Black People : Doing Business Black/White

Discussion in 'Black People Open Forum' started by Heartbeat, Aug 12, 2002.

  1. Heartbeat

    Heartbeat Well-Known Member MEMBER

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    This will probably seem more like a vent of frustration rather than a topic to be discussed and analyzed, but I am angry and frustrated. I am curious as to what others think. First let me say that this is my story and is not an indictment on all Black Owned businesses. However, I am experiencing a pattern that is disturbing. I have self-published a book of poetry. I have been dealing with book stores, book fairs, publishers, agents, schools, book clubs and other related organizations and businesses all in an effort to promote and sell my book. White owners of these businesses and organizations without exception have answered phone calls and e-mails in a timely manner, have sent related documents when they said they would, have been helpful, professional, follow through and eager to do business with me. This is in sharp contrast to the great majority of Black owned businesses in the same arena. My experiences have been just the opposite and I am having a hard time figuring out why.
    Do they like my book and blacks don't? Thus their eagerness to expres an interest in doing business. Are Black owned businesses so much more busy that they just don't have the time to respond and or follow up? I have approached each business the same, sent the same material, done everything the same. I expect no more from Black businesses because I am black. But I do expect professionalism from everyone because that is how I handle myself regardless of the end result. I am blessed and happy to say I have had a better than expected sales rate for a first effort. Learning the Book Business has been quite an experience to say the least. However, I am sad to say that success has come from my association with white businesses not black ones that offer the same services, opportunities, etc., etc. I guess I will be called a sell-out to some because at this stage in my life I don't have the time or energy to support businesses that don't support me black or white. I've got to go where the dollars seem to be coming from and go with people who take care of business. I have not had a good experience with the majority of black businesses I've dealt with so far. Hopefully that will change as I continue. Any feedback is welcome. Thanks for hearing me vent.

    BE
     
  2. ZeroGravity

    ZeroGravity Well-Known Member MEMBER

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    Congratulations!!

    Congratulations Heartbeat on your book!

    I can't offer any feedback to your frustrations other than to say we all need to vent at times and it seems this is your time :)

    I would just like to say, don't get too discouraged with black businesses and indict them all, there might be many reasons that they did not respond. If possible, try to contact them personally again and ask why did they not respond. This could be very beneficial to you in the future...I'm sure you're going to write another book.

    I could almost safely say that we all have had some bad business experiences from all races one time or another in our life. You're doing well in spite of it...stay focus and don't let these setbacks derail you. It feels good to vent somtimes ... feeling betta? :D
     
  3. Heartbeat

    Heartbeat Well-Known Member MEMBER

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    Zero Gravity,
    Yes I am feeling better thank you. I know stuff happens and things of great importance are going on in people's lives including business people. However, there is a basic level of proceedure and professionalism that must be met. Yes it feels good to vent sometime. thanks again.

    BE
     
  4. Mike Ramey

    Mike Ramey Well-Known Member MEMBER

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    Hey, we've ALL been there!

    Venting is good, because if you keep it in, it will kill ya! Sometimes, it just may be that we haven't reached the 'right' person! Delores T. has a forum here on the site. Just had the chance to appear on her show. She is a true professional! You need to check her out.

    It's all about networking.

    Authors, and writers in general share a common frustration concerning what I would say is 'call and response'. If you write, you are not immune. A writer wants feedback...immediate feedback, because we live in an 'immediate' age. Some folk are better to respond and at responding....but this does not really mean that they are the 'right' one for your work.

    Mike Ramey
     
  5. $$RICH$$

    $$RICH$$ Lyon King Admin. STAFF

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    IN AGREEMENT !!!!! as a owner i've found it hard to understand why it's dis way myself as my own give 5% support as others
    given 60% man it's about da network and who u know in the
    business world .......when thing get to flowin it flows so vent
    don't keep it bottled up in my line of work not much i can do
    but promote ya....

    again CONGRATULATION HEARTBEAT
     
  6. Destee

    Destee destee.com STAFF

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    Hey Heartbeat,

    I surely don't mind you venting, glad that you did. I'm going to vent with you, because this topic is close and dear to my heart. Not necessarily because I'm a black business owner, but more because I'm a black woman who has forever watched us be compared to white folk, as though the same resources, opportunities, history and experiences, are comparable. It really makes no difference if we are comparing their business savvy, or their success at producing college graduates, or their success at reaching the top of corporate ladders, or their success at staying out of prison, or their success at hitting the best seller's list ... the fact of the matter is, they appear to do all these things better than we do. I've even heard that their ice is colder than ours.

    I will continue to support, encourage and lift up our effort to be self-sufficient, in spite of the fact that we may not have the resources that a white owned business does ... and as a direct result ... can't give the same exact service as they might be able to provide ... all the while bound to make mistakes that inexperience brings.

    As a business owner, if I stumble and/or fall along the way, know that it was not my heart's intention and should not reflect negatively on another Sister/Brother's effort to build and maintain their dream ... or take away from the fact that I tried.

    Every business owner, black or white, has room to improve. Every business, at some time or another, has a dissatisfied customer. No business can please all the people all the time. If black businesses (or any aspect of black life) are going to be compared with white folk, at least keep it real and mention that they've passed down businesses and experience for generations and generations ... while we have only just begun.

    I personally am very proud of you and us.

    :heart:

    Destee
     
  7. Mike Ramey

    Mike Ramey Well-Known Member MEMBER

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    Not To Mention...

    Not to mention the fact that WE are just starting to 'think' like businessmen and women, like Destee mentioned in her post.

    We've got a LONG way to grow! But the journey is made that much sweeter when we network for the growth of our people, rather than 'hide' things from one another.

    One of the best sites just to 'check out' our economic power is www.targetmarketnews.com. Great site, and updated with news on our accomplishments.

    Success really doesn't mean anything if you don't have someone to share it with. Plus, we have to continue to train our customers how to BE customers, and our workers HOW to be quality employees.

    I think that this is going to be the next arena of struggle. Getting rid of the mentality that "The White Man's Ice Is Colder" syndrome. A LOT of great black-owned companies out there. We have to talk each other UP, instead of DOWN.

    Mike Ramey
     
  8. j'hiah

    j'hiah Well-Known Member MEMBER

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    very interesting read.

    only if we knew the impact we can make i'd bet black business would pick up...

    nfinite...
     
  9. Heartbeat

    Heartbeat Well-Known Member MEMBER

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    Destee & Mike, what you say is perhaps true regarding resources (cash flow) experience (know how) and longevity in business. However, lack of the above is no excuse for poor customer service habits which any business at any level should be responsible for. As I stated before, there is a reasonable expectation of professionalism that consumers deserve. Companies Black or White who lack good customer service, will eventually fail regardless of their assests. I've heard the "White Man's Ice is Colder" story before. The story I heard concludes by stating the ice was to be delivered by 10-am. The white company delivered the ice at 10, the black company was there at 10:20 that's why that ice was not as cold.
     
  10. $$RICH$$

    $$RICH$$ Lyon King Admin. STAFF

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    indeed i feel ya HeartBeat man as a new owner myself
    it's wild how our own feed a no show and the other can
    walk right in after all my hits on T.V paper ads voice spots
    flyers and still my own sit to a hush and leave hard bitter taste
    within me man i feel ya coz wit all i've done seem like i've fail..
    i may have lost the battle but not the war yet....sinking fast.
    how long will we hold self down as others continue upward
    yet we run str8 in to them so openly ****.....i feel u brutha
    my ship going down faster then the titanic
     
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