There are many things that set winners and losers apart in the small business game. I’m sure you have heard the old saying… find your passion and the money will come. That’s incredibly true and passion is FIRST. If you are in business ONLY to make money chances are you will fail miserably. You will not be dedicated to the creative end or quality service and it will be garbage in and garbage out. For the true black entrepreneur who wants to win… here are some tips. (click “NEXT” to see each segment)
1. Create Win/Win Strategies
If you are going in and trying to create ways to benefit yourself only you will NEVER and I mean NEVER grow. The client will not see the advantage of working with your brand (unless it is SUPER successful) and you will appear as a greedy, selfish opportunist
2. Give Credit to others
There are some black entrepreneurs who will tell you to always take credit for what your business does and make it APPEAR you are doing everything but I don’t agree with that. Once again, it appears selfish and behind every successful black entrepreneur, there is HELP. Give credit where it is due and your employees will appreciate you more.
3. Surround Yourself with the right people at all costs
NEGATIVE PEOPLE WILL KILL YOUR SPIRIT, YOUR DRIVE and EVEN YOU. GET RID OF THEM! There are people who are just draining. Every time you pick up the phone they have their list of complaints and woe-isms and you feel like you need a nap after that. Find other people who are on FIRE and who LOVE life and who LOVE being black entrepreneurs. The world is your oyster and we all only have a few good years on this earth. Do not waste yours on people who refuse to get up and see the light. It’s not up to you to save the world but you can damn sure make a great impression on it.
4. Work Hard, Work out Hard and Play Hard
The balance for black entrepreneurs is hard. We always do more than one the most but you MUST and I mean you MUST find balance. Enjoy the fruits of your labor but not FOOLISHLY. I say that to say don’t go out blowing all of your savings on a new car and not have something stashed for emergencies.
5. Set a schedule and Stick to it
2 to 3 hours a day making calls 1 hour for accounting, Lunch with a client twice a week etc. The beach all day Thursday.
6. Don’t Make Excuses
Especially for other people. You never know what you can have until you ask and most times twice. Usually, you will get it.
7. Don’t wait for Permission
This is a HUGE mistake many of us make… HELLO, WE WORK FOR OURSELVES? Why are we waiting for someone to tell us it’s OK to live our lives or call on potential clients or treat ourselves to a reasonable benefit of our hard work and labor? You don’t need permission that’s WHY you work for yourself.
8. Have Repeat Clients
Do great business. Make them want to come back. Look, if you are only in business to make money because you have found a way to milk clients, it will not last and/or you will never grow. Your style will become dated and you will become a joke. ALWAYS look for ways to expand and ALWAYS go above and beyond the call of duty for clients.
9. Mentor Others (not related) who are like You
If you want to be truly blessed, bless others. There is something about the unselfish act of giving someone younger an opportunity that will open the floodgates for you. I’m not talking about a relative I’m talking about someone who is young and eager and reminds you of yourself especially when you wanted an opportunity and nobody would help you.
10. Worship with others
I’m not talking about church necessarily. You can worship with other black entrepreneurs or perhaps a better word would be “Fellowship” you will get amazing blessings out of giving and receiving.
11.Provide Advice for Other Entrepreneurs
We all go crazy from time to time, keep your phone line open for other black entrepreneurs who need your advice. If you find the situation is always you helping them then it’s not a good match but if you are helping each other it’s a great marriage. I would not advice doing this with a competitor, no matter how close you think you might be.
When times get tight friendships rarely exist in business and I’ve head competitors do some unscrupulous things to me, thank God my clients look out for me and let me know what’s going on and what they have tried to do. My relationship with my clients affords me that extra benefit.
12. Follow your Gut/Intuition
I’m not sure how old you are but think back on the times your gut or intuition or as some call it “spirit” told you something and you did not listen. I’m sure there was a price to pay. Listen to that voice inside of you that tells you to act and ACT. Don’t think about it trust your instinct.
13. Take the Lead/Take Control
Once again you are a leader, not a follower and you don’t need permission. Go for it
14. Meet with Staff
They may not want to do it but make it fun. Do it at a nice restaurant. Your staff can give you amazing insight on what you might be missing.