3- Work as per your plan but be flexible too:

Efficient planning is a roadmap that drives your business to the top in the long run with predefined routes. It is always advised to stick with our planning even if we face a few hurdles while running our business given that the strategies are designed after in-depth analysis. And day-to-day challenges should not incline you to alter with whatever you planned. The winners always back their business plannings regardless of the stiff challenges, but on the other side, a successful business requires the owner to be flexible enough to embrace new changes. Adapting the new ideas and concepts not only makes a business owner take smart decisions but also, keeps their core planning intact and fresh.

4- Use informative materials to build trust and loyalty:

The Internet is the best medium to reach out to the huge audience with less effort, but you should keep the fact in mind that there is already a heavy flow of advertisements and endorsements all over the web. So, what can be an efficient way to create our presence with a significant impact?

There are definitely some better ways to do it like using informative online materials such as well-written blogs, well-designed infographics, animated videos demonstrating some set of skills, and presentation sheets, etc. Following such practices will attract a huge mass to our platform to learn and engage with us, which gives a sense of trust and ultimately convert them into our long-term clients.

5- Hire your weaknesses:

A small business consists of a team of limited dedicated professionals, having different skill sets of all the corners to tackle most of the business requirements. Small businesses, sometimes, compromise in some crucial areas since they can’t hire specific individuals due to the lack of budget. To get your business positioned to the top, please don’t bear with your inefficient area. Rush into hiring experienced professional(s) so that all parts of your business fire with the same intensity.

6- Be ready for mergers and acquisitions:

Even after working with your full potential, you may not generate enough force to compete with the leading competitors. Other small businesses with the same concept may face the same situations. Just find them and join in the talks to check the possibilities of the merger to form a combined force, which can provide the required pace and power to achieve the common business goals. Mergers have a long, rich history of producing successful businesses, so don’t shy away with it. Similarly, business acquisitions are a noble idea to inject more strength to our business if budget allows us to do so.

7- Keep the quality service always on:

Quality service is the most important source that keeps your client for a longer period of time and it spreads huge positive feedbacks in the mass, driving in a large number of new clients. There have been more than just a few businesses reaching to the top just on the base of excellent service and even without spending a bomb on advertisements and business promotions. While there are other businesses which have failed miserably because of giving no importance to the quality of the services they provided. All in all, having the sound quality of the products/services is the key to succeeding in today’s cut throat competition.

8- Don’t give up:

Running a successful business is not a child’s play since it requires a lot of guts, courage, and risk-taking capabilities. It, sometimes, shakes your ambitions when going through some rough patches, and you need to have the burning desires within you to keep it alive. Keeping patience is also an important character that the small business owner must have, as the formation of a business and climb the ladder of success, demands to wait for long period of time. So, as a business owner, you need to instill never give up attitude to see your dreams come true!!

Summing it up, though the above-mentioned points are not entirely foolproof but yes, following these points will definitely help you to become a smart small business owner who can defy all the challenges and get on the top of the competition. Of Course, the chances of success or failure of your business completely depends on your planning and execution.

7 Tips to Make Your Rental Experience the Best It Can Be

7 Tips to Make Your Rental Experience the Best It Can Be

The world of rental is a large and unfamiliar territory for most. What follows are some basic tips for navigating the world of rental with more ease than before.

1. Identification.

In the rental industry, there must exist a trust between the customer and the renter. This trust begins with the presentation of some form of valid identification, the first step in getting to know someone; learning their name. In my years of experience, I have excepted everything as identification from John Smith’s driver’s license he got at the age of 16 forty years ago to the passport Jose acquired 1 month ago before immigrating to the United States. Present this information readily and openly, as any shadiness will immediately raise red flags to whoever is working the counter. This first step is simple, yet important.

2. Display trustworthiness/friendliness.

From the time you step in the front door to the moment the last payment is being made, your appearance, actions, and speech is being judged for trustworthiness. Enter the establishment respectfully. Wear clothing that suggests you take care of yourself and your belongings. This will immediately put some ease to the renter’s mind as to what kind of care you will take with their rental item. In any rental situation, if your tone of voice, attire, or body language suggests a future threat or, as the industry writes off, “bad debt”, the renter has the option to refuse service to you.

