Women in Business: Should You Ask Family and Friends to Help Out?
Starting your own business can be scary, especially if you’re doing it by yourself. It’s a lot of solo-time, especially at the beginning — hours spent alone in front of the computer, learning and strategising. And you may find yourself unable to do it all. That’s perfectly okay and expected if you have big plans. But you don’t have the budget to hire anyone, yet. So, it will be natural to ask a friend or family member for help. The question is: should you?
I don’t really have a straight answer for this one. I think that friends can be a great source of insight and help. And if you have a family member who’s been in the business before, or works in something like marketing, why shouldn’t you take advantage of that?
There are pros and cons to working with someone close to you.
- In the beginning, they may offer free help, or maybe exchange some of their knowledge for a nice dinner out. Obviously, you shouldn’t take it for granted, but they might just be happy to help with some advice;
- It might be easier for you to trust them if you’re in a good relationship. It’s hard enough to delegate your work to someone when it’s your business, let alone a stranger. Someone you know makes it easier for you to let go of a little control;
- You can be yourself, without fear of judgement. They know you already, so they know what type of person you are. You don’t need to make a good impression or meet an employee’s expectation of what a boss should be.
- You don’t know their work persona. You may be good friends with this person, trust them with your own life, and that could be good enough. But you don’t know them in a work capacity unless you’ve worked with them before. They may have a code of conduct that doesn’t align with your own;
- You will have to speak to them as their boss, which could be awkward. Unless you’re sure you can manage them like you would any other person, managing a friend or family member may be tricky and create some tension;
- You may follow their advice because you feel bad not to. Even if you have a strong personality and you’re sure of what you’re doing, you could still submit to your friend’s advice just because they’re your friend. Especially if they’re helping you for free, you might feel obligated to do what they say, instead of your own way.
Overall, I think the most important thing is to set a clear boundary between friendship and work relationship. If you’re able to do that, working together can be less problematic. However, you may save a lot of time and effort in the long-run if you just hire someone outside of your circle.
Happy Sunday folks!