Starting a business takes a lot of courage and the best we can do is support our friends and family that has taken the bold step to be an entrepreneur. While we might not be able to support them with the start-up capital or expertise required to run the business; you can still support them in the following ways.
1. Buy Something
Become their customer or client! Does your friend sell or offer services, patronage them. If she runs an interior design company, see it as an opportunity to re-decorate your house or office. Does she make cakes and pastries, order one for your kids next birthday. Did she open her own spa or salon, go get a massage, a hair do (Yes please!) Whatever your friend is up to, become a customer or client and refer others to do the same.
I am not suggesting you visit your friends business every day or buy every product they offer. Sometimes it may not be appropriate to use the services they provide, you may not be their ideal client or you may not be in need of what your friend’s business is offering. That’s ok! You may be able to refer other people to their business or when the time comes and you do need what they offer, you’ll know exactly where to go.
2. Promote Them
The social media era is amazing. You can support them via social media by liking, sharing, commenting and posting about their goods, services, websites, and blog posts. Every business uses social media to build their platform and gain trust with potential clients. You can help speed up this process simply by interacting with your friend’s business wherever they are.
It is funny how some friends will actually expect you to beg them before they can share your business on their platform. This is so wrong, as a friend you should instead offer your support without begging, convincing or coercion.
3. Volunteer to help
It’s not easy starting or running your own business, even a side business takes up a ton of time and energy. Trust me. If you really want to support your friend in her new venture try asking her how you can help. Sometimes offer your help without asking them. These will go a long way.
4. Send them Encouragement
Encouragements are the most important part of running a business without them, it is so easy to give up. Be their biggest cheer-leader: encourage them with compliments, kind words and motivations. Let them see you as someone they can talk to if things get tough.
It is not easy trying to pay salaries when you are running at a loss, it is easy to go into depression when the business is not growing after so many hard work and sleepless nights. But the right words of encouragement will let them know they are not alone in the struggle.