A significant element to survive the challenge-filled entrepreneurial journey is a strong support system not only at work but also at home. Entrepreneurs often wear several hats and carry out various responsibilities – business owners, leaders, mentors and parents, to name a few. They sometimes end up tired and weary physically, mentally and emotionally. Thus, having a family that fully understands and supports the journey that entrepreneurs take is a factor in one’s longevity in the business world.
The flip side is when they do not fathom the extent of the weight you are carrying on your shoulders, they may end up resentful to you and your business. You may get too busy that you end up not having enough time for them, which may lead to them becoming unsupportive to your business venture.
One way to earn their cooperation and backing to your business endeavour is to bring them with you along your journey. Allow them to grow with you and share with them your pains and successes. When you do this, they can empathise with you and extend a helping hand. So, how do family members lend support to entrepreneurs?
The biggest support family members can give to entrepreneurs is emotional assistance. Lending a listening ear, showing encouragement, providing understanding and care, and having patience when times are hard can ease the pressure on business owners. Uplifting and comforting words can sometimes do wonders to a weary spirit. A simple pat on the shoulder has a reassuring effect on a tired body. When family members bestow positive reinforcement, the most difficult challenges become surmountable.
Most entrepreneurs start their business living off on their savings. Resources can be scarce, especially when there is no one to invest in a novel venture. There are business owners who were able to establish their enterprise with the help of family members that provide financial aid. Some of them can be in the form of personal loans, which may not burden you as compared to those you avail from financial institutions. Other family members may willingly give money, although in small amounts.
Family members who have experience in running a business can be your guide or mentor. They can offer specific tips or ideas that can give you direction towards achieving your goals. There may be shortcomings in working with a family member. But getting professional help from them when you cannot afford one is a huge benefit when you are still starting out.
The initial days or years of your business may mean you have to work alone. At this stage, your budget is limited and paying for someone can be an added burden to your pocket. That’s when you can turn to relatives or family members who have the capabilities and the time to ease your load. They may do menial things, but can greatly relieve you from the numerous tasks you have to fulfil.
If you are new in the industry, you need someone to open doors for your business. To expand your network, the first you can look into is your family. Some of them may know people who can become your client or customer. Business referrals are a huge advantage to penetrate your target market.
Little things that you can use in your office, operations or business processes can still enable you to save an amount within your budget. Family members love to give gifts. If it is something useful to your venture, it can somewhat lessen your expenses. Some of the gifts may improve your office or organisation or reduce extra tasks and speed up things.
Even if family members are not directly involved in the business, it helps to expose them to the realities of entrepreneurship and take them with you on the journey. Consider it as a great benefit to have them behind you to support you every step of the way.
Thus, allow them to participate in your other business activities, especially when it comes to your personal and professional development. Extend to them opportunities such as attending learning events that will benefit you and your family. For example, EO Melbourne has a Spousal Forum and a NextGen Forum that enable partners and teenage or young adult children to take part in your experience as an entrepreneur. The more they grasp the nuances of your responsibilities as a business owner, the more they can assist you in your entrepreneurial journey.