Those who need it most… remain passive
Communicating better with public authorities; working toward a better legislative environment imposed on businesses ; promoting its activity with public authorities: would all this be reserved only for structures endowed with colossal means or for large groups? The answer is obviously negative, and we have already expressed it in previous articles. Public affairs and lobbying are not reserved for those who have enormous means. On the contrary! Actually, companies and associations that do not think about it, or those of smaller size, may be those who need it first. The Emmaus association, founded by Abbé Pierre, was recently noticed by the French business daily Les Echos for its influence over the government and parliamentarians. Emmaus is not a global giant moved and powered by profit!
Why should you act? Because you have 100% chance of being impacted by a political decision
“But, we do regularly hear, is there really any interest for self-employed and SMEs?” Why should they engage in this type of activity, even marginally? The answer is quite simple: they can not stay outside of lobbying and public affairs simply because laws, regulations, decrees, etc., impact all sectors of activity, regardless of the size or status of the company! Governments shape the world in which these self-employed and SMEs evolve. They intervene in a horizontal, cross-cutting way, focusing on companies and the self-employed as a structure (taxation, status, creation, administration, hiring and dismissal, inheritance, liability, data protection, social cover, etc.). They also intervene vertically by focusing on each sector (iron and steel, notary, bakery, fishing, personal services, body care, health, aeronautics, etc.) and by opening or restricting commercial opportunities, among others. Self-employed and SMEs, like all economic players, are therefore concerned by two potential hits, two major types of actions by public authorities. In this context, the probability of being caught is … 100%! There is no doubt about it.
A concrete example
A recent example concerns hair removal. This relates to the lives of tens of thousands of French SMEs and self-employed as well as of millions of French. As recently revealed in the press, a decree will soon be published in the country: it allows beauticians to perform certain hair removal operations (mainly so-called final hair removal) which dermatologists had previously the monopoly for. This amendment of the legislation is the result of a rather tough battle: opening the competition will indeed increase the growth of some playors and may slow down (or even harm) the growth of others. Dermatologists and beauticians are not multinationals: almost all are self-employed and SMEs. But they lobbied!
Nothing to lose, everything to gain
It is therefore economically vital for all these players to get involved, and not to stay away from lobbying and public affairs activities. They have nothing to lose by better communicating with the public authorities. On the contrary, their growth (sometimes even their survival) is at stake!