By Ryan Velez
Black Enterprise has recently launched a BE Study Guide Series, targeting marketing, finance and press advice for business owners and other to implement in their own careers. In the latest installment of their series, they provide insight from the Black Enterprise Entrepreneurs Summit panel, “How to Use Technology to Protect and Grow Your Business,” sponsored by Nationwide. Taking part in the panel were Everette Taylor, VP of Marketing, Skurt; Sequoia Blodgett, technology editor at Black Enterprise; LaShonda Johnson, CEO and co-founder of The Houston Housewives Finance Official, Inc.; Claire Sulmers, journalist and founder of Fashion Bomb Daily.
In the market side of things, one of the important things you must realize is establishing a fit between product and market. In other words, “make sure you have a product that people actually want and that you have an audience to target, before looking to acquire additional users.” At this point, you need to make sure that you have a profile of your ideal customer. This includes realizing who your target audience is, what type of digital and physical mediums they use, and the marketing that will suit them best.
When it comes to finance, don’t fall into the trap of thinking you can do it all alone. Be sure to have a great CPA, attorney, and financial professional at your disposal at all times. In addition, if you are a small business owner, your finances are the business finances. Try to avoid being caught in personal finance issues. By the same token, try to avoid commingling personal and business accounts as well.
Even with trends changing with press, this is still a valuable avenue to try and get more interest in your business. Start by using market research to find what magazines or publications serve your audience best, then use a publicist who can pitch your business. Failing that, invest in advertising on these channels. When it comes to reaching out to contacts in the press, don’t discount the value of the in-person contact, and how it can help your chances.
If you’re interested in what the next topic in the series will be, look out for Entrepreneurs Summit session, “Spotting Trends and Opportunities in Tech,” featuring Esosa Ighodaro, co-founder and president of COSIGN; James Andrews, CEO of SMASHD Ventures; and Tunisha Walker, senior vice president of Capalino & Company.