Does The Election Matter?

Aug. 1, 2012
In less than 100 days, Americans will go to the polls to choose between Barack Obama and Mitt Romney for the presidency of the United States. Does it really matter who wins? Should you care?

In less than 100 days, Americans will go to the polls to choose between Barack Obama and Mitt Romney for the presidency of the United States. Does it really matter who wins? Should you care?

For your business, you cannot let it matter. You cannot let it become an excuse. You cannot let it affect your decision making.

At the start of the recession, I began asking Service Roundtable members to make a decision. If the country fell into recession, I asked them to choose not to participate. Instead of looking at the unemployment, I advised they look at employment (currently at 85% to 92% depending on the index you prefer). Focus on people who have jobs and money, I said, rather than people who do not. With hundreds or thousands of contractors carving up your trade area, any individual contractor’s share of the market is likely so small that plenty of opportunity awaits by taking business from timid competitors.

At HVAC Comfortech, we passed out hundreds of t-shirts that defiantly proclaimed, “Blast the economy. Full profits ahead!” I tried to explain that people let recessions paralyze them. The business environment seems uncertain, so business owners do nothing. In essence, they try to save their way to prosperity, which is impossible for a business. Just when more effort is required to attract customers, business owners get conservative and exert less effort.

Ironically, this makes recessions a ripe time for gains. A significant portion of the competition stops marketing and appears to disappear (some really do disappear by shutting down). By increasing your marketing, you take so much business away from the shrinking competition that it more than makes up for any impact from the downturn.

The analogy I frequently use is running against the wind. If you go for a run and the wind kicks up in your face, it slows you. Yet, by putting forth more effort, you can overcome the wind and maintain or even, increase your pace.

The contractors who share this philosophy are doing well today. They are outperforming their competition, making money, and increasing sales. Yes, it’s difficult. No, it’s not easy. But it’s doable and they’re doing it. So can you!

Don’t let a lackluster economy become an excuse for poor performance by your company. Similarly, do not let the outcome of an election affect how well your company will perform in the future. If a president enacts stupid policies that hurt your business, the policies will also hurt your competitors. When some of them disappear, aggressive contractors stand to gain.

By contrast, a president who enacts terrific policies helps your competition as much as you. In fact, good policies might allow weak competitors to survive longer.

Whether a president enacts good or bad policies, whether congress passes good or bad legislation, and whether the economy is robust or lackluster is less important to your business than your actions. You matter most! Your effort, along with the effort of everyone on your team matters far more than the economy or political party in power! Compared to the impact you can make on your business, the election will not matter unless you let it matter. Resolve to perform better no matter who wins in November.

Over the next 100 days, don’t focus on presidential politics. Focus on your business. Focus on yourself. Focus on your team. Focus on the things that really matter.

Matt Michel is the CEO of the Service Roundtable, which helps thousands of contractors prosper regardless of the economy and occupant of the Oval Office. Learn how you can prosper with thousands of downloadable business templates, peer-to-peer support, and a free buying group that’s already paid contractors more than $1,000,000 this year. Call 877.262.3341 or visit

About the Author

Matt Michel | Chief Executive Officer

Matt Michel was a co-founder and CEO of the Service Roundtable ( The Service Roundtable is an organization founded to help contractors improve their sales, marketing, operations, and profitability. The Service Nation Alliance is a part of this overall organization. Matt was inducted into the Contracting Business HVAC Hall of Fame in 2015. He is now an author and rancher.