The election is at the forefront of everyone’s attention right now and as business owners, there is another layer of concern. Being responsible for providing excellent service to your customers as well possible protecting the livelihood of those that work for you, this election could change how you do business and affect your bottom line over the next 4-8 years.
Personally, I was not remotely politically savvy until I moved to Washington, DC in the 90s. When I would observe the local government and, of course, the Federal and how what they did affected businesses and individuals up close, I realized, I needed to know enough to navigate my business to be successful no matter what. There are some key things you must do to sustain your revenue no matter what.
In the May 2016 issue of Entrepreneur magazine, Keri Gohman, head of small-business banking at Capital One had this to say: “Now is a critical time for small businesses as the country anticipates a change in leadership and new opportunities and challenges, such as market dynamics and new regulations and tax laws, which can have a significant impact on business results.”
First, know your leadership! Look at your local and national leaders that will affect your day to day and year to year business operations. If you are solopreneur or entrepreneur, you may think what is done on a large scale will not affect you that much. In actuality your future growth can be hampered if are choosing to expand your business. It is all about what the numbers look like, Right?
One of the biggest factors contributing to the amount of uncertainty surrounding the upcoming election. In the study, one in four owners said the issues that are their primary concern include unclear about tax policies, economic growth, increasing healthcare costs and altering regulations on a local and national scale.
Second, know your numbers! Understanding your needs and how much tax policies and codes will take from you and keeping up with what you paid or kept in previous years.
Morale which has lacked a bit could also improve if owners capitalized more on digital, analytic and social tools, which the study says only a small portion actually use. Others may also want to consider using a business credit card, which could offer a list of benefits, such as cash back, travel and business and tracking tools. Though the majority do actually have a card, only about 20 percent actually use it on a regular bases.
Third, know the benefits! Pay attention to things you can use to make your life easier and put more money back in your pocket. Don’t just glaze over credit card offers or rewards information. Take the time to make sure it benefits you and your business, whether it be cash back or money that is accumulated for your next car down payment. Some offers are better than others but study it so that you know what to use when. It will pay off if you maximize the benefits correctly.
In the May 2016 issue of Gallup, it read Bank of America’s Small Business Owner Report on Tuesday showed more than two-thirds of roughly 1,000 business owners, 66%, surveyed were at least “somewhat” concerned about how this year’s presidential election would impact their respective businesses. Robb Hilson, small business executive at Bank of America, said in a statement accompanying the report. “Nearly 4 out of 5, 79%, small business owners express concern over the effectiveness of U.S. government leaders.”
Fourth, know your tolerance! Keep your finger on the pulse of what works for you and your employees as well as your customer. You may have to make changes in your business simply because of the leadership that will change the global landscape that affects your local impact.
Those results aren’t far off from a separate survey and barometer recently released by Capital One, which showed that 1 in 4, 25%, small business owners were more worried about the elections than about “competition, hiring and retaining talent and the regulatory environment.”
In a recent Inc. article, it read, “the general public is still getting acquainted with the 2016 presidential candidates and the nuances of their proposed policy changes, but many voters within the small business community have a clear idea of they’re looking for in a political leader. No matter how campaigns unfold, one thing is certain: buyers and sellers need to stay tuned.”
Lastly, be flexible! I cannot stress this enough. Make sure that your business can scale up, down, across, and in a different but related or unrelated market to feed your revenue pipeline. So that means that YOU need to be flexible and diversified in your skills and talents and be well-read about your industry and where it is going. No longer is 5 years the benchmark. You need to be able to shift in 1-3 years and plan for longevity for 7-10 years.
Who knows when another recession is coming along and what global company is sleeping to take your business? If you focus on the five areas listed above, you will stay ahead of the political game as it relates to your business and your financial future. Plan early and plan often.