I don’t know about you, but neither I nor my Black-owned business have fully recovered from the Covid-19 pandemic. There are new variants each month and there don’t seem to be signs of the overall “pandemic effect” going away anytime soon. As I work one on one with new entrepreneurs, a few questions seem to be a recurring concern and need answering. The main one is whether it is wise to start a business now. With uncertainty and change around every corner, I cannot dismiss anyone’s skepticism. Yet, while it’s easy to point out the negative, the surprising upside to this entire crisis is that now, more than ever, Black business opportunities abound – especially home-based businesses.
Now is the time to capitalize on the ever-changing demands of consumers. Unleash your imagination to create ways to reach new audiences. Embrace this opportunity to do something you might not have been able to do three years ago.
Here are some tips to ensure your new home-based business is Black-excellence ready:
The “NOW” Factor
Customer demands are at an all-time high, thanks to the pandemic. Their buying habits have changed. Just look at how you shopped prior to January of 2021 and how you shop and purchase things now? I know I see a difference in my own shopping habits. I haven’t set foot in a grocery store in almost three years, yet I’m still able to get my groceries when I want them. On-line enterprises like Doordash and Woozy give consumers a NOW factor in their shopping experience that wasn’t always a priority before. How can you adapt your business to give customers that NOW factor?
Technology Is Your Friend
As you think of what your NOW factor is, realize that technology is your bestie for spreading the word that your virtual doors are open. Choose wisely. Take a look at what your competitors are doing. Don’t copy them; find a platform or delivery method that offers more value. Apps that make it easier for your customers to book and purchase are a must-have. Not only do they improve the customer buying experience, they help you increase productivity on the back end – dramatically!
Social Media is A Blessing Not a Burden
When social media is used properly and with the right intention, it is a blessing not a burden. It’s a quick and easy way to reach anyone, anywhere in the world and engage with them on their level. Get them excited about who you are and, most importantly, demonstrate how you can help them…NOW! I.e., how will your business solve their problem painlessly – whether it’s delivery of goods, services, or information?
Plan to Have a Plan B
Pandemic or not, the dynamics of business are ever evolving. Having a solid long-term business plan will help you navigate for the future, but you must be prepared to change some or possibly even all parts of your plan at any given time. Change is not easy, but the sooner you embrace the fact that it’s unavoidable in business, the better off you will be. Plan to have a Plan B.
Survival Is Key
Not having a Plan B is absolutely guaranteed to be the death of your business. Survival is the name of the game. If you are a fan of dinosaurs, you know they became an extinct species because of their inability to adapt. In times like these, your ability to be flexible is paramount. Make sure you are putting procedures in place, even as a home-based business, to guarantee that things go on with or without you.
What You Put Out is What You Get Back
Don’t get overwhelmed. It may seem like the world is on your shoulders but know that success is possible. What you put out into the universe is what you will get back – always keep that in mind. You can’t expect instant success and you can’t expect a golden ticket without putting in the work.
Do you have any other home-based startup tips for Black business owners? Drop those comments below.