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Small business owners rely on friends and family for social, financial and emotional support.

A 2023 survey found that more than half of respondents rely on family in vital formal and informal business roles.

Communities rely on small businesses to fulfill unique local needs, and small businesses rely on their communities to thrive.

This article is for community members who want to support business owners, as well as entrepreneurs who want to understand the crucial role of friend and family support.

Small business owners need financial, operational and emotional support to succeed. Starting a business and navigating it in an often-harsh marketplace can be challenging. One of the most crucial support sources for entrepreneurs and small business owners is their social network. We’ll explore the role of friends and family in helping a new business succeed.

Why is family and friend support important for business owners?

Friends and family provide a support system to help business owners manage stress, maintain perspective and improve work-life balance even amid the chaos and crushing responsibility of founding and running a business. 

Aside from moral support, business owners often benefit from monetary contributions and investments from family and friends. Financial support can help entrepreneurs lay a firm business foundation or provide a lifeline amid financial hardship.

Tip

If you’re hiring and working with family, set clear boundaries, avoid favoritism, and communicate your expectations for your working relationship.

What funding types can family and friends offer?

Family members and friends often provide business owners informal loans and financial gifts. In other cases, funding from family and friends can be more formal. Here are some funding options that family members and friends can use to support their loved ones.

Business loans. Banks aren’t the only small business loan source. Family and friends also commonly provide business loans to cover startup costs during the early stages of a business launch. Community members might fulfill a loan and charge low or no interest. They might also give business owners more flexible repayment options than banks. Though a business loan can be distributed informally, both parties should document the loan contract terms. A written agreement can legally protect both parties

Donations. Donations are one of the simplest ways to give or receive business funding. With donations, individuals can monetarily support a business without needing repayment or business control.

Equity funding. In an equity funding agreement, a business owner gives investors a percentage of their profits, some control of the business, or both. These benefits are in exchange for the investor’s monetary contribution. Among family and friends, equity funding gives individuals the opportunity to have some stake in businesses to which they have a personal connection. However, business owners should be careful when deciding on equity holders. Owning equity in a business can give a person the right to make decisions about it.

Tip

Consider offering equity stakes to angel investors once your business is established and growing. For this reason, you might not want to divide all of your business’s equity among family and friends when you’re first starting your company.

How friends and family are lifelines for entrepreneurs

Financial assistance, emotional support and companionship weave a web of connections that helps small businesses find stability. Bank of America’s Small Business Owner Report, based on a survey conducted between March and May 2023, includes responses from 1,037 small business owners across the country. Below are the report’s key findings about family and friend support.

Financial support. The survey found that 70% of business owners have plans to acquire funding for their business. Of that percentage, 12% said they plan to rely on family and friends for funding. A study from Clutch found that 22% of founders received funding from friends or family in the first three months of launching their businesses.

Partnerships in and out of business. The report found that 46% of business owners are in business with a spouse or partner. Of those small business owners, 96% said they enjoy working together. Working with a partner or spouse allows entrepreneurs to test new business ideas by reviewing them with someone who understands the ins and outs of the business. Partners and spouses also bring additional skill sets to help tackle challenges and push the business forward.<

Moral support. For small business owners, emotional support can be just as crucial as financial support. Money can’t always alleviate the stresses of building and growing a business. According to the Bank of America report, family and friend support significantly contributes to business owners’ motivation and excitement for the future. Volunteering and providing business referrals are other nonfinancial ways friends and family can support a small business owner.

Assistance during the pandemic. Other research from Bank of America found that 55% of small business owners have faced challenges in stabilizing their businesses during the COVID-19 pandemic. The report also found that, due to this challenge, 43% of business owners have reached out to family and friends for financial support. Among minority communities, this percentage has been even higher. For example, about 68% of Asian American and Pacific Islander business owners have turned to family and friends for pandemic-related financial support.

Did You Know?

