As a young black entrepreneur, it’s crucial to be over-prepared for the upcoming challenge of operating a successful business. Young black entrepreneurs must be dedicated, focused, and driven to transform their vision into a thriving company.
By understanding failure, learning from mistakes, finding a mentor within your community, and working with the RIGHT investors and more you’ll be ahead of the curve. Read on for 3 must-have tips every young black entrepreneur should know before they get started on their next business venture:
1. Seek Out a Mentor in Your Community
Mentors are a great way to get a look into the business you’re trying to build. They can provide you with priceless insider information and help you get a head-start when opening your first business. Think of a mentor like your parental figure in the business world – someone you can go to with questions, someone who can guide you through challenges, and much more.
Mentors are most effective when there is a strong bond between the mentor and the mentee. This creates trust and you will overall provide more value out of the relationship. Someone within your community and from the same background is more likely to understand your mission, the challenges you face, and the day-to-day of your operation. When choosing a mentor, look within your community. Finding a mentor within a strongly knit community is key to kickstarting a successful business.
The bond within strong communities is a formula for success when it comes to mentors so be sure to look within your community first and then expand elsewhere if necessary.
2. Understand & Learn from Failure
Not many entrepreneurs make millions on their first venture. It takes time, resilience, and dedication. If everyone gave up on their first try our world would be an extremely different place -no iPhones, no vehicles, no electricity at all.
As a black entrepreneur, you need to understand and learn from your failures. Assess the problem points and weaknesses within your business model. Reflect on and research how you can remedy these points and incorporate changes into your model. Truly dissect what went wrong in your operations and learn from these mistakes.
On your second time around, dedicate yourself to addressing all problem points head-on. There’s no guarantee your model will succeed on the second time around, but as long as you learn from your mistakes, you’re on the right track.
3. Work with the RIGHT Investors
Finding investors as an entrepreneur is no walk in the park. Not only is it difficult to find investors, but finding the RIGHT investor is not easier.
So, what do we mean by the right investor?
When seeking out investors, you don’t want to partner with the first money-hungry investor that comes your way. You want to seek out investors that you can grow with. Find people that truly understand your mission and are passionate enough about it to help your business grow to its full potential.
Your investors should fully believe in your business model and not only help you financially but support every inch of your business. Look for business partners in your local community – people that you can trust.
As a black entrepreneur, you need to have heart, a clear business model, and a strong support system to get you through to success. So, when you’re getting started, make sure to stay true to these three tips and you’ll be on your way to growth in no time. Make sure to find the perfect mentor, never give up on the first try, and seek out the RIGHT investors.
Angelica Nwandu is the founder of The Shade Room, a site that covers celebrity news and celebrates black culture. She was named as one of Forbes “30 under 30” in 2016 and has created a media company that inspired Refinery 29 to dub Nwandu “the Oprah of our generation.”