Facing sanctions for failing to ensure your business is compliant can spell disaster for SMEs. This usually results from being unaware of responsibilities and not having the necessary tools in place to ensure correct procedures are being maintained.
Being a leader in an SME business means that you are likely responsible for multiple functions within the business. With so many pressing tasks, it's easy to focus on things that demand your immediate attention and let other seemingly less critical issues fall by the wayside.
However, compliance is an area that should be prioritised, and the cost of leaving it as an afterthought may be too expensive for your business to survive.
Compliance is a mandatory requirement of businesses, and SMEs shouldn't be under the impression that this is only a consideration for larger firms. All business leaders are responsible for ensuring that they have implemented a compliance process and that all staff members are following it.
Serious violations such as fraud, bribery, money laundering or any other illegal activity can result in the imprisonment of critical people. By taking a proactive rather than reactive approach to compliance, you will improve your reputation and trust with stakeholders and identify potential issues early enough to address them and prevent unnecessary fines or repercussions.
Compliance risk assessment and management
Taking an active approach to compliance management will have your business in the best shape to identify any potential risks to the company and make changes to mitigate them. It is essential that you are aware of relevant laws, regulations and any regulatory developments and how they affect your business functions.
Monitoring these developments will allow you to make changes early on, and be sure that you are fulfilling your legal obligations. Ensure that you identify your company's weaknesses and most significant risks in order to create actions to minimise these.
Regular employee training
Be sure to keep all staff updated about regulatory frameworks within the industry and any fundamental changes that will affect their day to day work. Let employees know their responsibilities regarding compliance, along with the processes and repercussions for failing to comply. There should be clear disciplinary guidelines and procedures that are regularly referenced and enforced when necessary.
Everyone within the company must understand the importance of being compliant, the aims of the procedures, and the repercussions on both a business and individual if you are found to be non-compliant.
Automate, monitor and review
Make the processes for ensuring compliance effortless and easy to adhere to. By automatically keeping a written record of procedures and filing them, you are creating an audit trail. If a violation were to occur, the business could demonstrate that they have consistently been taking active measures to maintain compliance, which will help.
How Mail Manager can help
Mail Manager helps companies track and manage their email communications and ensure that important business-critical processes are being followed. Our intelligent prompt and predict tool learns user behaviours, so it can help remove decision making and manual processes and make it easier for staff to follow correct procedures.
To see how Mail Manager can help improve your compliance processes, download your free trial!