by Rachel Owens –

A little over a month ago, I attended the California NAWBO “Propel Your Business” Summit  in Sacramento. There were more than 100 women from across the state joining together to network, share leadership ideas, celebrate the 9 nominees for CA Business Owner of the Year, and to interact with state legislators and officials. My big take away — my one voice can have an impact.

With few exceptions our legislators have never run a business or met a payroll. They have not had to juggle paying the bills or creating the next sale. When they propose legislation or regulations it is often for the common good but without thought to how business owners will handle the cost. In this last  legislative session more than 2100 bills were proposed to become the law of the land. How can we possibly stay ahead of this onslaught? How can we possibly adjust our businesses to comply with all of these laws or regulations? The simple is answer is we can not. We must get involved and tell our real life experiences to our legislators. It’s not a difficult process.  Each legislator has a local office with staff ready to listen. The staff are in need of education from us.

How do you make your voice heard? Visit your local office; get to know the staff. Ask questions and offer to be a resource in your area of expertise. You don’t have to travel to Sacramento (although I do recommend it), you don’t have to write big checks, you just have to volunteer.

My local assemblyman, Don Wagner, is an advocate for small business. He knows I will pick up the phone or answer an email to voice my opinion or offer suggestions. One letter or email represents the opinions of more than 5,000 voters. I want my opinion to be included. I hope you will consider adding your opinions too.

Rachel Owens
Rachel Owens is President of
Succession Strategies, a business consulting firm specializing in helping family owned and closely held businesses build value.