It’s a topic most Nigerian women know too well, the art of patronising a friend’s business, just to show support. Whether it’s a bakery, a catering outfit, a tailor’s shop, a wig store… the list of small businesses young Nigerians start these days is endless, and we each have at least one friend who spearheads such.
Now there are businesses, and there are businesses. Some offer products/services of excellent quality, while others do the exact opposite. If your friend’s business sadly falls into the latter category, it can be an awkward place to find yourself in. After all, you genuinely want this person to succeed but also don’t want to say or do the wrong thing that could ruin the friendship.
What’s a Naija woman to do? Read on for some tips on handling the situation if you’re in one right now:
Resist pressure to patronise: For the love of you, especially in these dire economic times, “suffering” with a product or service, just to appear supportive, isn’t fair to you. Business is business, and if there are other service providers offering the same product or service at a more affordable rate without compromising on quality, then by all means, go for theirs.
Resist the pressure to recommend: If it’s not a business you can’t vouch for, don’t recommend it. It’s unfair to the people on the receiving end and it just helps to give more exposure to the business that needs to be worked on.
Give honest feedback: Tell him/her the issues and give advice on how quality can be stepped up (if you have the know-how). Don’t feel the need to subject yourself to their products, just because you’re their friend.
Suggest mentorship/guidance: You love your friend; you want him/her to succeed. If you know someone who can guide them to greater heights, offer to connect him/her to this individual. Sometimes, all that’s needed is a push in the right direction or the right kind of advice.