As a small business owner, I understand the importance of building professional relationships and showing appreciation for the people in my life.
When I first started my business, I thought that offering discounts and free services to my friends and family was a great way to do this. It was a way for me to share my passion and skills with the people I cared about most, and I felt proud to be able to give back in this way.
However, over time, I realized that this approach had some downsides. Some of my loved ones began to take these discounts and freebies for granted, expecting them every time they came to my business.
It was heart breaking to see how quickly they had become accustomed to getting something for nothing. And worst part is they never gave anything back in return, like a shoutout or social media post to support my small business.
I learned that it’s important to strike a balance between showing appreciation and protecting the health and success of my business. I had to reevaluate my approach to offering discounts and free services to my loved ones.
If you’re also a small business owner, and your friends and family have gotten into the habit of asking for discounts or free services, consider gently reminding them the following:
- Make sure that discounts and free services are truly special and not something that can be expected every time. Consider offering them on special occasions, such as birthdays or holidays, rather than on a regular basis.
- Be clear and consistent with your policy on discounts and free services. Communicate it to your friends and family and make sure that everyone understands how and when they can receive these offers.
- Remind your friends and family that while discounts and free services are a nice gesture, they are not the way to support your small business.
- If a friend or family member is taking advantage of your generosity, don’t be afraid to have a gentle conversation with them. Remind them that you value their friendship and support, but also need to focus on running a successful business.
And if they really want to support a small business and show appreciation, there are plenty of things they can do:
- Shop locally and patronize small, independent businesses as often as possible. This helps to keep money in the community and support the local economy.
- Share the business’s work with others, whether through social media or by word of mouth. This helps to spread the word about the business and can lead to new customers and opportunities.
- Leave positive reviews or ratings on the business’s website or social media pages. This helps to build their reputation and can attract new customers.
- Give the business credits when you talk about their products or services to others. This helps to build their reputation and gives them the recognition they deserve.
- Consider becoming a regular customer or purchasing a membership or subscription if the business offers these options. This can help to provide a steady stream of revenue and support the business’s long-term growth.
- Be the biggest cheerleader, always spreading positivity and love towards your small business.
These actions can significantly impact the long run and show support in a meaningful and sustainable way.
It’s important to remember that building a successful business takes time and hard work, and having a support system made up of friends and family who truly understand and appreciate that can make all the difference.
The Big Cheese know-it-all
Find her on LinkedIn, Instagram and oanacorina.com