Recession. The dreaded 'R' word. A word people were too afraid to even mention for a while, in case it happened.
Well the recession is with us and it's a threat to many businesses. But the last thing I want to do here is add to all the doom and gloom surrounding the economic downturn. There's enough of that around already.
No. I'd rather talk about something positive - risk management.
Risk management is a solution. Businesses need to look at the recession as a risk like any other, a risk that can be managed. Apply the basic principles - assess the risk of the recession to your business and put some control measures in place.
But don't just see recession as an economic threat.
A downturn in the economy tends to have a knock-on effect. Crime goes up. Businesses experience more burglaries, more arson, more fraud. Fewer staff are asked to do more - often things they haven't been trained for. Health and safety suffers. Liability problems arise. Business interruption plans go out-of-date, supply chains weaken...
In other words, the kind of risks that businesses face all of the time get worse.
And all this comes at the worst possible time. A time when businesses see cutting costs as the only way to protect themselves. A time when everyone's attention is focused on business survival - yet things like health and safety, security, fire safety and business continuity are often neglected.
But you can't afford to neglect these risks either. Especially now.
Would your business survive a major fire? Would you recover from the damage to your reputation following a major health and safety incident? Can you depend on your current business continuity measures in this economic climate?
Make the most of risk management. Keep applying it to all parts of your business and you'll be giving yourself a better chance than most of making it through the downturn.