You’re crushing it as a CEO – whether you’re a Black founder of a startup, or you’ve been in business longer than most. But systemic hurdles like biased lending practices haven’t made it easy, right?
As a Black entrepreneur, you know that just because something is difficult doesn’t mean it can’t be done. If you’re a Black small business owner, use the following 10 financial tips to grow a thriving enterprise and build personal wealth.
1. Fund Your Vision Bootstrapping Style
Self-funding your venture lets you retain control rather than chasing investor money. Start lean. Pursue a side hustle for initial capital if your 9-5 doesn’t fully cover personal expenses. Minimize fixed costs like staff, space, and inventory initially. Think creatively about accessing low-cost resources. Every dollar you bootstrap is equity you keep.
2. Get Ultra Strategic With Spending
Track every expense and tie it back to ROI. Eliminate anything that isn’t moving the needle on growth or profitability. Sweat the small stuff like subscriptions and supplies. When times get tight, stay laser-focused on the must-have priorities. Master the art of doing more with less.
3. Build Business Credit Knowledge
Having strong personal credit helps qualify for small business loans and credit cards which can be lifelines. Maintain a high personal FICO score by keeping credit card balances low and paying bills on time. Also, build up your company’s credit reputation with on-time vendor payments and lines of credit. Know how to leverage both personal and business credit strategically.
4. Create Multiple Revenue Streams
A diversified income portfolio lowers risk. Look for complementary products or services you can add once the core business is stable. Licensing intellectual property like technologies or curriculums provides passive income. Just ensure new offerings align with your brand and core competency.
5. Master the Art of Sales
Continuously improve your sales skills, whether that’s cold calling, networking, social media, or speaking gigs. Closing deals and retaining happy customers is imperative. Track sales KPIs and have a growth plan. Keep innovating new ways to get the word out and serve client needs profitably.
6. Secure SBA Financing If Needed
If self-funding slows, pursue small business loans or lines of credit from the government instead of predatory lenders. The Small Business Administration helps Black entrepreneurs access affordable capital needed for growth. Be prepared with a solid business plan and financial documentation. Start locally with women-owned or minority-owned funds too.
7. Surround Yourself With Mentors
Seek guidance from those farther along the journey. Industry pioneers and experienced founders provide invaluable perspectives. Identify several mentors who can advise on business operations, leadership, and even personal development. Getting coaching accelerates growth.
8. Say No to Shark Tank-Style Offers
Avoid selling off a huge share of equity too early if approached by venture capitalists. Friendly investor money may help you scale rapidly, but highly dilutive deals can leave you no longer owning your own company. Only take on investors if essential for a strategic growth plan.
9. Keep Some Skin in the Game
Self-finance what you can instead of over-leveraging. Put your own savings on the line before taking loans. Have a personal guarantee that makes you think twice before giving up. Remaining invested in the outcome drives smarter decisions. On the upside rewards and downside risks.
10. Build a Supportive Community
Finding fellow entrepreneurs who understand the journey helps you thrive. Share knowledge and exchange ideas in spaces like Black virtual meetups. Collaborate if there’s synergy. Amplify each other. Turn to your tribe when times get hard or scary. Trying to go it alone burns you out.
Owning the keys to your success is empowering. With scrappiness and strategic money moves, you can fund your dreams and still handle finances responsibly. Now go manifest that vision!