- Locating and supporting Black-owned businesses within the United States has proven to be difficult for some African Americans. Many individuals in the Black community greatly desire to support businesses owned and operated by African Americans; however, trying to locate such businesses is challenging for some individuals. For instance, take the case of business professional, Maggie Anderson, who went on a quest to find and support Black-owned establishments in her area.
- Anderson continues to travel the U.S. in hopes of empowering and supporting African American individuals and communities. On Thursday she provided information regarding her next empowerment experience via twitter:
- You can read about Anderson’s journey in the article, A Year of Shopping Only at Black Businesses, in which she urges people to at least try and support nothing but Black-owned businesses for two weeks, in order for them to feel the sacrifice that she and her family made.
The percentage of Black-owned businesses in the U.S., has risen significantly within the past six years. According to the United States Census Bureau’s Survey of Business Owners 2007 report, which is updated every five years, Black-owned businesses have “increased 60.5 percent from 2002.” As of 2007 there were “1.9 million Black-owned businesses” operating within the United States.
Today, there are a vast amount of resources and organizations committed to helping individuals and minority-owned businesses succeed. For instance, Black Enterprise, a magazine publication that provides information, resources and classes for those persons interested in starting, operating and maintaining a successful business. On Thursday the publication offered financial planning tips via twitter:
- Black Enterprise provides their readers with the necessary tools and information needed for those persons looking to start their own business. Some key points new entrepreneurs may want to consider when deciding to go into business for themselves are listed within the article, Financial Planning Tips for New Entrepreneurs:
- Currently, African Americans spend billions of dollars a year on goods and services. It has been estimated that those billions will turn into trillions in the near future. In the article, Why 1 Trillion Dollars In Black Buying Power Should Be Used To Start Black Businesses, the future for African American establishments are discussed along with strategies that will help pour money back into Black businesses and communities.
Starting a business can be stressful and exciting in the beginning. Preparation, organization and hard work are a few key tools needed in order to run a fruitful business.
“I can’t stress to an individual how important it is when it comes to setting financial goals, especially when running a business. Being responsible of your finances and knowing how to save and plan for events is very important. The individual needs to understand the importance of having good credit and making sure that bills are being paid on time,” said Kirstin Bigham, owner of K3B Accounting and Bookkeeping.
When asked the top three basic points that potential and current business owners should take into consideration when starting or running a business, Bigham recommends the following:
1. "Having a vision on where you want your company to go. In any aspect of life you should create goals for yourself to accomplish and this stays true for your business."
2. "Be proud of the product or service that your company is selling; believe me your customer’s will notice. If you don’t stand behind your product, who will? Always produce good quality products and services, word of mouth really can make or break a business."
3. "Have a budget and know your company’s financial status. Keep a good financial team that you can trust. Also, do your research so you will know the competitive prices and what is selling and what is not selling. When you have a company you should plan for the unexpected, so when the unexpected happens your company won’t be drastically affected."
On offering advice to individuals who may need help constructing ideas and business plans for their business, Bigham suggest four components that should be taken into consideration. These factors include, conducting research, obtaining business loans, maintaining proper bookkeeping and preparing financial statements. Bigham offers advice on each element that needs to be examined:
On research, Bigham expresses, “I would definitely tell them to do their research and refer them to classes that the local college may offer. Find mentor’s that can also help encourage them and help them to get a better understanding of having financial goals. If they decide to go the financial advisor route, try to get a referral because there are a lot of people out there that do not have their best interest at heart, especially when it comes to dealing with finances.”
Business Loans and Banks
Regarding business loans and banks, Bigham explains, “on the business side, especially when trying to get a business loan, banks require an investment of a minimum of 20% and collateral. By setting financial goals the owner of the business will be prepared for what is being requested. The banks want to know that you are serious about your business and that you are willing to invest in yourself.”
When keeping track of the company’s expenditures, Bigham says, “having good bookkeeping is making sure that you prepare your financial statements on a monthly basis, this is very important. Also, making sure all transaction are accounted for and all original receipts are given as backup. Whoever is in charge of the bookkeeping needs to make sure they are reconciling accounts, especially the cash accounts. If they are responsible for making journal entries and preparing the financial statements, they also need to reconcile all the balance sheets and income statements as well, on a monthly basis, depending on the volume of transactions. Most importantly, any un-reconciled items need to be researched and explained.”
- Another good source for entrepreneurs is MSNBC Your Business. Individuals can track MSNBC Your Business on twitter to find important information on sustaining a business:
- MSNBC Your Business focuses on small business owners and encourages viewers and audiences to tweet or contact them at firstname.lastname@example.org.