Being an entrepreneur may seem like a golden path to riches, but in reality, it’s a hard journey that can be filled with stress and costly learning experiences. Entrepreneurs can use all the help they can get, so if you have a friend that is walking that path, it’s important to do all that you can to help them along the way. Your encouragement, listening skills, and willingness to help will be greatly appreciated as they try to launch their dream into the world.
The entrepreneurial path is very different than working for a large, successful company. Your entrepreneurial friend will have to handle everything that comes up in their business, from strategy to finance, to operational and administrative functions. They’ll be responsible for crafting marketing strategies and creating the perfect approach for getting clients and customers. At times, they’ll feel very alone on the journey, so any support and help you can give them could be the difference between them barely making it or achieving great success.
Help Finance the Education Your Friend, If Needed
To be successful as an entrepreneur, you need a wide range of skills. For some business owners, an education of some kind is also needed. Your friend may need classes or courses in management, marketing, technology, human resources, and a host of other key business disciplines.
Ideally, they’ll already have a business degree from a great college or university program. But if they decide to pursue one while pursuing their entrepreneurial dream, it may be challenging. Higher education can be costly. To help your friend get the education they need, you can encourage him/her to get student loans with a cosigner.
A cosigner can be a family member or spouse. If you cosign for them, they’ll be able to get a student loan that will let them finance the cost of their education. Be sure to understand that by cosigning the loan, you will also be responsible for the debts. Consider the financial implications before making this decision. In any case, some sort of education will benefit your friend.
Fully Support Your Friend’s Dreams
When someone is embarking on the entrepreneurial path, it can seem lonely at times. It’s a very intense adventure and so often it can feel like you are tackling it totally alone. It can make all the difference in the world if you are there for your friend, fully supporting their goals and their entrepreneurial dreams. Every entrepreneur needs someone who is always there to support them, through good times and bad.
Being the prime cheerleader for your friend’s dream helps keep them moving forward and can raise their spirits and energy when times get hard. Having someone who truly believes in you and your dream is worth its weight in gold. Offer nuggets of wisdom such as morning habits to improve productivity and meal prep ideas for extremely busy people so that they know you understand the constraints they’re under and want to help ease as much pressure as possible.
Work with Your Friend to Perfect Their Elevator Pitch
An elevator pitch is a thirty to sixty second infomercial that concisely conveys who you are, what your entrepreneurial venture is, and what your value proposition or magic is. It’s designed to be memorable and leave the person you are pitching to impressed and interested.
You can really help your friend if you work with them to polish and fine-tune their elevator pitch. This short but powerful intro should encapsulate the focus of their entrepreneurial business and their market positioning too. Work with them until they perfect this, and they’ll be well on their way to future success.
Recruit Members for Your Friend’s Business Advisory Board
In business, no one person has all the best answers. If your friend is just starting their enterprise, you can recommend that they set up a business advisory board for themselves. You can help recruit members who have expertise in the niche, as well as significant relevant business or entrepreneurial experience. An advisory board functions in a consultative role. Your friend will still have the final say in decisions, but can get key insights, suggestions, and ideas from the advisory group. Typically, you’ll want members who have a mix of financial, marketing, strategic, and operational skills.
Consider Taking a Role in Their Business
If you have a specific skill or area of expertise that would be invaluable to your friend’s business, consider taking part in their venture. You might be able to come up with a part-time role that could really help your friend launch their dream. You could offer your services for free, but it would be far better to provide your professional expertise in return for future compensation or even a small ownership share. This would give you a powerful incentive and help propel both of you to success.
Hire a Marketing and Social Media Team
To truly get their business going, your friend is going to need the skills of a superb marketing and social media team. These professionals can provide the range of skills needed for website development, social media messaging, and marketing and promotions. You can help by networking and recruiting the perfect members of the team. You’ll want individuals or small firms with a proven track record of success, immense creativity, and strong communications skills. Ideally, they’ll also be experts at conceptualizing and developing successful social media campaigns.