As a friend, you want to see the people you care about succeed and thrive. We all want our friends, family, and loved ones to get the most out of their lives and careers. That also goes for friends who have decided to take the leap of starting a business. While becoming an entrepreneur is exciting, it is also very challenging. As a friend you may want to help them succeed but don’t know how.
Perhaps you thought about starting that business with your friend. Or maybe you considered working for your friend to help them out. While those may be beneficial, most people cannot make that kind of commitment to a friend’s venture.
Fortunately, there are many ways you can support their business without spending a lot of money or time. In today’s article, we’ll show you how to do that in a way that will help your friend without burdening you.
Like, Comment, and Follow on Social Media
One of the easiest ways to support your friend’s business is by engaging with them in a public way. An impactful way to do that is by following their business’s social media accounts, and sharing, liking, and commenting on posts. When you do this, it is actually helping their posts reach a wider audience. That is because social media algorithms respond to posts with high activity.
When you like a post, it signals to the platform that the content is valuable and relevant. From there, the platform may choose to show that post to others who may be interested in it.
Commenting on your friend’s business posts can do the same as liking but it goes a step further. By leaving a thoughtful comment, you can start a conversation and encourage others to join in. This can help your friend’s business build a community of loyal customers and fans.
Following your friend’s business on social media is another way to show your support and help them grow their online presence. It also adds to the social proofing of the account. As far as social media marketing goals go, social proofing is one of the most important.
Social proofing refers to people mimicking the behavior of others to act in a particular way. In other words, when a person sees that a social media account has followers, they are more likely to follow that account if they like the content. Your following can help others follow your friend’s account which will help your friend drive more business. Also, by following their social media pages, you can stay up-to-date on their latest products, services, and promotions.
Share a Positive Review
Another good way to help your friend’s business is to share a positive review. Positive reviews, in fact, reviews in general, can have a big impact on how well a business can sell its products online. One survey found that 93% of users have made buying decisions based on an online review. Another found that even though personal recommendations are still better, 70% of shoppers are still likely to buy a product based on the review of a complete stranger.
When you have a positive experience with your friend’s business, take a few minutes to write a review on their website or social media page. Be sure to mention specific things you liked about their product or service and why you would recommend it to others.
If you’re not sure what to write, here are a few tips:
- Start with a catchy headline that summarizes your experience.
- Be specific about what you liked about the product or service.
- Mention any outstanding customer service you received.
- Include any photos or videos you took of your experience.
- Encourage others to try the product or service.
While it is important to not say anything overly negative about your friend’s product, you want to make sure the review is honest. If not, future reviewers may leave negative reviews due to their expectations being too high. In other words, don’t oversell it.
Ask Them How You Can Help
One easy way to help your friend out is by simply asking them how you can help. Often times we want to help friends out by doing things we think will help. However, your friend may have a completely different need in mind that you can help with. For example, you may think you are helping a friend out by leaving a good review but they may need a referral to someone who they can hire to help them run the business.
When you ask your friend how you can help, be specific about what you’re offering. If you have a particular skill or expertise that could be useful to their business, offer to provide your services or advice. You really don’t want to commit to something that you cannot follow through on.
It’s also important to be respectful of your friend’s time and resources. Don’t assume that they want or need your help in every area of their business. Instead, ask them where they could use the most support, and be willing to adjust your offer based on their needs.
By asking your friend how you can help, you show that you’re committed to supporting their business in a meaningful way. Whether it’s through promotion, networking, or providing expertise, your willingness to help can make a big difference in their success.
Recommend Their Business To Others You Know
Leaving a review for your friend’s business may help them get customers from strangers. However, personal recommendations from you to your family, colleagues, and friends can go a long way too. Usually, people will trust a personal recommendation from a person they know over a review. This means when you recommend your friend’s business to your circle of influence, you are boosting the potential of their business.
Be on the lookout for possible opportunities to share your friend’s business with others. You may have a co-worker who may be interested in your friend’s product or service. You may also meet someone at a social gathering of some kind that may be a great referral for your friend’s business.
You don’t need to feel like your friend’s marketing department. However, mentioning and recommending their business when an opportunity presents itself can give your friend the boost they need.
Purchase from Them
This seems like one of the most obvious ways to support your friend’s business but often one that is not always done. Making a small, timely, or even a large purchase from a friend’s business is a way to show your support as well as help put some revenue on their profit & loss statements.
When considering purchasing from your friend’s business, keep in mind that you should only do so if you genuinely need or want the product or service. Don’t feel obligated to buy something just because your friend owns the business.
While family and friends can help a business bring in some revenue, they should not be the primary sources. Your friend’s business should be able to sustain itself from sales from total strangers. However, your contributions can help with their confidence, cash flow, and even testimonials if you decide to leave a review or testimonial after your purchase.
Give Constructive Feedback
As a friend, you have the unique opportunity to provide constructive feedback to your friend’s business. However, it’s essential to approach this task with care to avoid causing any offense or harm to your friendship. Here are a few tips to help you provide constructive feedback:
- Be specific and clear about your feedback: Avoid vague statements that can be interpreted in different ways. Instead, provide specific examples of what you liked or didn’t like about the product or service. For instance, you could say, “I loved the design of your product, but I think the packaging could be improved.”
- Avoid sounding too critical or overly enthusiastic: Strike a balance between the two and provide feedback in a way that is helpful and constructive.
- Offer suggestions on how to improve the product or service. For example, if you think the pricing is too high, suggest a more affordable price point that would appeal to a broader audience.
- Finally, remember to be respectful of your friend’s business. Avoid making exaggerated or false claims, and always provide feedback in a way that is helpful and constructive.
Providing constructive feedback can help your friend’s business grow and improve if you do it the right way. Correctly approach this and you can help your friend achieve success while maintaining a supportive friendship.
Be Emotionally Supportive
And speaking of supportive friendship, sometimes your entrepreneur friend doesn’t need financial support. Instead, they may need some emotional support to help them continue growing their business. Being an entrepreneur is a rollercoaster most times. There are moments when it seems like there is no limit to the amount of success possible. Then there are other times when it seems like the sky is falling. One study found that entrepreneurs were 30% more likely to suffer from depression than the general population.
This means that one of the best ways to support your friend’s business is by, well, being a friend. When your friend wants to talk about their business, give them your full attention. Show that you are interested in what they have to say by asking questions and providing feedback. This can help them feel heard and validated. Listen with empathy and try not to compare your life experience with theirs if you’ve never run a business full-time
Also, offer words of encouragement. Let them know that you believe in them and their business. A simple “I believe in you” can go a long way in providing emotional support. When they have experienced failure, try to be supportive and when they experience success, celebrate their wins with them.
Last, but certainly not least, is to be understanding. Your friend may need to prioritize their business at times. This may mean that they cancel plans or may not be as available as usual. This is usually a part of the life of an entrepreneur. Try to be understanding of their situation and offer your support in any way you can. Once
They say that friendship and business don’t mix. That may be true sometimes but other times the mixture works amazingly well. These tips will not only help your friend’s business grow but can also help your friendship do the same.