Black Owned Business Network

Black Owned Business Network

Black Owned Business Network

CONTACT: Black Owned Business Network
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Website launched to Support African-American Business

The Black Owned Business Directory has launched a new website designed to help consumers promote and support black-owned businesses. According to the US Census, the average black owned business grosses about $72,000 per year. This is below the national average for other minority businesses which gross an average of $179,000. In addition, non-minority firms gross an average of $490,000 per year. The provides tools to strengthen networking abilities and to provide valuable business resources that will enable the black community to close the gap in the profit margin between black owned businesses and non–black owned businesses.

The Black Owned Business directory is a means to find and do business with black minority owned businesses.  Businesses can add photos of their products or work samples, information about their business, coupons for current promotions and events, and receive direct contact from potential leads. Businesses can also receive and respond to reviews from their clients.

In addition to an online business directory that allows businesses a free and low cost means of advertising and promotions, the Black Owned Business Directory also provides business resources such as business tips, education, and the black community. The site includes a minority scholarship search, and spotlights positive events that occur within the black community.

For more information visit or email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.


*** Content written and provided by Darryl Ford, Promise Communications ******

Detroit consumers are rallying behind Metro Foodland at Tailgate 27 to boost sales and support of the only surviving Black-owned grocery store in Southeastern Michigan.
Tailgate 27 is part of the larger Campaign 27 that asks each consumer to commit to purchasing goods from a small business 27 times a year, spend $27 each time and recruit 27 additional consumers to make the same commitment. Community Activist Lila Cabbil is organizing Campaign 27.

"Metro Foodland is a retail jewel that we want to preserve," says Sherry Gay-Dagnogo, Education Chair for the National Congress of Black Women – Greater Detroit, and organizer of Tailgate 27. “We are renewing our commitment to support small businesses that are the foundation of Detroit's rebirth. Policies which support small businesses and job development, are key to transforming our region.”

Black Owned Grocery Store Metro Foodland

Owner James Hooks has been in the community for 27 years, and during that time has helped former African American employees to open grocery stores in other parts of the city. Now he needs community support to maintain and grow.
Rev. Wendell Anthony stated “Metro Foodland is one of Detroit’s finest indicators of African American entrepreneurship and business power. It is one of the few remaining African American owned supermarkets in the nation. Detroit is blessed to have James and Teresa Hooks. They’re business persons who are dedicated to family and community. We MUST support this supermarket. Detroit cannot afford to lose one of its most important jewels.”
Rev. Horace Sheffield stated, "This is a great opportunity for Detroiters who have been concerned about the ill effect of others, to be the change they want to see."

Come and purchase food from Metro Foodland, bring your grill (and your barbeque skills) – and represent your church, mosque, synagogue, business, neighborhood, union, community group, block club, college, school, fraternity, sorority and/or family.
Donyale Atara, President of the NCBW-Greater Detroit Chapter, indicates The National Congress of Black Women - Greater Detroit Chapter wholeheartedly supports Campaign 27 to support Metro Foodland. We must keep the store open as it keeps money circulating in the community to provide jobs and other business development.”

Sponsoring organizations and churches include: National Congress of Black Women-Greater Detroit Chapter, Detroit Alliance of Black Organizations, Rainbow Push Coalition -Detroit, Citadel of Praise, Fellowship Chapel, Greater Grace Temple, and Eric Huffman’s State Farm.

The event will feature live performances beginning at 11:30 a.m. by Cass Technical High School’s award-winning Marching Band, and The Crew, followed by remarks from community leaders at 12:30 p.m. Come show your tangible support for our Detroit based businesses who helped to build Detroit.


*** Content written and provided by Darryl Ford, Promise Communications ******

For more info on Metro Foodland visit the Detroit News

Business branding is one of the most important aspects of a successful business. One key part of business branding is separating your business identity from your personal identity.  This applies even if you are building yourself as your brand in industries such as photography, graphic design, music and more.

There are several ways you can keep your personal identity separate from your business identity.

Create separate social media accounts - Social media is very important when it comes to marketing your business.  Remember to create a Facebook fan page and twitter account that are specifically for your business and a separate business.  Have a separate Facebook page and twitter account for you personally.  If clients request you as a friend on Facebook, refer them to your fan page instead.  Your personal accounts should be for people who you know personally.  By doing this, your personal beliefs, politics, personal life do not effect / damage your brand.  Your business profiles will focus on your services and products.

