Business Risk

Risk is simply uncertainty of outcome whether positive or negative (PRINCE2, 2002, p239). Business Risk is uncertainty around strategy, profits, compliance, environment, health and safety and so on.
Common Business Risks include: Market acceptance, Time-to-market, Incompatible product fit, Difficult-to-sell and Loss of political support. Use this checklist of business risks to identify the risks that you may face in your business.

List of 50 Business Risks

  • Assets - risk to buildings, assets e.g. fire, flooding
  • Bad debt
  • Business Risk
  • Bankruptcy of suppliers or clients
  • Brand fatigue
  • Business strategy - poor or becoming less effective
  • Cashflow
  • Client attrition
  • Competition: aggressive marketing
  • Competition: better intelligence
  • Competition: legal action
  • Compliance with regulations, laws etc
  • Copyright theft - theft of your copyright or action against your business
  • Cost of components - increase or decrease
  • Customer satisfaction low
  • Data security
  • Difficult-to-sell product
  • Environment - natural or business environment
  • Espionage (commercial)
  • Exchange rates e.g. forex
  • Failure of utilities e.g. water, electricity
  • Health and safety
  • Incompatible product fit
  • Lack of office space
  • Lack of skills/expertise
  • Loss of key skills
  • Loss of political support
  • Machinery failure
  • Market acceptance
  • Market changes
  • Market fluctuations
  • Natural disaster
  • New markets - distract or provide opportunity
  • Patent theft/infringement - of your patents or competitor claim against your business
  • Poor management
  • Politicial instability e.g. coup, or political unrest
  • Profit - loss of profit or missing profit projections
  • Recession
  • Regulatory compliance - difficulty in compliance or failure to comply
  • Reputation - negatively impacted
  • Revenue forecast missed
  • Staff sickness/absence
  • Supply chain failure/delays
  • Technology - advances provide opportunity or threaten existing products
  • Technology breakdown e.g. server outage
  • Theft - of product, information from shop floor
  • Time-to-market
  • Trade deals - new deals or loss of existing
  • Under-resourcing
  • Unexpected demand - supply issues
  • War - miltary conflicts

Business Risk - references and further reading

Baker, S and K. (2000). The Complete Idiot's Guide to Project Management, alpha books.

F. O'Connell, (2004). Simply Brilliant: The Competitive Advantage of Common Sense, Prentice Hall

Office of Government Commerce, (2009). Managing Successful Projects with PRINCE2, London: TSO.

envato tuts+. The Main Types of Business Risk [online] Accessible at:

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