How Does The 2012 Presidential Election Affect Small Business Owners?

by J.Crawford on February 11, 2012

NOTE: If you’re interested in this topic please consider answering one of the 5 questions (via comment)  I’ve asked at the end of this article. (Thanks!)2012 Presidential Election and Small Biz

So far the 2012 Presidential Election campaign fundraising efforts have brought in over $280,000,000 dollars for their prospective candidates with Democrats currently at 125.2 million and republicans at 155 million, and it’s only February.  It would seem their is an obvious affect on small business owners that are in any way connected to the big media outlets as much of this cash is spent on running those dirty little annoying ads we’ll be seeing the rest of the year.  I get a kick sometimes (especially) in the last decade when I reflect on the “issues” of the election and what then transpires.

Either the establishment assumes most of us are unaware of what the President and their policies can actually do or it doesn’t matter and things that need to get said to win get said.  I don’t know about you but I don’t really see the 2012 Presidential election affecting me a whole lot as a small business owner. I’m not in a terribly high income bracket and so the “threat” of raising taxes on the wealthy doesn’t spook me a whole lot and I doubt it will happen anyway.  I do have personal political type beliefs and most of my views of politics come from a business standpoint, I understand most things that way.  Do you re-frame your dealings and relationships along with decision making into common sense business philosophy?  What are some simple ways you see the 2012 Presidential election affecting your small business?

I’m a critical thinker but like to use that skill to arrive at a simple, clear and easy to follow philosophy so I can move on and think about other things.  I’m working on a couple newer businesses this year and one of those is in food and agriculture.   I like the agriculture industry right now and here in Michigan there is a strong interest in the buy local movement and also in eating better.  I’ve started a vegetable farm and a few years back started a farm market with fruit and produce locally grown here in Michigan. I think food and agriculture will be good for about 7 to 10 years but I can see big problems coming for the industry but suspect it will be a state by state thing at first.

Regulations and Policy Changes Do Affects Small Business Owners

Elections do impact business mostly via regulations and perspectives and priorities.  Most of the things concerning me and my businesses were create years back and they are still being positioned to control and monopolize the market place, it looks a lot like the same strategies used in what created the housing crises.  One of places I go for insight is the Bureau of Labor Statistics and get a general feel for what the next 5 to 10 years will look like.  There is a Mammoth on the horizon in terms of growth and it is health care and anything related.  The baby boomers have creating booming industries proportionally to their population number and age.  Gerber was born when they were eating baby food and Nike when they were buying shoes and shoes for their kids.  You’ll see continue to see health care as a major political issue, I’m not sure if it’s because of all the cash associated with it or the fears surrounding the impact on our country or economy.  If you have a small business in the health care industry I do think the next ten years will be much different than the last, but there will be no bigger industry, nothing even close.

I have my online business and then a couple off line traditional businesses and both can be affected by policy and regulation.  I’ve seen some regulation already affecting affiliate sales that comes from the FTC but it hasn’t affected me personally at all.  I do believe we will began to see widespread taxation and regulation on the Internet as it becomes more of an economic impact.

What Really Affects Local Small Businesses

Overall I’d say the general uncertainty people have when things aren’t going well really affects us small business owners the most.  Where I live people traveling makes up a big share of the local business revenue.  Not so much tourists, but state residents moving about the state.  When gas prices go way up this slows way down and it is very apparent at the farm market which is right by a state highway.  Over the upcoming year I will continue to look for ways to isolate my businesses from what I’ve already seen can have a negative impact.  It seems our communities and businesses are so incredibly diverse that local micro economies are what really affect our small businesses.

As small business owners there are always things we can do and must do to roll with the punches. One of the perspectives I have is that if we are going to elect the Democrat again we will likely not see another republican for possibly decades due to obvious policy correlations with voter base.  While I personally don’t like this (mainly because it seems like calculated manipulation over time) it does no good to blame people and whine about it.  I’ll stick to running my kingdom :) and do what I need to position my small business as best I can.

Safe Small Businesses To Start

If I were starting a business in heavily populated area I would consider targeted health care workers, teachers, college students, police officers and anyone else who gets a check from the government or from an institution that is funded by the government. I think these are the safest businesses to start or create a niche marketing campaign that speaks to these people.   One of the things I plan to do at the market is accept project fresh cards and carry products so I can accept EBT cards which are welfare programs here in Michigan. I always was proud of not doing that and offering free or greatly discounted food to those who needed it but I loose more customers every year because of it.  As an aside I recommend looking into growing your own food or having a local farmer grow it for you.  The food supply in this country is vulnerable in several ways food pricing being the least disconcerting.  Most people don’t thing about food and how it winds up on your table a lot goes into it and the supply chain if vulnerable.  One example is gas prices, $5.00 per gallon gasoline could drive food up considerable (30%) like it did over the last few years.  It never seems to go back down when fuel prices stop.  These are some of the real issues that affect small business owner and of course each business is different.

Its important to stay focused and keep an optimistic attitude that looks for the opportunity that surrounds us.  Times of change bring great opportunity.  As some businesses and industries dry up others flourish so look for ways you can make your business more relevant to the consumers of today.  Many entrepreneurs I know (including myself) have turned to diversifying there scope or start other businesses altogether.  I did that several years back and I’m glad I did.

How Will The Presidential Election Affect Your Small Business in 2012

  1. What are some of the ways you see the 2012 Presidential Election impacting your small business?
  2. Have you, in the past, notice significant changes in your business as a direct result of a policy or election that put a different President in office?
  3. What is the best time you can remember in terms of business growth?
  4. Do you feel that time of growth was due to your industry or politics?
  5. What do you feel the best business to start is for 2012?

Thank you for reading, if you liked this article consider sharing if via Face Book or Twitter or you could subscribe to my RSS feed at the top and leave a comment.  Thank You.

Comments on this entry are closed.

Previous post:

Next post: