In the past, starting a business used to be an expensive and time-consuming process that only a handful of people could successfully navigate. Now, we’re living in a world where virtually anyone can launch their own venture, with minimal initial investment. In fact, more young entrepreneurs are joining the business landscape than ever before, with countless millennials and Gen Z professionals launching online stores, service-based businesses, and technology driven startups. If there’s someone in your life who wants to start a company of their own, one of the best things you can do as a friend or family member is find ways to offer your support. Here are just a few of the steps you can take to drive your loved one towards success.
Help Them Explore the Market
Some would-be business owners already have a clear idea of the kind of business they want to run straight away. However, others may have the entrepreneur mindset, but no clear direction to go in. If this is the case for your loved one, helping them to research the market and discover lucrative opportunities could be extremely beneficial. Sit down with your friend or family member and discuss their options with them. Ask them about their passions and goals, their strengths and weaknesses, and the industries they’re interested in. Then, working together, look for gaps and opportunities in the relevant market.
Help Them Figure Out Financing
Figuring out the financial side of running a business is one of the trickiest parts of getting started in today’s entrepreneurial world. If you want to help your loved one thrive in this area, you don’t necessarily have to wait until they launch their company to invest or purchase their products. You could also help younger entrepreneurs develop the skills they need, by helping them to apply for a student loan. Cosigning a student loan can be an excellent way to give someone you care about access to better terms and deals. However, it is important to know how cosigning can affect your ability to get a loan in the future, and may influence your credit score.
Write a Business Plan Together
In today’s fast-paced environment, many potential business owners try to dive into the process of building their new venture without a business plan. However, ironing out a strategy can be crucial to boosting your loved one’s chances of success. A business plan doesn’t just outline the nature of the business and its financial potential, it also encourages entrepreneurs to ask important questions about how they’re going to run and grow their venture. A strong business plan can act as a compass when your loved one needs direction. It can also improve their chances of getting access to loans and investment opportunities.
Offer Feedback and Guidance
Even if you’re not a business owner yourself, that doesn’t mean you can’t provide your loved one with guidance. The chances are you already have skills and knowledge that can help a would-be entrepreneur thrive in their competitive sector. You might be able to give advice on how to offer excellent customer service or choose features for products that serve specific needs. You can also provide your honest responses to questions your loved one might ask. If your friend has an idea for a business in an area that’s full of competition already, you could suggest looking for ways to differentiate the company with branding and new products.
Help Them Seek Out Expert Support
The support you can offer as a friend or family member to a potential business owner can be extremely valuable. However, much of what you can do will be related to planning, researching the market, and offering emotional support. In some cases, your loved one might need to seek out additional help with ways to protect a business that they start and ensure they can manage the more complicated nuances of business management. Decide with your loved one where they’re going to need extra help. Most professionals might need to seek out assistance with tax returns and financial management. Some will also need support from expert marketers, graphic designers, and brand experts. Once you’ve figured out where your loved one needs help, assist them in looking for the right resources.
Helping a New Business Thrive
Even if you don’t have an entrepreneur mindset yourself, that doesn’t mean you can’t help to inspire and grow the next generation of business opportunities with your friends and family members. With the strategies above, you can offer the people you care about the extra assistance they need to make their new venture a success.
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