Keeping your business legal and up to code is crucial for the owner of any company. If your business is not compliant with different rules and regulations, you won’t be able to legally operate on the market. You can also run into issues with lawsuits that can cost your business thousands in damages. But how do you make sure that your business is legally compliant? Well, the first step is to make sure you know and understand the legal requirements of your company. There are quite a few to take into consideration here. There are both internal and external regulations that businesses must abide by.
Internal Company Regulations
Internal regulations cover requirements within the company such as forming a board to manage and update bylaws. To ensure that internal regulations are abided by, it is important that businesses keep accurate and up to date records of any proceedings in the company. This is the easiest way to ensure that everyone is on the same page. Business owners can use compliance kits containing internal agreements and examples of bylaws to ensure that everyone follows the set rules.
Internal regulations are designed to ensure that everything within the business is kept up to a certain code of ethics. With internal regulations in place, businesses are able to avoid issues with corruption and embezzlement. However, it is important to realize that businesses are held by government regulations as well.
External requirements can vary depending on the state your business is operating in. For this reason, business owners who aim to remain compliant must look up local laws and regulations. Or, hire a legal advisor. They will be able to help guarantee that your business is always compliant, even if regulations change as they often do.
Typically, external regulations can include franchise tax. A franchise tax is charged as a fee for operating, and the amount can vary based on a number of factors including the number of shares a company holds.
Beyond regulations like this, you need to understand the responsibilities you have as a business owner. Particularly, how you can be held accountable when running your workplace. For instance, you do need to protect the health and safety of your workers, as dictated by the Occupational Safety and Health Act.
OSHA ensures that the rights of workers to operate in a safe environment are protected. It covers a broad range of responsibilities for the employer. For instance, employers must provide a work environment free of serious health hazards as recognized under the OSH Act. One example of a serious hazard would be poor air quality. If the air in the environment where employees operate is filled with dangerous pollutants, businesses are legally accountable for any injuries sustained.
OSH law is also in place to ensure that employees are using the right tools to complete certain jobs in the workplace safely. For instance, workers in the industrial industry should be provided with safety gear such as harnesses.
According to OSH law, business owners should also make sure that they are training business employees about potential hazards. They should have a plan in place to prevent potential injuries and ensure that workers are provided with all the information they need to stay safe.
These are just some of the responsibilities an employer has under OSH law. There are many more, and they are all designed to protect the rights of American workers with regards to health and safety.
If you are concerned about an issue with OSH law, it is possible to arrange a consultation. OSHA provides free on-site consultation services to all business owners. As such, you will be able to check that your business is legally compliant and go beyond what is expected of you.
Of course, in some cases ensuring you are legally compliant is about taking the right steps to protect yourself. This is the case with PCI DSS compliance.
PCI DSS is another example of a legal area where your business must remain compliant with specific regulations. It stands for Payment Card Industry Data Security Standard. Essentially, this is about keeping sensitive data safe by merchants, no matter how big the business might be. To do this, there are a number of set rules that you must follow.
Many business owners find checking business compliance in this area is incredibly difficult, but it doesn’t have to be. Some of the requirements include managing security, software usage, and network development. There are 12 requirements in total, but the main aim is to show that you are abiding by PCI DSS standards.
To prove that you are compliant and check that your business is up to code in this area, you can fill in a self-assessment. The questions on this assessment will vary depending on the type of business you are operating. For instance, an online company accepting credit card purchases will be held by different regulations compared with another business that only offers direct forms of payment. There are tools available online that can help you become and remain compliant in this area for your business.
Read more about PCI DSS compliance here.
Industry Specific Compliances
You may find that compliancy laws can differ depending on the industry your business is operating in. An example of this would be businesses operating in regulatory environments. Most businesses these days are using some form of cloud-based software. The benefits of a cloud server are too expansive to explain here, however security levels can differ. Businesses operating in regulatory environments may find that the server they are using does not provide the level of security to ensure their company is legally compliant. This is why businesses must always check specific industry legal requirements and ensure they are keeping their company up to code.
