The United States is the most heavily regulated society in the world, with some studies placing the cost of regulation at nearly $10,000 per employee and $15,000 per family. The White House’s Office of Management and Budget estimates the federal government alone spends up to $84 billion annually in regulatory costs. Every regulatory change can have far-reaching consequences for how a business operates, what sort of environment it must create for employees and customers, and even whether the basic business plan is viable. No business is immune to governmental oversight.The smart business will recognize that this extensive regulation presents an opportunity. Establishing strong relationships with key decision-makers, (in the political world with elected representatives and in the regulatory arena with agency officials), can help shape the regulatory environment in your favor.By creating relationships before problems arise, a company is well positioned to both play defense (prevent and correct regulatory actions) and offense (shape potential legislation and rules). Although it is possible to create relationships on an as-needed basis, treating government agents as a true partner by involving them as early as possible is the most effective method to build strong relationships.There are two areas where relationships are key, and each requires their own, individual game plan.
- With Elected Officials, the primary concerns are outward facing issues and public perception arguments. These might include:
- How many jobs will be created or lost?
- How many employees live in the district?
- What sort of monetary impact will a decision have on the local constituents?
- Regulatory and Agencies are more concerned with work related arguments that address internal issues. These might include:
- Are you making their job easier?
- What hard data can you use to determine if the proposed actions will be counterproductive or helpful?
- Will there be a negative or positive impact on the program beneficiaries?
Some businesses are seeking to expand their presence in particular states and among the members of the various committees in the United States House of Representatives and United States Senate. The purpose of our group is to assist these companies to better achieve their stated objectives. Our representation would involve promoting their mission, working with the states’ legislative entities to create better awareness of these companies’ core values and identifying and promoting good legislation that relates to their welfare. S4 has pre-existing relationships with many elected officials.
In addition to our legislative efforts, we can also interact with state and municipal regulatory agencies and advise on how to mobilize a grass roots campaign (when needed) to support the specific company’s government affairs efforts.