Do Business And Politics Mix?
My Saturday small business podcast was all about the political beliefs of the business owner and how those beliefs might affect his or her business.
Should the business owner keep his or her political beliefs private when it comes to their business? Or should they be public?
There’s nothing wrong with being political or having strong political beliefs but at the same time there are people who will never do business with you based on your political beliefs.
I don’t feel that’s a logical way to think or to live your life. But that way of thinking is more common than most people realize.
Emotion vs. Logic
One of my two rules of advertising is, “When emotion and logic come in conflict emotion always wins.”
You’re pitting the emotions of the customer’s political beliefs against the benefit to them of purchasing your product or service.
The stronger the benefit to the customer of having what you offer is, the weaker the customer’s political position not to do business with you becomes.
I don’t particularly like the political beliefs of the Starbuck’s CEO. But that would not keep me from going to Starbuck’s. I just don’t care for the taste of coffeehouse coffee.
I know that Costco is a big donor to the Democrat Party. But that single issue is not going to prevent me from shopping there.
You might say, “Tom, you don’t have very strong principles.” And I would answer that this is not the hill I want to die on.
In other words, there are more important issues in the grand scheme of life than a monthly shopping trip or a cup of coffee.
Should Politics Be Public or Private
I think it would be tough for someone passionate about their beliefs to keep them locked away somewhere.
Most of us take pride in how and what we think.
Sooner or later whatever beliefs you have are going to emerge in some way. And when they do some customers may walk if they have differing beliefs.
Logic vs. Emotion
Some Final Thoughts
In this world of 24/7 social media and sound bites political positions are easily known. If you post on any social media regularly, over time, your friends will know your positions on the issues of the day.
Everyday it seems we see someone “outed” on social media for saying something they assume is private but conflicts with their public persona.
Business is tough enough but when other elements are added in then the water really becomes murky.
I can’t advise you on how public or private your political thoughts and actions should be. That’s entirely up to you. Just understand that your business might take a hit for your personal stand. Logic vs. Emotion