Updated: May 17, 2019
In Part I of this blog discussion, I presented why some entrepreneurs or business owners feel other businesses or people do not show support in the process of helping grow or network. This article focuses more on possible reasons why some entrepreneurs or people choose not to support other businesses.
I did a small survey to understand why people don’t support other businesses, and attitudes on why people believe they don’t get support. Here is what I found out regarding why people don’t support other businesses. Out of 143 people who responded, they said they don’t support other people’s businesses because:
they are not familiar with the company/brand (39%),
they cannot use the product or service (25%),
they don’t know anyone who can use the product or service (14%),
they don’t personally see the benefit of the product or service (14%), and
they don’t have time – other focuses and/or motivations (8%)
I found the responses curious, and somewhat unexpected. I expected not having enough time to be much higher because I hear people say they forget, have no time, and are busy with other things. Hence, they don’t have time to support others. However, based on those who responded to my survey, it seems this was much lower, in spite what I hear people say.
NOTE: Use caution when interpreting the data since we can’t generalize, and I am sure we need more people and tests to confirm how likely it is people are not giving support, or that the underlying reasons are an accurate reflection of reality. Plus, this was a “self-report.” Therefore, this is what people believe or feel, and not necessarily what is really going on. But, with that said, the data can still give us some insight.
YOUR BEHAVIOR CAN BE TRICKY!
There are many reasons people claim for why they may not support other business (or help others on a personal level). So, I ask you to consider your reasons. Think seriously about the business owners you know. What friends, family, or new acquaintances have you supported? How often do you like or follow a business on social media, or share their URL with someone else? Have you considered what motivated you to do it? All humans are driven by a “why.” Think of the one thing that triggered you to say I will follow, like or share when you come across a business. Now, I want you to consider why you don’t do these things. Once you have your “why” you can now figure out if and how you want to move forward.
WHAT CAN YOU DO?
As I mentioned in Part I, you can’t control other people’s reasons. But, you can control yours. So, what are you willing to do differently, as an entrepreneur, to help support other businesses?
It may help to start with learning more about a business’s brand. Go to their webpage or visit their social media page. Look them up. This costs you nothing but time. Maybe you don’t need their service, but you may learn that someone you know can use the service or product the business provides. You can also create a strategy for building trust, on and off line. Below are a few quick, no-cost ways to help other businesses, just as you would want other entrepreneurs to help you:
Setup an informal meeting with the business owner to discuss what they do and their brand. No strings attached---just a conversation. Learn about them. Solo-entrepreneurs love talking about their businesses. Listen to them.
You may not know anyone right now who needs the service or product the other business provides, but you may later. So, maintain the relationship and refer when you come across people that can use the product or service.
Create opportunities to work together or partner so that you and the other business profits.
Share, follow, and like. That is the minimal that any of us can do for another business. Again, it costs you nothing but time. And, once you learn about the other business, this should really be easy to do.
In addition, the answer to the problems in the survey responses I mentioned earlier is within the questions I asked respondents. For example:
If you are not familiar with a business that is seeking your support, learn more about that business and the owner(s).
If you can’t use the product or service at this time, keep the information in your mental or physical rolodex. You never know, the information you discover about another business can help someone else in the future.
If you don't know what the benefits are or why this business is great, look for potential benefits, even if its only building a positive relationship. You can create word of mouth support for each other and look for future possibilities to establish mutual benefits.
If you don't have time, make time. Most of us spend 3-hours or more on social media every day. Use 15 minutes of your time every day just following, liking and sharing other people’s businesses, articles/blogs, and information.
Finally, just because you can’t benefit from a business’s service
or product today, does not mean you won’t benefit in the future. Also, you never know who can benefit now. So, spread the word! Create an affiliate page on your business website or social media page where you give a shout out to a new business you came across.
Solo-entrepreneurs need support as well as feedback from you. If you see something they can do better, give the owner some quick advice, or share your thoughts as a consumer. Also, if you are a consultant who helps other businesses in this area, you may identify a new client by creating space to discuss what you see or think can help the business owner improve his/her approach or brand. In short, be open to the possibilities of how you can support another business. Your efforts are not always about how to capitalize right now, but later. And, there are more ways to capitalize other than money. There is no better value than the benefit of a professional relationship that
can open doors for your business, or for you personally.
Part I of this article focus on what you can do to create support for your business. Be sure to read it as a companion to this article.
Coach Dawn Reid helps women solo-entrepreneurs create SMART-R™ goals and work-life-self harmony, while growing profitable businesses. Coach Dawn will partner with you so that you can identify how to find solutions and resources to overcome your obstacles. She also trains aspiring coaches or works with talent
management teams on developing core coaching competencies to help prepare them for a rewarding coaching career. To learn more, visit: www.reidreadycoaching.com.