Minority-owned businesses face a lot of pressure. They are often in the spotlight as representatives of an entire community. It takes hard work, as one mistake can be a blemish on other MBEs, which make up 29 percent of businesses in the United States. As you focus on growing your minority-owned business, keep the following points in mind to ensure success.
Monitor Your Growth Rate
Receiving tremendous interest from clients or customers can be exhilarating, but taking on too much business (or too many skilled employees) too quickly can result in uncontrolled growth. That means a company can lose shape and direction, veering away from an effective growth strategy. At the same time, growing too slowly means missing out on great opportunities and sending potential clients or candidates into the arms of competitors.
The key is to find your organization’s ideal controllable growth rate. This is extra important for MBEs, which make up only 4 percent of business revenue in America. Statistically, minority-owned businesses are smaller and may find growth difficult to control, but it’s something that must be done for longevity.
Diversify Your Clientele
It’s great to specialize in a certain industry, product, or service, but it’s necessary to diversify and find adjacent opportunities in other areas. As you look to diversify in your minority business enterprise, take Sir Richard Branson’s advice and always move into areas you are passionate about when diversifying.
Focus on Your Brand
MBEs have to work harder to grow, but they also have to work harder to get noticed. In fact, minority-owned businesses are underrepresented in search engines. When we do get the opportunity to put ourselves in front of someone, we have to make it count. That’s where your brand takes on added significance.
Seek to improve your brand, what it stands for, and how you communicate it to others. Any business should sponsor events with different councils and participate in signature events to get its brand out to people.
Connect with Other MBEs
For me, the single most impactful way to grow a minority-owned business is to connect with other MBEs. If you’re an MBE startup, seek out anyone and everyone in the space. Pick their brain and soak up any tips you can. If you’re a seasoned MBE leader, it’s time to give back to the community by attending events and lifting up smaller MBEs. The NMSDC is the premier organization to connect with, boasting a huge network and many events throughout the year. No matter your location, the NMSDC can digitally connect you with the powerful MBE community.
Growing Your Minority-Owned Business
As you grow your MBE, you’ll encounter difficult days but also tremendous opportunities. Consider that some of the most successful companies in America, such as Apple, AT&T, Ford, Microsoft, Verizon, IBM, and Comcast Universal, have each spent at least $1 billion with minority- and woman-owned businesses because they’ve found the MBE work ethic and fresh perspective to be assets. Keep on growing at a healthy rate while connecting with other MBEs, and you, too, will count your company among America’s great minority-owned businesses.