Every two years, the timing seems to work out just perfectly — perfect in a sarcastic sense that actually means terrible. Once again, an issue of the Business Times goes to press on election day. If everything goes according to schedule, the paper will be printed long before polls close. Consequently, it’s a bit difficult to report election results without relying on the predictive powers of crystal balls and tea leaves.
While there’s a sense of urgency in journalism to want to report news as quickly as possible, there also are some benefits from being forced to wait. While it can be exciting to report election night results as they come in, the process sometimes drags on to the next morning and even then remains inconclusive. Moreover, there’s the considerable advantage that comes from letting the proverbial dust settle to obtain a clearer view of what actually happened.
As important as it is to report election results, it’s still more important to report on the long-term ramifications. As important as it is to report who and what wins, it’s more important to report what all that means — especially to business owners and managers who have to deal with the consequences.
An especially rancorous presidential race has attracted a lot of attention, naturally, as have some of the down ballot contests. But here in Colorado, the multitude of proposed constitutional amendments and other measures on the ballot also pose the potential for significant repercussions. For businesses, think about changes in health care insurance and minimum wages, for two examples.
The day-to-day effects of the election well could linger long after the polls have closed and hyperbolic punditry hopefully has diminished.
Having written all that, here’s yet another election day observation to consider in juxtaposition. Effective business owners and managers adapt to changing conditions, whether that’s in the marketplace or regulatory environment. Rarely that’s thanks to government intervention and more frequently in spite of it.
Good businesses remain in business because of the products and services they offer customers. Successful entrepreneurs recognize a need and sometimes even develop a need, then work hard to meet that need better, faster or less expensively than competitors.
That’s something worth reporting regardless of the timing.