The old saying, “Never mix business with pleasure” has spawned a lot of imitations. The most recent comes to us as a result of the recent elections. “Don’t mix politics with business” is one that comes to mind, thanks to the tumultuous and negative campaigns executed by many of our leaders.
Emotions ran high around election time, and the country was deeply divided along partisan lines as well as on social and political issues. Those divisions don’t go away overnight. They take time to heal, and that division is likely to remain for now, as the nation tries to unify.
So what does politics have to do with your business? Plenty. Politicians have a big impact on issues affecting small and large businesses. Legislation that can help or hurt a business sometimes hangs on the thread of one legislator’s vote.
While it is good to align one’s self with the politician who can help the most – it is equally important to choose when to pick a fight and when to show restraint. It is okay to take a political stand with your constituents and peers, but it’s not okay to push your political beliefs on your customers.
There’s a good chance that your customers – just like the rest of America – are divided on the issues that affect them. If you favor one issue over the other – in public – you stand the chance of alienating many of your customers to the point where they may turn to your competitors. Fight for your beliefs – just make sure the fight does not negatively impact your business.