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How to Approach Business Like a Political Campaign

How to Approach Business Like a Political Campaign

Business and politics are both inherently competitive. It may be no surprise there are similarities between running a business and running for political office. From marketing your product or service to managing finances to developing your social media presence, here is how you can approach your business like a political campaign.

7 Secrets for Transforming Great Leadership Skills into Running a Successful Business From ScanMyPhotos

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Owning a business for thirty years is aspirational. The secret behind’s three decades in business is we have always strategized as if we were a political campaign. This lesson and tested formula are provided to help many.

A political campaign begins with a dream, a few people, and an idea to disrupt, innovate and get a tightly structured message out to many. Identify a problem and solve it without being annoying or disenfranchising people.

Identify a goal. ScanMyPhotos objective was to digitize and preserve the nation’s photo archives. We achieved our target in a big way, having just preserved our one billionth picture.

How to Approach Your Business Like a Political Campaign: How we accomplished our ambitious mission required great toil and overcoming obstacles. Like how we solved technological challenges and motivated people to vote for us by trusting us to digitize their irreplaceable family history.

Seven Secrets for Transforming Great Leadership Skills into Running a Successful Business

1)            Become irreverent rather than complacent

2)            Be serious yet always charismatic

3)            Be relaxed and inspiring

4)            Listen and have an economy with words. Brevity beats jargon.

5)            Ask questions and engage everyone

6)            Solve problems and be disciplined

7)            Get creative to earn attention

The similarity among politicians and business leaders is both require money to raise the tide of awareness. Rather than contributions and donations, companies must dazzle their constituents with extraordinary service to earn their trust, purchases, and long-term goodwill.

Build a “war room” of passionate people to steer your direction. At we get our best ideas from customers. Like the late New York City Mayor Ed Koch, we always ask everyone “how are we doing.” The best answers are from consumers who had a problem. Learning from those who are giving five-star raves isn’t educational. The real lessons are when something went wrong–when you failed to meet their expectations.

As with campaign staffers, companies must hire people who understand the mission and believe in your leadership with passion and purpose.

Look at how candidates for public office study to prep for a debate. They research everything and are prepared to counter any challenges. Before launching a company, the entire team must study everything. Better than just overanalyzing, use the “fire, ready, aim” technique for rapid-fire engagement.

Too often, executives overanalyze and take too much time pondering what to do. Shift from endless meetings and stay committed to brevity. If you schedule a ten-minute meeting, nobody should be on the Zoom call at the eleventh minute, or they will be talking to themselves.

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To earn their vote of approval, companies must be honest, stay on message, and always be focused on solving problems. At ScanMyPhotos, it is typically awful events that bring people to us. From natural disasters to the pandemic, where grieving families rushed to preserve a lifetime of photo memories for memorial services. Before Covid, preparing for wildfires and hurricanes had been the top reason to preserve pictures. It even topped celebrating anniversaries, birthdays and designing generational nostalgic family archives to share.

When you study successful and, just as importantly, losing campaigns, you will learn the similarities with a company’s best practices.

Say your name over and over. It takes voters more than ten times to remember a candidate’s name. Keep reaching out without being too overwhelming or spammy.

You get elected by earning every single vote, yet after in office (business), overconfidence and sloppy practices—forgetting how it all began and your purpose–can be ruinous.

The difference between political campaigns and running a business is elections are infrequent, yet a company can be voted off the island with one lousy customer experience.