5 Successful Black Founders Share Expert Tips on Starting a Business
As every entrepreneur can tell you, starting a business can be difficult. More so if you’re from a minority group in America. For black founders, especially, the challenges are numerous. For one thing, 80% of black entrepreneurs have reported challenges with capital or funding. Many of them resort to using their own savings and investments (70%), some turn to family and friends for a loan (23%), and others still tap into their 401(k) plans just to get the money. These challenges might even double if you’re a woman.
But despite challenges, black entrepreneurship lives on—and there are silver linings. For example, the State of Small Business Survey 2019 has found that more and more African Americans are quick to start their own businesses, often from the age of 18.
There are also more black millennial founders emerging through the years, particularly women. It should be noted, too, that the average female-led small business is typically at 23%, but 38% of black small business founders are women.
And overall, there’s been a 45% increase in business share for black founders, which may explain why more and more founders are taking the leap in business.
And if you’re here today, you might be wondering how to start your own business, despite the challenges and mistakes new founders might face. Our advice: take it from the experts. After all, there’s no better way to assure your new business’s success than by learning from other successful black founders.
Don’t Underestimate the Power of Word of Mouth – Chris Bennet, Founder of Wonderschool
In an interview with Forbes magazine, Chris Bennet, founder of Wonderschool, has an important note about customers. When asked about how his school started getting its first customers, here’s what he says:
“Most of our first teacher customers came to us through referrals or by attending in-person events that we hosted—they loved everything about Wonderschool. Relationship building and trust are critical to our success.”
Word of mouth is free marketing for your business, and people are more often than not willing to trust the recommendations of other people about a product or service. In fact, a Nielsen study found that up to 92% of people trust recommendations from their friends and family.
Interestingly, word of mouth transcends personal relationships, meaning it’s not only effective between people who already know each other—84% of consumers are also likely to trust reviews and testimonials given by complete strangers as if it had been recommended by a friend.
In the beginning, focus your efforts on providing top-notch service and nurturing your relationship with those first few customers. They are, after all, key to getting rave reviews and much-needed word of mouth.
Source: Black Enterprise
Author: Kevin Payne
Payne, Kevin. “5 SUCCESSFUL BLACK FOUNDERS SHARE EXPERT TIPS ON STARTING A BUSINESS
.” Black Enterprise, 29 Jan. 2020, https://www.blackenterprise.com/expert-tips-on-starting-a-business-from-5-black-founders/.