Top 4 Risks for Your Small Business in 2022
Though COVID-19 is yet again sending various parts of the world into lockdowns, most small businesses are managing through pandemic-related risks and difficulties.
However, there are additional risks on the horizon. As we head into 2022, here are the top four risks the risk management experts at Delino are flagging for small business owners:
Many small businesses seeking to rebuild their cash reserves after the crunches of 2020 and 2021 are considering refinancing the high-priced debt that they took on during the pandemic. But one of the largest risks to strong cash flow and liquidity for small businesses is being unaware of how all the terms on a contract can impact cash flow.
To start, it’s always a good idea to revisit payment terms in existing vendor and client contracts to see where it is worth negotiating for more favorable terms. Supplier price increases are a great opportunity to ask for more favorable payment terms and, if customers are resisting price increases, more favorable payment terms can be traded for some increases.
But there are other issues to consider like when to invoice, whether there are service credits to reduce your liability if your supplier’s performance is sub-par, or whether there are setoff rights so that you can reduce the amount you owe by considering what is owed to you.
New employee safety requirements associated with COVID-19, and continued business interruptions owing to the pandemic are keeping liability risks top-of-mind for small business leaders. Small businesses are particularly vulnerable to liability risk. Many don’t have the resources to pay for damages, and typically lack adequate insurance coverage or resources to pay for good legal advice.
While it certainly makes sense to consider things like contract liability, again, the larger risk is to not consider the total liability of your company. Our experts agree that upfront investment in reviewing contracts (e.g., employment contracts, customer contracts, etc.) as well as considering all your liabilities in totality – such as payable sales and payroll taxes, insurance coverage, loans, and mortgages – can save significant money and headaches in the future.
The pandemic accelerated every business’ use of technology but also increased cyber risk exposure. Most businesses are collecting exponentially more data from customers while hackers are becoming more aggressive. According to a recent report, at any given time, over 18 million websites are infected with malware. SonicWall found that ransomware attacks have risen 158% in North America in the last two years.
Many small businesses have under-invested in cybersecurity, including policies, cybersecurity insurance and technology. The good news is that there are a lot of ‘low-hanging fruit’ cybersecurity steps that business leaders can take, they just need a prioritized roadmap.
COVID-19 and the current supply chain disruptions were a sharp lesson in how business interruption can strike very meaningfully. Very few small businesses have business continuity insurance or business continuity plans, as found by a recent Mercer study.
Continuity plans do not need to be complex – they just need to address the impact of unforeseen events, such as a decrease in revenue, cash flow and employees available to work. They should outline all risks and articulate a strategy to mitigate each one. Keep in mind that business interruption insurance coverage is often only triggered if property is damaged.
Running a small business takes guts, patience, and resilience. Delino can help you identify and mitigate the risks your business is exposed to, and we are offering a free trial of our service. Sign up via the form below!