Many businesses entrust family and friends with key organizational roles to ensure continuity if a founder dies or leaves the business.

Adam Uzialko contributed to the reporting and writing in this article.

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How To Get Your Family And Friends On Google+

But Facebook has at least one thing Google+ doesn’t have: everybody.

Then along came Google+. It’s clearly better than Facebook for many people. And it’s won some passionate fans, not to mention a TechCrunch “Crunchie” award yesterday for “Best Social Application+” of the year, beating out Facebook’s new Timeline feature.

Technology-loving early adopter types rushed in, as did a huge number of people dissatisfied with Facebook. At last count, Google+ had 100 million users and is growing faster than Facebook ever did.

But there’s just one thing stopping Google+ from being the social Shangri-La that it could be: Where is everybody?

By “everybody,” I mean the personal everybody. Where are the old high school friends? Where are the co-workers? Where’s the daily family reunion?

Just about every active Google+ user has tried and largely failed to lead an exodus out of Facebook, or convince most friends and family to even try Google+.

Here’s the problem: Most Facebook users don’t care which is the better social network. Everybody’s on Facebook because everybody’s on Facebook. Why go to a social network where I don’t know anybody?

When your average Facebook user tries Google+, they peek their head in the window, look around, see nobody and then conclude that nothing is happening and wander back to Facebook where everybody knows your name.

So the Big Question for every passionate Google+ user is: How do I convince my family and friends to use Google+?

I’ve been working on this problem myself since Google+ first opened its doors in June. And I’ve become convinced that it’s possible to get your people on Google+. But it takes a multi-faceted approach. You can’t just invite people and forget about it. You’ve got to try several things and stick with it.

Here’s how to get your family and friends on Google+:

Many people duplicate posts on both Google+ and Facebook. Instead, just post on Google+. If people want to stay in touch with you, and, say, see pictures of your kids, they’ll have to use the better network. Call it coercion. Call it blackmail. It works.

Google+ lets you share posts with both users and non-users via e-mail. In other words, there’s no need to limit your circles to only people with Google+ accounts. If you have someone’s e-mail address, add them to your “Family” and “Friends” circles. When you post an item publicly that may be of particular interest to specific non-users, go ahead and add them specifically to the addressing of the post. Lure them in with relevant content.

There’s a myth that Google+ conversations are only about technology and photography. What’s true is that most of the biggest users circled by the greatest number of people tend to be geeks or photographers (or actors or singers). But a person with the most obscure interests will find thriving communities around those passions on Google+. Who cares how many “followers” the person has?

So if you have a family member or friend who’s interested in something particular, use Google+’s excellent search feature, find great people who post on that subject, build them a circle then share it with that person. Or just conduct a search and share the URL to demonstrate the incredible activity around your loved one’s passion. You’ll find every interest on Google+ — for example, ukuleles, cupcakes or home beer brewing.

Collect all the family and friends who are on Google+, and share their profile links with the ones who are. That way they know who to circle.

How To Share Your Amazon Prime Membership With Family And Friends

What is Amazon Prime?

Amazon Prime is a premium subscription service offered by Amazon, providing various benefits such as fast and free delivery on many items, access to the Prime Video streaming service, Prime Reading, and much more. With the ability to share these benefits with up to one other adult and four children at no extra cost, it’s a great way to maximize the value of your Prime membership, especially during sales events like Prime Day.

Amazon Household: The Key to Sharing Your Prime Membership

Amazon Household is the feature that allows you to share your Prime membership with others in your household. You can set up your Amazon Household in the account section of your Amazon page. However, it’s important to note that sharing your Prime membership also means sharing your payment information. If you’re not comfortable with others having access to your card details, you should reconsider sharing your membership.

Who Can Share the Amazon Prime Benefits?

You can share your Amazon Prime benefits with one other adult and up to four children in your household. Keep in mind that you can’t share benefits if you’re a Prime Student, Prime Video-only user, or an invited guest of a Prime member.

