How to Support Your Entrepreneurial Friends (Without Buying a Thing)
In my journey as an entrepreneur, I’ve experienced many reactions to telling new friends and connections that I have my own business. They range from “that’s amazing!” to “oh my gosh, how do you do that?” but I’ve been getting another remark lately: “how can I support you?”
Perhaps it’s because of my recent move to Denver, but I’ve been getting this question a lot more often, and I’ve started thinking about ways to tell others how to support my business and make it the best it can be.
Recommend them. This might be the most obvious one, but you’d be surprised how often it gets missed. Recommend your entrepreneurial friends whenever someone asks. I love hearing from someone when a friend or family member gave them my name; even if we wind up not working together, I automatically know they’re a great connection because they came from someone I know. And, that connection is more likely to refer more people to you down the road, too.
Of course, there’s some responsibility here on the business owner, as well - when you hear someone asking for something, insert yourself into the conversation. Don’t hesitate to politely drop your information and expertise. And keep your friends and family updated on the new occurrences in your business, too, on a regular basis.
Subscribe and follow. To continue on the last point, this is a great way to stay up to date with what your entrepreneurial friends are up to. Subscribe to their newsletters, follow their social media pages, and ask them to keep you in the loop - I think they’d be glad to. And feel welcome to comment, cheer, and let them know you’re following along with their business.
Share their talents. When you see one of those posts, share it with those you think it would be relevant to. This will keep up the referral loop and aid them in continuing to close deals and transactions.
Ask what they need. Last but not least - don’t be afraid to ask. It might be referrals, customers, someone who can offer advice - there’s always something I’m in need of as a business owner (it can range from a good accountant to an intro to a new type of client). You learn so much by simply talking to someone else for 10 minutes about your business, and it’ll be awesome to see what you can discover.