Don’t be fooled by the date on the calendar. The 2012 elections are already well underway and because it’s a campaign season, you can guarantee there will be some big bucks spent in the coming months. In fact, it’s estimated that over $8 billion dollars will be spent by candidates seeking public office next year. Agh! Anyone else having nightmares about the upcoming commercials?
Whatever you’re feeling on politics is, there are plenty of ways to profit from the circus. Small business owners have a unique opportunity, but follow me to the end and I’ll show you a couple of ways that non-business owners can make a buck too.
Market Your Business
Anytime you hear a number like $8 billion dollars, every small business owner should be thinking about how to get a piece of it. That money is going to be spent somewhere and there’s no reason that your business can’t take advantage.
The most common expenses of a campaign are, of course, advertising, travel, and office expenses. If you’re in one of those markets, than it’s likely you are already doing some sort of marketing to the candidates. However, candidates have hundreds of other expenses from catering to flowers to office cleaning.
Try networking with local campaign officials or send your advertising material to their campaign offices. A great place to find a list of campaign addresses is to search the database at the Federal Election Commission website. You can also market your business to campaigns other than federal candidates. Even campaigns for state representative and city council have significant expenses and can be a potential new market for your business. Also, don’t forget about the advocacy groups like environmental groups and business/trade groups.
Not a small business owner?
Even if you don’t own a small business there are lots of other ways to make money from the elections. This may be truly wacky to some, but if you’re the gambling type, you can bet on the election results at sportsbook sites like BoDog and Intrade.
Another great way to make money is to design and sell campaign memorabilia on sites like CafePress. It’s super easy to create t-shirts and campaign buttons to sell and you only pay a commission once you’ve made sale. If you pay attention to the news and quickly release new t-shirt after newsworthy events you can make some serious extra money.
My favorite example of this at work is when Joe Biden was famously caught saying “This is a Big #$@# Deal” in a hot mic. A couple of very smart enterpreneurs had t-shirts and coffee cups made and listed them on CafePress within hours of Joe Biden’s moment of candor. Within a week CafePress had sold thousands of pieces of merchandise and of course, the two young entrepreneurs made bank. I’m kicking myself for not thinking of that first!
November 6, 2012 will be hear before you know it. So lets all get to work and think about how to add the 2012 elections to our income stream.
Good Luck Penny Hoarders!