When you’re operating your own business, you never think about getting into trouble. After all, you’re no criminal. You’re just providing products to clients and collecting an income from doing that. It’s all good, and there is nothing illegal going on.
Well, most of the time.
In product fulfillment, there are some matters of the legal variety you have to be aware of in order to operate without any outside scrutiny. And while there aren’t many, they are certainly worth being aware of. Not abiding by the rules can result in some strict penalties that could render you with a lot less money—and even put you right out of business.
Government regulations toward product fulfillment are the result of citizens demanding more protection from intrusions into their lives. Regulations like the National Do Not Call Registry—where people can register their phone numbers to avoid calls from telemarketers—must be known and respected by product fulfillment professionals. No doubt you have some sort of marketing strategy for your business, and maybe even a telemarketing one at that. And that is fine; telemarketing is still legal, but you should get in touch with the registry to know whom you are and are not allowed to phone.
If you aren’t involved with telemarketing, there’s a good chance you engage in some sort of direct-mail campaign to promote your products. The National Change of Address Program (NCOA), which is provided through the national postal service, can actually be a good resource because they provide addresses to marketers sending out promo material. They also provide regulation information for product fulfillment pros to abide by.
Under Lock and Key
While you will likely encounter external regulations for your product fulfillment business, you also have to be aware of internal regulations for your business. Since your product fulfillment business is handling personal information, you can imagine how much security you need to have within your own walls. Essentially, you have to keep a lot of confidential information under lock and key.
To ensure this information stays safe, it’s best to have some sort of data security and privacy program within your business, usually in digital form, for all of your client data. You should also limit access to this information to only specific personnel within your business. In today’s world, with so much information flying around on the Internet and cellular devices, the need for strong data security and privacy programs within your company is absolutely imperative. Failure to keep your clients’ information secure can result in certain law officials holding you accountable if that information is released into the public sphere unauthorized.
As well, your client information security and privacy programs should perhaps include a separate category for financial information. Transaction records, credit card–holder lists, and related money matters need extra care because that information can cause clients major problems if it gets into the wrong hands. Again, if this happens to your clients as a result of your negligence, there can be disastrous results for your business.
Ruling in Your Favor
Keeping law and order in your business is not only good for staying out of court; it can help you and your business indirectly as well. By going about having all of your information safely stored away and you abiding by government regulations, you get the opportunity to sort through and organize your business. There might be certain financial records that you are securing that can help you determine a better demographic focus for your business, and clients’ files will contain their product choices, which can show you how to direct new products to the right people.
In the end, it’s always good for product fulfillment pros to play by the rules. It saves you from future hassles and helps to keep your business flourishing. All in all, learning and following the rules and regulations for product fulfillment always works in your favor.
Need solutions to your product fulfillment problems? APS Fulfillment, Inc has the knowledge and services to make your direct mail and product fulfillment ventures more successful. Contact APS Fulfillment, Inc by e-mail at [email protected], visit its web site at www.apsfulfillment.com, or call (954) 582-7450.