To close, there are a number of business compliance requirements that companies must abide by. Some are tied to certain circumstances such as hiring your first members of staff. Others will be industry specific, and many more are universal for any business. While there are tools online and plenty of resources for information on legal requirements, the best way to stay up to code is to consult a lawyer. You should also be checking for changes regularly. Regulations and legal requirements are constantly altered so you must stay up to date.
How Your Business Can Help The Planet
Climate change is real, so don’t let any politician tell you otherwise. Their denials are most likely motivated by their personal goals, not what’s right for our planet.
Forbes reported from a recent Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change that there is still optimism that the increase in global temperature can be kept to just 1.5°C, but it required a massive commitment to reducing emissions to zero by 2050.
Is Time Running Out?
Milestones needed to be met before that date to show we’re on track including the commitment to the Paris Climate Agreement signed in 2016. 195 UNFCCC signed the agreement and a year later US President Donald Trump declared his intention to withdraw America, one of the world’s highest polluters.
There is a chance America’s withdrawal won’t happen as they have to stay in the agreement until November 2020 just before Trump’s first term ends, and with a new President with more realistic views on climate change they could reverse the withdrawal – fingers crossed.
What’s disappointing is the US is already acting as if it’s no longer part of the Paris Climate Agreement with rises in emissions. Most Americans believe in climate change, so have you see any notable change happening your industry?
Own Your Carbon Footprint & Change It
There are many actions businesses can take to make a difference to their carbon footprint, especially when they are taken collectively, i.e. Businesses acting together. You’ve heard the saying: the whole is greater than the sum of its parts; so in this blog article, we mention some actions you can use in your own business and share your experiences to inspire your peers to join you.
The benefits are not just for our planet; there’s also a great business case for making changes too. Consider the benefits that will arise from changing your policy and use of energy, transport, and travel. Reducing costs and doing right for future generations that’s inspiring and worth sharing.
Start With A Plan
Develop a Climate Change Action Plan – and this will be a work in progress. It will take time, but you need to start somewhere and make a commitment to reaching some milestones that reduce your emissions.
Assign a team to the campaign project and choose a leader. It will surprise you just how much interest there is in doing good and how inclusion in the project will raise the overall productivity and staff satisfaction.
Open Invitation Meetings
Regular meetings with an open invitation so all workers can attend and participate in the discussion. Maybe the ideas presented will see rewards for the business, which may include customers electing to buy from your business due to its climate change policy, over your competition.
Attracting staff may become easier too as they want to get from their work than just their pay packet.
Consider your supply chain and where change can happen. You’ll be surprised where you can get a win-win, with cost savings and positive change in worker well being. Mentioned earlier in this article are areas all businesses can start on. Travel, transport, and energy-use are within the control of the business, so a commitment to use less or a different approach will reduce your carbon footprint and provide other rewards.
Where is your business using energy and where’s it coming from – i.e. the source? Consider moving using solar power and renewable energies.
Would you need your current premises if your staff could work from home and desk share when they’re in the office?
Swapping out your petrol or diesel vehicles for electric cars, and trucks.
Use technology to cut down on your business travel, and it’s carbon footprint. Chatbots, Videochat or conferencing, VOIP, are excellent tools for online meetings with clients, suppliers and for selling your services. Imagine the cost savings for a business without long-haul travel!
Climate change is real and time is running out before we experience catastrophic and devasting outcomes, with the loss of many lives. There is a lot we can control to reduce emissions and at the same time, reap the rewards for standing up and being counted as a climate-conscious enterprise.
Secrets of Good Business Management
Every entrepreneur who wants to achieve a relevant profit margin should keep in mind that the secret to success is good management. Regardless of the size of the company, it is of fundamental importance that the manager be able to integrate all of his or her personality development in order to boost growth.
A good administrator personality should keep in mind that flexibility is required to accept the constant changes that occur in the market, so it is vital to upgrade and acquire the skills needed to implement those changes within your business.
Based on this assumption, we selected a few secrets to an efficient business management that will certainly help you excel in your business. Get to know them:
Do a market study
For a venture to achieve the expected positive results, it is of the utmost importance that some positions are taken into consideration by investors. The market study emerges in this scenario with the objective of evaluating the economic viability and offering the evaluation on the effectiveness or not of the implementation of the company or the product or service in which it is wanted to invest.
