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Five Top Business Tips From Black Entrepreneurs.

4 October 2018 No Comment

October marks   Black History Month in the UK, and what better way to commemorate such a time then with five top tips from some of the industry’s leading black entrepreneurs.

Since the inception of Black History Month, introduced in the UK by Akyaaba Addai-Sebo in 1987, there has since been a significant rise in the number of black entrepreneurs and successful black business owners.

Black History Month brings focus to the many contributions made by the black community in our society, and the challenges faced by black individuals. It has brought the conversation about race more into the public domain, showing why and how we create a level playing field for those looking to pursue their dreams of running their own business.

Entrepreneurialism is an incredibly challenging journey, irrespective of a person’s background. However, individuals of colour are often disproportionately at a disadvantage when venturing into business than their counterparts. Nevertheless, there are numerous success stories from those blazing a trail for the black community.

In this article, we’ve sourced some of the industry’s leading examples and their wise words, to get your started on becoming a successful entrepreneur.

  1. Just go for it” Jocelyn Mate, Co-founder of Afrocentrix

In life, if you want something bad enough then you have to take that giant leap of faith and just go for it. The risks may seem overwhelming at first, but with the right guidance and right attitude, it’s only a matter of time until you begin to reap the rewards.

“Just go for it. You need to start somewhere. If you want to do something, sometimes you just have to. There are lessons I’ve learned that I couldn’t have learned any other way. If you want to start a business, you have to start a business.”

  1. Do your market research” — Rachel Corson, Co-founder of Afrocenchix

It’s an important part of the process. As an entrepreneur, you’re not only thinking about the service or product you can provide, but also if there’s a demand for it. Don’t be put off it there isn’t! If you realise there’s no real demand for your service or product, don’t be deterred. Take your idea back to the drawing board and think of a new angle to meet their needs.

“Think about the problem you are trying to solve and who you are trying to solve it for. Does what you are offering meet that need? Do your market research with an open mind and be willing to change your idea to make sure you are meeting your customer’s needs.”

  1. Be authentic” — Theresa Roberts, founder of Jamaican Patties Co.

This generation is one of the most discerning generations of all time. They’re constantly bombarded with ads on their phones, laptops, billboards etc. Therefore, when promoting your business, be creative, and more importantly – authentic! Anything that feels or looks imitated is likely to be ignored or derided.

“People can be committed to and passionate about lots of things, but this by itself is not enough. Authenticity is more than when someone believes in what they say or acts in a way that is consistent with their beliefs. Don’t be a ‘me too’ company. Make sure you are in it for the long haul and try and think ahead.”

  1. “Value your relationships”Marcia Jones, founder and president of Urban Connoisseurs

Never forget that your customers are actual people with real lives and stories. Knowing and understand your customers is half the battle and will ensure that you see longevity and success in your business. There are many insights and valuable data that you can learn from engaging with your customers and creating a community around your brand.

“It’s not always about money. The money will come if you make your passion your business. Along these lines, it’s important to value your relationships. I spend a lot of face-to-face time with my clients. Customers stay with you when they know you care about them.”

  1. “Listen. Be humble, don’t think you know it all”Alicya Sinclair, founder and director of Sinclair London

Finally, when starting off in business, everyone is a student. There will always be something new to learn and every bit of information is vital when helping you make the next business decision. Learn from other entrepreneurs and find a mentor that can give you vital advice and guidance.

“And most importantly – listen. Be humble, don’t think you know it all. Take constructive criticism gracefully and learn about the industry. Self-education is the best power tool. I think if you want to be successful in business you must have a genuine interest in it. Learn what makes other brands successful, how they do it and why.”

 

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