Early assessment helps ensure risk management policies are custom-tailored for your business

Risk management isn't always inexpensive, but generally speaking, the costs expended in proactively managing risks can far outweigh the potential costs of liability exposures. Still, there are some steps you can take to help control the costs of developing a risk management policy, and they can also help you gain better insight into your business and its operations and exposures too. 
The key to cutting costs is to identify your risks early on so you can begin developing the best policy from square one without prolonged delays that come from long periods of risk analysis and weeks or months of trial and error. Understanding your exposures early means you can devote more time to prioritizing your risks so the policy you ultimately put in place will be more customized to your needs.

So how do you develop an early understanding of your company's risk exposures? Here are a few ideas:

* Talk to your insurance agent or broker. Insurance professionals are experts at identifying risks and assessing exposure levels, and they can be instrumental in the early phases of developing your risk management policy.
* Network within your industry association. People with experience in your field have unique "real world" perspectives that can shed considerable light on potential areas for review.
* Review customer and employee feedback. Both can yield a surprising wealth of information about your business from perspective you may not have considered. Solicit feedback through regular surveys.
* Read trade magazines and websites geared for your industry to learn about the risks others in your field have faced as well as the steps they took to address them and policy changes they made based on their experiences.

Taking these steps does more than cut costs; it also helps you develop a better understanding of the risks your company is facing, and that can help you run your business more efficiently -- and more profitably.

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