3. Expect a deposit.

One of the most frequent issues I have run into in my years of providing rental service to my community is the one of deposits. In any rental situation, especially event, auto, and equipment rentals, there WILL be a deposit. The amount of that deposit varies greatly depending on how you have presented yourself to the renter up to the time of payment. Make sure one of the first things you do, especially if you call to get a quote over the phone, is ask what the amount of the deposit is and what form it can come in. If you plan to pay with a credit card, this deposit may be significantly lower (at my rental business, we do not even collect a deposit with a credit card). Renters can authorize credit cards for a significant amount of money. That means that they get paid regardless of your actions, and the rest is left for you to settle with the card company. If you are using cash, expect a large deposit. This is the riskiest form of payment for a rental company to collect. If anything happens and damage is wrought on the rental item, they have nothing to collect, with the best course of action often ending with a lean being put on your home. If you are using a debit card, expect it to be seen as cash, although in some establishments they run it similar to credit cards. Finally, checks can be collected 1 of 2 ways: upfront, with a signature and nothing else, i.e. a blank check, or upfront, filled out for the same amount as a cash deposit. Understanding the deposit is always important, and being prepared goes a long way in the eyes of the renter.

4. Be knowledgeable on what you are renting.

This section is pretty straightforward. If you don’t know how to drive a car, you probably shouldn’t rent one. However, if your intent is to rent the car in order to learn to drive a car, then be prepared to drive with extreme caution. Don’t rent a car without experience and expect to drive Atlanta rush-hour traffic. The same goes for equipment rental. If you have a behemoth bush in your backyard that needs to be taken up, don’t go rent the cheap tractor and expect to be able to yank up the world with it. In both of these scenarios you will incur damages and you will be expected to take responsibility for it, which segues us perfectly into my next rental tip!

5. Be responsible and accept responsibility.

As I mentioned before, there is an unspoken trust between a renter and a customer. The absolute worst thing you can do when renting something is debate who is responsible for what. Understand your responsibilities before leaving, and then be careful to care for those responsibilities. Whether it is filling a car with a tank of gas, or replacing a tire punctured during the behemoth bush burial, be prepared to take responsibility for what has been entrusted to you, whether what has happened is directly your fault or not.

6. Ask Questions.

The best way to take responsibility for a rental is to ask questions, and fully understand what is expected of you. When a customer walks into my store the first thing I ask is, “what are you trying to accomplish?” This allows me to diagnose exactly what he needs to be renting, as opposed to what he/she may think they need. For example, a gentleman comes into a store and requests a skid steer to rent. A sales associate asks no questions and rents out the equipment. When the gentleman returns he is very frustrated with the equipment. “It was jerky and bouncy and wouldn’t level dirt to save my life!” The manager and associate then both explain to the gentleman that what he really needed was a tractor with a box-blade. If the gentleman had asked, this could have all been avoided. Another great example is a lady rents a car. After completing the rental process and driving many miles, the woman returns the car. The next day she sees a charge to her credit card for almost $100. Outraged she calls the company to demand an explanation, only to find out this was the company’s standard charge to refill a vehicle with fuel. This situation could have been avoided by simply asking, “What is expected of me before returning this rental item?” Never be afraid to ask questions in rental. It is not only expected, but encouraged. Understanding what is expected on both sides saves a lot of confusion down the road. It also leaves both sides feeling positive about the experience with the other person.

7. Communicate.

This last point is by far the most important. Beyond just asking questions, communication entails staying in touch, asking questions, as well as answering them in full. A lack of communication can ruin any relationship, especially one that is totally centered around money, such as the relationship of a renter and customer. Make sure you are clear in what you say to the renter, so they fully understand your intentions and meaning. When you are told something by the renter, ask their statement back to them to confirm what is expected of you. On longer term rentals, be sure to check in frequently, and if ANYTHING changes during a rental, be sure to clearly communicate that with the renter. Keeping a rental item past its due date is not OK, and will immediately land you on a list with other untrustworthy individuals.

If you can implement of few of these ideas next time you are renting something it will help you significantly, and hopefully get you hope feeling great about your rental experience.

7 Secrets To Powerful Article Marketing Results

7 Secrets To Powerful Article Marketing Results

If you’re doing everything right, you get results. It’s one of those ‘if you build it, they will come’ moments that catches everyone’s attention, draws them in, captivates their interest, and then sends them out to do what you told them to do. Your call to action makes the article function, but all the other things, make the call to action work.

