9 ways to support your friend’s business that do not involve money.

Hey Folks,

I officially started my business in 2015. The seed of inspiration was there much earlier and I would be lying if I didn’t tell you that I would have started it way earlier if I could do it all again. There are all kinds of reasons why we don’t get started but when we do it is integral that we have some core friends in the mix!

One of the reasons that people do not start businesses is because they don’t have the support they need to get started. Likewise, one of the reasons we do not support our friends business is because we don’t have the money to do so.

The whispering voice of doubt is magnified when we do not hear see or feel supportive acts from friends. So here are 9 ways to support your friend’s business that do not involve money.

1. Be HONEST

Tell us how you feel about our business plans We need to be able to handle the criticism of our allies if we are ever expected to handle the trolls and enemies. Your honestly can provide us with insight we didn’t think about that might turn a failed idea into a successful start up.

2. Be THOUGHTFUL

Think about what we are telling you when we talk to you about our business goals, think about what else we could do and what you might know or have access to that can help strength our plans. You are our friends we value your point of view and perspective.

3. Be ACCURATE

Your position is respected and holds weight for us. It is potentially damaging to include your unverified assumptions in your suggestions. People in general, have a tendency of taking things for face value but as a trusted friend we believe you know what you are talking about.

4. Be CHALLENGING

Never let us leave it at, “I think or I guess so”. We need wisdom and expertise in the business we are trying to develop or we will make the common mistakes and missteps of old. If you are asked to help, one great way is by empowering us with the responsibility of finding the answers that we are missing, or the answers we didn’t know we needed to have.

5. Be SHARING

You do not have to be interested in custom leatherworking that your friend is doing. But it is more than helpful to share that work to others in your network both in person and online. Simply sharing the content they produce breathes a substantial amount of life into their business.

Sometimes you will hear people rave about a product like they are getting paid for it, the passive word of mouth is so embedded in our day to day interactions that we can overlook how valuable it is. Stranger Things is popular because people are talking about it and people are talking about it because it is popular. Not asking you to be a walking infomercial but if you talk about it, others might…

6. Be ENGAGING

Take your sharing a step further and engage. Like. Comment. Subscribe. When our friends invest time in our business by reading our blogs, watching our videos, or listening to our podcasts it not only helps build our audience but it motivates us to continue. Being your own boss is freeing in that you are in control when and how you work. But it is also terrifying to be forced to figure it out on your own and be responsible for you and your company’s success or failure.

Engagement = Success!

Any engagement you do can have a direct effect on the success of our business! Outside of leading to a larger audience and more direct sales, many of us make money off of how many clicks and views are to our sites. Our website is not just where we connect with our audience, it is also like a Billboard and companies like google and amazon pay for ad space. The more people are looking at your site, the more valuable your ad space becomes(think super bowl ads versus the cost of a spot in the local paper) .

Your average stylist can make a living working for herself with just 12–15 clients a week. Imagine how easy it would be to reach that goal if the 200 people in their social network all shared the images of the client’s finished hair with each of their 200 followers.

7. Be SUPPORTIVE

I was a cheerleader(the best mascot of all time) and I was in the marching band. In both arenas we knew that we were there to support the team and make a bigger and better connection between the fans and the players. We knew that for momentum to exist support matters. Rallying the fans and hyping up the players meant that the team can perform better and if the team is winning, we all are winning. We expect our friends to be our biggest cheerleaders. There to boost us up and to silence the crowd when we need to focus. Be a cheerleader to us in whatever ways you can.

8. Be HONEST

We do not see the vision that others have. We do not always believe in their dreams, goals, business hopes, etc. If that is the case, we need you to reveal yourself so we can avoid bleeding skepticism into our business and negativity into our relationships. This is a huge part of the support that new business owners require. Not just who is on board but we need to know who not to selfishly drag onto this rollercoaster when all the while they never wanted to ride.

9. Be LOVING

People have a tendency of wanting to get “liked”, instead of giving “love”.

Love them enough to invest some of your time in their business. Love them enough to spread their passion to others. Love them enough to show that you care. Love enough to say I do not think this is a great idea. Love enough not to let that get in the way of our friendship. Love this friend, let them make this stupid business adventure. Love them enough to let them fall. Love them so they are strong enough to get back up, and hell some just might surprise you and succeed.

Thank you friends, if there are any other ways you like to support pleas tell me about them in the comments!

— H00k Out

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