Successful Entrepreneurs

People to Learn From...Barack Obama

Written by Anne Hauser for Gaebler Ventures

Barack Obama is blazing a trail in politics. So what can entrepreneurs learn from his campaign? Quite a bit, as it turns out.

Regardless of which candidate's policies you support, every small business can learn about managing their businesses from presumptive Democratic presidential nominee Barack Obama.

Never before in history has one candidate had so much buzz and voter to voter conversation surrounding his campaign.

Obama works hard promoting himself and his ideas, but there is something about him that makes his supporters so eager to talk about him.

Obama's campaign is a well-oiled machine, built off small donations from lots of people, and some free work from people eager to spread his message. He makes people want to work for him. His personal and family image is one of warmth and success, and he makes sure his campaign acts on that.

For example, on popular social networking site, you can make Barack Obama one of your professional connections. There's a feeling of appreciation and familiarity that comes from having Barack Obama as one of your connections on

Business Lessons from Barack Obama

Even though, it's not really Obama, and just one of his staffers, the important lesson is that Obama is available to his supporters, in exactly the same way small business owners should be available to their consumers. It people feel like you want to be available to them, they will be more likely to contact you.

In addition to his online availability, his Web page is clean and accessible, filled with "tell a friend" and "donate now" links to make it easy for supporters to link their friends to his information.

More than anything, to his supporters and employees, Obama is a leader. What every company needs is a leader whom people like working for.

Be available to your employees and your customers and positive word of mouth and success will follow. Small businesses should learn to generate hype the same way Obama has: by claiming to be different, being available and helpful, and making your people want to work for you.

Anne Hauser is a freelance writer who is currently a double major in Magazine Journalism and English at the University of Missouri.

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