Your Small Business and the Election: Stay Independent!

By Andrew J. Birol, President, Birol Growth Consulting, Inc.

Until now, I have avoided discussing politics. But last week, two statements directed at me finally pushed my keyboard buttons:

  1. A new prospect remarked, “Good! You have an American flag on your lapel. You must be a Republican!”
  2. When I wondered out loud how much Ohio businesses must now spend to keep guns off their premises, a business owner chided, “You liberals only want outlaws to carry guns.”

As an Independent, I believe the old labels are misleading and often incorrect. The truth is that I see great divergence among small business owners. Like most Americans, we are being whipsawed in a polarized political environment. With politicians sound bytes lasting no longer than a police station in Baghdad, how can entrepreneurs make informed, rational decisions about how the election will affect their businesses? Beyond health care (which no politician will help resolve until public rioting starts) I don’t see a single political issue that impacts all business owners equally. Here is what I mean:

  1. If we boycott companies that export jobs, shouldn’t we expect foreign jobholders to boycott products and services produced by American small businesses?
  2. If we want government completely out of regulation, who will prevent reckless accounting practices from ravaging small businesses when big companies go bankrupt?
  3. If we raise tariffs to protect domestic steel producers, don’t we hurt domestic steel consumers?
  4. If we want others to buy American, shouldn’t we deprive American businesses the right to shop at Wal-Mart, service foreign cars, or distribute foreign technology?

When it comes right down to it, politicians will say anything to win the votes of America’s 24 million small business owners. The reality is that they can do little to meet our collective needs. As a cross section of American society, we are just too diverse and independent — and isnt that the point of being a business owner, anyway? Unlike big companies that buy lobbying influence for issues that affect them and the small business organizations dependent on selling us health insurance to survive, we are on our own. So when someone starts painting you into a political corner for your own good, just say no. Focus on growing your business by growing your best and highest use. Until the day I see Willie Nelson putting on a benefit concert for the family consulting business, I really cant see any political figure looking out for my small business!

Articles by Birol Growth Consulting are © copyrighted and all rights are reserved. However, articles may be reprinted with prior written consent if attribution is included as follows:

© Copyrighted by Andrew J. Birol, President of Birol Growth Consulting, who helps owners grow their businesses by growing their Best and Highest Use ®. Andy can be reached at (412) 973-2080, by email at, or on the web at

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