The Black Business Conundrum
Yeeeeeessssss or Yaaaasssss as someone would say (*cough lady g* cough). I love to support Black Businesses. Let me reiterate:
I love SUPPORTING Black businesses. From fashions, to tapestries, to food, to natural oils. I’ve been spending like crazy. However, spending as a Black consumer sometimes leaves you with a bad taste in your mouth. Hmmmm What do you mean, Tareau?
You as a business owner, are in the business of making money. Nothing is wrong with that. Putting your blood, sweat and tears into a business and watching it thrive is a blessing, am I right? I do not know that much on economics nor businesses so I am just telling you my perspectives on changes I feel that need to be made. However I have a bone to pick with my Black Business Owners. This post will talk about my personal experiences and possible solutions dealing with commerce within the Black community.
Look the part. If you work in health and beauty, you should look clean and neat. That’s simple. Clean and neat is well groomed. Dress for the job. If you are selling me a time share, please don’t come to my crib looking like Young Thug or Gucci Mane.
Hahahahhaha. Moving on, lets do a scenario shall we? Imagine you find out that someone close to you, or a friend of a friend is opening a business and they would like your support. You ask for the details about an event they are hosting or participating in, only to get shunned off. You get the information last minute. The potential business owner tells you that their event starts at 3pm. You get to the event at 245pm only to find that there is no signage or banner or someone to greet you. You are lost. You are thinking, “I have a pocket full of cash and I don’t feel safe looking for a potential sale.” You finally find the place and it’s now 315pm and the person who you are supporting tells you “Why are you late?” Annoyed, you ask them if you could see the merchandise. They tell you that they are not done setting up yet. They also insinuates that you should help them. LMFAO. Come on Black People, show of hands if you know someone who has done this to you? How can you as a consumer be asked to help with a the Business when you are not reaping any profits? Why wasn’t there any flyers or cards to detail the event in a timely manner? Why should I as a customer feel obligated to help you set up when you invited me as a potential client? If I need a loan, will you give me one because I’ve “HELPED” you?
#2. BUSINESS ACUMEN
Please Black Owners, treat me as an individual. When I walk into a Black Owned Barbershop, please don’t greet me with “What’s up Nigga? Who you here foe?” (Yes not for but foe).
A potential client or customer deserves to know The Who’s, The What’s, The When’s, The Where’s, and The Why’s. I am no way asking for you as an owner to do anything out of your power as a business owner, but just provide me with transparent information when asked. No attitude, no subliminal messages about me being “snooty.” One rule of business is that word of mouth is big, it’s tremendous for your bottom line. I am no means a douche or one of those pretentious yelpers, but when you come off threatening when asked simple questions, I will take my business elsewhere. You can’t get mad for someone inquiring about your products. A little please and thank you, goes along way. If you do not have a product please let us know when it will be in stock again. Offer alternatives, provide receipts, provide IMMEDIATE shipping info, and have a great attitude when dealing with customers on the phone. No one is asking you to bend over backwards. This is the job or career you’ve chose.
I’m a bus driver so if you are on my bus and you ask me a question about the route, or about destination times, I can’t be mad at you. It is in the Job Description. Every career has Pros and Cons. You deal with it. I deal with Traffic, rain, traffic officers, ride share vehicles, buses, trains, pedestrians, cyclists, and construction. If you are a passenger on my bus, those elements I just named, is not your problem. That is what you are paying my company for.
#3 FAIR PRICING
Like I stated, I love supporting Black Owned Businesses but if you are charging me an outrageous price for your product, I can’t do it. I am already on a tight budget, as most African Americans are. I am not asking for a hook up either. I want to pay a “FAIR” price for your goods and services. I want to help, but I don’t want to be in debt. If you are selling a tapestry for $250 and I go on Amazon.com, and they have it for $75, what do you think I am going to do? I have a solution, offer another tapestry to sell me. Maybe $100 for another tapestry. Maybe instead of $250 we could agree to $200. Maybe a payment plan or layaway. Once again I want to support you but if I wave a monthly entertainment budget of $150, You are asking me to spend that while spending another $50 from my grocery budget. You are trying to sell your goods to a community of people who have limited income. You can’t have a Capitalist mentality, when people can barely get by. Cmon now. Help us help you.
#4. SHOW PROOF OF YOUR REINVESTMENT INTO THE COMMUNITY
I’m sorry, I need to see proof. You cant say for me to support your business when your goal is to get Jordans for your whole family. Or some dumb shit like that. You want me to buy your merchandise, not to send your kids to college but to go to the club? Riiiiiiiiiiggggggghhhhhhhhhhtttttttt!! You say you want and need the support of the Black community, then I need to see a small percentage of your profits reinvested, inside the community. Not for trivial things. Not for vanity. Not for Imagery. I get it, work hard, play hard, but If we are buying your products and you are walking around in Gucci and expensive jewelry while are all bummy looking, I can’t fuck with you. Don’t hustle your own people. Be real. I actually had to cut a few friends off due to the “HUSTLER MENTALITY.”
#5 KNOWLEDGE OF YOUR PRODUCT.
As I mentioned about this “HUSTLER MENTALITY”, Please be knowledgeable about your product. Even if you don’t like, use, or consume it, please let your clients or customers know about feedback. I myself am allergic to strawberries, so if I had a strawberry farm, I would get feedback about my product. Plain and simple. Don’t sell me a dream. If you use the rhetoric that we are all brothas and the White man is responsible for our misfortunes, are you not contradicting yourself? Aren’t you trying to take my money for bettering yourself? Don’t try to relate to me on a racial level, but try to swindle me. Please DON’T do that.
Well there you have my tirade, on Black Owned Businesses. Please note that WE have to do 1000 times better, if we truly want change. Please like, comment, subscribe, share, etc. I would love to hear your take and experiences with Black Owned Businesses. Did I miss something? Did I say too much? By all means please share.
Take the mic away, it is your cue