Business regulation is a fact of life. Business owners need to have a good handle on how regulation and potential legislation affects their business’ future and what is coming down the pike.
To whatever extent possible, owners should join trade associations or other groups that monitor government activity in the industry and attempt to influence government officials for the benefit of their members. These associations are typically the best source of quality interpretation of future regulations, providing an owner with information needed to combat a buyer with rhetoric from internet postings on how this regulation will be the death of the industry.
We often hear this refrain regarding the cost of environmental controls related to waste disposal, gas discharges and other manufacturing byproducts. The cost of compliance can be significant for many smaller manufacturing businesses, but the rhetoric is often over stated or actually good for the business as it weeds out weaker or struggling players who are having trouble keeping up.
Regulation can also be positive. For example, commercial fishing is a highly regulated industry. Overfishing can cause long-term negative consequences for many companies. Fishing limits can be a positive for a commercial fishing enterprise so long as they are managed properly. However if the fishing limits in the Gulf of Mexico increased it can have a potentially negative effect on New England companies. Proactive owners in the industry set up purchase relationships with suppliers in other regions or other countries to insure their supply was not interrupted by legislative changes.