After I purchased a home and settled down in a city, I realized that my local elections mattered more than ever. In addition to dictating my property taxes and the overall health of our city roads, those elections might also determine the quality of the city website, irrigation system, and even our water rights for the year. Instead of simply ignoring the elections and focusing on my personal life, I started analyzing the local politics and reading up on the candidates. It took a lot of work, but eventually I felt comfortable with my choice of candidate. I want others to understand local elections, which is why this entire blog is about government and politics.
Businesses can find that lobbying can be an effective way of helping to gain influence on important topics for the enterprise. While lobbying can be a normal part of government, it is not very well understood by business leaders, and this can put them at a disadvantage when considering whether lobbying services will be right for their enterprise's needs.
Myth: Lobbyists Can Only Benefit National Companies
One of the most prevalent misconceptions about lobbying is that it will only be a useful option for extremely large companies that operate on a national level. However, this is not the case at all. In fact, most lobbying efforts will occur at the local level. This can involve lobbying for zoning and regulatory changes. This can make lobbying an effective option for businesses of almost any size.
Myth: All Lobbying Work Requires Major Political Donations
Another assumption about lobbying work is that it will always require major donations to political actors. Yet, this is not always the case as there can be many ways for lobbying work to be effective. For example, politicians will often struggle with having all of the information that they need to make informed decisions. As a result, lobbyists will often be able to influence decision-makers by presenting them with proposals, studies, and other information that can influence their decision. In some instances, the lobbyists may even be able to provide entire bills, regulations, or other documents for the politician to propose.
Myth: Lobbying Is Always Done Reactively
Many businesses may assume that lobbying should typically be used in a defensive way to stave off negative rules or other changes that could impact their bottom line. However, it is also possible for an enterprise to use lobbying in an offensive manner. This can be especially important for businesses that rely on government contracts as lobbying can be used in an effort to be awarded more of these lucrative deals. Additionally, businesses can lobby to repeal regulations or other restrictions that will prevent them from expanding or offering certain new services.
Effectively using lobbying can help to give your business a major advantage. However, lobbying is one of the least understood aspects of modern governance, and this can be especially true of business leaders who are normally detached from the political process. By clarifying some myths about lobbying services, you can position yourself to effectively use these services to protect and grow your business.