As more restrictions have been placed on five different Scottish locations, I want to reinforce the need for proper and robust risk assessments to your business.

Risk assessments do include health and safety, yes, but we need to be looking at risks such as economic, financial, operational and reputation as well.

In terms of operationally, you need to think about how restrictions or changes will impact the operations of your business and what you must do to mitigate any issues or crisis occurring. This may include having to revise your operations, products or services, as a result.

This will of course impact you financially, so sound financial planning and models should be worked on, for different scenarios.

In terms of reputation, you need to think about things and people which can have an impact on reputation and this should lead back to your stakeholder map. Every time the situation changes, then your risk assessment on reputation, aligned with the stakeholder map, should change in terms of levels of risk and likelihood to occur.

This is not new. This is public relations and this is what your business should be doing as a matter of best practice.

This is why it’s so important to have proper strategic public relations support, specifically at board level. I’m literally just off two client calls discussing how the new restrictions will impact their businesses and what we must do to change and communicate.

It can be easy to get caught up in the ‘poor me’ moment, when you realise the impact on your business, but you need to be thinking about people at this time. How will it affect your stakeholders and their businesses and families?

Communicating effectively takes careful consideration and it’s important to get it right.

Other risks to businesses included security/fraud, compliance and competition. These should be included in business risk assessments, too, working alongside legal, HR and the wider leadership experts.

Do let me know if I can support you as your business manoeuvres the COVID waters and does its best to stay afloat. I consultant per issue, per project or by retainer, depending on your needs.