When you think about starting your own business, there are more things to consider other than where you are going to get your start-up capital from, who is going to be your target market and how you are going to be able to sustain in any type of economy. Some people don’t factor in that the people closest to them, can take an emotional toll on their business endeavors.
Listed below are 5 things to consider while in the process of business ownership:
1. Perceived Lack of Family and/or Friend Support.
I guess us business owners expect our family and friends, at the very moment we decide to go into business for ourselves, to purchase all the products and/or services we offer even if they do not need it at the time. In our heads, if they do not purchase when we want them to especially in the beginning phase of our business, we say things like, “my family and friends don’t even support me! I would support whatever business idea they had!”
Oh really? Would you really? Did you support your cousin when she was selling her artwork out of your Grandma’s garage 5 years ago!? Where was your support then? All she was trying to do was save up enough to purchase a place of her own. All you are trying to do right now is build an Empire for you and your immediate family. The idea of someone trying to make their goal happen was not worth support until it comes to your goal, right? I’m sure you really wanted your cousin to have a place of her own, but you just didn’t need what she was selling and THAT’S OK!
You may think your family and friends are not being as supportive as you feel as you need them to be and this is completely normal. In the same breath, I challenge you to look at the situation differently. They may not purchase your product or service right away, but best believe they want you to succeed if they really love you. Support doesn’t have to mean monetary. They could support by telling their friends about your business by passing along your business cards, words of encouragement while refraining from negativity, and even on social media by following your business page while liking a post here and there and/or by leaving a positive comment.
You may never have their (monetary) business, but that doesn’t mean they are not doing all they can to support you.
2. Negative Comments Will Come.
Just know that sometimes when people say discouraging things to you about living out your dreams with your business, all that means is they are trying to cast out their fears on you. Think of them as really saying, “I don’t have the courage to live out my dreams and step into my greatness, so you should be courage-less as well.”
Also think of them as saying, “I’d had so many ideas in my head about starting my own business but I never was determined enough to take the necessary steps to make it happen.” Or better yet, “I never believed in myself enough to think I could be successful at having my own business, so I never even tried.”
I love running into other business owners and people who believe that the sky is the true limit. People who believe that the possibilities are endless are the best people to surround yourself with and bounce ideas off of. They encourage your mind to dream big so if you are around anyone who is negative, you don’t have to cut them off, just refrain from speaking about business ideas that are beyond them.
Other people who have negative opinions should not be the determining factor about what God placed in your heart to do. If you believe in your business idea, go for it full force.
3. To Build a Strong Clientele, You May Lose “Friends”.
No matter what stage you are in within the owning of your business process, you will have some people who do not fully understand why you spend a good amount of time focused on your business. Before, you may of had time to hang out with friends and family all day, with every second conversing about trivial topics.
Once you get serious about your business, those “trivial” conversations become networking events with like-minded business owners while putting in the necessary hard work to make your business grow.
Your family and friends may think you do not have the time for them anymore, wondering why you are changing even though it may be for the betterment of your growth.
Business is all about attracting customers and maintaining strong relationships with them in order for your company to grow successfully. As the owner, this could mean having to constantly pour 100% of your relationship building skills into your business clients. In the process, some loved ones feelings could get hurt while you evolve.
It is good that you help them to understand you have this one life to live and you are making sure you are doing all you can to ensure you find your personal happiness.
Happiness, does however, involve nurturing those relationships that you find beneficial in your life. This sounds “business-like”, but make sure you schedule time within your monthly agenda to spend with family and friends because at the end of the day, money isn’t everything.
Now I know there are some friends that through this process you will lose contact with. That is fine too. Just know if they are truly your friends, they will support your journey and will be with you with words of encouragement every step of the way.
4. Partnerships and Disagreements
The idea of working with family and/or friends should cause someone to be very selective about who they choose to do business with. This applies to business partners and even applies to who you decide to hire. This is a very tricky subject because we all think our family and friends have our best interests always in mind, but in all reality, everyone has their “own” best interests in mind. This is no disrespect to you (the business owner), this is more so meaning people will do what benefits them.
For example, if you decide to hire your friend and they call out sick even though you know they took the day off to head to the beach for some fun, remember, they didn’t do such action to sabotage your business. They did that action because they felt it was the best idea for themselves, nothing to do with you. Before you hired them, you knew their track record but you disregarded it because how fun would it be to work with one of your best friends. This is an experience you can’t pass up (even though you should have)!
This applies even when you select a friend or family member as a business partner. Be prepared for your relationship to evolve from a personal level to a professional level. Some people are completely different within these two levels. Professionally, we call it constructive criticism when we tell our partner/sister what they can improve on professionally. They then may get defensive and respond by letting you know everything that is “wrong” with you PERSONALLY!
If you can’t separate business from personal, do yourself a favor and don’t mix the two or at least outline the pros and cons. Have an open discussion about your work ethics and what you expect from each other. Last thing you want to do is have an argument at Thanksgiving dinner with your sister about why she chose to print the marketing flyers on pink paper instead of the blue that you both seemed to agree on. Next thing you know, Thanksgiving dinner is awkward because now you feel like she disrespected you by doing whatever she chose to do without consulting you. Situations could go from business to personal REAL QUICK!
Let’s just say, no amount of money should be worth having a falling out with your sister. If you are not mature enough to understand business is business, then do NO business with one another!
5. Remember The Reason Why You Are in Business.
I can’t stress enough the importance of remembering why you are in business and what you are doing it for. What is the purpose of neglecting your family in the process of building your business, when the sole reason as to why you are in business is to prepare a better life for them? Sometimes you tell yourself, “if I just had this, I would be happy.” When you get your “this”, you continuously strive for the next thing and you lose sight of what really matters. Remember, when your family loses “sight” of you, you’ve already lost what really matters.
Don’t forget to keep a good balance of all the things that bring you happiness. It’s not worth losing your family and friends for a dollar bill at the end of the day.
Written by Ashley