In this sense, market research emerges as a great tool, since it enables the business manager to understand the operation of competing companies in terms of price, costs, payment deadlines, and thus, to be able to gather some indicators that will serve as parameters to ensure a differential and get better results.
Gain skills in business management
The competition, as well as the great instability in the market, makes it necessary for the business manager to have the skills and abilities that stand out from other entrepreneurs in the same segment.
In order for a good performance to be achieved, the administrator must acquire characteristics and postures capable of doing so if he excels and obtain the desired success for the company. We have selected some practices that will assist you in this process:
A good manager should always be looking for new ideas, new concepts and personal developments. Always be in search of information, knowledge. So stay current, make specializations, and deepen your knowledge.
In this way, you will not become obsolete and bring the innovations that your company needs to stand out from the competition.
Learn to Lead
Being a leader of a corporation carries responsibilities for which the professional is not always prepared. A true leader is not the one who gives only orders and results, but rather, the one who uses communication to get the support of the collaborators and who knows how to argue and solve conflicts in search of positive results.
Do a self-assessment
The entire process of company growth depends on business management, so make a self-assessment of the effectiveness of your contribution within the company. Also try to set personal goals to achieve the desired goals.
Managers must have broad knowledge in the processes they are managing so that they do not lose efficiency and control their execution.
Value your employees
Just as the manager’s role is fundamental to the firm’s solidity, employees have a primary role in executing actions.
It is common consensus that the valuation of employees enables the success of a business. It is up to managers to assess their potentials and motivate them so that they integrate into the ideal of that growth.
A good alternative is to maintain direct communication by emphasizing the qualities of each one, making them feel recognized for their work. Holding meetings where they can make criticisms and suggestions is also a great way to engage employees.
A company that offers good working conditions will keep the team motivated, enabling the generation of profits expected by the entrepreneur.
Invest in financial management
The actions of the financial sector of a business involve all planning and analysis regarding the company’s equity, investments, inflows and expenses. These actions have the objective of increasing stockholders’ equity and increasing the capital invested.
An efficient business management should pay particular attention to the financial managers of the company, because the lack of training of this professional can cause problems to the development of your enterprise. Among the actions of a good financial manager are:
The preparation of a balance sheet , without which it is possible to evaluate the value of the company’s net worth.
Make analysis and financial planning , bringing the possibility of projections about the future of the business.
Know where to invest the resources, so that the expected return is viable.
With all this, so that a company has effective financial management, it must be based on a plan in which goals, objectives and strategies are the pillars, enabling the reduction of risks and capital losses and reaching the goals expected by the entrepreneur.
Stay tuned to cash flow
Also included in the context of financial management, cash flow deserves special attention, because it is through this tool that we calculate capital inflows and outflows of a company, being essential for day to day business management.
Through the cash flow it is possible to know the values that the company has, as well as the possibility of future projections of the assets (assets, credits, rights) and liabilities (suppliers, loans, fiscal obligations) of the business in a certain period of time.
For this cash flow to be effective, it must be calculated daily. Only in this way is it possible to keep track of the amount of capital existing in the company, as well as its obligations.
Take care of marketing
The Positive business management is only achieved when managers acquire knowledge about the market and customers. The marketing functions within an enterprise as a wild card, identifying customer preferences and requirements and market needs.
Look at some of the marketing functions in a business:
Tracing the profile of potential customers
Assessing consumer needs and preferences is a key. With the strong competition in the business world, it becomes indispensable a tool where managers can capture the desires of customers.
One of the ways to draw this profile is through market research and also the creation of personas, which, in general, is the representation of your ideal client. In this guide , you can follow a step-by-step approach to building people efficiently.
Caring for the company’s reputation
Marketing has the function of advertising and creating actions that promote a good reputation of your company and thus, bring positive impacts to the loyalty of its customers, as well as to capture new ones.
Creation of strategic actions
It is through marketing actions that it is possible to generate new sales, new contracts. In this way, the goals of the company can be achieved. The manager must work to develop actions that take into account the challenges of the market and integrate the sectors responsible for obtaining new clients.
