When I was 5 years old, I remember believing that one day I would be running my own business. I had it all planned out. It was going to be a candy store with all types of chocolates, lollipops, cookies, brownies, s’mores, basically you name it, and I’ll have it. If you couldn’t tell, I probably had the largest sweet tooth in the world.
Besides the fact that I was merely a child when I thought of this idea, I had no clue how to run a business or what I would need to start one. 20 years later, and my vision of one day creating my own candy store is nothing but rubble.
Why? One word – compliance.
Creating a business plan, funding the business, marketing, and the other aspects of building a business from the ground up is something I am willing to endure. However, the constant-changing regulations that I need to keep up-to-date with is beyond nagging. When I first found out about the constant compliance issues small business owners have, I knew that my dream of running my candy store was crushed.
Staying compliant is like breaking your ribs. You notice that you need to restrict your breathing to short, limited inhales due to the pain. And unless you tend to those broken ribs, you’ll never be able to fully inhale and exhale like you normally would.
As a business owner, think of compliance as your broken ribcage that is preventing you from achieving your daily tasks. You’re trying to get things done and make sure your business is running smoothly, but this irritating pain called compliance is holding you back from doing so. Now, until you realize that you need to constantly comply with these ever-changing regulations and laws, you’ll never be able to function your business efficiently.
Although I have not started my own business, I have conversed with various business owners and entrepreneurs who have to deal with these dynamic compliance issues. I noticed that many of them had the same overall issues, so here are the top 3 most common compliance problems that found for small business owners.
No One Likes Paperwork
The amount of paperwork that a business owner needs to file is definitely one of the most repeated statements I have heard. From new hire papers to W-4s, sorting through each one of your employees’ documents is time consuming and tedious.
Yet, a business owner needs to keep track of everyone’s payroll and make sure that they are all accurate. That means, if you fire an employee or an employee goes through a life-changing event, then you’re going to have to review all of that paperwork to ensure it’s accurate. And if a mistake is made, disgruntled employees will definitely be complaining about to amongst one another.
Now I know there are various payroll software to make this type of paperwork simple and convenient. However, even with the software, you’re still going to have to manually input the information, which can create inaccuracies and errors. Technology can only do so much to prevent payroll mistakes from occurring, so you need to constantly review and edit all of your documents.
Is Benefits Worth It?
Employee benefits is a costly expense that will definitely burn through a large portion of your wallet. Small businesses spend up to about 80% more per employee than large corporations when it comes to employee benefits, so you need to make sure you can afford health care for your workers.
Many small businesses find benefits as a burden but find it necessary to acquire the best talent. That being said, providing employee benefits comes with more than just overhead costs.
You also need to stay updated on various regulations like COBRA, HIPAA, FMLA, ACA, and other laws that utilize acronyms. Furthermore, each type of employee, whether it’s a full-time, part-time, or contract worker, has different requirements in terms of their benefits options, which is a serious headache for any business owner.
Unity Is Key
Did you know less than 25% of businesses provide training regarding racial and sexual harassment? Employee discrimination or harassment is no joke and can cost your business a very shiny penny, if mishandled. Any type of wrongful termination due to race, color, religion, etc. can get you fined nearly $85,000.
You need to be familiar with employee discrimination laws and regulations like ADEA or GINA. Also, start getting friendly with the changes within the EEOC since they are the commission that regulates laws that prevent discrimination in the workplace.
Although creating meetings to review these discrimination laws can be dull, but these sessions are essential for a business to properly comply with any discrimination or harassment regulations. By teaching employees about these laws, they will properly obey anti-discriminatory protocols and instructions on filing any unfair treatment in the workplace.
So What’s the Solution?
Even though compliance is a hassle to many small business owners, there are a variety of solutions that you perform to ensure compliance. First off, you can hire an internal HR department to oversee any regulation changes or violations. Notice how I said departments, not just one HR manager. Compliance is too broad of a spectrum for one HR professional to handle with all of his other responsibilities.
You should also have weekly or monthly meetings with your employees to go through some of the more common regulations that your industry may have issues with, so they all understand what they can and can not do to perform their duties.
You can also outsource your compliance tasks. There are various HR consultant firms or Professional Employer Organizations who will be more than glad to take responsibility of your compliance issues. These businesses are looking to help other businesses deal with their various HR problems, so you should definitely take advantage of their compliance services.
By relieving yourself from the various regulation changes and compliance issues, you’ll be surprised at how much more time you have to manage the success of your business. Once you’ve dealt with the compliance aspect of your business, you can start focusing on growing your firm.