Benefits That Can Be Shared with Amazon Household

While not all benefits are shareable, the following Prime benefits can be shared with the other adult and children in your Amazon Household:

Prime Delivery (including Prime Now and Amazon Fresh)

Prime Video streaming

Prime Reading

Family Library (sharing digital content like apps, eBooks, games, and other media)

Access to Lightning Deals

Try before you buy

Prime-exclusive items

Discounts on Amazon Music and Kids+

Amazon Family benefits (such as 20% off diapers and baby food subscriptions)

However, there are certain benefits that cannot be shared, including Kindle First, Twitch Prime, Amazon Prime Music, and Amazon Video Channels.

How to Share Your Amazon Prime Membership Using Amazon Household Step 1: Sign in and Open Prime Settings

Step 2: Open the Amazon Household Page

Step 3: Start Creating Amazon Household

Step 4: Choose Your Country of Residence

Step 5: Agree to Share Benefits

Step 6: Choose Your Billing Address

Step 7: Choose Your Payment Method

Join GizChina on Telegram

Step 8: Decide if You’d Like to Share Apps/Games and eBooks

Step 9: Send Invite

Step 10: Check Email for Invitation

Step 11: Confirm You’d Like to Share Benefits

Step 12: Sign in or Create a New Amazon Account

The invitee should sign in with their existing Amazon account or create a new one.

Step 13: Agree to Share Payment Information

Step 14: Choose a Billing Address

Step 15: Decide if You’d Like to Share Apps/Games and eBooks

Step 16: Enjoy the Benefits

That’s it! The invitee now has access to many of the benefits of Prime at no extra cost. From this screen, you can see what’s available and change how much you share.

FAQs about Sharing Amazon Prime Membership

Can I share my Prime membership with friends or extended family?

While you can technically share your Prime membership with anyone, it’s important to remember that you’ll also be sharing your payment information. If you’re not comfortable with people outside of your immediate household having access to your card details, it’s not recommended.

What happens when I remove someone from my Amazon Household?

When you remove someone from your Amazon Household, they will lose access to the shared Prime benefits. However, you will have to wait 180 days before you can add another adult to your Amazon Household.

Can I share my Prime membership with more than one adult?

No, you can only share your Prime membership with one other adult and up to four children.

Conclusion

Sharing your Amazon Prime membership with your loved ones is a great way to make the most of your subscription. With access to a variety of benefits such as Prime Delivery, Prime Video streaming, and Prime Reading, your family and friends will surely appreciate the perks. Just remember to consider the implications of sharing your payment information before inviting others to join your Amazon Household.

How To Livestream An Event For All Your Friends And Family

Live streaming? Easy. Grab your phone, open Instagram, and go live. Doing it well? Harder—but doable.

Take my brother’s wedding, for example. He married his fiancée (from Alabama) in Ireland (in case my byline isn’t enough of a hint, we’re Irish) during the early months of the COVID-19 pandemic. Even in the best of times, there would have been a huge number of important friends and family around the world who couldn’t physically attend the event. But with travel and gathering restrictions in place in Ireland, limits on international travel, and other more individualized issues, more than three times as many people were prepared to tune in online as would actually be there. The livestream couldn’t be an afterthought—it was the main event for most people.

At some point, this is likely to be the case for you. Whether it’s a wedding, funeral, birthday celebration, holiday gathering, or something else, getting the livestream right will be crucial.

It’s all about the sound

The most important part of a livestream isn’t the video, it’s the sound. Just think of all the blurry, low-resolution YouTube videos and questionably-procured episodes of TV you’ve watched over the years. It’s much more important to hear the bride and groom make their vows than to see it happen in 4K HDR.

For the best sound quality, you’ll need a dedicated directional microphone placed close to wherever people will be speaking. The microphone built into your computer, webcam, or smartphone won’t cut it; it will pick up too much noise from the environment, and there’s no workaround.

