Growing Your Business and Political Parties: Do not Thank Them and Do not Blame Them

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

In voting this month, I felt the same ambivalence many Americans have felt toward both candidates. In looking for one final reason to cast my vote, I wondered which candidate and platform would best help my clients and audiences. While one major party is thought to benefit business more than the other, should a company look to politicians for salvation? In most cases I believe this is a distraction and a mistake. In spite of all their rhetoric, a politicians influence does not extend to most business challenges. Lets look at the four challenges of growing a business and see if the time, money and effort invested in "playing politics" is a prudent business decision.

Focus on your best and highest use. Most businesses need to realize what they do best and recommit to doing it better. Except for some very large firms, most companies thrive by doing a very few things exceptionally well. Occasionally some legislation can give a company an advantage in doing this. More often, however, the major political platforms provide across-the-board answers to universal problems. The individual business will not be more focused as a result of any major bill or agenda becoming law. Get more customers and business. Often companies can improve their results by getting closer to their markets and buyers. Unless a company sells to the government or a specific political party, the time spent in lobbying or attending political events may not directly be a good investment.
Deliver what you offer. For cost, resource and skill set reasons, businesses can fall short in keeping promises to customers. If tax relief, job training and investment credits really translate into improved business performance, then politicians can help their business constituents grow. If, however, these financial and other benefits only improve immediate financial results, then I would argue the political help was just another distraction from focusing on a companys core competencies. Profit and Reenergize. For many reasons, companies never enjoy all the fruits of their labor. Sometimes the marketplace just moves on without them. Or they let their costs grow or they neglect their customers. While tax policies, workers compensation and wage legislation are all examples of government policies that can improve or devalue a firm they do not create core value in the business. Instead, a well managed, customer-focused, forward-thinking company will profit and grow regardless of existing legislation. And given the shifting winds of the political world, mastering ones own domain is a more conservative approach? So how should a company participate in supporting a political party, candidate or position? For purely business reasons, only if participation:
Answers an immediate and important need of a business. Is not distracting. Is cost-effective. Really matters. Otherwise, a business should focus on getting the votes of their own constituents, namely, customers, investors, employees and vendors. These votes generate the business landslide we all want to see!

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© 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 abirol@andybirol.com, or on the web at www.andybirol.com.


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