Risk management

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Risk management involves identifying, analyzing, and taking steps to reduce or eliminate the exposures to loss faced by an organization or individual. The practice of risk management utilizes many tools and techniques, including insurance, to manage a wide variety of risks. Every business encounters risks, some of which are predictable and under management's control, and others which are unpredictable and uncontrollable. Risk management is particularly vital for small businesses, since some common types of losses—such as theft, fire, flood, legal liability, injury, or disability—can destroy in a few minutes what may have taken an entrepreneur years to build. Such losses and liabilities can affect day-to-day operations, reduce profits, and cause financial hardship severe enough to cripple or bankrupt a small business. But while many large companies employ a full-time risk manager to identify risks and take the necessary steps to protect the firm against them, small companies rarely have that luxury. Instead, the responsibility for risk management is likely to fall on the small business owner.