With an election fast approaching, politics is on everyone’s mind. We all know big business has a lot of influence on what happens in government, but did you ever stop to think about the influence your business can wield?
This article on BusinessNewsDaily got me thinking. “Small business owners and their employees make up the vast majority of the American electorate,” notes managing editor Jeanette Mulvey. Yet, in most cases, she says, “small business owners don’t even bother getting involved in the policy making decisions that affect their businesses.”
I recently wrote about how banding together can help us succeed in a tough economy. But, as Mulvey points out, it can also help us effect change in government and give us a competitive edge.
Getting involved politically can help you change local regulations, obtain variances, change zoning laws or get more police protection to make the area where you’re located safer for your business and customers. Beyond that, it can even help you land government contracts or have punitive business taxes waived or reversed.
Of course, not every business owner has time to lobby Washington, but as Mulvey explains, you don’t have to start that big. Think about what is affecting your business at the state or local level. What can you do to change it?
These days, state and local governments are seeking all the growth they can get—which means they want to help and encourage small business. By making your voice heard, you can make a difference not only to your own business, but to all the others in your community.
One business owner cited in the article went so far as to run for office. If campaigning or lobbying on your own is too much for you, join an existing business organization that lobbies for change—or start one of your own. You can also join forces with non-business organizations: Mulvey cites one business owner who united with organizations from churches to the Boy Scouts to protest a proposed transit project that would have eliminated his business location.
A good way to meet other entrepreneurs who share your concerns: Check out the SCORE Business Community. Whether you’re looking to change the world, or just your corner of it, remember there’s strength in numbers.