1) Focus on One Thing

You really can’t put every bit of information you have in the same article. Don’t try. Focus on just one thing. And get that thing right.

2) Less is More

White space really does matter. Without it, you just have a jumble of letters on a page. With it, you have a framework celebrating your topic and focusing on your call to action. No, really. White space. It works.

3) Great Copy

Functional copy is more than just the facts. It’s details. It’s fun to read. Appearance matters, as with white space above, there are just some paragraph styles that look better than others, in any given article… Find what works best. Layout and copy should function as one unit.

4) Direct Traffic

Bold, italics, underline, bullet, numbers, and quotes have different purposes. You reader only has a bit of time, a snippet, really. You’ll want to use that time well and not waste it.

  • The title draws them to your work or sends them away, make sure it relates to what you write and the action you want them to take.
  • Sub-titles reveal the actual content of your story and reveal the heart of your content, use them well.
  • Other formatting coding has purpose, and you’ll want to use them appropriately. Don’t over use them.

5) Write for Readers

“Hey, look at me!” Might be a cute way to get attention, but it probably is not the way you want your readers to think about you. When you put the readers first, and offer what they need and want, they appreciate what you provide. They see you as helpful, encouraging, motivating, and as their provider of solutions. You want to provide solutions. That’s your key job when writing for readers… Offer solutions.

6) Maximize Landing Pages

When they click on your links, they are looking for something specific, if they don’t find it, they click away. Be sure they find what they’re looking for when they click on the link.

7) Call to Action

Tell your reader more of what they want to hear. By putting a specific call to action in your resource box, you give them the next step.

7 Hot Topics For Amazon Affiliate Markets

7 Hot Topics For Amazon Affiliate Markets

When you’re looking for an affiliate, somewhere to post your Amazon Links and AdSense, the advice you’ll get from any given sector might be different, but… We’ve found 7 specific hot topics that rock our world financially. And you can build your business from anywhere. You just need a computer, a website, and a way to send email, do social media, and write. Yeah… Writing is a key component of most any affiliate market, but you can do this.

1 – Camping and Survival Gear

No matter who is sitting in the oval office, campers, hunters, and survivalists are always looking for great ways to survive the coming apocalypse. Yeah, it will arrive eventually, whether it’s by way of natural disaster or some man-made BOOM. The truth is, we all need to know how to survive without technology.

Even if it’s nothing more than a book to read when the computer’s down.

2 – Golf Gear and Sports Equipment

You’d think since every man in the white house is addicted to his par count, golf gear would have outsold its lifespan. Nope. It’s still one of the hottest topics on the internet. And that site about golf shoes? Yeah, it is my highest hitter. Specialize in a given topic and you’ll have this one at the bank!

3 – House Flipping and Remodel Tips or Equipment

You might go to Lowes, or Home Depot for supplies, but that equipment purchase online from Amazon.com with directions from a great website? You bet your Uncle John’s hammer they’ll take your advice over the fix it biscuit they find at the local hardware store, especially if you include pictures and details about why you’d recommend the Black & Decker over Stanley.

4 – Mommy Tips and Child Care

Toys. Kids clothing. Furniture. Accessories. Child Care ideas. Helpful tips for raising children, and anything ‘mommy’ related will kick off a big stir online, and there are so many relevant forums to market your site from. IDEAS are everywhere. You don’t have to write about everything that happens in your house, there are plenty of inspiring stories to share.

5 – How to ANYTHING

If you know how to… write about it. Find affiliate products and links. Share them on your site. And talk about it to your friends.

6 – Dogs and Pets

It’s worth it to pay for dog grooming articles, to post on my Pet Affiliate Site, because people spend thousands of dollars each year on their pets.

7 – Books & Videos

Of course… Whatever suits your fancy, find a topic and build a site where you can share your link.

The key to marketing your affiliate links and AdSense links online is having a highly targeted, well designed website with well written articles relevant to your topic.

9 Excellent Reasons WHY You Should Invest in a Fabric Inspection Machine! (Check MASTER)

9 Excellent Reasons WHY You Should Invest in a Fabric Inspection Machine! (Check MASTER)

The best way to inspect the Fabric is to check it on a good quality Inspection Machine. These machines are designed so that fabric in any form: Loose Fabric, Fabric Roll, Plaited Fabric can be inspected and the Output can be taken in Perfectly ALIGNED ROLLS or in other forms (Plaited, loose etc.) Further any type of Textiles can be Inspected: Woven, Knitted, Non-woven.

