Is This the Best Time to Start and Grow a Black-Owned Business?

Cheerful smiling African-American barista wearing an apron and standing at the entrance of his cafe

This article was originally published on BLAC® Finance.

There has been a lot of talk and news in 2022 touting new programs, new initiatives and new post-COVID energy in the Black business community.  Numbers late last year, bore that out as according to US News & World Report, Black businesses grew 20% in the third quarter of 2021.

There was an interesting take on this in a recent issue of the Queen City Metro News letting the people of Charlotte, NC know that if you’re Black and are looking to start or expand a business, now is the time to do it.  The article, written by Donna Marie, gave five reasons why she thinks there’s rarely been a better time for Black business owners and entrepreneurs.

1. People want to support other people

One of the things I know for sure after 22 years in business is that the more conversations you have, the more sales you have. Purchasing a product from a person you can get to know a little provides a buyer with a sense of satisfaction that cannot be matched when buying a product from a big box store. The future of business is interactive and conversational. For proof of this fact, look no further than how people buy based on what they experience on social media.

Members of the Black community experience a special sense of pride and joy when they purchase from another local Black entrepreneur. People want to do business with other people, and Black people want to do business with other Black people. Now is the time to leverage this in your business.

2. The world is in your back pocket

There was a time when you needed live access to mentors, hard copies of books, and pricey in-person entrepreneurial training classes in order to enter the world of entrepreneurship. Today, all of the information and mentoring you need is in your back pocket or purse in the phone you carry everywhere you go.

Need a mentor? Follow some your favorites on social media and learn from their videos. If you want to start or grow your business and you have a phone, you have no excuse for not moving forward with your dream.

3. Automated sales and marketing processes

Today, you can travel with your customers anytime and anywhere by putting your brand in their purses or back pockets. Using email and SMS marketing and you can meet your customers where they are 24/7.

While snail mail still has its place, there is no substitute for the speed and convenience of technology. Tools like Survey Monkey and live streaming videos make it easy to build and stay connected with your brand community. When you use these types of tools consistently, more people discover your products and services and you are able to create an ecosystem that supports endless sales opportunities.

4. Increased supportive and collaborative opportunities

The growing number of Black entrepreneurs means that there are increasingly more Black people available to participate in high-value promotional and collaborative opportunities.  For example, Alisia Hutchinson of Nxt Big Thing Charlotte hosts the Juneteenth Popup where Black-owned businesses can network and sell their products. It’s also easier than ever to establish your own collaborations with other local Black entrepreneurs to leverage and build on each other’s success.

5. You can lead your business from anywhere

Gone are the days when you have to be in a specific location to get things done. Technology allows you to manage your business from wherever you are in your busy life, thus making an entrepreneurial lifestyle more accessible to everyone. While you cannot do everything from a beachside hammock, you can lead meetings, delegate tasks to team members, and push your business forward from anywhere you have a phone and a good Wi-Fi connection.

This increased mobility provides you with the freedom and flexibility to efficiently integrate your business and personal lives in ways that benefit your customers and your business, as well as yourself personally.

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