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When your friends won’t support your business venture

Do you get upset when you see your friends doing business with someone who provides a product or service similar to yours? If you do, continue reading this post.

Don’t take it personally-- FRIENDSHIP is not a factor in successful marketing We are constantly reading disgruntled-toned, Facebook and Instagram posts from solo-preneurs and entrepreneurs who write about how their friends do not support their businesses.

As business owners we experience when our friends choose not to buy our product or service. Whatever their reasons, we need to do our due diligence to figure out why they choose not to support us and use their reasons to learn how to enhance our accountability and marketing skills.

It is very possible that whatever prevents your friends from patronizing your business may make potential customers hesitant as well. The most common reasons for lack of support from friends and relatives are that they:

  • do not know enough about your product and/or exactly what it is that you do .

  • are busy and simply do not know what it is that they can do to support your venture.

Have you explained what you do, how your business works, the relevance and viability of your products and services, and how your products and services will benefit them specifically?

Sometimes we start businesses without a marketing plan. Who is your target market? Who among your friends fall within your market? Remember, marketing is also based on need. For example, just because you have a great shea butter product does not mean every melanated person will love it enough to buy it.

Why do friends and relatives think it’s fine to ask for a “hook-up”... a special deal or discount?

Think about what was said about shea butter---whatever the product, most people have likely heard about or used some version or brand of it before. Keep in mind that people usually buy for their bigger and better selves. So, it may not be that they don’t like your product, but that it’s just not the best product for them.


  • Ask your friends to share honest feedback and suggestions about the product or service. Brainstorming can result in positive solutions.

  • Make your “ask” for support clear and easy to do: … “Please share with your Candle-Loving friends” or ”Please Retweet”.

  • Try putting yourself in your friend's shoes first: Are they busy? Stressed out? Before asking for help, see if they need it first. Maintain your friendships before making them "transactional."

  • Comparison shop your products and services. Your friends will appreciate your efforts to offer your product or service fairly.

  • Try to surround yourself with other entrepreneurs who understand what you go through as a business owner.

So, don't get discouraged when your friends don’t follow every move of your business. Just because someone doesn’t support your business in the way YOU hoped they would, doesn’t mean they are not your friend. Take their responses and reactions as help to improve your marketing strategy.

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