Advocacy : the secret of success

Advocacy : the secret of success

Advocacy is when you stand up and actively support a cause, policy or an idea that you believe in. Business advocacy has the power to bring about changes in policies, regulations, and laws that would otherwise negatively affect businesses. Not just large organizations but small businesses too need advocates.

Why is advocacy so important?
Advocacy helps businesses when they can’t help themselves. When businesses need their issues to be sorted out with easy and much better skills then partnering with advocates can save the day for them quite often than not. Even at a local level, when businesses make use of advocates to take charge, it also helps them grow and in turn create a stronger economy. Internationally, advocacy can be used to reach agreements that are otherwise hard to achieve as a single entity. For instance, trade advocacy can place exporters on a competitive scale in foreign markets or protect exporters from local businesses by giving them special privileges, quotas, or tariffs.

How can you do it?
Hire consultants:
One may choose to hire a consultant to advocate on your behalf. They have a better and in-depth understanding of the legislation and working of the advocacy process. If businesses have a tough time managing themselves and advocating at the same time, it is a better idea to delegate this job to an experienced advocate. Only catch could be the cost of hiring such an advocate.

Be part of trade associations:
An important task that Chambers of Commerce has to manage is to foster a growing environment for the local businesses. They provide forum to businesses to voice out their concerns about new or existing policies that are adversely affecting their business. Being a part of the chambers or trade associations will help business leverage this contact.

Be an advocate yourself:
Businesses can choose to be their own advocates and lobby for causes that hurt their plan to succeed. They can educate themselves about the ways to lobby, build enough contacts so that they are heard by the right people, and successfully resolve the issues.

Brand Advocacy
Creating and maintaining good reputation for businesses is the primary factor in building an empire out of a small business. With bad reputation, no business has ever survived. Therefore, an important part of marketing strategy for many businesses is to create brand advocacy. Your best brand advocates can be your customers/clients and employees. This will help in organically building brand visibility, get noticed by big media house, and reach a wider audience without much interference.

Customer Advocacy
Customer advocacy is when companies decide to concentrate heavily on customer servicing. When customers are not just repeat buyers, but they spread positive reviews about your company then they become advocates. They form an important part of the business, which, unfortunately, often is neglected. Over 58% of companies in the US have no idea who their advocates are while over 80% of companies don’t use it as a marketing strategy.

Advocacy deserves much more respect than it currently gets, slowly as companies learn about the benefits of this they are sure to turn to advocacy for boosting their business and make it part of their business plans.

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