You can get fancy and use wireless lapel mics or other more elaborate options, but it’s hard to beat a good USB microphone on a long cable. The two I recommend are the Blue Snowball and the Blue Yeti.

If you’ve ever listened to a podcast, watched someone stream on Twitch, or learned something from a screencast, there’s a large chance you’ve heard one of these two microphones in action. The Snowball costs less, at around $70, while the Yeti is a step up but costs $130. Crucially, both have different “pattern modes” which control the direction of their sound pickup. The cardioid pattern, which is the one you should use, only picks up sound from sources directly in front of the microphone. In other words, put the mic on the dinner table in front of the speaker, and even if the crowd around them hoops and hollers, you’ll still get decent audio.

OK, video matters too

With a good audio setup, you can get away with a lot of video sins. Seriously: You can connect a Blue Yeti directly to your smartphone (you may need a USB-C-to-USB-A or Lightning-to-USB-A adapter, depending on your phone) and have a livestream that’s far better than most one-on-one Zoom calls.

Still, you can make things even better without a huge amount of effort.

First up: the camera you’re recording with. You can connect a modern DSLR or a mirrorless camera to your computer and use it as a webcam, but I don’t recommend it. They’re not designed for recording long, continuous video, so they can overheat, run out of battery, or fall victim to a number of issues. If you know what you’re doing, it can work, but for most people, the bump in video quality will be offset by a lot of extra stress and failure.

Ultimately, the best camera will be your smartphone. You can, as I suggested earlier, wire a mic straight in, but it’s better to use your phone as a webcam connected to a computer. There are quite a few apps that let you do this:

Camo Pro: This is what I went with. It started as an Apple-only service, but you can now use it with Android and Windows devices as well. It’s also one of the most expensive options, at $5 a month, $40 a year, or $80 forever. However, the Camo Studio app gives you a huge amount of control over the video feed, which I wanted.

EpocCam Pro: This is a less-expensive option at $8, and it works with any iOS device connected to a PC or a Mac.

DroidCamX Pro: This is only $5, and it connects both Android and iOS devices to Windows or Linux PCs.

[Related: Gear to make better movies on your smartphone]

You can hold your smartphone yourself, but a stable tripod is better. If you already have one, you can get a tripod mount for your phone. Otherwise, any phone tripod will do—as long as you can place the smartphone where you want. Worst comes to worst, prop it up higher with a chair.

Choose your streaming platform

With the hardware side of things set up, it’s time to broadcast to the world. There are plenty of streaming options, and which one you choose depends on what features you need and where your audience is.

I went with Zoom’s Video Webinar. It was overkill and pricey, at $40 a month for up to 100 attendees, but Zoom’s offerings have changed since then. Now, you can host a 100-person event on Zoom One Pro for $15 a month, or livestream to 300 people for $20 a month. There’s a free version, but you can’t stream for more than 40 minutes. Zoom Webinars are now $80 a month for a minimum of 500 attendees.

Overall, Zoom gave me a lot of control over how people viewed the stream, most people were already familiar with it, and I needed something bulletproof since my brother is only getting married once. As a bonus, I was able to record a local copy of the event and see everyone’s in-person and Zoom chat reactions.

If most of your audience or guests are on Facebook, YouTube, or Twitch, those platforms’ livestreaming options are good, but you may have to jump through some hoops to get set up. Don’t count on them on short notice.

Also, be aware that no matter where you host the stream, you are probably running afoul of copyright laws if you play any music. For a private event, copyright owners are unlikely to notice or shut everything down mid-event, but don’t use the tips in this article to broadcast a bootleg concert to thousands of people. And they can still punish you afterward.

Test, test, test

The time to test everything (and I mean everything) is not the day of the event. Instead, make sure everything is working at least a day or two beforehand so you can fix any of the (almost inevitable) bugs, problems, and other weird issues.

