Starting A New Business Venture? Here’s What You Should Ask Friends & Relatives

Wanting to be an independent or entrepreneurial superhero is a common trend among many new business owners. But what’s unfortunate about this thought is that it can lead you into believing everything in your new business is up to you and that no other person understands the challenges better than you do.

Is that so? Definitely not. With help from your network of friends and family, you can grow faster and be better as a business person. In his bestselling book Never Eat Alone, Keith Ferrazzi highlights the value of interconnectivity, both at home and in our workplaces. That without our network of friends, colleagues, and family, the chances of achieving greater things are low.

Today, we take a look at seven important things you should be asking those close to you when launching your new business. What’s more, these are favors that will only improve the relationship.

1. Feedback On Your Product Or Service

In the early stage of a business, customer satisfaction matters a lot because when people share good things about your business, it builds your reputation. But before you go ahead seeking feedback from your customers, begin with friends and family. Ask questions like:

  • How likely is it that you would recommend my product or service to a friend or colleague?
  • How do you rate your experience with my product or service?
  • If you could change one thing about my product or service, what would it be?

2. Help Me Create A Business Plan

For a new business, a business plan functions as the blueprint for its formation, operation, and success. In addition to exposing the business’s strength and weakness and suggesting ways to capitalize on the former and minimize the later, it also reveals every aspect of the business that can be optimized and the methods that can be used to make that achievable.

Now, coming up with a solid and winning plan takes time, effort, and thought. You will need to look out for tons of information and data and uncover opportunities and needs in the market, all of which can be better achieved with the help of a thoughtful close person.

3. Self-Management Support

Managing your business will possibly involve, among other things, handling different personalities, character issues, and emotional outburst from employees or customers. Unless you can manage these yourself pretty well, you’ll have difficulties taking care of such challenges. Also, there’s the stress that comes with building, managing, and growing a business.

Not very often will money solve these challenges. So, besides financial and operational support, to succeed as a business person, you will need to learn self-management skills plus get emotional and social support, all of which can be obtained from your network of friends and family members.

4. Invest In My Business

Getting venture capitalists or investors to make an investment in your new business can be quite difficult. Another way of funding your business is to apply for a loan or business grant, but considering the loan interests and grueling application process involved in applying for a grant, these two may not be your best options.

There’s a better, third alternative though, and that is asking your friends and family to invest in your business. It’s a win-win situation. But before you do, make sure you’ve mastered your big vision and can describe it well. Why? Because if they see your big vision, they are more likely to invest in your future.

5. Useful Resources

Always keep in mind that offering value before asking for it will make those you are seeking favors from not feel used. Once you’ve done that, you can ask them to share any information that would be of great help to you as you start your business. This includes networking events, connections to people of value to the growth of your business, professional organization that can be of help to your business, and so on.

6. Offer Incentivized Referrals

There’s a possibility of having potential customers in your social network, and a better way to leverage this is to utilize incentivized referrals. One way to do this is to come up with a referral program dedicated to achieving the goals of your business. It could be a discount, free services, or waived subscription in exchange for referrals that turn out to be successful. Because it’s a win-win situation, your relationship with them is more likely to stay stable.

7. Will You Be My Mentor?

Any would-be entrepreneur has a lot to gain from the advice of a mentor or two, particularly those who’ve already achieved success in a business or a specific area of business or have the experience, wisdom, or position you are trying to get.

But convincing your friends or family member(s) to invest their time and energy into making your business better takes more than just a quick phone call, email, or simple verbal request. First, choose who to ask for this favor carefully, then ask them the right way (face-to-face or chat over the phone), and lastly, know when to make a follow-up and when to avoid making one.

In conclusion, if you leverage your network of friends and family correctly, the rewards will be far greater than what you would have achieved alone. From getting valuable connections and new leads and clients to financial, operational, and emotional support, the advantages are many. So, make an effort to reach out to them today.

Sabine Ghali
Sabine Ghali

Sabine Ghali is Director at Buttonwood Property Management, a property management company in Toronto. She is an entrepreneur at heart who endeavors to help investors create real estate wealth over time in the Greater Toronto Area. You can see a full list of services that Buttonwood offers at