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Leadership: The Squeaky (Small Business) Wheel Gets the Grease
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Learn How You Can Get Involved in Small Biz Communities

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.

Rieva Lesonsky - CEO, GrowBiz Media
Rieva is CEO of GrowBiz Media, a content and consulting company specializing in covering small businesses and entrepreneurship. She was formerly Editorial Director of Entrepreneur Magazine and has written several books about small business and entrepreneurship.
www.growbizmedia.com | @rieva | More from Rieva

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Technology: National Cyber Security Awareness Month
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Keep Yourself & Your Biz Safe

Malicious individuals are after your personal data and identity for their own use.  A security breach impacts individuals, organizations and communities. When online, keep this in mind: stop, think and connect.

Stop for a moment. Think before acting. Connect responsibly.

Phishing: Phishing attacks use email or malicious web sites to solicit personal, often financial, information. Attackers may send email, seemingly from a reputable credit card company or financial institution, which requests account information, often suggesting that there is a problem. When users respond with the requested information, attackers can use it to gain access to the accounts. Employees should know not to open messages or attachments from unknown sources. Employees should also be instructed about your company’s spam filters and how to use them to prevent unwanted, dangerous email.

Spyware Download: The words “spyware” and “adware” can be confusing, because they’re used to describe many different technologies. The two important things to know about spyware and adware programs is that 1) they can download themselves onto your computer without your permission when you visit an unsafe Web site or download an application you want and spyware is attached and 2) they can make your computer do things you don’t want it to do.

Sometimes that might be as simple as opening an advertisement or pop-up you didn’t want to see. In the worst cases, spyware can track your online movements, log your keystrokes (steal your passwords and compromise your accounts), and send copies of emails and other documents to third parties.

Social Media: The speed and visibility of social media makes for a fun experience and great entertainment, but it also creates an opportunity to embarrass yourself or others, jeopardize your employment or, worse still, compromise your safety or your identity. It is ultimately up to you to manage your digital identity on social media sites. more…

SCORE
For 50 years, SCORE has helped aspiring and current small business owners achieve their dreams. Through a network of over 11,000 volunteer business mentors in 340+ chapters across the country, SCORE connects decades of business experience and knowledge with those who can best use it.
www.SCORE.org | Facebook | @SCOREmentors | More from SCORE

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