Haven't you grown tired of hearing, "Well you know how it is", whenever these issues are brought to the table. We can't act like people of European, Asian, Hispanic and Arab descent are the only ones that are capable of conducting high level business. My thing is, "Business is business and the rules are not impartial." What that means is, it doesn't matter where you're from, if you master and apply the rules of business you can generate large sums of income anywhere at anytime. In the grand scheme of things nobody cares that you are a black business. Don't get me wrong, it's motivating and inspiring for us to see a black business owner making things happen. But, if you're not on your square (balanced in all aspects) as a product or service provider then you may as well not be in business.
Urban America does not lack in creativity or ingenuity. What is lacking is the consistent execution of proper business protocols that are the cornerstone of billion dollar empires globally. It's time to get out of the chest thumping and get into premium level income generation. The best part about the minute things that hinder most black business is that these issues are an easy fix. Below I will share a few fundamental strategies from our latest audio book, "Good Business: Operating In The Black" that you can implement today. Operating in the black has a double meaning. Essentially it means to operate a business that produces positive cash flow as opposed to operating in the red which would mean your company is in the negative or bleeding (hence the color red). The second reason for the title is to operate a business as a black person.
Without further adieu here are three of the nine practical principles that every black business should master.
Generate Money From Outside of Your Community. We often find that many people who are apart of the black business community subconsciously pigeon hole themselves on the financial tip. How? Sometimes we get so pro black that we only want to conduct business with people that look like us. I respect the unity but here's the problem. We only represent 14% of the American population. With that in mind it wouldn't be wise to solely focus on only accepting money from your own people. Do you see Arab people at the gas stations in your community saying, "No, don't give me the money for your cigarettes because I only accept money from middle easterners." Tell me when is the last time you've seen the cashier in a Chinese restaurant or Korean Beauty Supply store tell you, "We only want Asian dollars in this establishment." You haven't seen it and you won't. Other nations are smart enough to come into the urban communities, take our money and build their communities with it. Am I lying? Who owns the liquor stores, gas stations, beauty supply shops and clothing stores in most inner city neighborhoods? Case closed.
People Are Your Greatest Form Of Currency. To quote Proverbs (22:1-2), "A good name is rather to be chosen than great riches, and loving favor rather than silver and gold." This quote is referenced to impress upon you the importance of how you treat the people that patronize your business. Profits follow people. You have to keep your name good with your customers at all times. Of course you will have situations that force you to have to confront unruly customers but all in all your name must remain good amongst the people. We soon forget that the only reason that we have a business in the first place is because people purchase our products or services with their hard earned money. What are some great forms of showing customers that you appreciate them? The first suggestion would be not to price gauge the people. Make your prices affordable so that people can have an opportunity to patronize your business more often. Many black business owners are fixated on what we call, "The one time gank move." They don't naturally intend for it to happen but that's what happens because people only purchase from them once due to their exorbitant prices. Another suggestion is to improve customer service. You can't have sub par employees who hate being at work and thus show little to no effort to make sure the customer's needs are properly met. The worst thing in the world is trying to help a black business by patronizing them and the cashier has an attitude or is on the phone haphazardly processing your order. There is a great quote that said, "I'm nothing without the people." Never forget that.
Make Sure Everyone Wins. Black business owners (and everyone else in the black community) have been taught to compete with everybody for everything from the time we arrived in this world. The odds were stacked against us so we needed a built in survival mechanism to help us when "the feces hit the fan." I'm here to inform you that in business we have to slightly modify the competition model. It may be wiser to consider the "Congruence Model." No this is not in a book but this is something that I personally developed and it has proven to be beneficial for me in my business dealings. When you operate under the congruence model the concept of deficit is not a part of your paradigm. You focus more on making sure the person that you conduct business with will receive equal or more than what you take from them in the transaction. By doing this you are able to create an ebullient business partner (or customer) and you ensure future transactions with this person. Let me put it this way. If you have a family of 5 and the person on the other side of the business transaction has a family of 5, is it morally right that your family should get more out of the business deal than theirs? If you operate with integrity you can never lose.
by: Cochise Tarak-Saa (@fitmancochise)
(Click HERE to get the full 2 hr 25 min audio book Operating In The Black)
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