Keeping Your Business Current: Regulatory & Compliance Changes

paper, penAnyone in the business world knows that the rules of the game are always changing. What worked and was normal in the past likely won’t be the same a year from now. If you want to keep your business competitive, you need to stay on top of the legal changes in compliance and regulations. If you fail to keep up, not only will you fall behind the competition, but your business will also incur penalties and potential legal action.

Creating a system and strategy for staying abreast of these changes is the best way to keep your business moving forward. With federal policies like sales tax and technological advancements always on the rise, it pays to be aware. Overhauling your operations might sound intimidating, but it’s just another way to ensure you’re forward-thinking and flexible.

Anticipating Changes

While there is no magic crystal ball that will show you just what’s to come in your business, that doesn’t mean you can’t anticipate changes. No matter your industry or business size, you will face changes in regulation and compliance. How you deal with those changes will reflect your unique business mindset.

When facing a regulatory change, follow these tips:

  • Prepare for upfront costs – There is usually an investment needed in regulatory changes. This can range from new equipment to new training. The more you can prepare for these changes financially, the better equipped you’ll be to handle these challenges.
  • Be active in your industry – Your peers will need to also find a way to react to these changes, and talking openly within your network can help you solve even the most complex problems. Best practices can and should be shared amongst industry leaders.
  • Start early – There is often a feeling that you should push back against change. This is a recipe for disaster. When dealing with governmental initiative, there is no room for arguments. Instead, be an early adopter and stay ahead of the curve. You don’t want to find yourself in the last place.

Be a team player in the new regulation. While you don’t have to be enthusiastic about this change, you should welcome it with grace. The more involved you can be in the industry, the more your business will be seen as an industry leader that’s ready to take on any challenge.

Adapting to Changes

Now that you know how to anticipate changes and be ready when they do come, let’s talk about the best way to implement these updates effectively. First, you’ll need to make peace with the fact that change is rarely easy. It’s normal to struggle, especially at first. You might need to utilize new technology for the first time, or you might have to overhaul daily tasks to make room for something else. It’s okay to take your time smoothing through these changes. However, it’s not okay to ignore the changes altogether.

Follow these steps when adapting to new regulations:

  • Update yourself – You need to update your organization leaders with the latest regulations and it’s deadlines. Do this by enrolling in newsletters from legislators like law firms and regulatory bodies.
  • Training – These new changes will likely be complex and will require training both for leaders and lower employees. Participate in events like web training or seminars to inform yourself about these changes and how they are to be implemented.
  • Speak with internal procedures – Be open with your internal operations managers to discuss the best ways to bring these changes to light.
  • Educate staff – Now that you have a plan, inform all of your staff on the new requirements and help them understand these changes.
  • Documentation – Document all of your compliance changes and keep clear records of all the new work being done. Protect your data and backups with a fully compliant backup solution.

Adapting to new compliance and regulatory changes is just a part of running a business today. It’s best to adopt these updates as early as possible so you can hit the ground running. Changes don’t have to be stressful and complicated if you’re prepared and ready.

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