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What does this election chaos mean for business owners in Australia?

What does this election chaos mean for business owners in Australia?

Well like most Australians I was expecting to come to work this week knowing who is governing our country... and all being able to move forward with our business plans with some semblance of normality… 

And yet we woke up Sunday to a collective “WTF?”…
So alas, here we are again with a potential hung parliament and the country holding our breath as final ballots are counted… and Pauline Hanson in the senate. Don’t even get me started on that.

So what does this mean for business owners in Australia?

There’s no doubt that the best outcome for business would have been a clear win by either party, providing reassurance that parliament could move forward and work productively to maintain a strong economy.

But that ship has well and truly sailed…

So now whilst we wait for an election result, what does it mean for small business owners in particular, and what can we do to minimise the impact of this clusterf*#k of an election?

1) The first thing we need is our political leaders to behave like grownups

Whichever parties combine to form our new government need to get on the same page fast to focus on the tasks at hand. Economic confidence will continue to waver as long as there is instability and political chaos.

The Business Council of Australia has appealed to political leaders to “provide a road map as soon as possible through the uncertainty of an unclear election result to a functioning government”. BCA chief executive Jennifer Westacott said “While counting of votes is likely to continue for several days, Australians and Australian business can ill-afford gridlock, recriminations or infighting”.

So lets hope our leaders all put their grownup pants on and get along? And on the topic of wearing our grownup pants... there is also plenty we can do to help ourselves….

2) Don’t get caught up in all the negative hype

In a lot of sectors it is business as usual – history has shown that with the exception of major purchases, consumers will still generally purchase in the same patterns regardless of the political landscape, despite the media hype. When it comes to consumer goods – food, clothing and necessities - most retailers will not see a big negative impact, particularly not in the short term. So for mine it is head down, bum up, business as usual people.

3) Give your customers something to entice them off the couch

Have you just had an End of Financial year sale that you feel was a bit soft on previous years results? Well now is a good time to extend it for a few weeks and boost it with some value to get your customers through the door. The purchase of big ticket items in particular can often be put on hold during times of uncertainty, but one thing we know as marketers is that consumers are smart, and they know a good deal when they see one. So now might just be the best time to offer it to them.

4) Most importantly, don’t disappear from sight!

Sometimes when times are looking tough, there is a tendency for small business owners to want to pull back on their marketing activities… and if there is one recommendation I can make, it is do not disappear from sight. It’s imperative to keep your brand in front of your target audience, ESPECIALLY when your competitors may not be.

Confidence and spending WILL return and those businesses that have maintained their branding and communication will be top of the customers mind as soon as it’s time to reach into their pockets.

image courtesy of 1015fm

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