Expand your Network: Why you shouldn’t rely on friends and family for your business to succeed

Afrofreelancer /Freelancer /Expand your Network: Why you shouldn’t rely on friends and family for your business to succeed

So, you’ve done it. You have officially started your entrepreneurial journey and you’re so excited. After a while you have noticed that the people closest to you have not purchased a product or booked a service. You then start to feel as if people who you thought were your number one supporter are against you. You may even begin to think they want you to fail. None of us ever want to feel as if our circle isn’t supportive of our goals, but before you label anyone unsupportive here are a few things to consider:


Family and Friends won’t be the reason your business succeeds: Yes, the extra sales will help but you should never be dependent upon your group of friends or family to take your business to the next level. Even if you have a huge family and large circle of friends it is still crucial that you do marketing and advertising to bring in new clientele.


Don’t rush to mix business with personal relationships: It is so great when you get asked to be the makeup artist for your friend’s wedding or when your cousin places a large order with your catering business. But what happens when the tough conversations must be had? How will you feel if your friend is not able to meet the financial agreement you two set up and you don’t find out until after you have rendered services? What happens if your cousin tells you they were not satisfied with the catering services you provided? If you were in these situations with strangers, it makes it easier to handle things strictly from a logical, straightforward point of view. But when you are dealing with friends and family it’s hard to get past these issues and then still hang out at brunch the following week. We don’t have the recipe to handle it, but the point is to not always be in such a rush to do business with friends and family unless you both are able to treat the situation as a business transaction and leave personal matters on the backburner. 


Giving money is not the only way loved ones can support: There are plenty of ways loved ones can support that go beyond being a customer. Things like liking and commenting on your business page helps. This increases your engagement and can help attract new followers, who may lead to customers. Sharing your content or business pages is great because they share it to their followers and that increases your visibility and potentially brings new followers and customers. Even if they have not purchased something from you currently, let’s say you have made them a batch of desserts in the past or did their makeup for an event. Doing something like leaving a review bolsters your credibility with potential new customers. Just because someone has not become a paying client, if they are doing any of these on a regular basis, they are supportive of your business. 


The sad part is you may have a few people in your circle who do none of the above to support you. And it’s understandable if it hurts your feelings. However, do your best to focus on the good things that are happening and focus on the positive ways your loved ones are supporting your business.