Should Our Businesses Have Political Ideals

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Originally posted by @Thomas Garza :

Over the past year there have been a lot of political hot button topics making their way to the public eye. Some of the issues that have blanketed our news coverage include racism, gay rights, gun rights, and religious freedom. Like most of you I have an opinion on each one of these, but I am having difficulty deciding whether or not my real estate business should have a position on these topics as well.

There have been dozens of companies make their way into the spotlight by making a stance on any number of these issues, but I don’t know if that is a logical business decision. Do you think it is wise to separate your personal political ideals, or do they have a place in your business? 

 You can do whatever you want as a private business.. but just because you can do something, doesn't mean you should.  If you take a stance on a political option, be prepared for the positive and the negative.  Example:

  • Chick-fil-A operates with Christian principles, which is their prerogative.  They are not open on Sunday and contribute money to groups that adhere to similar principles.  This undoubtedly wins business from conservative, traditional family-values types.. but on the flip side of the coin, it really ended up alienated a segment of customers: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Chick-fil-A_same-sex...

  Is this good or bad for Chick-fil-A?  I don't know.. but at the end of the day, they were operating under the principles that they thought were appropriate and that is what helps their leadership sleep at night.

My point is this: do what you need to, but be prepared to handle the good and the bad that might come with it.

@Thomas Garza, I would be very, very careful with using your business for a political statement (any statement). I work in the Bay Area and it is an absolute minefield if you do not agree with the majority out here. I have seen businesses go down in less than a year because someone got upset at a position that they have, even if it has absolutely nothing to do with your business. A lot of people are just looking to be angry and if you give them an excuse, they'll find it. I made the decision a long time ago to be political or charitable with my profits, not my business. If you feel strongly about something (and I hope that you do and that you get involved), I would recommend you do it with the profits from your business and on a personal level, not a corporate level. 

Originally posted by @Thomas Garza :

Over the past year there have been a lot of political hot button topics making their way to the public eye. Some of the issues that have blanketed our news coverage include racism, gay rights, gun rights, and religious freedom. Like most of you I have an opinion on each one of these, but I am having difficulty deciding whether or not my real estate business should have a position on these topics as well.

There have been dozens of companies make their way into the spotlight by making a stance on any number of these issues, but I don’t know if that is a logical business decision. Do you think it is wise to separate your personal political ideals, or do they have a place in your business? 

 Why not ask Donald Trump? 

Same with religion, unless you think you're going to build a business off a segment of the population. 

Besides, in RE we have laws concerning excluding other groups, while a certain political group isn't a protected class, I'll bet there are protected classes in that political group, so that might be difficult.

Why alienate a 1/2 or 1/3 or even a 1/4 of some political crazies from your point of view just to run them away wearing your beliefs on your shirt sleeve? I prefer the green party, no not that green party, the green MONEY party! 

Americans don't mature well, many are still in the high school mode, rival football teams and all that, which is the better school. Oh boy, but let a rival team go to state and all of a sudden all those other schools in town are rooting for the home team! I suggest we just be Americans first and conduct ourselves accordingly in public, you can get political when when it's more private...IMMO. :) 

I am very opinionated when it comes to politics. However; I know that half of the country thinks differently than I do. 

Unless an issues affects real estate, construction, development, etc. I don't think it has a place in business. However; that doesn't mean I don't contact my representatives and voice my concerns if policies are going to have a negative effect on business. 

I call my construction company 1st American Construction. The reason being, I am the first generation on my fathers side born in the USA. He immigrated from Portugal. Also, I believe in putting American workers first, and try to buy American made products when I can. I call those things honoring my father, and being patriotic, not being political. 

Originally posted by @Ryan Brantley :
Originally posted by @Thomas Garza:
  • Chick-fil-A operates with Christian principles, which is their prerogative.  They are not open on Sunday and contribute money to groups that adhere to similar principles....

Is this good or bad for Chick-fil-A?  

Interesting Note Chick-fil-A has the highest per store sales of any fast food type restaurant.

Originally posted by @Thomas Garza :

Over the past year there have been a lot of political hot button topics making their way to the public eye... Do you think it is wise to separate your personal political ideals, or do they have a place in your business? 

Since you're talking about political issues,

you could play politician and tell one group one thing

and another group the opposite. 

My thoughts are why bother if it doesn't directly benefit not just effect but BENEFIT your empire, so to state! Sure multi-million dollar Fortune 500 companies get involved with that sort of thing mind you AFTER they've 'made it' to the 8 figure profit mark. By all means if you are already there then you are certainly in a different position one of serious clout and power to bend the rules, make your own even -- controversy often sells. However, if you don't attend the same country clubs and blacktie affairs as the owner of Chik-fila, Starbucks, Trump etc, it might not be in your companies best interest to go there; ergo keep your personal views personal and business separate. My coin.

Kudos,

Mary

I ask businesses that I'm going to do business with who they give their money and time to so I can decide if I want to give them my money. I think about it this way. If I pay you $1 and you give 10% to a church I don't agree with it's like I'm giving 10% to that church. So, I vote with my dollars. I don't offer my political views to a potential customer unless they ask.

@Thomas Garza

You're asking for personal opinions, so that's what you're going to get from me...my opinion about what I feel personally.

I am an Evangelical Christian.  However, that is my personal choice, just like it is everyone else's personal choice to believe as they choose.  I describe myself as a fiscal conservative and social moderate.  Meaning...I have a disdain for big government and overspending, and I don't believe the government should be in the business of legislating morality.

I don't have an agenda, nor do I push my beliefs off on anyone else.  If someone asks me what I believe, I will tell them unashamedly.  If they ask me why we operate our business the way we do, with the values we do, we will answer them directly.  

However, if I am politically active in my business, it will be because a particular piece of legislation directly impacts my business or the general business climate.  If there is an impending vote on a piece of legislation that will be detrimental to business and an available candidate will confidently oppose that legislation, then yes...I will support that candidate.  I might donate to the campaign.  I might volunteer.  I might even sponsor an event.  However, I will not associate the name and/or reputation of our business with that candidate.  I've watched too many politicians fall, and we have worked too hard building our reputation to tie it to someone else's character.

I may be political at times, but our business is an enterprise...a free one...participating in modern capitalism.

the reason many company's cater to specious political issues is that special interests are vocal and disruptive, whereas the majority keeps quite and doesn't want to get involved. until things get bad enough that the silent majority gets motivated and involved you are going to see more companies pandering to special interests even if they represent a small market share

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