Discussion in 'Destee Network :' started by Destee, Oct 30, 2002.
Can Black Business Survive without Black Folk spending money with it?
Sure. I'm assuming though that you're referring to Black Business as "Black-owned" business and not necessarily to a business that provide good, services and products that caters to predominantly African Americans.
A lot of times it does seem that Black businesses really goes all out to advertise that their business is "Black" owned hoping that we as consumers would automatically patronize it, without regards to the quality of services and goods offered, instead of advertising their business based on the quality of goods and services offered. It is true that we will sometimes seek "Black-owned" businesses in particular for some services, but I wonder sometimes if advertising their business as "Black-owned" is damaging in some regards.
It will be interesting to hear other's comments on this thread...
ZeroGravity ... you bring an interesting slant to this discussion, one I've thought on since creating my first web site. In the beginning I was adamantly opposed to having my site actually say "Black or African American," but I wanted folk to know that it was a "Black Owned Business." I wanted people to know I was black because oftentimes, an experience can be much more rewarding if the person you are working with can understand and appreciate you fully. I had a sincere desire to help other African Americans take full advantage of this new technology. Anyway, I wanted folk to know I was black, but was very reluctant to say "black, african american, etc." So I put my picture on my site. I figured that would do it and folk would know and I wouldn't have to say "black, african american."
Now that years have passed, I think it was a mistake.
With the Internet and the fierce competition for high search engine rankings (most new visits to a site come from the major search engines), keywords, such as "black and african american," are important to the success of a site that is catering to this market. When a person does a search looking for a discussion forum, specifically an African American discussion forum, (we're on the 4th page of results) or a black poetry forum, (we're on the first page of results) ... it can only help a web site if these words can be found on their site. Had I known how important it was during the early years, I would have done differently.
It has not been many years that black folk had a bountiful choice of other black folk to do business with. I've found that many black folk prefer doing business and interacting with other black folk. It goes without saying, in my opinion, that quality must be present ... being Black is not enough. No one, black or white, is willing to spend their money on less than quality products or services, and they shouldn't.
It is a two-edged sword (but then, for black folk, most everything in America is or has been). You can easily alienate non-black folk, if you embrace your blackness too tightly and you can do the same to some black folk because they think you're trying too hard. The African American (online) community and their money is vital to the economy. So much so that white corporate America has donned himself as "black" and set up sites with black and African American written all over them, in an effort to get your attention (and they're quite successful at it). Not that what they do is a direct reflection of what should be done ... but it is certainly interesting and probably profitable for them.
I have been easing more and more into saying "black and african american" and I recommend that anyone with a web site catering to this group of folk, do the same.
It is a two-edged sword...that's for sure. I'm still on the fence though as to whether the ethnicity of the owner is pertinent. I've been in heavy discussion about this topic in the past, especially website businesses. For some the site has to be black-owned to be validated, it can't be owned by whites, yet managed my blacks (as in blackvoice.com).
It seems that MLK's "...content of my character, not the color of my skin..." quote is only that....a quote. In America, it appears that the color of one's skin is STILL the catalyst in which something measured, and in saying that, I have to agree somewhat with you that you almost haveto identify your business as "black and african american".
Business Model - or Look at it this way. . .
My favorite business model is the "Nich Market" model. And an excellent example of this is the Star Trek market. Now not everyone is into Star Trek, yet there are enough people who are to spawn a rather huge market that existed before the internet and was enhance greatly when the internet came into our lives. The Star Trek market does not rely upon non-Star Trek fans to make their money. Therefore everone who hates Star Trek or knows nothing about Star Trek or ignores Star Trek are not where this market makes its money. It does not have to appeal to those who are not into it in order to be successful.
The internet is a major ground for the Nch Market. And today we no longer have to worry about crossing over to a broad market in order to succeed. Therefoer identifying yourself as "Black" becomes a non-issue - because in todays market you can compete if you were green midget. The target will be other green midgets. With a community ranging in the hundreds of millions, lets say only 2% were green midgets. Well 2% of a market of hundreds of millions is enough potential capital to give that green midget one hell of an income. And he did not have to appeal to non-green midgets.
While examples like green midgets and Star Trek (yeah, it does sound like an episode of Star Trek) are pretty wild examples, it does show that the old way of seeing business success has been changed forever. The skinheads make millions on their sites and they only appeal the other skin heads. African-Americas are in that exact same position. And this is not unique to us at all.
It take s some patients and a little time, but success is there for anyone. Its just the way you look at it.
Just a Future Thought
FutureIdeas ... Welcome and Thanks For Joining Us ...
I do agree with what you've said regarding niche markets. Oftentimes efforts can be much more successful if focusing on a small group vs "everyone." The Internet has certainly made it possible for us to do that. Of course I love it!
Again, thanks for joining us and please make yourself at home.
I say yes as a Black owned business man my self
it's hard work and strong backing to stay afloat
yes if we continue to help each other
and no i've seen many fall fast due to lack of support !
Sure If that business stops referring to itself as a black business and just become a business. For many years now I've stop thinking of myself as being a member of the black race or any race other than the human race. It let's me be broarder in my outlook and it definitely not a self limiting.
JJREC WELCOME AND THANKZ U ARE CORRECT AND ON POINT
WELCOME TO DESTEE PLACE ENJOY , STAY ROUND TO SHARE
MORE OF YA THOUGHTS AND WISDOM UPON US ....WELCOME !!
Black Business can and will survive as long as businessowners do not try to run eachother out of business. Work together within the business and stop competing against eachother everything will be fine.
All for the best.
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