If you’re running a small business, you need to deal with several laws, both national and international. These laws govern the way companies have to operate. Business compliance means making sure that you adhere to these laws. It may seem burdensome, but business compliance offers a framework for ensuring that your business can act quickly in case of criminal activities.
For SMEs, the issue of business compliance might seem daunting, but these rules are in place to protect your company, the people who work for your company, and you as the business owner.
Here are five tips for helping SMEs stay compliant.
1.Be Aware of Changing Policies and Laws
SMEs must be aware of the changing policies and laws. It’s not enough that you adhere to all processes and procedures – you must also stay current with the constantly changing policies to remain in compliance. If you fail to comply with the latest changes in laws, you will have to deal with legal problems and pay hefty penalties. Therefore, be sure you know the latest updates and that your business follows the most current laws.
Regulatory developments are some of the most challenging changes SMEs need to keep up with. It is not easy for small and medium enterprises to keep up with all the changes, as these can easily burden the organisation’s resources. SMEs should implement modern and effective strategies for staying updated with the latest laws and procedures. One of the most effective strategies to keep up with regulatory changes is to stay informed. Changes in regulations are dynamic. They constantly evolve, and SMEs must also go with the flow.
Every SME must be proactive in keeping tabs on any upcoming regulatory changes that could affect the business and industry. Once they are aware of a recent change, they should immediately seek a legal counsel with specialised expertise in the concerned legislative area.
2. Keep Data and Contacts up to Date
Aside from being updated on the latest regulations, SMEs must also ensure their contact list is updated. They must have all contact information at hand for relevant individuals. That way, they can immediately address issues as soon as it happens. In this case, they should consider investing in Contact Management System, a software that allows companies to organise their contacts and leverage them according to their business needs.
Many SMEs rely on smartphones and email inboxes to manage their contacts. But as your business grows, this can become challenging, as you may not be able to recognise and manage contacts using your smartphone. As your contacts increase, you’ll find it hard to look for relevant information from your ever-increasing contact list. But remember that managing contact information is one way to ensure your business stays compliant.
The Contact Management System can keep track of all information related to every contact in your list and keep an organised history of past conversations. All information will be archived and available to retrieve later when needed.
3. Bring in HR and Payroll Professionals
SMEs should consider recruiting payroll professionals or HR specialists to help stay compliant. Human Resources has its areas of compliance to which SMEs must adhere, such as the right to payroll processes, work checks, and others.
Employment law is a complex area of business compliance, as it covers broad topics, including discrimination, dismissal, harassment, and employment contracts. SMEs must adhere to employment law obligations and all the related codes of practice. Failure to comply could leave the company exposed to several legal claims from employees, resulting in hefty fines. Employment claims are a matter of public result and could damage the reputation of your business.
The law on employment changes regularly, with new laws made through cases filed in the tribunal system. HR teams are aware of these laws, which helps your company to adapt policies and processes when necessary. HR and payroll professionals know the relevant employment law to ensure they act according to its requirements. They can also provide training and guidance, which is vital to this area of business compliance.
4. Create Clear Internal Policies
When joining a company, the new employee must read company documentations that will most likely include the company’s internal policies. SMEs must have clear internal policies that set out the guidelines for the company’s practical and legal operations. Some businesses will create several documents when creating internal policies, while others will only develop documents strictly relevant to the company.
No matter what industry, every company should have policies and procedures to help them operate more effectively. These policies also help companies remain compliant and minimise the risk of liability. Furthermore, internal policies promote consistency across the organisation for clients and employees.
Clear internal policies are vital to the overall success of businesses. These policies set the guidelines and parameters for how SMEs should operate. Without adequate policies and procedures, there will be no rules. If there are no defined rules, people will create their own, leading to chaos.
5. Provide Continuous Training
One of the best ways to ensure that SMEs stay compliant is to provide continuous compliance training. Compliance training helps SMEs adhere to compliance without missing out on something relevant. It also helps to ensure proper management in the organisation, often bringing about safe and money-saving operations while minimising risk. Furthermore, compliance training also creates a better environment for employees that can help boost morale leading to improved retention.
When undergoing compliance training, your employees will learn what they need to do to adhere to the regulations and guidelines. It can also pinpoint areas of concern where your company might fail to comply. By identifying areas of concern earlier, you can avoid potential legal problems that could arise by not being compliant.
Compliance training can help lower legal costs. If your company follows protocol and has a compliant workforce, you could avoid the hefty costs that come with litigation and other legal fees. That’s because you’re doing everything to be protected from potential lawsuits.