Pay attention to the knowledge management of a business
As important as any other sector of the company, the management of knowledge , that is, of all informational content and business documents, is not always as simple as it seems, one has to fulfill a series of organizational techniques.
The business manager should try to insert this practice within the company in order to save the search time, making the information available more quickly.
Implement a structure where physical and electronic files are arranged so as to facilitate the company’s day-to-day operations. Adopt with your employees a culture of preservation of this material.
There are several advantages to having an organized file, among them the ease in identifying the information, the agility and the convenience for the queries.
Given the competitiveness in the market, the business management that stands out is the one that has some differential to offer customers and consumers.
The art of innovation is achieved with much study, planning, analysis and refinement. Only then will you know if that project you have in mind will be feasible for your company.
Another way to implement the processes of innovation in a business is to surround yourself with people with good ideas and committed to your business.
So, let your collaborators’ creativity come out, listen to what they have to say. Motivate them, challenge them, congratulate them on results, and believe in their potential. This will bring the positive results you both expect.
At this point in the reading you must have realized that there is no magic formula for the success of an enterprise. There is a lot of work and techniques that, if followed, can make you succeed.
Also, do not forget the primordial for any company: to build your way, you will need knowledge. Research, perfect yourself, only the knowledge of the product or service you want to offer will make what your business advances.
Risks do exist, and must be taken into account, but with determination, willingness and common sense to make assertive decisions in business management processes, you will surely achieve the desired success!
Offshoring Versus Outsourcing Which Is Best For Business?
Businesses need to be competitive to make a profit so they’re always seeking solutions that reduce their overheads. Offshoring core activities is one way to reduce overheads, keep control of a business’s intellectual property and keep their data secure.
In this blog article, we look at offshoring and outsourcing and we consider if there is a right and wrong time for a business to consider either option.
There are countries that are considered the back office of major corporations located somewhere else. China, Vietnam, India are some of the nations that provide goods production and professional services for businesses located in western countries like USA, Canada, UK, and Australia. These countries are used for offshoring and outsourcing.
Is Outsourcing Another Name For Offshoring?
The short answer is no, outsourcing is quite different in its workings to offshoring. With outsourcing, your business has essentially signed a contract with a service provider to deliver the services on behalf of your business.
The similarity between the two services is the business or team providing the manufacturing or professional service is usually located out of state or in another country to that of the business.
Where in the business is full outsourcing is popular?
Server and Website Hosting is an area we’re all familiar with and most businesses outsource this service. The other areas deemed more sensitive and systems critical to a business also often outsourced are:
- Technology hardware & software
- Data communications
- Software development
- Payroll services
There is more control over the process with offshoring as the business can dictate the terms and use its own rules and systems.
The starting point is to choose where you want your business process to be carried out, i.e. in which country and area.
Setting up a team or purchasing a business in another country to roll out the service is not as challenging as it might appear as countries like those aforementioned are used to the activity.
The offshore team will work exclusively for the one business and therefore adhere to their methodology.
An example of where this activity is prevalent today is in the professional services sector. Law firms and accounting practices readily place services offshore to reduce staff costs. An Accounting firm will locate part of its practice in a country and hire qualified workers i.e. accountants who cost less than their peer in the area or country the Accounting firm is located.
Is there a right or wrong time to consider outsourcing or offshoring?
Timing Is Everything
Yes, as timing is everything especially with everyone connected online in social media.
The reputation of a business can be damaged if clients start complaining of a negative change in the service. Therefore a business needs to do a thorough analysis and weigh up the pros and cons of moving core processes or systems offshore or into the hands of another business entirely as is the way with outsourcing.
Managing the move will be challenging as people don’t like change especially if it costs them time. Just think of how annoying it is to visit a website or use the App you use regularly only to find its user interface in a new design and it’s functionality changed.
Learning takes time and requires patience so it’s important for all businesses moving to an offshoring or outsourcing model mark sure their staff and end users are managed during the transition and that their experience is satisfactory with knowledge of much better service on its way.
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