Even though this year is considered an “off-year election,” the United States general elections for 2011 will be held on Tuesday, November 8. No matter your party affiliation or level of political knowledge, it’s important to take notice of what issues are being brought up and who is stepping up in terms of leaders. If you created a micro business in the past year, you’ll want to voice your opinions and select political leaders who align best with your business views.
- Decide what you are looking for in a candidate – Now that you a micro business owner, it’s important to look at a candidate as someone who can help improve your community (school’s, social services, etc.) as well as be small business friendly. While no one candidate will be in line with your entire agenda, it’s important to prioritize which candidate values are important to you and vote accordingly.
- Find out about the candidates – Are the politicians running new to the scene, or have they been around for awhile? Do some research and find out what their strengths (and weaknesses) are. In particular you’ll want to research their involvement with small business in your community. While it’s great to chat with other small and micro businesses about candidates, keep in mind their mind may already be made up based on past party affiliations and other factors. Cast a wide net when speaking with other businesses so you can get an accurate read on political candidates.
- Attend debates and other events – These gatherings can be a great chance to listen to candidates speak and if offered, ask your own question. Be sure you are familiar with all parties going into the event and have a well-thought question ready to go in case the chance arises. In addition these events can also double as a good chance to help build your brand presence within the community, but should not be the focus of your attendance.
Once you have selected a candidate you feel best represents your interest, you may want to share your support publicly via your business venture. This can be valuable to help drive awareness for your candidate, but it’s important to remember your customers who may not share your opinion. While political affiliation should not affect purchasing behaviors, sadly it still happens. Use your best judgement when deciding to share your choice (Reminder: Voting is your right, and sharing your vote is not required.)
Have you found yourself paying more attention to local (and national) elections since you became an entrepreneur? What do you think is important to know about your politicians? Let us know how you prepare for election season in terms of your micro business.