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5 Ways to Keep Political Views Out of Your Business
  • 08 November 2016
  • Eric Michaels

5 Ways to Keep Political Views Out of Your Business

When you are running a small business, you should do your best to avoid getting into heated political debates with your customers, suppliers, and competitors. This practice is particularly important this year, as commentators have described the state of U.S. politics using words such as "polarized," "heated," and "unprecedented." Nonetheless, it can be difficult to separate the two spheres when politics take up so much airtime on TV and online. Here are five ways to keep political views out of your business.

1. Avoid posting political signage

Regardless of which party you support, you can potentially alienate a large portion of your potential customers by voicing your political opinions. But you do not even have to express your views verbally to lose business; something as simple as a sign in your window or a bumper sticker on your company car could cost you a client. Another danger zone is sharing political views on your social media pages. If you still want an opportunity to show people what you believe in, you may want to display signage that calls attention to your support of a local charity, instead.

2. Change the channel

If you have a television running in your store, office, or waiting room, you might want to avoid broadcasting news channels. Unfortunately, many customers or visitors may see a particular news coverage as biased. Your best bet is to broadcast something less controversial, such as a local sports game. After all, everyone loves to see their home team in action. Radio and Internet choices are equally important in this political climate. While inflammatory talk radio should obviously be off-limits, it is important to remember that certain news websites may also rub customers the wrong way.

3. Keep the conversation neutral

With so many issues making their way into the national conversation, you may find that generally safe, neutral topics are taking on a political spin. As such, it is best to try to avoid political angles when you are discussing topics such as health care, public safety, education and foreign affairs. While everyone has the right to their own opinion, these views do not need to be expressed in the workplace.

4. Watch where you advertise

Unfortunately, many mainstream media outlets have been accused of playing partisan favorites. As such, you have to keep politics in mind when you are determining where to advertise your business. Choosing to run a radio or television ad on certain stations may suggest that you support a certain party or candidate, thus creating a grudge among some customers. Play it safe by advertising in the most respected publications and local networks. If your ad is seen or heard following the regional weather forecast, it will be hard for someone to slap a political label on your business.

5. Maintain the peace

Encourage your employees to steer clear of political conversations with customers or other employees. You want to maintain civility in any dialogue at the office and people can get heated when they talk about politics. You want your employees to create and maintain encouraging, supporting working relationships with each other. Wading into politics can be dangerous for your bottom line.

Though pundits say America is divided, you can do your best to keep everyone unified in a love for your business. While everyone is entitled to their own political views, these opinions should not make their way into your place of business.

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