Use auto posting services - Posting to multiple social media profiles can be time consuming.  You can save time by using services like Tweetdeck to post to multiple profiles at once. 

What do you do to keep your personal life separate from your business life?

Anyone can sell a service or product.  What ever it is that you do, there are thousands of other businesses out there that do the exact same thing.  Some even do it better than you.  So what can you do to set your self apart from the other businesses.


OFFER Your client a Solution.  You will find that solutions will bring in more customers / clients.  So how do you do it.

Do this by recognizing and understanding your clients needs.  Listen to your client first. Sometimes the service that the client requests is not necessarily the service that the client needs.  Listen to the client to find out what their problem is then offer a solution to their problem.  You will find that your clients will be happier. 

Focus on the benefits of using your service or product.  Tell them how using your service will increase their revenues.  Tell them how buying your product will save them time.  This is what the client wants to know.



After working with clients and customers, Don't be afraid to ask for valuable feedback.  There are several ways to ask your clients for feedback. You can ask them to complete and anonymous survey or to respond to an email.


When asking for feedback remember to ask directed questions like How can we improve our services? These types of questions result in constructive criticism from your clients.  Make it a part of your business process to ask for feedback each time you deal with a client. 

The most important part of asking for feedback is to follow up.  If you have many clients telling you that your business process is too complex, then you may need to look into simplifying your business process.

How do you solicit feedback from your clients?


No matter how good your product or service is, if you are in business long enough, you will come across an unhappy customer.  Come up with a plan to deal with these situations before they occur.

There are two things that are most important when dealing with unhappy customers.

  1. No matter what, THE CUSTOMER IS ALWAYS RIGHT.  The customer is right, even when they are wrong.  You as a business owner must take responsibility when things go wrong.  Your job as a business owner is to alleviate the situation so that you have happy customers.
  2. Never let a customer leave angry.  When a customer is angry, they tell other potential customers about their bad experience.  You must turn the customers negative experience into a positive experience

Below are steps you can take to deal with an unhappy customers:

Listen and offer sympathy
- Listen to the customers complaint without interrupting.  You should remain calm and speak in a calm tone.  In a calm voice, you should say something like "I apologize for your inconvenience.  Tell me what happened so that I can help you".  Then BE QUIET and LISTEN to what the customer has to say.  Trust me, your client is doing you a service by letting you know what's going wrong.  If one client feels a certain way, there are usually others who feel that way, but just chose to take their business elsewhere. 

Repeat what the customer tells you - An example "So, you ordered a size small and you received a size extra small.  Is this correct?

Find out what the customer wants
- Do they want to return your product, a refund, or a replacement?

Offer a solution - After listening to what the customer wants, offer a solution and be happy to do it.  Say something like " I apologize that we sent you the wrong size shirt.  I will be happy to exchange it for you is this OK?".  If they agree then, solve the problem. If they do not agree negotiate until they are happy.

Go above and beyond with future incentives - Offer some incentive for the customer to continue to do business with you.  For example, offer a discount on their next purchase Or throw in a sample of another product that you sale to the customer.

What are ways that you deal with unhappy customers or what has a business done to keep you as a customer?

The main benefit of a free website is obvious.  It's FREE!!!. When it comes to your budget, nothing can beat free.  You've already invested your time and money in developing your product, creating your business cards, on some custom advertising.  Why should you have to pay for a professional website design when you can get on for free.  Nothing beats Free, Right?

WRONG.  Free website packages have only one advantage, and that is the price tag.  When it comes to EVERYTHING else, you will lose with the free website EVERY TIME.   Lets take a look at the pros and cons of a free website package vs a professional website design


Disadvantages of Free Websites:


  • UGLY - ( U-G-L-Y, You ain't got no alibi ) Like we've said before, a poor website design equates to a poor product or service
  • Limited Web Traffic (No SEO) - You want people to find your website.  They do through websites like Google and Yahoo.  If you can't be found there, then why have a website.
  • Contain banners and popup adds - These can be annoying at times.  Most importantly, you can not control the content of the banners and ads.
  • Unwanted Advertisements and pop-ups
  • Limited or no support  - When things go wrong, there are no guarantees that anyone can help you fix the problem
  • Reduced Trust - Clients are smart.  They know a free site when they see one.  Clients will wonder why you don't trust your product or service enough to invest in it.  If you don't invest in your own product, why should clients invest in you.
  • Looks like thousands of other sites.

