This year, between changes in the Affordable Care Act, in overtime rules, and in local minimum wage laws, small businesses (ahem, real estate brokerages) are being hit by a “triple whammy” of new regulations that some find confusing and challenging.
Manta, the online directory that publishes a Semi-Annual Wellness Index to gauge how America’s small businesses are faring, made a point this year to survey small businesses about how they are handling this new sweep of regulations.
Figuring it out
“2016 has already brought major changes at the federal and state levels, and more changes are on the horizon,” says Manta CEO John Swanciger.
“Entrepreneurs are trying to figure out how to remain profitable amidst the growing costs of compliance.”
Some businesses find new regulations incredibly challenging, while others seem to be getting along swimmingly despite the new rules. On the state level, when asked how hard it was to comply with new regulations, 46.6 percent of businesses reported that it was “neutral,” while another 17.5 percent said it was “easy” or “very easy” to comply.
Struggle without support
On the other hand, 35.9 percent reported that they found it “difficult” or “very difficult” to understand and adhere to regulations, with 41% of small business owners across all industries saying that regulations had a negative impact on their business.
Perhaps this is because small business owners don’t get enough warning or support to implement changes. More than half of small business owners said they’d like more warning before regulations take effect, and the majority of those surveyed also said that their local government provides only “fair” or even “poor” support.
Where to find help
It’s up to small business owners to make sure that they understand all the new regulations, and that new and existing employees understand how to comply. Manta advises reaching out to your local Small Business Administration office to get the word from the horse’s mouth. Chambers of Commerce and online or local industry organizations can also be helpful. Amongst those surveyed, 27 percent also said that they ask for help from professional advisors to understand new regulations.
Regulations can be a real headache, so stay flexible, and stay on top of it.
“Those who can be resourceful and stay nimble in the process will better position themselves for success,” says Swanciger.