To Support or Not To Support? That is the question. For the entrepreneurs out there, what are your expectations when it comes to your friends supporting your business ventures? Do you want support based solely on association, or do you want it because you have a valued product or service?
A friend should definitely offer support whenever possible. However, business owners should be able to separate business from personal affairs. Sometimes a lack of support may simply mean that there is no demand for your supply. Go back to the drawing board, and figure out whether you are offering something of need. Ask yourself, are you relying solely on the people you know to make a profit?
It takes a lot of guts to take on the risks of investing in yourself and your ideas. For this reason, most friends will support you just by association. At a certain point though, it may feel like more of an obligation if your product sucks. Then, you’ll risk losing the sale and a friend. As a business owner, I challenge you to really think about your target audience. Don’t just assume that people will continue to support you when the transaction is one-sided, especially when everybody is selling something these days.
It’s also worth noting that if someone is supporting you, you should be giving them the professional courtesy as you would with any other paying client. Don’t automatically assume that everybody wants your services for free. Every shopper loves a discount, so don’t take offense if someone asks for a deal. Remain professional, and simply inform your consumer of future sales or specials that you may offer. If they choose not to buy according to your price, then so be it. Remember, it’s not personal. If sales are low, it is your responsibility to do the research to figure out the cause. It is not everybody else’s fault that they don’t support your business. That doesn't mean that they don't support you. Give them something that they can be proud to support. After all, it is their money.
Recap on the matter: Support is good, regardless of the reason. But at the end of the day, handle business accordingly. Examine yourself and your business model to find ways to improve and be successful.
I’m curious to your thoughts. Sound off in the comments below!