Today, Black entrepreneurs have populated the market space, opening businesses in virtually every aspect of human endeavors – insurance companies, record labels, funeral parlors, barber shops, beauty salons, food restaurants, record stores, bookstores, and more. However, over the years, only a few of these businesses have thrived, while several others have failed.
Research shows that while 20% of Black Americans reportedly start new businesses yearly, only 4% survive past the start-up phase, as 8 out of every 10 Black-owned business fails within the first 18 months.
The statistics imply that Black-owned businesses face unique challenges beyond their abilities that affect their growth and survival in the long run, but we can change the status quo. By the communal effort of Black entrepreneurs and customers, any black business can reach its full potential.
Here are some strategies you can adopt to help black-owned businesses survive and thrive.
How to Help Black-Owned Businesses Thrive as a Customer
- Patronize Black-owned businesses.
Patronizing is solely the role of buyers. Without tangible sales, a business will only continue to struggle. You can help black-owned businesses grow and thrive by using your purchasing power as a consumer.
Blacks have invaded the market. Is there any service or product you require? There’s always a black vendor for it. We cannot help black-owned businesses survive if we have not made it a priority to patronize them.
Just like hip-hop, we could make it a culture – whether an online store or market, make sure you’re buying from a black business owner. By patronizing our own, we do not only add value to the owner but also ourselves as members of the black community.
- Advertise Black-owned businesses
“It’s up to you to bring yourself to the attention of powerful people around you. They’re not going to find you on their own. ” – Richard Parsons.
Your business may be beautiful and out to solve a big problem, but if your advertisement game is not on point, it all goes down the drain. I can’t patronize a business I don’t even know exists.
If I need to get my winter socks, I need to know you sell high-quality and thick stockings – this is where advertisement comes in.
Here are just two tips you can apply to step up your advertisement game.
- Advertise online and offline:
Put your social media to use! Advertising in the neighborhood is great, but taking it online helps to increase your customer base. Always know that, no matter what you’re selling, someone out there needs it.
- Give Incentives and bonuses: Everybody loves something free once in a while.
As a buyer, you can also advertise. If Mr. Kareem’s Mac and Cheese hits you at the right spot, let your mom, students, friends, and everyone else know about it.
How to Help Your Business Thrive as a Black Entrepreneur
If a house has stayed for years, with time, some things begin to spoil. That’s where renovation comes in. The renovation may involve a few changes or a total turnaround. In the end, your house looks as good as new.
As a business owner, picture restrategizing as “business renovation.” Search for the loopholes and spoils in your business plan and find a way out.
Digitizing your business will skyrocket your sales. It is a bit similar to advertising online but in your own space. Personally, before I purchase a product, I search on various online retailing platforms for it. Sometimes, it helps me get an idea of the price, and other times I buy, especially if I see something I love.
Amazon, Alibaba Express, Walmart, eBay, Kroger, Chewy, Wayfair. The list of online marketplaces with massive traffic is endless. Digitizing your business means taking it to the streets of these platforms.
Here are also a few tips you can apply when digitizing:
- As we mentioned earlier, people can only patronize businesses they know. So, advertise!
- Would you buy your product if you saw it on Amazon or eBay? If your answer is “No,” consider working on your presentation.
Patronize. Advertise. Restrategize. Digitalize.
If all hands are on deck, we can help black-owned businesses thrive. The goal is not just to aim for the zenith but to get there!