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Risk Management Bulletin

5 Tips for Retail Risk Management

By June 3, 2014No Comments

Retail establishments often operate with some very slim margins, so having a comprehensive and flexible risk management system in place is critical. Here are five steps to help you implement a strong system:

1. Establish a social media policy.
Tapping into social media — and using it correctly — can yield great results for your business by allowing you to communicate directly with your customer base. Protect your brand by establishing a social media policy that helps your employees understand how to consistently communicate with customers, especially when responding to complaints.

2. Consider cloud-based risk management software.

Once relegated to major corporations with deep pockets, today’s cloud-based software options offer flexible user-based pricing that keeps start-up costs lower. And because it’s cloud-based, there’s no need for an in-house IT department.

3. Encourage communication.
Make every effort to break down barriers that can lead to miscommunication, errors and costly duplication of effort. Using a team approach to tackling problems not only helps achieve greater efficiency, but it also helps build strong bonds among employees and management.

4. Document, document, document!
Unfortunately, more and more often, claims wind up being dragged into court. If that happens, you want to be sure you present the strongest case possible. That begins by having good documentation to prove you’ve done your due diligence. Be sure all your policies and procedures are written down, and take copious notes during interactions between your business and the “other” parties.

5. Have a risk triage system in place.
Prioritizing risk management issues is the best way to make sure every concern gets the attention it deserves. When a potential or existing risk is identified, put in on your list in order of importance and review your list frequently to prevent minor incidents from becoming major claims.

Revisit and review your system periodically to make sure it evolves with your business, and to ensure your retail business manages its risks as effectively as possible.