How to Help a Young Family Member Who Is Starting a Business
Surviving the day-to-day grind of starting a business can be exhausting. Coming out the other side of the start-up phase requires plenty of hard work, dedication, and perseverance and while some entrepreneurs achieve success quickly, most must overcome numerous obstacles along the way. If your young family member is living in this reality now, it’s important that you do your best to offer your support, advice, and guidance.
You’re willing to do this because you care but what does that mean on a practical level? Do you offer funding? Take over part of the operations? Just drop by with a cup of coffee and a slice of cake every Friday? Let’s find out the different ways that you can help.
Be There Emotionally
Entrepreneurship can be a very lonely journey that’s filled with uncertainty and doubt. As an entrepreneur, your loved one is likely to experience moments of self-doubt, stress, and anxiety. It’s important to understand that emotional support plays a critical role in their success and it’s up to you to offer a listening ear.
You don’t need any special skills or resources to be good at this. You just need to let the person know that you’re there regardless of what is going on around them. Do this by sending an encouraging message out of the blue, sharing a meal, boosting their confidence, or spending quality time together without discussing business matters. Things can (and will) go wrong so be that support cushion that your loved one can rest on when they need a break.
Capital is everything during these early days. If there’s a lack of it, the idea, no matter how good, is doomed to fail. If possible, it’s always a good idea to offer to lend a helping hand financially if you can. This could involve investing in the business, offering to be a cosigner on their student loan refinance or simply treating them to a weekend away when stress levels get too high. Current college students and recent graduates who are just starting out in business can save a significant amount of money on their student loans by refinancing for better interest rates.
In some cases where bad credit ratings are a problem, it’s difficult to refinance without a cosigner so this is where you’d come in. Even if you have an unfavorable rating yourself, you can look up a guide on how to refinance student loans with a poor credit cosigner as there are options out there. This is just one example of how you can offer financial help, even if you think it’s not possible based on your own situation.
Young entrepreneurs will undoubtedly make mistakes along the way as they learn how to manage finances, market products or services effectively, and build relationships with customers. The start-up phase can take months or even years of planning, strategizing, and grinding. Showing patience during this phase of the journey is essential in helping your loved one stay motivated and focused.
Planning a night out for a family get-together? Understand if they say no, despite them also saying no to other previous invites. Don’t put too much pressure on them when it comes to catching up and keeping in contact. Still, waiting for a reply to a Facebook message you sent a few days ago? Don’t overthink it. Give them time to figure things out and let them know you’ll be there once they’re ready to meet and chat.
Introduce Them to New People
Networking has always been an essential tool for businesses to expand their reach, connect with potential customers and partners, and stay up to date with industry trends. Meeting and connecting with people are much easier for those that have been in the world for some time. Students and new graduates do not have the networking circle that’s needed to really thrive, and this is one of the most common reasons why so many fail.
Why not bridge that gap and introduce your loved one to the right people in your circle? Think of any relationship that you have that could lead to a potential partnership or collaboration. Is there anyone that you’ve met that could help with marketing or product development? Do they owe you a favor? It’s all about utilizing your relationships and connections to improve the business and make their life a little easier.
This article has been published in accordance with Socialnomics’ disclosure policy.