Risk is a part of doing business. It’s in contracts that govern relationships and money flow. These risks cover employment, buying, money, selling, and people. Managing risk doesn’t mean getting rid of it all. Sometimes, risk can help businesses. Good risk management can make things work better and improve how things run. How you deal with risk can decide if a business succeeds or struggles. Let’s understand  What is risk management better.

What is Risk Management?

Risk management is about spotting, evaluating, and controlling threats. It looks out for things that could affect a company’s money, earnings, and operations. These threats can come from different places, such as:

  • Money problems
  • Legal troubles
  • Technology glitches
  • Management mistakes 
  • Accidents or natural disasters. 

A good risk management plan helps a company think about all the different risks it could face. It also looks at how these risks are connected and how they might impact the company’s big goals.

So, What is risk management in simple words? It means keeping an eye on and dealing with the financial risks that come with investing. It’s like when an investor or fund manager looks at how much they might lose in an investment. It is all about making the right choices to reach the goals while staying within the risk limits.

Types of risk management

In business, there are four types of risk management. Each is suitable for different situations. These methods help decide which one to use, but it’s important to consider existing processes.

  • Risk Avoidance– This means steering clear of risky situations or not getting involved in them. It includes:
  • Rejecting Proposals- If a deal seems too risky, don’t accept it.
  • Renegotiating- When risks increase during a contract, try to change the terms to lower the risk.
  • Non-Renewal- If a contract becomes too risky over time, don’t renew it.
  • Cancellation- In unexpected situations, cancel a contract if it becomes too risky.

Risk Reduction: Reduce risk during the early stages of a contract. This is one of the clever types of risk management that include:

  • Negotiating- Adjust contract terms if needed to minimize risk.
  • Standardizing- Create a set of standardized terms and clauses to ensure consistency and reduce risk.

Risk Transfer: You can move contract-related risks to other companies by outsourcing parts of your operation to them. But be sure to check if they can handle the risks.

Risk Retention: Remember, every contract has some risk. So, include this in your risk management plans and regularly review your risk tolerance.

By incorporating these risk management methods into daily practices, businesses can show their commitment to safety. These types of risk management build trust with customers and suppliers and also lead to repeat business and loyalty.

Why is it important?

Now that you have understood  What is risk management, you still may not have a clear idea of its importance. Let’s clear your vision:

Managing risk is about being ready for unexpected challenges in a company. A good risk management process should connect with the company’s strategy. Leaders decide how much risk the company is okay with taking, called “risk appetite.” Some risks fit within this, while others need actions like reducing, sharing, transferring, or avoiding. Companies are rethinking their risk plans, looking at exposure and processes, and involving the right people. Some are changing from reacting to risks to being proactive. They focus on sustainability, resilience, agility, and use technology for better risk management. Let’s learn about different risk exposures to understand the importance of risk management:

Financial vs. Non-Financial

In both financial and nonfinancial industries, risk management plays an integral role in protecting businesses. Especially in finance, managing risk is a formal function. For heavily regulated companies, risks are often quantifiable and rooted in numbers. In contrast, other industries deal with more qualitative risks. Therefore, they use a deliberate and consistent approach to risk management.

Traditional vs. Enterprise

Traditional risk management doesn’t view risk as a core element of enterprise strategy. Enterprise Risk Management (ERM) views risk as a way to drive strategic growth, not just a business cost. It usually reacts to risks in isolation. In this case, each business leader manages their own risks separately. 

Transformational Chief Risk Officers (CROs) in ERM (enterprise risk management) focus on brand reputation by understanding risk’s widespread impact. They see ERM as the right amount of risk for growth. The enterprise risk management process adopts a comprehensive, collaborative, and holistic perspective. ERM teams collaborate closely with business units to collectively assess risks. Next, they present this information to the executive leadership and board as a core part of business strategy.

Traditional risk management is often risk-averse. This may not align with growth-focused companies. In the enterprise sector, businesses that want to grow, innovate, or launch new products. This naturally embraces some level of risk. So, a low-risk appetite assessment might not truly reflect their actual risk exposure.

In short, risk management, especially in the form of enterprise risk management, isn’t just about avoiding risks; it’s about strategically navigating them for long-term growth and success. It’s an important aspect integrated into modern businesses.

Risk Management Process

Risk management offers useful resources for organizations to handle risks effectively. ISO 31000 is a standard that outlines a risk management process. These are the key steps:

  1. Identify risks in your organization.
  2. Analyze how likely and impactful each risk is.
  3. Evaluate and prioritize risks based on business goals.
  4. Take action to address the identified risks.
  5. Continuously monitor and adjust risk controls as needed.

These steps may seem straightforward, but they need a solid understanding of your organization. To achieve this, ISO 31000 suggests defining the scope of risk management, understanding the business context, and establishing risk criteria. The goals are:

  1. To learn how each risk relates to the maximum acceptable risk 
  2. To determine actions to protect and enhance organizational value.

When identifying risks, remember that a risk only matters if it affects your business. For negative risk scenarios, NIST provides criteria:

  1. Valuable assets or resources at risk.
  2. Threatening actions from a source against these assets.
  3. Existing vulnerabilities that enable the threat source to act.
  4. Harmful impact resulting from the threat source exploiting that vulnerability.

Categorizing risks can help manage them effectively. COSO recommends four risk categories:

  1. Strategic risk (e.g., reputation, customer relations, technical innovations).
  2. Financial and reporting risk (e.g., market, tax, credit).
  3. Compliance and governance risk (e.g., ethics, regulatory, international trade, privacy).
  4. Operational risk (e.g., IT security, supply chain, labor issues, natural disasters).

To track risks throughout the risk management process, organizations should maintain a risk register. Combining top-down and bottom-up approaches helps identify risk scenarios effectively. In the top-down approach, leadership identifies mission-critical processes. Next, it considers potential impediments with stakeholders. The bottom-up perspective starts with threat sources such as earthquakes, economic downturns, or cyberattacks. Next, they assess their impact on critical assets.


In simple terms, risk management is like looking out for potential problems in business. It involves understanding and dealing with things that could harm a company’s money, earnings, and operations. To manage these problems, businesses can use different types of risk management. They can either avoid, reduce, share, or keep these problems as part of their plan. In today’s ever-changing business world, risk management is more important than ever. Understanding what risk management is helps companies adapt to changes. It also helps protect their staff and reach their goals. Having a good risk management process is like having a map to navigate through challenges and reach success.