Let’s be real here. Starting up your own business is hard. Not only do you take on great financial and personal risk when you start up your very own enterprise, you must also spin a lot of plates. Even in the digital age, it’s hard to go into business without accruing substantial debts, and as such nascent entrepreneurs start out with their eyes fixed firmly on the bottom line. When they’re not focused on balancing the books, newer entrepreneurs tend to absorb themselves in the operational aspects of running the business. They check that their employees are upholding their standards, pitch in here and there to facilitate the smooth running of the business and check in with customers to build those relationships that will hopefully lead to ongoing retention. When you do have time to think about the more strategic elements of running your business, it’s likely that you’ll be checking that your branding is on point or that your digital marketing campaign is getting the traction it needs to keep business booming.
With so much to juggle, who has time to think about compliance? Yet, as busy as you are, there’s no excuse not to keep it in mind as you go about your busy days. While compliance is rarely at the top of anyone’s to do list, it can seriously hobble your business if you don’t stay on the right side of it.
Some of the compliance entrepreneurs face are obvious, some are more nuanced. There are many compliance issues and factors that entrepreneurs can tend to forget. Before we can get into them, it’s important to remember…
Compliance is not an add-on
When you’re new to running your own business, it’s tempting to treat compliance as an add-on, a rubric against which to check your operations. But not only can this approach make your life way harder, it’s fundamentally wrong-headed. In order to be truly compliant, you must use compliance to inform your operations, weaving it into the fabric of your day-to-day activities and those of your employees.
Your policies and procedures must also incorporate some oft-neglected forms of compliance including…
KYC or Know Your Customer is the process of verifying your clientele’s identities before or during the period in which you start doing business with them. It also refers to the regulated customer identity verification practices undertaken by banks to assess and monitor customer risk. This is an oft-neglected legal requirement that all businesses should comply with in order to prevent banks from being used for money laundering activities. The good news is that being KYC needn’t be expensive or time consuming. Fortunately, Jumio offers a complete solution for KYC compliance. If time is money for your business, outsourcing KYC compliance is a great investment.
Third-party anti-corruption compliance
If your business is fairly small you could be forgiven for thinking that this does not apply to you, but if you’re doing business with larger companies like suppliers that have a large international presence, don’t be surprised if someone asks to see your code of ethics and compliance.
The Justice Department is becoming increasingly vigilant on cracking down on this, so if you routinely do business with businesses larger than your own, it’s in your interests to invest in some training to keep your business compliant.
Don’t let your reputation get a black eye by neglecting the important but oft-forgotten elements of compliance that may apply to it.