Situation: A company that has been in business for several generations has been approached by a government official with an unexpected regulatory requirement and a stringent timeline for compliance. This was completely unexpected and it will be disruptive to comply. How do you respond to a regulatory wild card?
- Approach the agency and negotiate an extension of the deadline, or a series of steps that will bring you into compliance but under conditions so that compliance does not disrupt your business and workload.
- Dig to determine the ultimate reason behind this development. Is it a neighborhood evolution issue where new neighbors want you or your business out of the way? If so, is there a win-win alternative that gives you a new or better location in exchange for moving.
- Seek legal assistance – local lawyers may be knowledgeable of the officials involved or their superiors, and will know the language to use to ask for the leeway that you require.
- Circle the problem from every angle – look for other city contacts that can assist.
- Trade a tax concession for compliance – particularly if the issue is a long-standing situation that has just now been brought forward.
- Look for a way to turn the problem into an opportunity by solving the problem uniquely in a way that favors you.
- Consider asking them to help solve the problem.
- Do NOT respond with an attack. Local officials can be in place for a long time and may hold a grudge.