As divisive as it may have been, the latest United States presidential election in the United States taught us a lot.
Not only do we know who the next president will be, but we now also have some great small business ideas and insights to glean from the campaigns. Regardless of your political affiliation, or whether or not you even liked either major candidate, there are plenty of takeaways from this memorable event.
Here are just a few lessons relevant to small business owners and entrepreneurs:
Small business loans are overrated
In the latest election, the candidate with the most money did not win. Despite being outspent nearly 2:1, the winner (Donald Trump) proved that more efficient and effective use of marketing and campaign dollars is more beneficial than an endless war chest. The same is true for small business loans and other sources of outside financing: we all think we need it, but few of us actually get it or really even need it. Some of the most effective small businesses are those that bootstrap their way to growth and success.
Never underestimate the power of innovation and disruption
In politics, the establishment (in this case, Hillary Clinton) is often vulnerable to more nimble and lesser-established startups (Trump). Similarly, small businesses that innovate more effectively are often the ones that take market share and profits from larger, more established incumbents. Small business innovation is hard to create and replicate, but those that do it well typically create a unique competitive advantage.
Small business software can scale a business
Political campaigns are generally very good at data mining, but Trump outperformed Clinton in this arena. His campaign knew how to make good use of data, technology, and other related resources to ensure that they knew their target audience, understood what motivates and effects them, and ultimately turns them into customers (votes). Small business software can do the same for your business. The smart use of technology can help you better define your target market, understand customer behavior, and identify areas to maximize your sales efforts to existing and potential customers.
Mobilize your troops and resources to win
Just as is the case with politics, winners usually do a great job of mobilizing limited resources and employees for maximum effect. Small business management is a skill missing from many entrepreneurs’ resumes, but it is an important one. Being a good leader, managing and prioritizing work loads, and providing other important management to your organization is a key to long-term success.
Small business failure often times lead to success
Both candidates had a string of successes and failures throughout their careers – although it could be argued that the failures are more important. It’s rare to see a successful entrepreneur that succeeds on the first try. The ones that do succeed early on often recognize their weaknesses and learn from other small business failures. One way to do this is through effective small business training such as that provided by Luminary Small Business Academy.
Though they may seem unrelated, this year’s political season is strikingly similar to small business. Look carefully, and there are plenty of lessons to be learned.