There needs to be better business etiquette from the Sellers and the buyers in our communities. That’s what this bout.
I wanna talk bout the shit that’s holding us back in our businesses and how we can and WILL improve them.
I’m a start off with probably a not so popular statement. I don’t really try to say “I’m black owned” even though it feels good to say it, it feel like I’m putting myself in a box when I say it. I own a business. Period. Niggas already know I’m black as fuck that ain’t no secret and I don’t want it to be a secret. I’m myself everywhere I go. I don’t wanna be the best black business. That don’t sound right. It sounds like I’m tryna shit on my own folks and compete with them. I wanna be the best business for my community. I just wanna help people.
Also I’d never say I’d never shop with black businesses after a bad experience. I’d say the brand name that fucked up and leave it at that because there’s plenty of businesses with black ownership that run they shit perfectly. We have such a short leash when it comes to our local businesses. Personally I’ll give you 2-3 chances depending on the situation. That person or business could’ve just had an off day. But we gotta stop having one bad experience and condemning ALL black owned businesses because of that one bad experience. It’s not fair. We don’t do that with businesses outside our community. I’ve had plenty of white owned businesses that were trash as fuck. I’ve dealt with Asian owned businesses that were trash as fuck. Just keep your shit in order. I root for black businesses more because duh!! But business is business. The market don’t give a fuck about how you grew up, age, your race, it only give a fuck about results, supply, and demand. If your service or product is what the people want the results won’t lie. The market is the market.
All your friends not cut out for what you trying to do. Some friends you ask to help you run your shit understand what it means to you but more importantly they want the same goals just as bad as you so it will work in that situation. On the flip side, just cause you known someone for 13 years doesn’t automatically means they would make a good manager for you. Just cause that’s your cousin don’t mean they should be your accountant. Hire people you like but also fit and are formidable at what you need for your business.
You need a team somewhere down the line. Some business owners will take on too much on their plate or take on way more clients than they can handle because they want the money. How you your own assistant, manager, accountant, etc? PAY PEOPLE TO DO IT FOR YOU! You end up doing everything by yourself and taking on too much work and your business is gonna suffer. Starting out it’s normal but always have a goal to get help.
Speaking of team. Just because you came up with the business doesn’t mean YOU’RE GOOD AT BUSINESS. For example I’m a writer. I own a multi media company called “PoliteHeart.” I’m a terrible business man. I don’t understand that shit. It bores me. I just know enough that no one can take advantage of me. My goal is to bring in someone who knows business and that’s their expertise. I’m Avon Barksdale. I need a Stringer Bell. You can own a salon and be an expert at hair but be terrible at business. It’s up to you to bring someone in on your team that you can trust and have a good business acumen. Find someone who handles your taxes. A lawyer. Someone who handles marketing. Someone who handles Accounting. These will be the foundation of your business and if these things are tight and handled correctly along with your good product then your business will be around for a long time.
Quit Spending hella money on unnecessary shit like logos. Fuck a logo. Especially if your marketing weak. What is your PLAN?! A logo is invalid without a great plan to keep your shit running. Do you need a logo? Yes, people need something to identify you but you don’t need to spend hella money on it. People make it the be all end all for a business. If you made tacos and the word in the street is that you make the best tacos and I pull up to your spot and there’s no logo on the spot I will not give 1 single fuck. I heard you had the best tacos in the town that’s what I’m concerned with. I’d eat those tacos in a bando if I gotta. As long as you respectful, you care about your customers, and run things professionally I’m fucking with you. I like Samsung products I couldn’t tell what the fuck their logo is. I love Jockey and J.Crew shirts. I have no clue what their logo is. I just love the quality of their shirts. Logos is just icing on the cake. Your logo could be trash but if your product is nice as fuck nobody will care bout that logo. Spend money on marketing/promoting and equipment instead. Keep it simple.
When it comes to pricing, the issue isn’t what you’re charging. It’s the quality. My nigga, I love you but I’m not paying $150 for a Gildan shirt with your logo on it. I don’t care who made the shirt. I’m not paying $150 for a shirt EVER. Now one may argue that you’re not paying for the shirt you’re paying for the art or logo on it. Well I’m a need that art on a canvas cause it’s more likely I’ll pay $150 or better for that instead of paying for it on a shirt that will shrink after 2 washes and a shorty will steal it from me and clean in it on Sunday’s putting fabuloso stains in it. It’s just not worth it fam.
