When not to rely on family & friends


Many small business owners start their businesses with the support and encouragement of friends and family.

Promises may even be made about the hours and financial resources friends and family will contribute to ensure the success of the venture. But as time wears on, a small business owner may find that the people they were counting on for support are not living up to their promises, leaving the small business owner to fend for themselves.

What is a small business owner to do?

It is important to be able to look past feelings such as betrayal, frustration and anger to take stock of the situation. Continuing to rely on people who are not delivering what the business needs is harmful – small business owners should take the view that if an employee or service provider were to exhibit the same behaviour, the relationship would be severed.

Family and friends should therefore not be treated differently as their actions can have the same negative impact. In practical terms, this may mean changing the cost base of the business as services are outsourced or professionals are hired in-house. Friends and family members will also have to accept that although their opinions are valued, they will no longer have a decisive say in how a particular function is performed. The small business owner may need to upgrade their knowledge and skills to better manage employees and service providers; blind trust in the abilities and integrity of family members and friends may have rendered this unnecessary in the past.

The biggest change required of small business owners is a shift in their mindset. They need to accept that while it would have been idyllic for the business to be a joint effort this has not been the reality. Friends and family have their own dreams, commitments and priorities, and cannot always be relied upon to match the small business owner’s passion and willingness to make sacrifices.

By taking ownership of the business and acknowledging that it is up to them to make it work, small business owners can stop being victims and empower themselves to build successful and sustainable businesses.

Post By: Fadzai Munyaradzi Image: Vlado / FreeDigitalPhotos.net

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