This post contains some rare commentary related to the Religious Freedom Restoration Act (RFRA) recently passed in Indiana (similar to bills being passed and proposed in other states). Ordinarily, political content does not make its way into the Business in Blue Jeans Blog, however there are business consequences that you need to consider, so I decided to open the topic up for discussion.
A Bit of Local RFRA News from Indiana
While my clients are all over the world, I’m based in Indianapolis, Indiana, so political activity in Indiana impacts me.
Recently, Indiana legislators passed a Religious Freedom Restoration Act (total side note, but it’s super fascinating to me that the RFRA was actually originally created to benefit Native Americans).
I’m not a lawyer, so I can’t get into the legal questions of this bill.
And while I am going to try to focus on the business side of this issue, I will say that discrimination of any kind is wrong. And Business in Blue Jeans is Open For Service to all people. If you want to start and/or grow a business, we’re here to help everyone. (Tweet this)
So having said all of that, let’s focus on the business implications of allowing your personal beliefs to determine who your business serves.
It’s Not Just Personal. It’s a Branding Issue
When your personal beliefs start to creep into deciding whether or not to serve people, you start to negatively impact your brand. (Tweet this)
I know several local business owners who frequently litter Facebook with their political views, arguing with people, posting angrily…and I’ll bet you anything that they never think about the fact that their business name is attached to their personal name. I’ll bet they never think about just how much business they lose with the way they behave.
As a business owner, you want to open your arms to potential customers and clients…not shut them out. (Tweet this)
In the many years I’ve been in business, I’ve been fortunate to have clients who, for the most part, I liked. But now and then, especially in the early years, I’ve had clients I didn’t particularly enjoy.
Some clients I didn’t care for because of the kind of business they were in. Some were just kind of jerks. In the early days of a business, you can’t often afford to choose who you’ll work with, because you need the business.
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