When you run your own business, it can be a long haul – with long nights, hard work, and a lot of stress. It can be really hard to do it with no business support, so it would be beneficial to try and surround yourself with positive people. People who encourage you, support you, and are motivational; as opposed to pessimistic apathetic people; this article will explain the benefits of a strong business support network.
I’d like to discuss the importance of supportive people you might find yourself surrounded by, and if they’re not supportive how to assist them in supporting you. There are 4 major types of business support you can have: Spouses, family, friends, and people in the same industry. I’ll explain why each type of person is an important source of support, and how to get them on side if they’re not as supportive as you’d like.
It can be a major struggle to go it alone, but nobody is ever alone. If you need someone to chat to, or anything at all, just contact me. I’ll be more than happy to be an ear, offer advice or anything else you may have to talk about.
Your spouse is a huge part of your life, so it’s only natural you’d like them to be supportive of your business. The most important support your spouse can give is honest feedback, nobody will be more honest and constructive than your spouse so it’s important they’re on board.
If your partner seems reluctant, then get them involved. Sit them down and explain your business plan, and tell them how you’re going to make the business a success. If you have a plan and lay it out for them, you may find they see you as a serious business. There is a tag attached to female entrepreneurs who are mothers, “WAHM” – Work At Home Mum. Your spouse may feel that you’re just passing the time until you can do a proper job when your child is at school. This may be the case for some small businesses but a long term sustainable business doesn’t have that agenda. Show them the figures, business plan, stock, and ask for their input. Once they see you’re passionate and serious about what you do, they’ll be behind you.
Don’t forget to make time for them, although running a business means long hours make sure you don’t neglect your spouse as they will become resentful towards your business. Try and make at least 1 evening a week to give them your undivided attention. Make sure your spouse feels their opinion is respected and valued: they may not be a partner in your business but you’re a team in life, so honour that. Most of all, communicate and it’ll do the world of good.
Family are a brilliant asset to a business, the support they can give will be invaluable. If your family can afford to purchase from you, they will; if they can’t, they will spread the word. A proud family member talking about a business makes people intrigued.If your family is struggling with the concept of you running your own business, perhaps they don’t take you seriously, then get them involved.
Show them how hard you work, that you’re not just playing. Perhaps ask them to help out for the day, they will have so much more respect for your job once they’ve spent a day in your shoes. Your job may not be “conventional” but it doesn’t mean it doesn’t deserve respect. If that fails, then perhaps they’re not worth the effort; running your own business is a life choice, just like many other things. They should support you and back you as much as they can.
Friends can be a wonderful source of business support, providing they completely understand your business. At first they may seem reluctant to pass comment, especially if they don’t understand or don’t want to intrude. But do try and encourage them to have a say, and get involved. Encourage them to ask questions so they can have a clear picture of what you do.
People in the same industry:
People in the same industry – whether that be people in the same type of business, or people in general who own their own business – can be a great source of support. They understand more than most how it feels, what you’re going through, and what you need in terms of support. It’s great to be able to bounce ideas off someone who is in the exact same position, and wonderful collaborations often emerge from business relationships.
There are quite a few ways to reach out to people in the same industry, networking pages are a great start, as are groups, and local networking events are also a wonderful connection source.
Of course, there’s the entrepreneur and small business owner support group which is a great place to meet people in the same position!
This article only touches on a small part of those who can offer business support, there may be many more depending on your situation.
The most important thing to take from this is that it’s vital to have some form of business support to stop you feeling isolated and to provide motivation.
Really have a think, do you have the support you need? How can you change that?
Remember, you’re not alone, reach out if you need anything or anyone!