From the consumer perspective. There are some black owned brands who use high quality shit and yall complain about the price. Niggas is broke when they see high quality work presented by another black man or woman and ask for discounts but they got money when high end items are presented to them by white owners. Stop asking for discounts from local businesses in your communities. It’s the ultimate form of disrespect. Imagine you took a risk. Left a job with secure pay. Stayed up nights working on business plans. Losing sleep. Put all your money and resources to get your business started only for me to come to you and ask for a discount. You gone wanna beat my ass and you should.
Professionalism. I have a problem with professionalism myself. I’m not professional at all but I promise you I’m getting better. I’m answering emails as soon as I see them. I’m being on time for things. I know my flaws and as we get bigger I understand that my professionalism has to be on point. I used to have the “I don’t give a fuck” attitude but that hurts us instead of help us grow. Outside of me, it’s too many aspiring business owners treating it like they playing house or playing work like little kids. Running a business is hard work. You’re gonna put in more hours in your business than the job you just quit so I don’t know why people think that they’re gonna have more time for themselves when they’re running a business. You have to be committed. You might put in 60 hour weeks starting out. The key is loving what you do so it doesn’t feel like 60 hour work weeks.
Staying on professionalism. I shouldn’t have to play catch up with you about a service I paid for. That’s your job. You need to be checking in with me and giving me updates. Have set hours. Honor those set hours. People be pushing back hours or cancelling shit at the last minute. Their business be too sporadic to take serious. Niggas be closing out of nowhere with no warning. Raising prices without a warning. Damn you not gone tell me bout the extra $10-$15 you added on to the service or product until it’s time to pay? C’mon dawg. Why can’t you take credit/debit? The world too advance for businesses to not have credit/debit setups. Also Manners and greeting people are important but some business owners don’t value it. Some niggas act like that shit the plague (Me included). I’m in your spot wanting to give you my money and you not greeting me is dumb as fuck. How the fuck are you not friendly and expect me to give you money? Why in the fuck do you have an attitude? Isn’t this your dream? Smile bitch. Why are you giving attitude to the person who is the priority of your business? The customer you idiot.
The envy we have for each other is weird. If I see a nigga pull up in Rover or a Benz I’ll act like Ace when he sat in Mitch car and told him the EXACT moment where he wanted to get in the game. He told him “When I seen you pull up in that Saab with the gold BBS I was like man he really getting this money.” I see a nigga pull up in a Rover fully loaded I’m like “damn homie clean” and that inspires me and I wanna put more money in they pocket so they can keep shining but everybody not like that. They see a person shine and they like Calvin. Just watching. Waiting. Plotting on your downfall. On that “remember me junior” shit. They wanna be the only person that shines.
Some people always trying to finesse and scam instead of making a good product or offer a good service. There are people out here right now that will start a business with no other aspirations but to get money, cheat people, and stunt. They throw away their credibility for money. Shameful.
Back to the consumer. You don’t have to know the owner to shop with them. So many times I’ve seen people in our community not shop with someone because they don’t have a personal relationship with the owner. Very counterproductive and businesses in our communities will not grow with that mindset. Be an adult. Please. If their service is good and their reputation is solid. Shop. You don’t know the owners of damn near 100% of the things you buy so why is it different when the owner look like you?
Stop counting people pockets. We the only people who do that goofy shit consistently. A successful black business owner could try to raise money for a cause and somebody in our culture will say some dumb shit like “Don’t they have the money to put up themselves?” What the fuck does that matter? Businesses have expenses. They’ll look at what they drive or hear that they just got a new crib and say some shit like “They have enough money so they don’t need my support.” People be so fucking jealous of people who ain’t never did anything malicious to them. They’ll let any other culture earn their money without questioning what’s in their pockets or bank account but when we do it there’s an issue and a petty ass attitude about it. What someone eat don’t make you shit. You ain’t gotta shit on your own people to survive. You can do it too.
Again link up with the right people. Find mentors, advisors, actually NETWORK. Yes NETWORK! BENNY JUST TOLD YOU TO NETWORK! I know I said it’s pointless in the past but if you’re the owner of a business that shit is CRUCIAL! Go to those events. Educate yourself as much as possible. Get business cards. You still need them. Some entrepreneurs (mainly older entrepreneurs) still ask for business cards. Keep em on you. Make sure everything about your business is legal and legit.
Support any and all local businesses that are legit and care about people and care about the communities they’re in. Please.
Follow us on twitter and instagram
Listen to the blog podcast Polite Coolery.