5 types of business risk you should understand

Business risk is inherent in the ownership and management of any business. Whether it is a small business or a large corporation, no business is completely free from the various types of business risks that exist. It is important that every business owner is aware of the different types of risks that exist and ultimately uses their knowledge effectively. Mitigate those risks As much as possible. In this article, we will explain the five most common types of business risk.

Operational risk

The risk that a business may face is operational risk. In contrast to risks caused by external factors such as politics or economics, operational risks are the result of disruptions that occur internally. A business may feel operational risk, for example, if it is faced with challenges related to internal procedures, policies or even employees.

Operating risk can affect the day-to-day operations of a business, thus causing significant financial losses over time, if a business fails to effectively mitigate internal barriers. Operational risk is a type of business risk that can affect any business, large or small.

Legal risk

Legal risk, also referred to as compliance risk, is another type of risk that business owners should keep in mind. There can be legal risks for a variety of reasons. In some cases, business owners may be unaware of the laws and regulations that apply to their business. Or, a business owner may be indifferent or show a lack of concern for laws and regulations that they must legally comply with. Why a business owner does not fully comply with established laws and regulations domestically and internationally, legal risks can cause significant harm to the well-being of any business.

There are serious consequences and penalties that a business must endure if they do not comply with all the legal requirements for its particular type of business. Legal risks can ultimately lead to financial and recurring losses for a business. Given that the legal landscape for each business is constantly changing and evolving, it can be difficult to ensure that every requirement is being followed. However, legal risk is not something that should be taken lightly and business owners should try to minimize legal risk as much as possible on a daily basis.

Reputation risk

Another potential business risk that owners may experience is reputation risk. Reputation risks are directly affected by how satisfied a business’s clients and customers are with the products and services they offer. If a business does not effectively meet the needs and wants of its clients and customers, it will inevitably be affected by reputation risks. And if clients and customers continue to be dissatisfied with the products and services they receive from the business, they will eventually stop relying on that business.

There are many possible reasons why a business may be at risk of reputation, including failure to comply with laws and regulations, failure to protect the privacy of clients and customers, and failure to provide consistently good experiences to clients and customers. Ultimately, it’s important to trust the business that clients and customers are working with because building trust goes hand in hand with maintaining a good reputation.

Security risks

Security risk is a type of business risk that can be caused by internal or external factors. For example, if one of your employees decides to give confidential information to a competitor, your business will experience a security risk as a result of an internal factor. Or, an employee may fail to follow a business policy and procedure properly, thus compromising the safety of other employees and potentially even customers that business services.

In addition to internal threats to security, there are a plethora of external factors that can compromise the security of a business. External threats, such as phishing and malware, can compromise not only the security of a business but also those customers who purchase business products and services. In order to reduce security risks as effectively as possible, business owners must train their employees well and have a detailed safety plan.

Competitive risk

Competitive risk is another type of risk that every business owner should keep in mind when conducting their business. Regardless of type, each business exists in a market along with other competitors that offer similar products and services. Given that every competitor in a given market wants to succeed and differentiate themselves from the rest, it can be challenging for every business to succeed in a highly competitive market.

To minimize competitive risk, business owners must differentiate their business from other businesses that offer similar products and services. A strong understanding of the existing competition is important. Also, developing a good understanding of existing customers in a given market is crucial for any business that wants to reduce competitive risk. At the end of the day, there will always be competitive risks. What matters most is how a business owner responds and chooses to consistently reduce risk.


Whatever the internal or external factors, every business is constantly facing different risks and challenges. As a business owner, it is important to know and be aware of the different types of business risks that exist. Operating risk, legal risk, reputation risk, security risk, and competitive risk are many types of business risks that exist. Every business, big or small, needs to address all these risks on a consistent basis to ensure business stability and well-being in the long run.

Now that you understand some more common business risks, check out our article 8 Ways to Reduce Business Risk.

Melissa Leiba is on LinkedIn
Melissa Leiba

Melissa Leba is an educator and freelance content writer based in Los Angeles, California. She has a passion for learning and sharing her knowledge on a variety of topics, including business, education and international relations. In his spare time, he made songs and enjoyed traveling.

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