Starting a business can be the most rewarding things anyone can do. But it’s also one of the most challenging and with around 20% of companies failing in the first year, there’s a sizeable chance your start-up business won’t make it.
When I was starting my business, my friends were incredibly supportive. They helped me paint, they helped me move and they went out of their way to support my endeavours. I’ll be eternally grateful to them.
I asked for help, but I have no doubt, even if I didn’t they’d have gone out of their way to do so. But they might have struggled to know how to support my business if I didn’t ask them.
And that is the purpose of today’s article, because some of you have reached out to me, telling me that you have started your business or that I’ve inspired you to take action on your side hustle. And that’s amazing. I wish you every success. I genuinely want your business to start swiftly and grow as quickly or as slowly as you want it to.
No matter what business you’ve started, you can’t do it alone, and nor should you.
You might also be reading this article because your friend has just started their business and you want to support them as best you can.
So here are 5 easy and almost free ways you can support your friend’s business.
1. Like, comment and share their posts
Likes don’t pay the bills, but by helping to generate awareness of their products and services, you’re helping with the marketing for the business. Also the occasional like or share keeps digital creators incredibly motivated….hint hint (https://www.instagram.com/connorfoundered)
If you don’t know how social media algorithms work, it loosely boils down to engagement. The more likes, comments and shares a post gets, the wider the reach that is achieved. It doesn’t cost you a penny and takes just a few seconds to do so, yet it can really help promote and grow a business. So fire up those laptops or phones and get sharing.
2. Recommend to friends and family
Be the sales team for your friend’s business. If you hear of someone needing that type of service, always mention them. In the early stages of business, recommendations and referrals are golden. In fact, referrals are one of the most effective ways to grow a business at any stage.
I worked with one branding client, who recommended me to many other clients, but one, in particular, won an award for our work. This led to dozens of different opportunities and a contract that changed the shape of my business and likely contributed to the successful purchase in an indirect manner.
3. Write a positive review
It’s often incredibly hard to build credibility and most people only leave reviews if they’re negative. But if you used your friend’s products or service and were happy with it, then take a few seconds to leave them a review on Facebook, Google or wherever they manage their bookings.
If you’re a new business owner reading this, I can’t stress enough that you should make it part of your service to ask for a review. It doesn’t need to be complicated. A simple “If you’re happy with my service or product, please leave a review on XXX.
4. Buy from them
One of the most direct and impactful ways to support your friend’s business is by becoming a customer yourself. If you need the products or services they offer, consider buying from them instead of going to another provider. Your purchases will not only contribute to their revenue but also serve as a vote of confidence in their offerings. Additionally, when appropriate, you can recommend their products or services to others who may be interested.
Of course, there may be times when this isn’t suitable, but keeping an ear to the ground when people mention their products or the services they offer is a great help (see point 2).
5. Give them honest feedback
Constructive feedback is crucial for any business to grow and improve. As a supportive friend, you can provide valuable insights and suggestions to help your friend enhance their products, services, or overall business operations. Be honest and specific in your feedback, highlighting both the positive aspects and areas that could use improvement.
As I hope I’ve shown above, there are plenty of ways to support your friend’s business without costing you a penny. The most important factor is that you’re willing to do so and that your friend is receptive to this. If in doubt, ask them if there’s any way you can help.