62 www.blackeoejournal.com Black EOE Journal
tarting a small company is always a challenge. If youre a Black entrepreneur, your road to success often comes with some additional obstacles. The good news is that these can be overcome with proactive strategies, patience and determination. Yes, it is possible for you to make your passion a career if you take the right steps!
Realize That Money is Not the Only Form of Capital
The average female-owned Black startup raises $30,000 in capital. While that may seem like a decent amount, statistics also show that the average startup in America is operating off of $5 million in capital. Many small business owners, especially Black entrepreneurs, dont have access to family money or the types of investors that can provide millions of dollars to get their business off the ground. Small business owners without generous funding must be creative and resourceful when it comes to starting their businesses. Although raising money is essential, so is investing in yourself and those around you. There are many skills that can be self-taught that will help you avoid a lot of the normal startup expenses, such as web design, the basics of marketing and other tech skills. Tap into the expertise of those around you
Tips on Overcoming Adversity as a Black Entrepreneur
By Nahla Davies
for help and dont be afraid to negotiate or barter when it comes to an expense you cant avoid.
Network, Network, Network
Cash-strapped startups often benefit from their ability to connect with their community and put their new business in front of many potential new buyers. Consider joining your local Chamber of Commerce and ask them if they can refer you to any professional networks that can help connect you with buyers. Here is the best-selling tip for beginners: put yourself and your company out there. If your company has a strong digital presence on social media and you make a commitment to attend as many networking events as you can, your business can flourish. Meeting as many people as you can - either in person or online - could also put you in contact with potential investors, employees and others who can connect you with more resources.
Understand Your Cash Flow Down to the Penny
If youre a Black entrepreneur that doesnt have access to large pools of funding, then you need to always be in control of your expenses. That means that you must have a detailed inancial plan in place before you start your business. You should have the holy trinity of financial documents in order: balance sheet, income statement and cash flow statement. A balance sheet will provide you with a snapshot of how your business is doing at any specific time, taking into account all assets and liabilities. An income statement is very similar, although this document focuses more on the money your business has earned versus the expenses youve had to pay. A cash-flow statement takes into account your operating, investing and financing expenses without factoring in future incoming/outcoming money on credit. Accounting is complicated, but there are many resources on the web that can help guide you. Its not always necessary to hire a professional accountant! One of the most basic fundamentals of business ownership is keeping track of all your invoices. The good news is that there are many web-based invoicing services available that are easy to use and can be customized to fit your business needs.
Big things take time. Small business owners that accept that failing forward is often the only way to progress end up being successful. Your business is like watering a small seed: although it may seem like your efforts are going nowhere, sometimes you dont see
Sometimes, as a Black business owner, listening to your gut entrepreneurial instincts is the best move you can make. Never lose sight of the fact that you understand your business best - after all, you're the one who has invested so much time, energy and money in it!Previous Page