Baby showers are common. But business showers?
A post circulating Twitter, Instagram, and Facebook racked up tens of thousand views. And possibly for good reason — if you equate entrepreneurship to giving birth. A “business shower,” a term that borrows from the commonplace baby shower but instead refers to a new business, garnered attention. The post said (without a hint of irony):
“Instead of baby showers, let’s host Business Showers. When a friend starts a business, we all come together, congratulate them and bring resources for their business.”
To the dismay of many, having a baby shower has become a ritualistic, landmark step in growing a family. While these gatherings are exciting for the expecting family, many dread invitations to baby showers. So why do people still have baby showers?
Baby showers serve as a ceremony announcing the upcoming addition to your family. Yet, money is generally a driving force for hosting these gatherings. As with birthdays, weddings, and most holidays, you are expected to bring gifts. Whether or not you approve of the commercialization of these celebrations, there is a good chance you still participate. A baby shower is no different.
While it is an incredible and momentous period in your life, having a baby is a huge expense. Having a baby shower gives others the opportunity to show you how much they truly care by contributing to your family’s fund. From gifts to money, expecting parents will receive all type of compensations for their exciting announcement.
Business or babies
What does having a baby shower have to do with businesses? Having a business is nothing like having a baby. Right? Well, in fact, they are similar in a lot of ways. There’s a reason many parents see having a child as a long-term investment and a full-time job.
Similar to mothers, entrepreneurs awe-like euphoria at the start of creating a business. But as expenses pile up and growing pains begin, it becomes a little bit less awe-inspiring and a little bit more of a job.
Starting a business takes nurturing, patience and time if you want to see it grow. Much like a baby, it will push you to your limits. Despite the hardships, watching a business or a baby grow is beyond rewarding.
Unlike some other jobs, owning a business is something you have to love doing. Much like the early years of childhood or puberty for a teen, businesses have difficult periods. Abandoning a business — like abandoning a baby — is not an option for success. Perhaps I’m getting too hyperbolic. I digress.
There will be struggles and required clean up jobs. Most people do not like cleaning a baby’s diaper, taking out loans to cover expenses, getting burped on or, in the case of an enterprise, firing people. But if you take on the responsibility of being a parent or starting a business you have to accept that responsibility. Though it is not easy, it is worth it for most. Having a baby or running a business is life changing — albeit hopefully for the better.
Host. Or not.
Think of a business shower party as a launch party, before the launch. Maybe you do not like the idea of a baby shower being a commercial gain for parents. Perhaps it will seem more reasonable for a growing business.
The post suggested we bring resources for the new businesses to grow but that doesn’t just mean financial resources. When it comes to accepting gifts, many businesses choose to start a registry similar to a typical baby shower. According to Entrepreneur guest contributor Regina Anaejionu, you should provide many options at varying price points.
“Provide options at all price points and include gift cards. This means that all your supporters will be able to participate, even on a limited budget.” — Regina Anaejionu.
With all these early fees, throwing a launch party might seem like a waste of money for starting businesses. Yet, these gatherings are could be useful for early growth. You will profit from hosting a business shower — for a marketing point of view –even if you do not receive any material objects.
Business showers serve as the best form of marketing possible. When trying to reach potential customers and investors, the easiest audience to reach is one you already have a grasp of. This includes family, friends, previous colleagues, or possible investors.
People are of course far more likely to pay attention if they aren’t given another choice. Gathering people creates a fun and social environment which you can exploit to get your name out there.
While you might not enjoy baby showers, business showers are an invaluable option when starting a business. Sure, your business shower can announce the message to beloved friends and family. That being said, a true business owner should realize the opportunity and take advantage. Consider a business shower to fuel your start up’s early growth. Or don’t — if you’re not into it.