There are not many things in life more rewarding than owning your own business, and each month, many of us take the leap into entrepreneurship. At Golden Grooming Co., we truly understand the importance of starting and supporting black businesses, which is why we put our money where our mouth is. However, nearly half of these new businesses result in failure within five years. The following article will take a look at five tips to help you start or maintain a successful black-owned business.
Pursue Impeccable Grooming
Whether it is fair or not, appearance matters just as much in the business world as it matters in all other aspects of life. This begins with impeccable grooming standards. Proper grooming is a matter of opinion to some extent, but it is best to err on the conservative side when considering a haircut and shave.
It is well worth the effort to clean and trim up a bit before meeting potential clients, partners, and customers. Your appearance is the first impression you can make and everything from your posture to your shoes will be noticed. Use this fact to your advantage and inspire confidence and goodwill by being well groomed and well-dressed. This will place you well on your way to success.
Actively Manage Your Reputation
Most people understand the significance of online reviews in today's business climate, but managing reviews is more than just collecting reviews from customers. If done correctly, a managed review system can boost your company's reputation, improve local rankings from SEO, and streamline the communication process between your business and your customers.
The simple truth is that consumers trust reviews. In fact, according to Podium, “over 80% of consumers trust reviews as much as they trust recommendations from family and friends.” As a business owner, you should reply to every review that you can. You should also take negative feedback to heart and make the proper adjustments.
Network Like Crazy
Networking is key to all aspects of your business. A larger client base, increased industry knowledge, and eventual growth of your business can be obtained by continuously reaching out to others in the industry.
It is normal for more experienced business people to share their insights with newer business owners. This provides a great opportunity for you to learn of the potential pitfalls you may encounter through the experiences of others. The networking progress should begin as early in the start-up process as possible. According to Resume Coach, “Build relationships with people who can help you make a career move. Past and present colleagues and bosses are particularly good contacts but also include friends in similar professions, alumni from college, people from school, and more generally, anyone who can help you. Make sure to keep in contact with people. Invest in each relationship and try to stay in touch, even if it’s just the occasional message to ask how someone is. The stronger your relationships are with your contacts, the more they will be willing to help you.”
Perfect Your Niche
Many startups are successful because they are able to identify a niche and dominate the market. If you are able to discern a service or product that no one else has properly delivered to customers, you will be in a prime position for success.
You will need a thorough understanding of your potential customers and the needs they demonstrate to successfully exploit a niche market. According to Chris Ducker, “if you don’t find your niche, you won’t get far in any industry. When in the searching phase have fun and explore new options. It’ll be exciting at first and then will probably wear on you, but the latter part of the exploration phase is almost more important than the first part because that’s when you finally decide on your niche.” You will also need a system to maintain engagement with the consumers in your niche market.
Be FlexibleOnce you find the perfect niche, you cannot count on the niche remaining the same indefinitely. Markets are often fickle, and customers are on the constant lookout for the next best thing. If you are not able to adjust to change, the health of your business will be in jeopardy. Do not fall so in love with your initial idea that you are unable to clearly see what the market desires and deliver it to them. According to Startup Pulse, “all of the most successful companies that have been around a while all have been able to adapt to evolving cultural landscapes. Being too inflexible will only lead to your eventual failure.”
The process of business ownership can be a rewarding experience. However, the endeavor is not undertaken without some measure of risk. The five tips described above will provide a solid foundation for you as you build your business. By the way, did you know that 5% of our proceeds go to entrepreneurship programs in underserved communities? Shop with us, treat yourself, and help your community all at the same time.