I have to say, I was very lucky when I decided to go with my idea and launch my business. Why? Because I had around me people I knew I could count on. But should I take advice from all my friends who have something to say on my business? Well, let’s look at the 3 types of people who might have no entrepreneurship background but could still help you have a clear vision:
1- The dynamic one
Starting a new company is a lot of work. It will drain a lot of energy from you and you need people around who will always push you forward, motivate you to reach your goals but also provide ways to do it when you feel down after many setbacks. You need people who will reassure you and make you want to go the extra mile for your business during good and harder times. Where there’s a will, there’s a way! So if you have that one friend, that’s definitely a keeper.
2- The eccentric one
I always have friends who have completely different interests and tastes than me. It is good because it allows me to keep a good balance, have an open mind about my business and foresee business opportunities where I thought there would be none. So if you have a friend with complete opposite ideas from yours, a different lifestyle and a strong opinion? Keep him/her. That person is probably gold but she does not know it yet. Indeed, there’s a market for everyone. But will those ideas fit your target market? It’s up to you to connect the dots… Or not. But at least you have the option to think about it.
3- The doubtful one
There will always be someone in your entourage that will say: yeah, that’s a good business idea BUT… Blablabla…AND… PLUS… Instead of freezing and feeling offended, listen to that person. Why? Well first, she’s probably not the first one and won’t be the last person to question your business so it allows you to practice your answer perfectly before doing the same in front of investors (where the stake is much higher). Then, it allows you to have a wider vision of your business and think of elements you did not consider in the first place. Third, no idea is perfect and even though the world changes daily, you still need to plan the future to be a little more prepared during tough times. By doubting your business, you actually allow it to foresee opportunities and move forward. No need to say that too much doubt lead to status quo so once you’ve made up your mind, act on it.
All in all, I would say you need people who care about you. Usually, they will be more willing to help, go the extra-mile for you and give you feedback on your business to make it grow even bigger. Ideally, you will also have a mentor and be followed by institutions helping entrepreneurs for a smooth start.
And you? What type of friend helped you the most when starting your business?