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Going to friends for help with a startup

Starting a new business can be a very big, and sometimes rather intimidating, undertaking. Given this, it is natural that a person might reach out to those close to them for help when pursuing this endeavor. For example, they might ask a friend for advice on a given matter related to the start-up or for feedback on ideas they have for the business.

While friends can provide meaningful support in some ways and be very well-meaning, they do have their limitations as a source of help when it comes to starting a business. It can be important for an entrepreneur to be aware of these limitations and to factor them in when it comes to their efforts to seek out help in related to their start-up.

One such limitation is that those close to an entrepreneur can be biased when giving feedback on business ideas the entrepreneur has told them about. They might be prone to saying what they think the entrepreneur wants to here, rather than what they actually think of the idea. When an entrepreneur relies on such biased feedback, it could lead to them having false assumptions regarding the various ideas for their business. This could lead to them making decisions that aren’t actually in the best interest of their start-up.

So, a business owner may want to keep this potential for bias in mind when seeking feedback from friends on business ideas. They may want to try to combat this bias by cloaking their search for feedback from their friends in hypotheticals aimed at getting their friends to provide more objective feedback. They also might find it helpful to also seek feedback from more objective sources, rather than just from their friends.

Another limitation friends have as a source of start-up help is that there are some things they generally aren’t qualified to give guidance on. This includes legal issues related to starting a business. These issues can be quite complex, and advice on such issues that isn’t backed by the right skill, knowledge and experience can end up doing a lot more harm than good. So, when looking for advice on legal matters related to their start-up, business owners should go to skilled business law attorneys.

Source: Entrepreneur, “5 Fatal Entrepreneurial Delusions,” Jon Levy, Jan. 30, 2017

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