Your Family Is Not the Target Market

Love and support from family and friends is an often overlooked tool on the road to success. While not quite necessary to make it to the top of any challenge or goal, it certainly is nice to have those you love backing you up. With that being said:

Stop treating your family like customers.

Offering discounts or early sales to people in your family seems like an okay enough idea, but this often results in two equally negative outcomes. 1) Time that should be spent focusing on actual customers and your target market is wasted and, 2) early sales to loved ones are often conflated with real-world success. Want to avoid this? Instead of asking for sales, ask for the following when looking for support from your family:

  1. Understanding. New businesses take an enormous amount of time and effort to get started. Let your family know what is going on and ask that they be patient with you during this busy time.
  2. Text messages. Remember how busy you are? You might not have time to drop everything for a phone call, but reading a small message of encouragement from a friend or family member before heading into a meeting can be invaluable.
  3. Support. Do you not have enough time to cook at night? See if your parents can spare a few frozen casseroles. Does your daughter get out of school at the same time you have an important meeting? Call in the reinforcements and have a family member pick her up.

Not everyone lives near their loved ones or has an amicable relationship with their family, but for those who do, be careful not to alienate or ostracize them by treating a family member as a customer. Instead, keep your focus on your growing business and ask your family to be patient with you while you work.


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