Most small business owners wouldn’t consider hiring a lobbyist to help them protect their business interests however it may be a very useful thing to do.
What does a lobbyist do exactly?
An effective lobbyist will represent your business and your business interests in the local or state government bodies. The goal is to make sure that your voice is heard and that your interest are taking into consideration when new legislation is written.
Also a good lobbyist will keep you informed about new legislation or potential changes to existing legislation that may impact your business.
Who needs a lobbyist?
All businesses that are impacted by a lot of legislation may benefit from hiring a lobbyist. Good examples are for instance liquor stores, convenience stores, transportation companies, taxi and limo companies but also medical practices and dentists could use a lobbyist to work with.
What to look for in a good lobbyist?
When you decide to work with a lobbyist it will benefit you to ask him or her the right questions before hiring them.
1) How much experience do they have as a lobbyist?
2) How long have they been working as a lobbyist in your state?
2) How familiar are they with your particular business or industry?
3) What is the quality and size of their network in your particular state?
4) How professional is their representation (overall appearance, website, business card etc.)
5) Ask for references. At least three that you can call.
6) Discuss what they will do for you and for what period of time they will be working for you.
7) Does this include a certain number of hours or activities?
8) And finally make sure that you get a written and signed contract.
Is your business to small to hire a lobbyist?
A smart way to work with a lobbyist is to do so from your business association. Most businesses have an association in their state. Ask them if they already work with a lobbyist.