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The Potentially Positive Effects of GDPR for SME’s

John Nelligan

I received an interesting personal email this morning (relevant text below) from a company I haven’t dealt with in at least 10 years.

They are obviously working on their GDPR compliance by getting their ‘lapsed’ customers, such as me, to re-engage or they will be deleted from their database (good!). You could ask why my outdated details are still on thereafter so long, as I am clearly not a current or recent user of their service, and therefore the communications they have had with me over the years have effectively been nothing more than ‘spam’, which is not a great reflection on their brand.

This action is being taken by this company because of the new General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) rules which will become an ongoing part of UK Law (regardless of Brexit) on May 25th 2018, and affect every business in the UK. This may be quite a major task for them, if they have thousands of very old users like me still on their systems, but I would ask the question of why, being the major business that they are, they have been retaining and using such data, with no form of filtering process, for so many years regardless of the new regulations? It suggests something of a ‘scattergun’ approach to communicating with their database, with no focus on understanding or targeting specific current and/or potential clients with an appropriate product or service. For every email that is ‘clicked through’, how many are discarded by being immediately deleted or marked down as ‘spam’?

The new regulations can, therefore, be used as a positive for businesses holding data. Whilst the task of identifying ‘data pools’ in a business may take some time initially, if done correctly and with the right mindset, it will help to hold a mirror up to the way the business is currently operating and raise the question ‘why?’ Businesses we have worked with have found masses of time and money wasted by using their database without focus or much thought, and have even found some departments of a business using data gathered by non-related parts of the same company, just to add more names to their own database!

So whilst there may not be too many business owners thrilled with having to comply with the new regulations on data, some elements could be embraced to actually focus on helping their business become more effective, productive and profitable.

If you haven’t got your GDPR house in order, or perhaps haven’t even started the process, now would be a good time! For some practical advice on how to identify what the regulations mean to you, how you can look at this regulatory requirement in a positive way for your business, and actually get you started on the process with appropriate documentation, get in touch with your nearest Business Doctor through

Hi Steve!
I notice it’s been a while since you’ve been active with XXXXXX.
There’s a new rule in the EU that says if you don’t stay active with us, we have to delete your account.
We don’t want to do that. And we don’t have to, if you take one simple step.


Steve offers a free 60 minute business health check for businesses interested in achieving their next level of growth. He can be contacted on 07774287640 or at