A non-exhaustive dry-run checklist includes ensuring that:

In other words, thorough troubleshooting and preparation should ensure things go off without a hitch.

Going live

When the day of the event rolls ‘round, you should be confident that it’s going to go well, the online guests should know what to expect, and there should be no last-minute scrambles.

With that said, make sure you give yourself enough time to set everything up (if you can’t leave it set up from the tests you did the day before).

Some key things to bear in mind as you get ready to start the stream:

Finally, try to relax and have fun. Setting up a livestream—especially if you haven’t done so before—can be stressful, but you’ve got this.

This story has been updated. It was originally published on November 25, 2023.

Internet Memes And How They Can Help Your Online Marketing

As web marketers, we’re generally expected to have a firm understanding of the web and how it works. While we may not know everything there is to it, it’s definitely a good idea to familiarize ourselves with as much of it as possible lest we lose credibility from  our clients and peers. One of those areas which I feel web marketers should spend more time on is the use of well known internet memes, specifically the ones with repeatedly-used photos and captions such as Advice Animals. In my opinion, there’s nothing more embarrassing for web marketers than incorrectly using memes. I have unfortunately seen this type of meme misused too many times.

Though I’m certainly not claiming to be THE expert with the use of internet memes, I know a thing or two after spending countless hours on Reddit and Imgur. Being on those sites have also shown me how damaging it can be to erroneously use them. While the consequences of doing so for most users would only affect one’s karma and/or reputation, in addition to one’s inbox, the consequences could be much more severe for businesses. To help you avoid this pitfall, here’s a quick look at some of them and how you can properly use them should you wish to.

The Most Interesting Man in the World

Good Guy Greg

Scumbag Steve

As the antithesis of Good Guy Greg, Scumbag Steve is used by users to vent their frustrations regarding the acts of someone else, whether it be to them or others. The top caption usually depicts an observation made by the person while the bottom caption explains the course of action taken. On a side note, I hope that none of you are the “scumbag” referenced above.

What You Can Learn from Them

Even if you don’t have any clients who would be keen on using such content on their social media accounts or their website, you can still learn a lot about from how these Advice Animals work and why they can work so well and apply them to various areas of web marketing.

In order to get your main point across, it’s important to keep things as short as possible without damaging the quality, especially since people’s attention spans are getting shorter. Doing so also allows you to ensure that they get the main message.

Unless the industry is one where you have to be formal, such as law and finance, remember that you’re probably communicating to someone browsing on their couch after work or at a coffee shop waiting for their name to be called out. Get in their mindset so you can communicate with them and not communicate at them.

New may not always be better, but for this, it’s much better. In addition to SEO reasons, you shouldn’t repost content. While you might be able to get away with it with a few, it could come back and bite you and cause you more problems than coming up with original content. People will notice, and it won’t look good for you, your site, or your inbox.

Happy meme making!

Ceo Michael Saadie On Family, Business And Leading Nab Private Wealth

Michael Saadie learned from an early age the value of hard work and the mantra to “never touch anything twice”.  

CEO of JBWere Michael Saadie. Image: Supplied

He recalls spending time working on sites with his father, who constantly reiterated the message around one-touch processes. “You don’t want to move bricks twice,” he would say.  

For successful business owners and entrepreneurs, such questions about “what next?” can occur at any age and stage, but Saadie expects to see more such conversations happening over the coming years – a trend that NAB Private Wealth is ready to support in the most streamlined way possible.  

“Business ownership is the leading pathway to significant wealth creation in Australia,” Saadie says. “And we’re set to see a lot more.  

“There is a huge demographic shift coming, with a large percentage of major shareholders of private businesses being over 70. And that means there’s set to be even more business owners making big decisions about wealth transition. 

“We want to start having conversations with these business owners now, to best support with this shift. What are your intentions? Is it philanthropy? Is it community? Is it about how can we support the next generation? “What do you want from wealth?”  