Defects can be easily spotted on the Textile analyzing machines, as the inspector has a very good view of the stuff. These machines are power driven and helps in analyzing the Textile many times more than the fabric inspected on a conventional inspection tables. The defects are located, marked and recorded on an inspection form These machines also measures the length of the Textile simultaneously during checking. To grow to the next level, it is very important that you should invest in a Fabric Inspection machine, as per your requirement.

Your investment in a Fabric Inspection machine will be one of the most profitable and wisest one. Will you like to know How? Read on…

  • To have Complete Control over your Most Valuable Resource:-

Fabric constitutes more than 70% of the cost of the Garment. So To have complete control over this valuable resource, its pertinent that it is thoroughly checked before we proceed to convert it in to a garment. For this, a Fabric Inspection machine is a MUST.

  • To do your Inspection Job Much Faster:-

As we have to inspect the Fabric, before it goes to the next stage, the fastest way to do is through a Fabric Inspection Machine. The capacity of the Fabric Inspection Machine to check the Fabrics, in comparison to the Fabric Inspection Table, is Many Times More.

  • To Do 100% checking of your Most Valuable Resource:-

In order to avoid finding faults later, mostly 100% inspection is done. And to conduct 100% inspection in the shortest possible time, a Fabric Inspection machine is most suitable.

  • To Save LOT of Time:-

As a Fabric Checking Machine is capable of conducting Inspection very fast, resulting in saving lot of time. And time is the most valuable and critical resource of a Garment Exporter.

  • To Reduce undue dependence on Manual Labour:-

With a Textile Analyzing Machine only 1-2 people are required to do inspection of the fabric. And these two people can perform so much of job, that cannot be performed by even 8 people in a day.

  • To check all Weaving Defects in the Fabric with ease:-

With the Bottom Light, a Textile Inspection machine can detect all types of weaving defects with ease.

  • To check all printing and processing defects with ease and convenience:-

The Top light in a Fabric Inspection machine can easily detect all types of dyeing, printing and Processing defects.

  • To reduce Fatigue of the Operator in a significant way:-

As the operator has to only focus on checking the Fabric and all the other job is performed by the machine, hence an operator can inspect lot of fabric without much fatigue. Fabric analyzing machine has dual advantage. A single operator can check enormous quantity of fabric without much of fatigue.

  • To add to your Profits:-

With a good Fabric Inspection machine 100% of the Fabric inspection is possible for all type of Weaving, printing and dyeing defects in a much shorter time. The machine also helps in reduced, time, labour, fatigue thus resulting in enhancing your profits in a considerable way.

Be wise, install a Fabric Checking Machine in your organization to grow your business and enhance your! They say the pay-back period of a good fabric inspection is less than a year!

Fleet Risk Management FAQ

Managing any business is tough, but when your employees are out on the road? Well, it only gets more complicated. The risk associated with managing a fleet is real and significant as mistakes can not only end up in damage to your property but, more seriously, a threat to life.

Most people know that if you’re operating a fleet of vehicles you need to partake in fleet risk management, but that leaves many questions unanswered. In this guide, we’ll take on the most commonly asked questions regarding fleet risk management. Let’s get started:

Q: How often should my drivers be tested?

A: Bad driving habits don’t take long to form, and even habits which have been taught out can creep back into our driving style if we aren’t careful. It’s a consequence of idle habit, and it means that testing your drivers regularly is utterly essential.

In general, it’s recommended that major training is undertaken on an annual basis, however, quarterly mini-assessments are also recommended in order to correct minor issues with driver style.

Q: My staff drive vehicles which aren’t cars, do I still need fleet risk management?

A: It doesn’t matter what type of vehicle your staff are in control of, whether it’s bicycles, motorbikes, buses, trucks or lorries, fleet risk management is a legal and moral obligation. Most fleet risk management firms will offer support for the wide variety of vehicles which are owned and operated by businesses like yours.

Q: Who in the company is responsible for fleet risk management?

A: Unlike certain legal obligations, there isn’t a set position within a business which is responsible for FLR. However, it is recommended that the role is taken upon by those at the very top of the business as this sets an important precedence for road safety within the business.

