Thursday, May 1, 2008

Should You Mix Business With Politics?

It is typically recognized that business and politics don’t mix. But it is almost unreasonable to hold that as an unequivocal truth, given that politics can have everything to do with the life of your business.

I, personally, am a very neutral person when it comes to politics. I believe that the whole thing is crooked and corrupt. Despite this, I still try to pay close attention to what's going on in the political realm so that I can be prepared for whatever changes may influence my company.

The current economy in the United States is proof positive that politics can affect the way people spend or don't spend money. Even the simplest social issue can have far reaching effects on small and large businesses, including Fortune 500 companies.

For example, the decision to change the type of medical care in our nation inevitably trickles down the small private practice doctor. It equally affects pharmaceutical companies, companies that provide equipment for the medical industry, those who provide paper goods for the medical industry, and businesses we may not imagine are affected by decisions that on the surface, seem to have nothing to do with a small business owner.

Tax decisions, cuts, increases, etc., are a direct factor for businesses across the board. How the education system is handled is yet another of dozens of political discussions that affect businesses.

Likewise, politics can affect employees - those that depend on a corporation for their livelihood. Without workers, most companies cannot function. So it is incumbent on the corporation to pay attention to the world of politics - so they can plan accordingly.

The point is this: Whether you are a political person or not, you should at least pay attention to what's going on - because it can have an adverse effect on your business. Being aware and knowledgeable of potential political changes before they occur can keep you ahead of the competition.

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