Importantly, Saadie says they also want to provide services via a single point of contact, to avoid already time-poor business owners having to navigate their way through different teams. 

Meanwhile, the wealth being created by Australian business owners is set to also benefit the community. 

Saadie says NAB Private Wealth is seeing more questions about philanthropy options and impact investment strategies. NAB Private Wealth already manages more than $10 billion for over 600 for-purpose clients and boasts a first of its kind in Australia Responsible Investing Framework, with 97% of funds on its High Conviction List having either a positive or neutral Environmental, Social, and Governance (ESG)/Responsible Investment (RI) rating. In 2023, it also formed a powerful relationship with BlackRock, becoming its sole partner in Australia on its new ESG focused Exchange Traded Funds (ETFs).  

These types of offerings, alongside Australia’s burgeoning entrepreneurial and business market, saw NAB Private Wealth experiencing double digit growth in FY22 for deposits and lending. This year also saw a 7% increase in trading accounts, with 38,000 new clients welcomed to the platform.  

So how did Saadie come to helm the bank leading on managing the wealth of Australia’s most successful individuals and families?  

Family is hugely significant in his own success and path to this role – as noted by the work ethic his father instilled in him.  Another pillar is his vast banking experience, particularly leading across business banking, and managing risk during one of NAB’s most challenging periods.  

One of nine siblings (the second last born), Saadie brings a unique perspective on family into leadership and relationship management.  

He says there’s a lot he learned about leadership from his parents – including from his father who worked in construction, and his mother who ran the household. They were married for 73 years, and perhaps reflective of such a long union, passed away within three weeks of each other just before Christmas last year.   

Saadie experienced a socially charged, noisy and energetic childhood, but also a family with high expectations for all their children. So much so that Saadie recalls wanting to drop out of studying architecture drafting but needing a “good excuse” to do so. By chance, he attended a careers day during his studies, where he was offered a job at ANZ that would allow him to switch disciplines and study part time. 

“I’m not sure I would have survived dinner if I came home that day and just told them I was dropping out,” he says. “But the truth is, I didn’t have a design bone in my body.”  

Officially commencing his term as head of Nab private Wealth and CEO JBWere on January 16 and based in Melbourne where he lives with his wife Joanna and three children Hannah, Will & Tom. Saadie says he’s already spending a lot of time personally working with business owners and families.  

He’s clear on his ambitions to transform the world of private banking in Australia, and his arrival at NAB Private Wealth coincides with the business already boasting good numbers. Revenue was up over 10% in FY22  

“You have got to really love what you’re doing with work, but also make time and space for family.”

Michael Saadie

“In 2023, we took it a step further adding our business banking experts to our service. NAB Private Wealth’s proposition is without comparison in Australia – we’ve brought together Australia’s largest business lender and Australia’s the best private bank” says Saadie. 

Saadie personally brings significant knowledge on business to the job, having run NAB’s business banking metro team at NAB prior to this appointment, in a bank that has 26 per cent share of business owners already banking with them.  

Over the next 12 months, Saadie says the plan will be to further optimise the experience for clients, enable more efficiencies and create the most seamless experience possible.  

He’s optimistic about the future for Australian businesses, especially given the efficiencies that have been gained in the past few years as businesses responded to the pandemic. High employment levels also see him staying positive on the outlook ahead.  

As for his own work life, Saadie is up at 4:45am most mornings shared with his wife to take their daughter to swimming training, and get in his own exercise, before getting to the office. While he aims to reserve the weekends for family time, he says he shares a similar love for his work to what he encounters from his clients.  

“You have got to really love what you’re doing with work, but also make time and space for family,” he says. 

NAB Private Wealth will present the inaugural Forbes Australia Women’s Summit on March 22, 2023. Book now to secure your spot.

Forbes Australia issue 3 is out now. You can pick up your copy at all good newsagents or become a member here.

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