Advantages of Free Websites:

  • FREE

Disadvantages of Professional Websites:

  • Can be costly - Though the initial costs may be more, the returns far outweigh the costs
  • Finding a good designer - All web designers are not the same.  Some are better at what they do than others.

Advantages of Professional Websites.:

  • Professional Design  - A website that truly represents your product or service.
  • SEO Friendly  - Clients will be able to find you.  More visitors = more money.
  • Ongoing support from an expert - They maintain your site so you can focus on what's important... YOUR BUSINESS!!!
  • Flexibility - Professionals know how to build sites that can be expanded in the future.  If you can not have all the features that you want now, you can add them latter.
  • Easy to use website - A professional designer will create a site that is easy for your clients.

All business owners seek to maximize profit while minimizing expenses, but don't take shortcuts when it comes to your website.  If your budget is the issue, there are several ways to minimize the design costs.

  • Be honest with your web designer regarding your budget.  If the designer knows your true budget, the designer can create a web design solution that will serve your needs and won't break your budget.
  • Have your content (photos and copy)  ready before you get a quote. The more changes your designer has to make, the higher the cost will be for you
  • Create a site with the necessities first.  Add additional features later.
  • Payment Plans.  Some designers offer payment plans to their clients to help offset the budget.

Tell us what you think about free websites vs professionally designed websites?

On February 16, 2012, proudly announced its online Lean Six Sigma training and certification programs. Lean Six Sigma is a step-by-step, management approach that helps companies save time, save money, improve quality, and improve customer satisfaction.

Key features of’s online training are:


  • Easily affordable, superior, and results-based training at a fraction of the cost of ineffective trainings that cost up to $32K
  • Requires no time away from work for extended periods
  • Effective, allowing adult learners to immediately apply the Lean Six Sigma tools and implement quick improvements within companies
  • Features a step-by-step guidance that expedites project completion times and increases project completion rates
  • Contains animated and narrated lessons, with practical activities that cater to all adult-learning styles
  • Includes optional discussion forums that facilitate enhanced learning, as learners communicate and learn from each other’s experiences
  • Available anytime that is convenient to the learner

About is wholly-owned by the Johnson advantEDge Institute, which provides educational services for schools, companies, governments, and individuals. is led by Dr. Janice M. Johnson. Dr. Johnson is an accomplished business performance expert with more than 15 years of experience. Having led numerous cross-functional and international teams, Dr. Johnson has generated millions in savings in Corporate America. Dr. Johnson has also taught numerous courses in Operations Management, Leadership, Strategic Management, Logistics, Quantitative Research, and Research Methods at leading Universities.

To learn more about or to join others that have benefited from the Lean Six Sigma approach to
continuous improvement, visit

So you've invested your time developing your product.  You have done your market research and you have a product that people want to buy.  It is finally launch day for your online business and your new website goes live.

But wait, where are the customers?  Why isn't anyone visiting your site?  Why are people not buying?

Launching your website with no marketing is like opening a Brick and Mortar business on a dead end road that has no traffic. No one knows that you exist.  The saying, "If you build it, they will come" does not apply to online businesses.  You need to take advantage of you resources.  Tell the world about your business.  Pass out business cards.  Tell your friends and family.  Attend networking events.  Find a way to get links to you website onto other websites.  List your business in online business directories like  You need to be found.

What steps have you taken to better market your business?

So you have that great idea.  The idea that's going to turn you into the next Bill Gates or Mark Zuckerberg.  Your going to be the next billionaire.  But wait, how will you finance this big idea?

So you want an investor, a business loan, just a few thousand dollars.  You contact everyone you can attempting to solicit support to fund your BIG idea.  Everyone you contact seems to ask you the same question, Can I see your Business Plan?

Uh Oh.  There is something that you forgot. Business investors, banks, and the people with the money want to know the details of your business. What is your budget?  Who is your competition? Where is the demand for your business?  Who are your potential customers? How much do you have to invest in your business? HOW WILL YOU MAKE MONEY?  WHEN WILL YOU TURN A PROFIT? 

Think about it.  How do you know how much money you need if you have not created a budget or researched how much your inventory, supplies, building lease, website design will cost?

If you want your business to be successful.  Start working on your business plan today.

Did you create a business plan before going into business?

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