What can we learn from this crazy election?

This is not a political editorial. I will leave that for the talking heads on TV. I want to take a look at for lessons the business community should learn from this crazy yet historic election:

Be authentic

Customers crave authenticity. You know this with your brand. Any company that oversteps its brand will confuse its customers and damage the brand. We saw this with the contrast between Hillary and Donald. How many times did Hillary try to “reintroduce herself”? She had been in the public area for over 40 years. The public knew who she was. Any attempt to manage or change her brand was futile. Trump on the other hand was true to his brand. Every pundit said that he would change once he got the nomination or was elected. No way. This man knows branding and he is not going to change. This morning he tweeted seven times!

Know your customer

Politics is all about getting to 50 plus one. It is a zero sum game in that you either win enough to take office or you don’t. You have to know who is going to vote for you and who is not. The same is true with business. Know your target market and relentless pursue them. Delight them with your product or service. Anticipate their needs and wants even if they cannot articulate them. Trump did this. Hillary did not. Trump tapped in to people’s angst. Enough of them responded to give him the election.

Never take your customer for granted

It is a cardinal rule in business that it costs more to get a new customer than to keep an existing one. Never, ever take your hard won customer for granted. It has been reported that the Clinton campaign was so confident in their victory; they shifted resources to Republican states to try and increase the size of the victory. Meanwhile she never (or under) campaigned in her core states of Wisconsin, Michigan and Pennsylvania. They were the ‘blue wall” states that virtually guaranteed her victory. The campaign took them for granted and she lost.

Stay scared and don’t listen to the masses

Every successful business owner wakes up feeling like they are behind. You can never rest. He or she knows there is another business out there working to take away their livelihood. Even when everything appears to be going your way, stay scared. Hillary was lulled into a failed strategy by listening to the press and pundits who were focused on the size of her upcoming victory rather than the victory itself.

This was an historic election. It will be reviewed and written about for years and years to come. I have no idea what the political consequences will be but I will not forget some of the important business lessons I learned from it. I think Andersen embodied these principles. Be authentic. Listen to your clients and the markets and above all else “Think Straight, Talk Straight”.

We’d like to thank Andersen Tax for its continued sponsorship. We have a very interesting and informative newsletter this quarter. If you have content, you would like published in a future newsletter just let me know.

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Kirk Hancock