Arizona is a beautiful state, and its location makes it great for businesses. Nestled in the southwestern region of America, it allows entrepreneurs to expand in several directions. Its proximity to California, Texas, and Mexico makes the state a fantastic launchpad for businesses.
Black-owned businesses can also enjoy the benefits of this great business environment. However, growth is not without its unique challenges. In this article, we will explore three important tips that Black entrepreneurs can take advantage of. We will also look at some of the challenges they are likely to face.
Common Issues Faced By Black Entrepreneurs
There are two key issues that Black entrepreneurs are likely to face. These are not limited to Arizona. Instead, they represent a common theme that holds true across most states.
The first challenge revolves around access to capital. Financial institutions tend to be hesitant to give out loans to Black entrepreneurs. Some believe this is due to systemic racism.
Others assert that banks only care about money and that their decision is based on risk. The belief is that banks feel that lending to certain demographics is riskier in terms of repayments.
Regardless of your stance on this controversial subject, it doesn’t change the fact that access to capital remains difficult.
The second challenge revolves around networking and business growth. Black entrepreneurs often claim to be shut out of more affluent networking opportunities. As a result, they resort to supporting other Black-owned businesses. This is helpful, but it only goes so far if the goal is large-scale growth.
Finding a foothold in the market and leveraging resources can be confusing for those without access to established networks. There are several other similar challenges that Black entrepreneurs deal with.
That said, let us now look at three tips that could possibly help out in these situations.
1. Don’t Neglect Online Presence
These days, if you wish to grow respectably, you are almost always going to want a solid online presence. This would entail your own website, social media handles, and paying for advertising campaigns.
It may seem like a waste of money to some who think they can manage everything in-house. However, that would be a big mistake. There is a reason that most successful businesses, Black-owned or otherwise, favor external help.
In such a context, an SEO marketing company allows entrepreneurs to make insightful decisions regarding website design. This is a critical aspect that can promote business growth.
Even unassuming aspects like website aesthetics can contribute greatly. According to SEO Inc, a balance between visual appeal and ease of use can help create a captivating user experience.
Winning over new customers will be your bread and butter in the early to mid-term stages. A solid online presence on search engines and social media platforms can help you reach your growth goals quickly.
2. Take Advantage of Diversity Benefits and Programs
When there are a number of programs and incentives out there, it makes sense to avail of them. Arizona has a number of year-round resources and assistance programs that Black and minority-owned businesses can take advantage of.
For instance, the Black Alliance & Social Empowerment (BASE) provides business support and development, financial education, and community development.
The Black Women in Business Supportive Grant (BWBSG) is also a great option. It provides small-scale capital grants between $5,000 and $15,000 for selected applicants.
Several other programs exist that don’t particularly target the Black community, but can still be helpful. The University of Arizona Center for Innovation provides incubator programs to help female-owned businesses. They assist entrepreneurs in growing their companies, receiving grants, and finding business partners.
These were just a few examples. Help does exist, but people just need to know where to look.
3. Don’t Limit Your Target Demographics
As we discussed above, Black entrepreneurs often tend to support each other. While this is great, one mustn’t overly limit their target demographics. If you want to focus on minorities, don’t forget that Hispanic and Latino minorities make up 32% of Arizona’s population. You are only shooting yourself in the foot if your marketing and services are focused on Black customers.
Remember that the Black demographic only makes up 5% of the population in Arizona. If your marketing targets Black people exclusively, you omit 95% of potential customers or clients. Inclusivity works both ways. Ensure your marketing incorporates true diversity and focuses on all races and ethnicities.
Despite the challenges the Black community has faced, things have improved drastically. There has never been a time in American history where Black empowerment receives as much focus as it does today.
Many Black-owned businesses have become wildly successful and hold international power. That said, one should remember that business success is primarily going to be achieved with smart decision-making. Black entrepreneurs should be taking courses on business management and upskilling wherever possible for the best results.