Ultimately, should your business not enact a fleet risk management program, your business will be held personally responsible for any accidents that occur. Thus, it’s recommended that FLR is taken seriously at the top of the business and, ideally, an individual is given the responsibility of overseeing it throughout the year.

Q: What kind of data can you get from a telematics device?

A: An optional aspect of FLR which some businesses choose to install are telematics devices. These boxes are effectively cousins of flight ‘black box’ technology and monitor everything that goes on in the car.

These devices can provide information on speeding, dramatic acceleration or braking, cornering performance and other, vital, risk management issues.

DriveTech are part of the AA and one of the UK’s leading providers of fleet risk management for businesses both large and small. With a dedicated team capable of delivering nationally, we’re the smart choice for your business.

Get BINbase Data That Helps You Survive and Thrive During Rough Economic Times

Get BINbase Data That Helps You Survive and Thrive During Rough Economic Times

BINbase data is quickly becoming the nerve center of many risk management assessments among both large and small businesses. Truth be told, every business will face some type of credit card fraud. And in the past, there was not much merchant account holders could do about it. Until now. BINbase software is taking the financial world by storm and giving business owners the tools to lessen the chances of being victimized by credit card fraud.

Merchant account holders end up paying charge back fees when a fraudulent transaction occurs. So having access to reliable BINbase data can cut down on these costs dramatically and here’s why – a credit card’s BIN number can be run through a BINbase checker and verified before the transaction is processed. This puts the power back in the hands of the business owner and out of the hands of the scammers.

With the BINbase database you can learn all kinds of pertinent details about a card before you approve a transaction. You can find out whether or not the shipping address matches the billing address. You can determine whether or not the card has had any issues in the past, such as frequent charge-backs. In other words you can you better protect yourself from fraud with a simple BINbase search.

For those who are unsure of what credit card fraud, simply put, it’s the act of buying items using another person’s credit card information. Merchant account holder’s are highly susceptible to charge-back fraud.

This kind of fraud happens when a legitimate cardholder uses the card to buy goods or services but when the statement arrives, they contact the credit card company and tell the representative they never received the item or service or never authorized the transaction in the first place. A BINbase data system can help you better track these types of charges.

The next type of credit card fraud that affects merchant account holders is online credit card fraud. It’s the most common type of credit card fraud with transactions that people do on a day to day basis. Now this type of fraud can be a little complicated, where hackers steal credit card information without the real card holder knowing what has happened. To help avoid this problem, merchant’s can use the BINbase number system to verify the billing and shipping addresses to ensure they match.

With all this in mind, it’s fairly easy to get access to BINbase data and integrate the program into your system. The BINbase database is not open to the public but you can purchase either a single user license or universal license. The features you will have with your BINbase download will vary based on the license and the provider you choose to use.

Check the reputation of the BINbase data provider and make sure the BINbase list you receive is current and up-to-date. If you’re ready to open up new channels of information and prevent fraud from hurting your company, the BINbase database is a great place to start.

Tips for Project Risk Management Success

Tips for Project Risk Management Success

The benefits of risk management are vast, yet for many projects this is an area still commonly overlooked. By applying simple and consistent risk management techniques we can easily minimise the impact of potential threats as well as leverage potential opportunities. This not only ensures meeting the agreed scope, cost and time but also improves the overall health and efficiency of the project operation, team members and wider stakeholders. This article comes back to the basics on the key rules of managing risk, to ensure your projects are consistently delivered with full success.

Tip #1 – Implement a solid identification process 
Sounds simple right. However there are still many projects today that are managed with absolutely no formal risk identification incorporated. Then there are others that think they are using risk management appropriately but are not applying the correct techniques to identify risks. The identification process will depend on the project, the organisation and the company culture involved. So it is best to consider those areas when determining the most effective approach. This could be as simple as educating the team on what a risk actually is and asking them periodically to review the landscape for new risks. Or for large projects the PMO can be leveraged to ensure risk identification is included in the drumbeat.

Tip #2 – Be positive 
Risk management includes identifying and managing both negative risks and positive ones, yet most projects typically seem to focus only on the negative ones. Ensure to add clear reminders and pointers within your risk management process to consider positive risks. A deliverable being delivered well before its due date can be a good thing, but also can have unforeseen impacts on other areas or leave the project operating inefficiently. On the other hand such a positive risk can actually help to balance out the impact of negative risks in other areas.

