Running a business is tough. We all have long to-do lists, but making sure your business is compliant - legally and contractually - is not something you want to get wrong. For businesses who don't have departments to look after Health & Safety, Wellbeing, Finance etc, a helping hand is much needed. And how about not even realising that you had to do something in the first place and then getting caught out later? We've all been there. Here's what you can do.
What's the issue?
Whether you are a start-up or established business, compliance is never something to ignore.
- Staying legal: There are some things you legally must do when running a business - like confirmation statements, filing accounts, posting written health & safety notices if you employ more than 5 people - this list goes on!
- Meet contractual obligations: Depending on what you do, there may be conditions attached to your insurance. For example, restaurant and cafe owners must clean deep-fat frying extraction equipment every six months otherwise their insurance cover is invalidated if a fire were to start from the fryers
- Client contracts: If you service other businesses, there may be contractual obligations that you must comply with, otherwise you could be in breach of contract
- Doing the right thing! We're busy and alas keeping an eye on our business and our people's health can often slip. Creating routines and discipline will help prevent bigger problems down the line
If this was a problem before, just add in the additional mental and technological challenges that remote working brings and the additional pressures to survive that many businesses are up against. Now more than ever, you need to have a good plan and the right tools to help you stay one step ahead.
How can I work smarter?
Here are some ways that you can rally your team together, reduce your business risks and remain compliant.
1. Use an online solution so that you can create, measure and delegate compliance tasks
While big companies may have comprehensive enterprise risk platforms, these are often over-kill for smaller businesses (and expensive). If you are in the catering business, Trail is a neat tool to help set up routine tasks and track that they get done. We also like iAuditor - a self-service audit and compliance tool (we used one of their templates when our team moved to working from home). Within Brisk, we provide a pre-loaded set of compliance items organised under different categories with helpful links to guidance and templates. Simply archive the ones not relevant to you, set up the ones that are and set reminders. You can store documents and keep an audit-trail (handy if you need to evidence compliance to clients or regulators).
2. Get an adviser
Advisers can get to know their clients, understand their needs and help keep their clients safe and stay complaint. They don't always have to be expensive - many will offer advice by the hour or offer a monthly subscription retainer which will give you a number of hours advice per month. We have a growing list of advisers in Brisk+, many offering introductory discounts or free advice for Brisk members.
3. Use resources such as gov.uk or the website of the regulator/governing body for your business
Depending on your industry, there are some great free resources you can access via trade associations and groups.
4. Have a clear plan of attack and keep re-visiting it
Things change, new regulations and legislation come in. One of the features we are planning to introduce in Brisk is a 'news watch' where you can get alerts to specific developments in your sector or industry. If you would like to see this feature prioritised, please comment below or drop us a line at firstname.lastname@example.org. We'd love to hear your thoughts and suggestions.
At Brisk we are on a mission to protect businesses to make them stronger and more resilient. We offer a free version of Brisk to any business to try, so please take a look and take advantage of the tools specifically built for small and medium sized businesses.
- Free credit check, cyber health check
- Compliance tool
- Monitoring dashboard with alerts and reminders
- and lots more!