Hey entrepreneurs. I know you are all excited about the political seasons with many planning to participate as candidates. However, there is a thin line between trading during the election season and mixing politics with business. The latter being hazardous. Although it might be alluring, many financial problems can arise with mixing politics and your business; unless your business is the business of politics. Let me demonstrate with a recent example. One of my local restaurants had a very strong following of patrons for at least a decade. You could often see people waiting in a line the size of a city block to get a table, especially on the weekends. When the quarantine for Covid-19 began, the restaurant completely closed down for several months. Instead of pivoting, it did not offer any take-out or delivery services to make up for lost revenue.
While the elections season is a short period usually less than a year, it can leave adverse effects on your business that could last longer or worse see u shut down. These are the 5 key reasons why you should never mix business with politics as an entrepreneur.
1) Your business could lose customers
When you publicly show your political affiliation to a specific political party or candidate you automatically narrow your market share shunning away other customers with a different political affiliation. Some customers may stay but once they see your competitor sharing their political ideology chances are high they will choose them over your business and this will reduce your revenues.
2) Your business could incur bad debts
Politicians are very smart businessmen and once u mix business with politics you will grow a sense of favoritism towards your preferred candidates thus be inclined to offer the goods or services on credit with hopes of collecting the payments once the elections are done. This is a wrong move because once elections are done it is hard for any candidate to clear all their dates both deliberately and out of control. If someone wins the election he can get busy and disappear while if someone loses the election he or she is too angry and doesn’t find it important to pay off their debts. Either way, your business will incur bad debts.
3) Post-election resentments towards your business
Like I shared earlier, the political season is brief but the adverse effects of mixing politics with business stay much longer. After the elections, voters who got your clear message affiliating yourself to a specific candidate or political party will shun your business. They can view your business as an outcast and try as much to avoid it or be seen to associate with you. This kills the revenues of your business.
4) First allow your business to recover from the COVID-19 pandemic impacts
The COVID-19 pandemic came with several rounds of lockdowns where many businesses more especially the restaurants and nightlife businesses suffered with the majority being closed. The only industries that grew in the pandemic time were the health and information industries. All other industries were affected including one with your business. Before u start mixing politics with business remember your business will need at least 3 years of consistent growth to recover.
5) Loss of business time thus little or no growth
Focus is a key attribute that any entrepreneur and a necessity for the growth of any business. Once you get your attention diverted by politics you will end up indirectly abandoning your business or giving it less attention. This will stop the growth of your business.