Tip #3 – Prioritise for efficiency 
All risks are not equal and there is always limitations around how much resource can be applied to mitigate them. As such it is essential to classify risks in terms of ‘probability’ or how likely the risk is to occur and ‘impact’ level if the risk materialises into an issue. By doing so will allow the project manager and all team members to easily see which risks are priority to focus on. Use of a risk register template is a very effective means of doing so. Most organisations would have a standard template for this or if not there are many that can be found online.

Tip #4 – Apply correct ownership 
It is often common for people within the project organisation to assume that the project manager owns all risks but this is completely false. Risks can affect wide areas of the wider stakeholder group and it is typical that resources with the relevant knowledge or skills in that area are much better placed to become the owner of the risk and to carry out the appropriate mitigation actions.

Tip #5 – Communicate and track to closure 
With correct identification, classification and owner allocation in place we need to be careful as project managers that this is not considered to be the final step in the process of risk management. At this stage it is critical that the risks are correctly communicated. Firstly to the owner assigned to manage the mitigation actions and secondly to the wider stakeholder group affected so they are aware of the risk and potential impact to their respective areas. It is also then essential that the risks are regularly monitored and tracked through to closure regarding progress on mitigation actions and potentially changes to the impact / probability classifications as those actions come to fruition.

Summary 
By following the above tips, project managers will be well placed to be in a position of control in relation to the management of risks for their projects and ultimately this will ensure a sound foundation for the successful delivery of their work.

Project Risk Management and Assurance

Project Risk Management and Assurance

Why do so many organisations embark on high-risk projects without demanding robust project assurance?

Projects fail for many reasons. Recent global studies indicate that inadequate risk management is a common cause.

Successful project managers aim to resolve high levels of exposure before they occur, via systematic risk management processes.

Many projects are inherently exposed to myriad risks and are often significant in scale, complexity and ambition. Delivering large-scale projects can often be adversely impacted by a bias towards being over-optimistic.

Imperfect, insufficient or inadequate data increases exposure that often results in over-estimating benefits and under-estimating costs.

Managing macro and micro-level events related to achieving project deliverables, whilst balancing the needs of many stakeholders, has become increasingly important.

Assessing risks at both portfolio and work-stream levels helps increase confidence that risks are understood.

Projects are often prioritised relevant to their levels of perceived exposure and one has its own risk profile.

Project Risk Management

Project risk management focuses on identifying, analysing and responding to project events.

It should be designed to systematically identify and manage levels of uncertainty and potential threats to delivering project objectives successfully.

Risk management processes should be iterative throughout a project’s life-cycle and embedded in project management planning and activities. Smaller projects often require minor work and periodic monitoring.

Complex projects need formalised processes to analyse, manage and report risks.

Good reporting relies on clear descriptions of all exposure, their impact on the projects, and potential costs for mitigation and inaction.

This helps ensure project personnel understand the potential impact risks may have on projects’ success and have prepared strategies to minimise negative consequences.

Problems occur when there is limited visibility of risks at project and portfolio levels or approaches to risk-management are ad-hoc and inconsistent.

Further problems can arise when risks are identified but recorded at a very high level accompanied by highly subjective risk ratings, rather than being the result of more substantive risk assessment.

When these problems arise, an organisation would benefit from clearer, more formal and wide-spread processes for capturing and monitoring risks.

Project and Portfolio Risk Assessments

Project and portfolio risk assessments should be undertaken to understand their risk profiles and associated threats in achieving business objectives.

Assessments should identify the action plans to address the risks identified and allocate executive responsibility to manage them. Additional risk assessments should be carried out on selected projects (perhaps by prioritising them by value or complexity).

Risk management processes should be on-going and monitored throughout a project’s life-cycle.

Regular risk reports would provide Project Sponsors, Senior Responsible Officers and Steering Groups with better visibility of projects’ risk profiles.

Whether you’re responsible for overseeing or managing a project, robust project assurance will help you address the risks that threaten its success.

Mark Gwilliam FCCA CA is the founder and Director of Business Advisory Services.

From humble beginnings, the firm has grown from strength to strength.

It has matured from a small accounting and tax services practice to one that helps small business owners, entrepreneurs and executives navigate complex challenges; including strategy, risk management and internal audit, managing shared-service centres and operations.