By | Samantha Higgins
Most firms conducting business that requires regulatory compliance see it as a drawback to success. Nonetheless, firms within the regulatory environment should view compliance as a tool for competitive advantage. Statistics report that at least 70 percent of top managers at regulated companies believe that complying with the set regulatory requirements is a crucial challenge for business.
Instead of whining about compliance, smart firms embrace regulations and leverage them to attain success. Consumers trust a company that complies with regulations, and their products and services are believed to be of high quality. Compliance makes your firm stand out among competitors. Use the tips below to keep your business up to code.
Join an Association
If you have not joined any industry association, you may want to look for one within your field and inquire about its membership. An association with dedicated staff can help your business interpret regulations and keep track of any regulatory changes. Apart from official governmental regulatory authorities such as OSHA, you might notice that your business needs to keep up-to-date with other regulations from different bodies, which can be overwhelming.
Most industry associations provide you with an early warning for any regulatory changes affecting your business. You might also find the association an effective resource with different professionals to network and seek advice from.
Outsource your Compliance Needs
If your company has scaled up within the past couple of years, you might need dedicated compliance support to avoid breaking the law and fines. Outsource your company’s compliance functions to a compliance agency or an individual officer and enjoy benefits that comes with outsourcing.
Compliance experts are dedicated to the industry and keep up-to-date with changes within the regulatory landscape. Outsourcing is more affordable than building a compliance department. You only access compliance services when you need them, helping you prevent redundancy in your company. With outsourcing, you avoid losing the business’s knowledge if your full-time compliance officer leaves for another company.
Land Use Regulations
Despite the type of business, industry, or location, whether in a home, mall, or office building, some land uses are considered unlawful. Every city adopts zoning regulations guiding the businesses that should be in certain zones. Even if the firm sits on your land, don’t assume that you can operate any business in that location.
Avoid litigations by consulting a land and zoning officer to determine if you can lawfully operate your business at a particular location. For businesses operating in a home, note that most residential zoning codes prohibit or limit business to a few employees. If you operate your business at home, ensure that you comply with the safe water act; make your water lead-free with these proven tips, including using water filters.
Building and Fire Codes
When applying for a business license, your premises might be subjected to inspection by building code professionals and the fire department. Some of the things that the fire department will look at include if you are operating with products that could be potential chemical or fire hazards.
The fire department will also check whether exits are marked properly and adequate and if you are equipped with fire extinguishers. The fire department and building code officials will assess if the building your business is located meets all fire codes and if it’s compliant with the building code. Note that the local government can make changes to new and existing buildings, for example, erecting an additional stairway or more exit points.
Utilize Software Solutions
Look for a compliance software solution fit for your business and industry. An effective Compliance Management System (CMS) helps you cut liquidity, security, and financial risks common in the market. Apart from keeping your business up-to-date on compliance changes, a CMS integrates various business processes where it acts as the central repository that saves critical business information. This leads to a well-connected business environment and proper sharing of information, which eliminates silos.
Although compliance with the variety of regulations can be overwhelming, it sets you apart from your competitors. You can rip many benefits when your business is up to code, such as consumers trusting your products and services and reduced risk of litigation as well as penalties for noncompliance.