Over the years I’ve met quite a few disgruntled business owners who have felt disappointed about the fact that their friends have not been their customers or clients. Your friends are not always your customers – in fact some would say that they are simply friends not customers to rely on to build your business. Quite often this disappointment is just a distraction from focusing on attracting customers and clients from other areas. Of course we all want supportive friends and of course it is wonderful when your friends do buy from you but you shouldn’t expect it or demand it to the detriment of your friendship/relationship.
Your friends can show support and be your biggest cheerleaders without being your customers and you really should try not to become resentful. Business can be challenging enough without placing more strain on your relationships and friendships.
Negative feedback is part and parcel of running a business. No business product or service is 100% perfect and while it isn’t ideal to know that your business has not completely satisfied its customers, negative feedback can be useful and empowering. We can’t continue to use the narrative of “supporting the community” to allow poor service standards to persist and exist. Without the opportunity to learn from feedback no business can grow. Feedback can be shared anywhere now, particularly given the popularity of social media. Businesses can’t expect to use social media platforms to spread buzz and then not expect those same social media platforms to be used to share both good and bad experiences, it’s not realistic.
People use social media to engage with brands all the time and if business owners are not willing to receive feedback with grace then they are very likely to face a PR crisis. Watch this video to find out how to deal with negative feedback.
Starting a business is exciting but before you start your business take the time to really consider whether your business is a viable one. That is not to say that all the conditions have to be perfect but have you asked yourself a few questions that might make the difference between making money or losing your peace of mind? When you start actually making money from your business it is probably one of the best feelings there is. Knowing that you have attracted a group of loyal customers who want to buy what you have created, whether that is a product or a service, is such an exhilarating experience. However before you take the leap there are just a few things that you must consider and that you should not overlook in your business start up process.
Are you prepared for the tough times? There will be some really tough times in business, days when business progress is slow, clients are taking too long to pay or when you just feel tired. I have seen that the motivational and inspirational element of starting a business has sometimes distracted people from actually looking at the realities of starting a business in a practical and pragmatic way. Yes you deserve to live a life that you love, your dreams do deserve to come true, you should believe in your dreams but what do you need to consider to make this happen? Motivation and self belief will only get you so far, there are other elements to starting a business which will ensure that you not only grow but you thrive.
Do you need to be passionate about your business? Passion is great but it should not be the only reason that you start your business. Scott Adams gave a great speech on what is better than passion in business. You can be passionate but will that sustain you if you don’t make a profit? What if you become bored of your passion, many people stop pursuing their business goals because of inconsistency and boredom.
Have you done the basic research into your sector? Do you know your customers? Do you know what they like and why they should work with you/buy from you? Take the time to consider who your customers are and how to reach them.
In this video I provide some useful tips on what you should consider when you’re thinking about starting a business. You might have a great business or it might actually be better to keep it as a hobby and hobbies are actually great, we need more hobbies for our self care. But if you’re thinking about starting a business it’s time to make a clear distinction.