While compliance may sound like something only larger organizations have to deal with, small businesses are not immune to falling out of compliance.
Is your business properly prepared?
Compliance has always been challenging for businesses, but it is especially difficult in a rapidly evolving, digital landscape where new threats and opportunities emerge regularly.
Here are a few things to think about as you look out for the best interests of your organization.
1. Train Your Employees
Compliance directives may come from the top of an organization, but the details are executed by those at every level of the company. If you want to ensure your business adheres to the processes and stipulations you have laid out, make sure you train your employees and educate them on how they fit into the picture.
2. Have Periodic Compliance Audits
"You should have periodic compliance audit within your company," retired consultant Adam Richards suggests
"If, for instance, you are running a healthcare business, you might find intentional or unintentional overpayments. An audit should point you toward the anomaly and assist you to remain ZPIC compliant. However, despite all your efforts to maintain your ZPIC compliance, it can elude you at times, and that is where the services of an expert would come in handy."
Regular compliance audits allow you to spot minor issues before they become major problems. As a result, you can avoid falling victim to mistakes that land other businesses in hot water.
3. Think About the Cloud
Today, it is almost impossible to run a successful company without using the cloud (at least to some degree). But if you are going to store data and files in the cloud, you may encounter cloud compliance requirements.
"Cloud compliance is ensuring the components of the cloud meet the standards established by regulatory agencies like the Food and Drug Administration as it relates to software validation, data integrity, and cybersecurity," Arbour Group explains
. "The adoption of cloud services is seen as a high growth area and will become an increasingly important part of an organization's risk management."
If you are unsure how to proceed in this area, it would be wise to hire a compliance consultant or industry expert to get you pointed in the right direction.
4. Record & Document Everything
When a business is caught with a compliance issue, there is not always a problem. Many compliance issues are simply failures to document or record necessary information properly. By enhancing your record-keeping
practices, you can avoid putting your business in a compromising situation.
5. Put Someone in Charge
When everyone is partly in charge of compliance, nobody is in charge of compliance. You need someone who is clearly in the driver's seat. Compliance may not be their only responsibility in the company, but it should be theirs to handle.
Putting someone in charge of compliance prevents issues from getting overlooked and helps maintain a sense of accountability within the organization.
Is Your Business Prepared?
Compliance is not something to joke around about or take lightly. With heavy regulations, expensive lawsuits, and bad press that goes viral on social media, you must dot all of your I's and cross each of your T's every time.
Compliance can often seem like a waste of time but remember: you are investing in the future of your business. Regulations, rules, and stipulations exist for a reason, and your business will do better by following the book.
Anna is a freelance writer, researcher, and business consultant. She is also a columnist for Entrepreneur.com, Forbes.com, and more. Anna specializes in entrepreneurship, technology, and social media trends. Follow her on Twitter and LinkedIn.