How to support your friend’s small business

It can be lonely and frustrating when you first start a small business. It may be the first time in your life that you have worked for yourself and next to the concern about making an income is the worry of “am I good enough, will I make it work?”

Whilst the importance of building a business network can’t be understated, it can be just as beneficial to be supported by your existing friends and family. So, if someone you know has just started a small business (or has been ticking along for a while) how can you support them?

Now, I am not talking about having to buy their product or service, though if it’s helpful to you then, of course, go for it. Instead here are some quick strategies to help grow your friend’s business:

  • Ask them what they do. It may be that sometime in the future you or someone you know may need their services. As much as we try and get across what we do, especially in the first days of a business it can be hard to get super clear. I will always remember a friend who commented on a competitive copywriter’s social media post enquiring about something that I could have helped her with at a much more affordable price.
  • Share their posts. It’s so invaluable when you are trying to get your name out there to have other people share your social media posts and blogs. And I don’t mean necessarily sharing something sales related but a funny post or a blog filled with valuable content. It’s also equally as valuable to comment on posts and blogs and the bonus is they will know someone is listening. It’s always meant so much to me when people have mentioned that they have enjoyed one of my blogs and it has benefited their business or life.

Support for Small Business Women Perth WA

  • Understand that they work hard. Even if our business is run from home it doesn’t mean we can just drop everything when you pop over for coffee. I have struggled with this for years, the truth of it is when someone interrupts my work day it often means having to work late into the night or on the weekend. Sometimes it means a mad rush to meet a deadline for a client or rescheduling my whole week.
  • Make constructive suggestions but don’t make them public. If you see a spelling mistake or a dodgy link on someone’s posts send them a quick private message. Everyone makes mistakes occasionally but there is nothing worse than having someone publicly point it out, especially if you can’t immediately fix it.
  • Share resources you think might be useful. It may be a complimentary business you think they could collaborate with, a facebook group you think they would resonate with or a program that would help them in their business.
  • Don’t short change them. If you do use their services or buy their product don’t expect a mates rate discount. Many businesses in their early days will offer free or discounted services to help get their business off the ground. It’s fine to take advantage of these though make sure you give them kudos if they do a good job. However, asking for a discount or freebie just because you know someone personally is totally not cool. This extends to free advice as well, a number of times I have had people who haven’t paid for my services approach me wanting free advice. It’s important to understand that time is money when it’s your own business. If I spend half an hour giving you advice that is half an hour less that I can work that day.

Supporting your family and friends in their small business is invaluable, it helps them feel less alone and boosts their confidence in their business and themselves. Just having someone acknowledge your hard work is really flattering and may be the boost they need to take their business to the next level. With these simple tips you can make sure you do so in the most beneficial way for both of you.

6 thoughts on “How to support your friend’s small business

  1. Great suggestions Sharon. The first one is very important. Friends should check in and ask what they are doing in their business, what sort of people purchase their product and always have business cards on hand to share. The business owner should also share successes and achievements.
    Your advice is valuable, I hope all of your friends share it πŸ™‚
    Linda

    1. Thanks Linda, I agree business owners definitely need to share and toot their own horn as well x

  2. What a well written article. I love all your suggestions. I find it so easy to like people’s posts. It’s not like we are giving a maximum amount of likes…haha so I go to town! It makes them feel good! I like to comment and share too!! Another great way of supporting your friend in business is if you have had the pleasure of using their product or service…write a fabulous review for them!! πŸ™ŒπŸ»πŸ™ŒπŸ»πŸ™ŒπŸ»

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