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Here's a hint: Your own actions can decide.

3 minute read

At this point, it doesn’t matter which candidate you voted for in the presidential election, because it’s behind us and Trump is now in office. What does matter now is how his policies will impact us as entrepreneurs, and what it means for our bottom line.

Every president has an agenda for making positive changes. For Trump, he’s focused on improving America; rather than leveraging other countries to manufacture products and help to improve their economies. Whatever your stance is on the issue, the decisions that are made for the country in terms of regulations and taxations will impact how well your business does to a certain extent.

There are good and bad points to his polices that every entrepreneur must consider, including some strategies to minimize any adverse impact.

Bad: international impact

Trump’s policies concerning foreigners could prove problematic in terms of tapping international talent to help with your startup; including having that talent work here in the United States or even remotely. His focus is truly on building up America’s economic worth from the inside; and that’s to be commended on many levels. However, the reality is that we have a talent shortage now that has led us to reach beyond borders to those in other countries for assistance with technical support, software development, and other services.

Another issue is the fact that so many immigrants are the ones behind the development of small businesses here; and have created hundreds of thousands of jobs. So if borders are closed or immigrants are restricted, this could adversely impact the overall economy; which hits the bottom line of every business. As a TechCrunch article noted, “About 25 percent of the engineering and technology companies started in the US between 2006-2012 have at least one key founder who was an immigrant. Just in the engineering and high-tech sectors; immigrant-founded firms employed some 560,000 workers and generated $63 billion in sales in 2012.”

Especially problematic is Trump’s attempt to stop international payments that many entrepreneurs use to pay remote workers. This could further diminish the access to competitively priced talent that is so lacking in our country right now. Potential ways around this issue are to use international credit card processing, ACH payments, and cryptocurrency to continue to use international talent.

Potentially good: small business support to increase

While formal policies have yet to emerge in this area; Trump has rallied around small business and tech startups as part of his push to “make America great again.”  He’s providing more support to all the small businesses that have been behind the economic resurgence since the last recession.

Some of his tax breaks are the first sign of a potential good sign for entrepreneurs’ bottom line; along with promises of more grants and financial programs to stimulate new business development. He has noted his support of the gig economy and the increase in homegrown freelancers.

Another positive change for certain industries will be Trump’s anti-regulation policy where he has spoken about cutting back all the regulations that have oppressed certain business segments and stifled innovation. Especially in the healthcare industry and certain technologies under development. This may open up opportunities for numerous startups that were previously stuck; due to regulations that prohibited what they were trying to accomplish.

Mixed reviews: tax plan

In returning to mention of Trump’s tax plan, the jury is out on whether it is good, bad, or both. Here’s why. The good part is that certain corporate tax brackets will enjoy a lower income tax rate; and would further benefit from more tax savings the more profitable your business became.

However, not every entrepreneur can take advantage of these tax breaks, especially those that have a business that is organized as a partnership or some other type of pass-through entity. You must be incorporated to take advantage of Trump’s tax breaks. Additionally, there is a chance that you may lose itemized deductions that were helping your small business. That could lead to some entrepreneurs actually paying even more than they already did.

Pain with the Potential for No Gain

What happens remains to be seen. Some of these policies put into effect by Trump could prove quite painful to entrepreneurs’ bottom lines. It may mean changing strategies or seeking other structures; or business models that could be enacted to realize any of the positives that his policies may bring to the business environment and economy.

The critical part here is to stay on top of what the changes are. Seek advice from tax and finance experts and be flexible to make the necessary changes. It’s important to remember that you are still in control of your business. You can continue taking actions to build it out rather than to blame any slowdown on the president or the economy. No president can take away your initiative or innovative ideas for making money and making your business a success.

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About the Author

John Rampton

John Rampton

Rampton is an entrepreneur and connector who advises several companies in the Bay Area.

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