Woman-owned businesses are growing twice as fast as all businesses across the country – and Black women are leading the charge.
In this modern business boom, Black women account for 42% of new women-owned businesses—three times their share of the female population—and 36% of all Black-owned employer businesses. Many female entrepreneurs begin their journey outside of normal working hours: Balancing career and family while building a business is not always easy, but it can be done. In this series, we highlight women who have successfully found a way to create an additional revenue stream, and explore the steps it took for them to harness their inner hustle.
WHERE TO BEGIN – FIND YOUR “THING”
Thanks to advances in technology, the opportunities have doubled – and in some cases tripled- when it comes to reaching audiences across industries. The trick is, deciding you want to start a business, and then finding your “thing.”
Your Thing Is Something You Care Deeply About … and Do Well. If you’re the go-to person for certain chores or tasks, this might be a golden opportunity to turn that skill or talent into a business. However, it’s important to choose something you are passionate about and can see yourself doing day in, day out.
DECIDE ON YOUR BUSINESS NAME
A great business name can make all the difference in the success of a new business. Names that are hard to spell, already taken, or limiting toward future growth are your company should definitely be avoided. According to Small Business website, TheBalanceSMB.com, “The best way to start the process of choosing a name for your business is by reviewing the essence of your business. Consider your mission statement, your business plan, and your unique selling proposition. And don’t forget to think about your target audience and what you learned about it in your market research.”
The site also recommends holding a listing and reviewing possible names during a brainstorming session. Once you have just a few names left to choose from, pick one and give it time to settle in.
Return to the name and see if it checks off most (if not all) of the following:
- Does the name indicate what your business is about? While there are plenty of business names that don’t reveal what they do, such as Google or Amazon, as a small business owner, it’s to your advantage to choose a name that tells people what you’re about
- Does it set you apart from your competition?
- Is it easy to remember?
- Is it easy to pronounce, which is becoming increasingly important with the use of voice assistants such as Siri, Alexa, and Google Assistant?
- Does it fit with your business tone and branding?
VALIDATE YOUR BUSINESS IDEA
When attempting something truly unique, don’t make the rookie mistake of working on an idea that no one is really interested in. Idea validation can save you time by giving you a good feel as to whether your idea appeals to your potential audience. It can also save you a lot of money.
“This process will tell you whether or not you should pay to create your thing.” Fizzle.co says. “For example, you could end up paying thousands of dollars building an expensive version of a product that your customers may not even want, need or use.”
MEET A GO-GETTER: DR. WINSOME BROOKS
Communications Activity Coordinator
NASA STEM Pathway Activities – Consortium for Education
Side Hustle: Masterpiece Desserts
A wife, mother and full-time career woman, Dr. Winsome Brooks understands the value of seizing the moment. She and her husband, Kenneth Brooks, head Masterpiece Desserts, a Texas-based mobile eatery that caters to the sweet-tooth of its growing clientele.
Many aspiring entrepreneurs spend precious time, sometimes years, dreaming of making their business a reality. And while developing a business plan is a critical first step, Brooks encourages those hoping to build something of their own to take action.
“Don’t wait to start your own business,” she said. “Your idea could be the creation the world is missing.”
It is also important to appreciate small milestones that come along the way.
Before owning a food truck, Masterpiece Desserts served patrons from a tent at Rosehill Beer Garden and later purchased their mobile station from the location’s owner.
In 2020, the couple received a $25,000 award as part of the Discover “Eat it Forward” program. The initiative gave a total of $5 million to Black-owned restaurants. Earlier this year, Masterpiece Desserts received an additional financial boost, courtesy of the T-Mobile “My Black Biz” contest, in which they won $1,000 Cash and $1,500 in Digital Advertising.
Investing in your business is key, but as The Brooks have shown, it can also be beneficial to find companies with an invested interest in supporting support Black entrepreneurs.
“Pursue your passion, become an expert in your field, and commit to your vision, are three important values of entrepreneurship.” Brooks said. “The more you honor these principles, the greater the potential award.”
WRITE YOUR BUSINESS PLAN
A business plan can help outline your short and long-term goals early on. It also creates a clearer path with which you can effectively manage your businesses. The website, SBA.gov, is a great tool for finding out all the ways a business plan can serve as a useful tool for your budding company.
RESEARCH FUNDING OPPORTUNITIES
RECAP: EARLY STEPS TO STARTING YOUR BUSINESS
Dr. Brooks and her husband started with passion: Their delightful treats were a hit with colleagues, and soon, they took things to the next level. After locking in a catchy and easy-to-remember business name, they developed a plan and introduced a product their clients couldn’t resist. In addition to their own resources, the pair found outside resources to help fund their business dreams.
- Find a business idea
- Choose a business name
- Validate your product idea
- Write your business plan
- Look for additional funding opportunities
These 5 Steps are a great way to kickoff your own small business goals, next week, we will highlight another female entrepreneur and look at new tips you can try yourself.
In The Meantime, Find More Black Business Ideas In The Gallery Below: