Inflationary pressures, supply chain disruptions, threats of recession, and other economic challenges are causes for concern among many small businesses. According to Meta’s 2022 Global State Of Small Business Report, these economic headwinds particularly threaten minority-led and Black-owned small businesses with more minority-owned small businesses increasing prices and decreasing their workforce to stay operational.
Nevertheless, many Black-owned businesses continue to innovate and find creative solutions for the challenges they face, showing their steadfast resilience. Below are tips from 3 Black entrepreneurs sharing how they continue to find success – and other business owners can too (without breaking the bank).
- Prioritize Your Work/Life Balance And Be Present: My greatest business challenge has been time management of balancing my life as a single parent and business owner. There just doesn’t seem like there’s enough hours in the day to do it all! Feeling overwhelmed and exhausted is a creativity killer. So instead of practicing “work/life/balance” these days, I practice “work, life, be present.” With this mantra, I’m able to center and allow myself to not only do things at a slower pace, but also take the time to enjoy the moment. I’ve also taken advantage of free online tools that help support my e-commerce business all in one place. My online shop helps me ensure that my products can be purchased with ease through social media and if any of my customers have a quick question, I’ve set up automatic messaging on my social platforms to quickly service my customers, giving me more time to focus on the creative aspect of my business. – Nicole Alesi, owner of Nicole Marie Paperie
- Streamline Your Marketing Spend: Due to inflation, I’ve had to battle steady rising supply chain and shipping costs, decreasing my profit margin. However, through the use of social media ads, I was able to streamline my marketing spend and drive sales while reaching new consumers and promoting the benefits of my products. Meta ad campaigns have the ability to reach thousands of potential customers without breaking the bank and I’ve always seen success with my campaigns. For instance, I’ve noticed a big increase in traffic on my website and last year, my reach jumped from 200 to 150,000 thanks to Meta’s Ads manager. – Monique Glover, owner of LaMonique Cosmetics
- Connect And Listen To Your Community: Being consistent, persistent, and transparent has allowed me to scale. I facilitated a number of listening sessions and did customer discovery to find out what resources the community lacked, and created programming and partnerships that filled in those gaps. Thanks to that research, I was able to pilot languages, images, captions, and taglines that really helped me understand my audience and customer persona. I also relied heavily on fundraising campaigns and advertising on platforms like Facebook and Instagram to connect with my community in unique ways. As a result, my business has grown from a dance therapy workshop to an organization with four core programs, a board of directors, and a volunteer base of more than 20 community members. – Tyde-Courtney Edward, owner of Ballet After Dark
Nicole Alesi is the owner of Nicole Marie Paperie, Monique Glover is the owner of La Monique Cosmetics, and Tyde-Courteney Edwards is the owner of Ballet After Dark.