Often, I hear people complain that they don’t get the right support for their businesses especially from family, friends, neighbors and other persons they are in a form of relationship with other than strangers. They complain that it is total strangers, mere acquaintances or long-lost buddies that rally round to patronize them and provide a lot of support for their start-ups. Many are disappointed and out-rightly pained that those they look up to as first and loyal customers would rather take their money elsewhere. This article seeks to analyze this issue and create a balanced view of clientele expectations for start-ups.
1. It may be hard for some to come to terms with your business.
Okay, so you left your thriving bank or telecommunications job to start your hobby-turn-business. You are elated to announce to everyone close to you that you are now on your own. The reactions are mixed, from genuine happiness to concerns, anger and doubts. While still trying to let that sink in, you are expecting quick patronage and support. Sorry boss that may take a while because your uncle Richie still thinks you’re dreaming.
2. People have their own issues.
Sometimes it is not about you. Yeah, everyone is all smiles at the family party. Social media gives the impression that all is going good. Naturally, they should support you too. Truth is, beyond the ‘packaging’, people have their struggles and trials. Things may be financially tougher for some than you know. Unknown to you, by starting your business, you may have achieved what they can never do. So no hard feelings, they just can’t summon the strength to patronize you, at least not yet.
3. No Money! No Money! No Money!
We live in times when people are financially wiser, no thanks to an ailing economy. Every penny must be accounted for. Never in the last century have needs become so obvious from wants than now that however well packaged your products or services are, people will pass over it if they don’t really need it. Same goes for pricing. If your pricing is beyond their reach, people however close to you, will look elsewhere or…owe you!
4. People will never settle for mediocrity all in the name of loyalty.
Original innovations are rare in today’s world. This means that however interesting your start-up is, you already have competitors. Truth is people usually have a lot options on most goods and services so they are generally unforgiving to less-than-stellar start-ups. You must tick all the boxes right- Quality, quantity, packaging, pricing, delivery and customer service. If any of these chicks are down, there are hawks of competitors to swallow your business up.
You see, business is a game and if you must come out to play, you have to come out good and strong. You may get initial patronage on humanitarian basis but trust me, to stay in the game (and even win trophies,) you must be on top of your game, literally.
5. Friendship to you, criticism to your business.
Borne out of the desire to see you succeed, those closest to us naturally criticize what we do more than they praise it. Like uncle Richie stated above, they will be watching with eagle eyes how you will fare. Do you feel bad? Don’t. Let the desire to succeed and prove them wrong keep you going. Take every criticism in your strides and make improvements as much as you can. Make them understand that you are not dreaming, no, you are living your reality. Soon, your worst critics will be your greatest fans.
Having said all, don’t brood about what is not going right. Do your best for you and your business. Keep calm and do the right things, the right persons will come along!