BUSINESS TIPS: 4 LESSONS FROM JOE BIDEN AND DONALD TRUMP’S ELECTION TO CHANNEL TO YOUR BUSINESS
The 2020 U.S election drew global attention. All over the world, people from Africa, Europe, Asia etcetera wanted with bated breathe to see the outcome of the election. Observers critically followed the campaign strategies of the two presidential candidates and debated amongst themselves who the winning candidate is likely to be.
It has been a few days since the results were rolled out. hile the clouds of dust have not yet settled, it is time to reflect deeply on the proceedings of this election and what life lessons we can possibly glean from it.
More importantly, it is time to ask; “what lessons can we learn from them and channel to our businesses in order to boost sales?” In a world of increasing financial instability and crumbling business, any tips to boost your business should be prioritized. So, here are 4 business tips curated from the just-concluded U.S election;
1 FOCUS ON YOUR BUSINESS PRIORITIES In the past few weeks, during the U.S election campaign, we saw instances where there were attempts to turn a story about emails from Biden’s son; Hunter into a major scandal. Currently, we can still see the feelings of disunity and distrust in the just-concluded election on the part of some Americans. What has Joe Biden done in response to both situations? He immediately responded; in the first instance, addressing and dismissing the email story about his son as a conspiracy theory, after which he immediately and doggedly focused on his campaign again. In the second instance, he reassured faith in the voting system, but was very quick to pivot to talking about crucial issues facing Americans and the challenges of his office as the new president to solve them.
Similarly, in business, a lot of challenges will crop up; some of them so insignificant that they are actually there to confuse you from focusing on the real deal. By all means, look into all issues, but first determine how important each is and how much mental energy you need to address them; then allocate no more than the necessary efforts and move on to more important issues. The more you are able to keep external influences and pressures from inconsequential matters at bay, the more likely you are to succeed in your business.
2. TACTICAL PLANNING IS VITAL 9 days before the U.S Election Day, the two presidential candidates were invited to an interview on “60 Minutes”. The aim of the interview was simple; to know their views and visions for the country on pressing issues. Again, their campaign strategy were different. While one candidate made light of the pressing issues (like the pandemic and the deteriorating economy) and could not give clear answers or direction to where his governance would lead, the other was more direct and clear about his plans and how he aims to achieve them.
Tactical planning is vital and we could see the role it played before and during the election. The election planning and campaign was already underway before the advent of the COVID-19 pandemic, which was certainly not envisaged. It is a given that the campaign committee of both presidential candidates must have sat together to discuss the campaign strategies and memorandum to adopt for the election prior to this pandemic. Perhaps, they chose the education sector and economy to address as some of their agenda. But with the onset of the pandemic, would it have been wise to continue with these campaign strategies and agenda? Not exactly! Instead, a tactical plan would have been the best decision in order to pivot. The need to include the health sector as the topmost goal to address would surely was surely a winning strategy.
Relating this to business, many entrepreneurs have big visions for their businesses. You plan to make $1 million per month in revenue by the next five years, right? This is laudable and perhaps, even achievable. But have you really sat down to think and plan on how you will achieve this? Can you make tactical decisions for unforeseen circumstances? Have you been able to pivot in the face of the ongoing pandemic? Do you know that opportunities exist even with the harshness of the pandemic? Take, for instance, Delta Airline pivoting to Delta Clean and still keeping a fair share of their customer base.
3. ONLY MAKE PROMISES YOU CAN KEEP As an ardent observer of the U.S election, I could discern the negative role that overconfidence played in the campaign strategy of Donald Trump. His campaign strategy was to portray confidence, which was evident in the many hasty words that he said – or rather tweeted.
But there is only a thin line between confidence and overconfidence, and his campaign strategy bordered right on overconfidence. What overconfidence does is that it takes away your power and focus from what you can do better to truly win because it already wrapped you in a cocoon of false assurance that you will win irrespective of your actions or inactions. But what if his campaign strategy had been a bit different? What if his campaign manager had known better how to handle his campaign? He would surely have won because he had all the odds in favor of him.
In the world of business, similar scenarios happen. There you are quietly growing your business and you suddenly observed that your business competitor appears to be having exponential growth and is loud about it. You are tempted to do something – anything at all – to bust his bubbles. And then, you come up with promo programs and other lofty promises for your customers. But obviously, you know that your business is not currently in the best position to make and keep such promises.
Your customers are watching, waiting to see how trustworthy you are; whether or not you keep to your promises. And yet, you think about making lofty promises? What do you expect the results of your actions to be like? Why are you engaging in a baseless competition in the wrong ways? If you want to compete, why not go down to the basics? Get to the nitty-gritty of it all and work on delivering quality products and services. Do not lose your power to act and win to the false promises of overconfidence!
4. THE RIGHT VISION AND BRAND STORY SETS YOU APART It is speculated that the winning strategy that was adopted by the new President-elect to unseat the incumbent president – amongst other reasons – was his pledge to unify and mend the nation from the ravages of the pandemic, faltering economy, and deep political divisions. It was evident that he had done his research and understood the challenges currently facing Americans. He went on to leverage on that knowledge to position himself to win the presidential seat.
This is applicable to your business too. Do you know what the challenges of your customers are? Are your products and services really solving those challenges? If you do not have the right vision, then the chances that you have a good sense of purpose and direction for your business is low. In the same vein, if you do not tell your brand story yourself, your customers will not be able to relate to your story.