Mr. Murphy Finds Your Risk Planning Hilarious – MOD015

Bounce back from customer disappointment, racer injury, or even a lawsuit, by using contingency planning to create a risk mitigation strategy.

Show Notes

Welcome to the Merchants of Dirt Podcast Episode #15, hosted by Reckoneer.com founder Kyle M. Bondo. This is your insider’s guide to practical recreational engineering where I teach you the art and science of building, promoting, and directing off-road races. In this episode, I’ll introduce you to risk, risk management, and why you need to create your own risk mitigation strategy BEFORE bad things happen.


In This Episode
  • 0:01

    Risk Management Definitions

  • 0:01

    7-part guide to setting the right registration prices

  • 0:01

    How to bounce back when everything goes wrong

  • 0:01

    And Now You Know

  • 0:01

    Coming Up Next

  • 0:01

    Call to Action


Risk Management Definitions

Risk Management is the process of identifying, analyzing and responding to risk factors throughout the life of your race. Proper risk management implies control of possible future races. The key is that risk management is proactive, not reactive, with the primary purpose of:

  • Identifing possible risks
  • Reducing or allocating risks
  • Proviing a rational basis for better decision making in regards to all risks
  • Aid in planning

Assessing and managing risks is the best defense you have against Mr. Murphy and race day catastrophes. By evaluating your contingency plans for potential problems and developing a process to how you will address them, you will improve your chances of having a successful race. But this is an annual process that:

  • You ensure that high priority risks are aggressively managed
  • All risks are cost-effectively managed throughout the race
  • Manage with the information required to make informed decisions on issues critical to race success

To approach Risk Management, first you problem solve and work through each risk and think about what could possibly happen, and how that result could impact you and your business. Then you consider how you can best deal with that risk by providing it one of the following Risk Responses:

  • Avoidance — Eliminating a specific threat and usually means eliminating the cause
  • Mitigation — Reducing the expected monetary value of a risk event by reducing the probability of occurrence
  • Acceptance — Accepting the consequences of the risk by developing a contingency plan to execute should the risk event occur

7-part guide to setting the right registration prices

The goal of Race Promotion is to deliver races.
So why is it so hard to set a price that actually creates pre-registration money? Setting your registration price is supposed to be easy, right? But even if you’ve been to other races, you don’t know how they make any money. Everywhere you look there’s another race promoter going out of business. When you set your own prices, you’re constantly reminded that you need a certain number of registrations to break-even. And when no one pre-registers, you hesitate in increasing your price, keep offering discounts, and begin to panic. Again. How are you supposed to make any money when you don’t even know if your price is chasing away customers? You’ve seen other race promoters making a living building races. So why are you starting to feel like you should have learned to coach football instead?

Race pricing can feel overwhelming, but you don’t have to let it crush you.
Right now I am offering you my “7-part guide to setting the right registration prices” email course absolutely FREE. All you need to do is register at: reckoneer.com/pricing. This course will help you cut through the noise and complexity of pricing, and teach you how to set prices that matter to your business.

What does this email course include?
This course comes to you in easy-to-digest emails, usually over the next 4-weeks (that’s about two lessons per week). This way you can tackle the lesson right away, or save it for a time you can sit down and absorb the information for use in your own business efforts. Besides being FREE, if this course is not for you — no worries. You can unsubscribe anytime. But if you do decide to push yourself in learning how to set good registration prices, then you are going to understand how to set the right price why value is more important then anything else.

Enroll in my 7-part guide to setting the right registration prices email course absolutely FREE today!


How to bounce back when everything goes wrong

Disappointment is cheap, injuries are expensive. This is why contingency planning is probably the MOST important risk management process there is! It solves potential issues BEFORE they become problems and is how a race promotion company stays in business. The primary role of any race promoter is to first “do no harm”. However, avoiding customer disappointment, racer injury, or even a lawsuit, is not always possible. This is why all race promoters need to create a tool called a risk mitigation strategy. This process is something that you include on your annual planning schedule — usually in January — to help you keep your risk mitigation strategy up-to-date from season to season. There are six (6) steps to your contingency planning process each informing your overall risk mitigation strategy document:

#1 — Injury Mitigation Thinking: The first part of your plan should be directed to war gaming how you will deal with an injury. This focuses on understanding what process will be used to communicate an injury to you and your staff or volunteers, and what they need to do when it is reported.

#2 — Liability Risk Mitigation Thinking: The next part of your plan should be directed towards figuring out how to minimize the financial impact an injury can have on your company. This includes protecting you, your staff, and your company by having liability coverage.

#3 — Cancellation Risk Mitigation Thinking: This part should also push you to create processes for how you check the weather before race day, how you decide if and when you cancel a race, and what you will do with your customer’s money if you have to hold a race on your rain day.

#4 — Venue Security Risk Mitigation Thinking: After the 2013 Boston Marathon bombing, the subject of event security has become a very hot button topic. Should your event require security? If your event requires that level of security and still has an incident, the chances are that you and your company will not be responsible for causing it or failing to prevent it. But ultimately the decision to provide security for your event is up to you.

#5 — Acknowledgment Waiver Risk Mitigation Thinking: Most insurance companies and sanctioning organizations will require your racers to sign an “I know this is dangerous, but I plan on doing it anyway” waiver form. This is your first line of protection in that it shows that your customers were informed of the risks before they step onto your course. Not all waivers are created equal, and you need to make sure your State laws protect you by ensuring the proper statements are present.

#6 — Customer Behavior Mitigation Thinking: The final part of your plan should be concerned with how you plan on dealing with disgruntled or disappointed customers. These are the customers that are not happy no matter WHAT YOU DO! No one likes a customer who is not happy, but even fewer like a customer that is never happy. This customer needs to leave sooner rather than later and your staff needs to know how and when to “bounce” a badly behaving customer or spectator.


And Now You Know

Here is how you put your risk management problem-solving process together:

  • Identify the Risk — Do some brainstorming
  • Analyze the Risk — Determine how best to manage risks
  • Develop a Risk Responses — Assessing possible remedies to manage the risk or possibly, prevent the risk from occurring
  • Develop a Contingency Plan or Preventative Measures for the Risk — Take the ideas you have that will reduce or eliminate risk likelihood, and convert them into a process you can put in place on a moment’s notice

Putting the strategy together does take some time, but is a critical last step in your annual planning. Your Risk Mitigation Strategy only requires you write down all the results you collected from steps #1 thru #6, and any other risks you find relevant to your business. No matter how you format you put it in, it should be short, direct, and include only the information that will be easy to find in a crisis. Once you have real answers to all your contingency plan process questions, the actual risk control you will have over your race will be easy to communicate to park officials, insurance companies, and your staff and volunteers. Communication of this contingency plan is the key to its success. A plan that nobody ever reads or implements does you no service when a major injury or incident occurs. If you plan for how you will deal with these issues BEFORE they transpire, you will be prepared even if you never have to use it. This is the primary way you develop a contingency plan for each risk.

Please note that I am not a lawyer and you should always consult a lawyer when developing your Risk Mitigation Strategy.

And now you know.


Coming Up Next

In our next episode — the last cautionary tale in the series– I introduce you to some race promotion tricks you can use immediately! And when you learn what they are, Mr. Murphy will have a hard time messing with you on Race Day.


Call to Action

Thank you so much for listening to Merchants of Dirt Podcast. If you have questions or comments, please reach out to me @MerchantsofDirt on Twitter.

I have a few things I want you to do right now:

Action #1 — Subscribe to the Merchants of Dirt Podcast
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Action #2 — Give me some feedback
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Thank You for Listening

Now go build better races!

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