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Our Guide to Remaining Compliant in a Heavily Regulated Market
Whether you’re in gambling, alcohol, or healthcare, you’ll know of the restrictive feeling of trying to navigate through regulations. Every industry has some form of regulation to keep to, but some more than others.
If you are a business owner and your chosen industry has a lot of strict regulations to stick to, you might need some help. If that sounds like you, take a look at our guide to staying compliant in a heavily regulated market.
Know your regulations
It is the simplest way to stay compliant, and yet, so many businesses ignore it. A business needs to know its regulations inside and out to stick to them and not be caught making a mistake. Don’t just remember the broad strokes but get into the nitty-gritty of it. Take it a step further and enquire as to why there is a chosen regulation.
Remembering the story behind it might allow you to use it as a cautionary tale and not make the same mistake, or it might just help you and your team remember the regulation.
Yes, there is usually a lot of reading to it, but it will be worth it when you avoid the consequences of a silly mistake. Don’t rely on a single person, or even a team, to be your expert on the law. If they aren’t available, for whatever reason, everything will stop until you have someone available to make an informed decision. We all know how little time legal experts are willing to give, so you could find yourself coming up against this scenario a lot.
On top of all that, if your business is big enough to go international, it will also have to comply with foreign regulations in each country it operates in. There are differences from country to country.
For example, a lot of African countries have banned online gambling, but that is changing. However, it’s still the case that it is illegal to create an online gambling site in Africa. Gamblers have to visit foreign websites regulated by foreign authority figures to gamble. And until around 2013 it was outright illegal to show alcohol on almost all Russian media. If you aren’t clued into these changes, you could find your items and content blocked in certain countries.
If you just can’t wrap your head around everything, consider hiring a compliance consulting firm. You will get expert advice tailored to the needs of your business, saving you a lot of time and stress.
Regulations can change at any point due to a variety of factors, but the main one is the changing times. Regulations evolve with what we know now and what is happening in the wider world. In big ways, the most obvious example is when the world found out that cigarettes, shockers, weren’t good for you. Since then, there has been growing regulation on how you can market and who you can sell to, due to a discovery that would have been printed on the health pages.
So, keep an eye on the news. Mainly, keep an eye on the business section. Even though world events and national events can also affect your business in ways you probably wouldn’t even see coming, the business section will print the little regulations that aren’t exciting enough to make the national news.
However, keeping informed with the world and national news will allow you to gauge how your business will be affected by Brexit, China, war, advancements in science and tech, etc.
If you want to take it further, you can subscribe to newsletters from businesses relevant to your industry. Plus, there are a lot of platforms you can look at that are specifically designed to keep you up to date on regulatory updates, such as the Regulatory News for Finance on Reuters and The New York Times’ features on Regulation and Deregulation.
If you are thinking about marketing regulations, a rule of thumb to still get your message across while adhering to regulations is to keep things personal. You might find you get more engagement if you adopt a personal approach to your marketing. It will keep you compliant and keep you from invading anyone’s privacy or breaking the rules while giving your customers something to latch onto.
You can send out newsletter emails detailing stories from pleased customers or use state-specific language in the fine print of a national email.
You can also create templates and keep them handy for different places you intend to operate or situations you want to appeal to. For example, you can create newsletters, email, landing pages, templates, etc., and then personalize them to fit the chosen recipient or situation, such as contacting banks, brokers, resellers, etc., if you are a finance company.
Remember, however, that your social media accounts will be the first point of contact around the world unless you are big enough to have various dedicated national brand accounts. If you only have one account, it should adhere to as many regulations as possible where you are operating.