What We Learned – Roundtable Discussion: Legal & Finance 2019
WHACC AM Learning Series – Legal and Finance
This AM series on June 25th featured guests Terrence Jackson from First Federal Lakewood, Jackie Huggins Jones from Breaking Chains Inc., and Nick Weiss, ESQ. from Gertsburg Law Firm. This dynamic roundtable discussion focused on different trends, and tips in the fields of legal and finance.
In both fields of legal and finance, the roundtable discussion focused on the theme of education to prevent mistakes or future scenarios that can have a negative impact. In the age of entrepreneurism and risk taking, businesses need to be aware of the different issues and trends that face them in both legal and finance. Our discussion leaders outlined these topics and included tips to help keep businesses on track.
Main Issues in Finance
As the Electronic Banking Product Manager, Terrence Jackson spoke on the financial trend of mobile banking. There is no doubt that banking is more electronic and will continue that way, but the big question for this discussion was how to utilize this trend in mobile apps for business. There is a demand from businesses to have the same convenience of personal banking apps applied to their businesses. Unfortunately, in banking, consumers are protected from certain things that businesses are not, creating a lag in the advancement of mobile banking for businesses.
Jackie Huggins Jones from Breaking Chains Inc. spoke to the downward trend in bankingand financial knowledge. It seems today that not many people understand the fundamentals of finance. As younger generations flow into future business owners, it is important to educate them, and starting businesses, the best ways to save. They have to know how their money works and understand the separation of funds before they can truly become successful.
The financial tip: Since finances are an issue that everyone deals with, business and personal, the main financial tip from the AM roundtable was to be open to discussing resources your employees can go to for financial education. The idea is to create a work – life balance. Your employees are active members in the economy and everyone can benefit from a solid financial foundation.
Main Issues in Legal
As an attorney for the Gertsburg Law Firm, Nick Weiss shared three trends he notices in legal field that are affecting small to midsized businesses. He also shared tips for each trend to help businesses avoid these potential liabilities.
The first trend is that business owners are hiring contractors that say they are licensed or insured, but really, are not covered for what the business needs them to be. Small business owners can get taken advantage of. If the license or insurance is incorrect, a job can easily turn into an expensive repair, both physically and legally.
Tip #1 Always ask for a copy of the bond or insurance from your contractor. You need to know what it does and what it says, making sure it matches your business’s needs.
The second trend in legal is that harassment policies are still terrible. Today, there are movements and a wealth of public knowledge on this subject. However companies are still behind. Either having weak policies or no policy at all.
Tip #2 Make sure your business has a harassment policy, but don’t get your policies online! They often don’t cover what you need them to. Businesses spend too much time undoing problems… have it right from the start.
The third trend is that small to mid-sized businesses are waiting too long to mitigate their risk. Anyone that has a front facing business and deals with consumers should familiarize themselves with the Consumer Sales Practices Act. From the Ohio Attorney General, “the Consumer Sales Practices Act protects individual consumers from unfair, deceptive, and unconscionable sales practices in connection with consumer transactions”. This statute is to protect consumers for aggressive salesmanship or deceptive conduct from a business.
Tip #3 Make sure your business has the correct statutory conduct language. Don’t wait too long to mitigate your risk, protect yourself and save your business thousands of potential dollars. For more information of the Consumer Sales Practices Act check out this business tip.
The Key Takeaway
In case you missed it, the key thing to remember is to stay educated on your legal and financial procedures. Being knowledgeable on both topics can prevent your business from getting into trouble and save you money. The initial investment is often work the risk.
Closing Note: We’d Like to thank our discussion leaders again for their insight on the issues of Legal and Finance. We would also like to thank Nicole Johnson, City of Warrensville Heights, and Jeannetta Fuller, Gateway and Legal Shield, for their contributions to the discussion.