Black Owned Business Network

 
Black Owned Business Network

Black Owned Business Network

Members of our Black Owned Business Network have recently received phony phone calls claiming to be representative of the Black Owned Business Network at www.BlackOwnedBiz.com .  The caller is selling merchant services / credit card processing services.  Please note that the Black Owned Business network does NOT sell merchant services or credit card processing services. 

If you receive a call from someone claiming to be a representative of the Black Owned Business Network at www.BlackOwnedBiz.com offering to improve your credit card services please take down the callers name, business name, and phone number and send it to us @ This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..


Managing your own business can be a risky venture.  You sacrifice your time and sometimes your life savings when you are the business owner.  One way that you can limit your risk is to prepare yourself by taking online business management courses.

Business management courses equip you with tools to help you manage your business more efficiently.  You will learn time management skills, basic accounting, employee management, sales techniques and more.  All of these skills are key when managing your own business.

Technology has made it easier for business owners to access online courses.  In addition, some top schools, including UC Berkley, offer free courses online. Though you will not get college credit towards an online degree, they provide you with valuable skills to help you manage your business. 

One of the main benefits of taking business management courses online is that you can take the class on your schedule.  There is no need to find time to go to a campus or change your work schedule.  You can take classes at your convenience.  This saves you both time and money

Have you taken any courses online to enhance your career or help you manage your business.

Blacks In Technology LLC (http://www.blacksintechnology.net) is proud to announce the launch of its new website BIT Tech Digest: http://www.bitdigest.net. BIT Tech Digest is the first online technology driven publication featuring articles written entirely by minority technology experts. The new site reflects Blacks In Technology’s continued effort and mission to increase the visibility of the black technologist by establishing effective communication among blacks and minorities in the field to help drive individual growth, development and long-term success in the technology industry.

The BIT Tech Digest will feature content focused on a variety of technology topics including networking, virtualization, software design and development and professional advancement.  The BIT Tech Digest will also highlight technology news and information about today’s minority tech entrepreneurs, businesses and organizations.

Greg Greenlee, Founder of the Blacks In Technology community site as well as the BIT Tech Digest believes the site will change the perception of how today’s engineers and technologists are visualized by providing an outlet for blacks and other minority technology professionals and enthusiasts to share  their expertise and experience.

If you’d like more information about the BIT Tech Digest or are interested in sharing your knowledge with the community please contact us at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

One of the biggest mistakes a business owner can make is failing to properly insure their business.  Most business owners hope that it will never happen to them, but the truth is that businesses are sued everyday.  Business insurance can protect against property damage, slips and falls, stolen property and more.

Types of Business Insurance that you should Consider

  1. General Liability Insurance - All business owners should carry General Liability Insurance.  This is a general business insurance policy that covers bodily injury, personal injury, property damage, slander, or false advertisement. 
  2. Professional Liability Insurance - This insurance policy is needed by many service providers.  This includes professions like computer consultants, photographers, event coordinators, and web designers.  Professional Liability Insurance covers the business owner in cases of negligence or when the business fails to adequately complete a job, task, or procedure.  Some Professional Liability Insurance policies also cover libel or slander.
  3. Product Liability Insurance - Product Liability Insurance is needed by businesses that produce a physical product.  The policy protects against defective products.  This type of policy is needed by a broad range of companies including pharmaceuticals, clothing manufacturers, candle makers, and soap makers. 
  4. Property Insurance - When a business operates out of it's own building, then Property Insurance is needed.  The property insurance policy protects the company property against theft, fire, smoke, wind, hail, vandalism and other covered events. Company property includes your building, equipment, documents, lost income, business interruptions, and money.
  5. Umbrella Policies - Umbrella policies cover everything that the other business policies do not cover.  They usually require the business to have the maximum allowed limits of all the other insurance policy types.   

Is your business properly insured?

Owners of Businesses are always looking to improve their businesses and succeed.  They are always looking for ways to make more profit.  Successful business owners not only look at what can make them succeed, but they take time to address the issues that could potentially make them fail. 

We have composed a list common issues that can cause owners of businesses to fail

  1. Being Jack Of all Trades - The Small Business Owner is often the sole employee in a business.  They are the salesman, marketer, accountant, bookkeeper, inventory clerk, and more.  Start-ups and small businesses sometimes do not think they have the funding to hire accountants, web designers, cleaning staff, and salesmen.  The successful business owner recognizes the value in hiring support staff. Successful owners of businesses recognize that the support roles in a company give the owner their biggest asset, TIME.  We've all heard the saying, "Time is money!"  The time spent organizing files, or answering phones, or simply cleaning the office can be used doing more important tasks to make your more money. Hiring someone to simply clean the office may seem minute, but can save you an hour a day.
  2. Failing to invest in personal and business development - The successful business owner knows the importance of continuous education.  Businesses and business models constantly change.  The successful business owner stays informed and invest in ways for further develop personally and professionally.  The less the business owner and staff know, the more time and money they will waist.
  3. Working like a mule - Owners of Businesses sometimes live the life of a super hero.  They think that they can do it all.  They spend time with family.  They come into the office early and go home late.  They sacrifice one of there most important tools, SLEEP.  These overworked small business owners quickly use all of their energy.  They are no longer innovative or creative.  Successful business owners embrace 'THE POWER OF SLEEP'.  Successful business owners know that relaxation time is needed for them to be able to focus throughout the day.  With proper sleep, successful business owners make less mistakes and waste less time and money.



What corrective actions have you taken in your business to combat failure and ensure success?

Effective business communication is essential for a small business to be successful.  It doesn't matter whether you are communicating with your oldest friend, the neighbor from down the street, another small business owner, or the multi-millionaire that you meet at a business luncheon.  It doesn't matter whether you are in an informal setting, at a networking event, on an elevator, or sending an email to a client or a prospective business partner, how you deliver your message can matter more than the message itself.

Have you noticed that news anchors tend to talk in a universal language?  No matter where you go they all look and sound the same.  Why is that?  Simple, it's because what they have to say is important and they want you to understand what they are saying.  This is what communication is, one person delivers a message and the other person receives and understands the message.

Here are a couple of tips for better business communication.

  1. Use proper grammar - Remember that slang has its time and place and, in a formal setting, should be avoided at all costs.  Remember that first impressions are everything.  No matter how talented or experienced you may be, when you use slang in a formal setting, you aren't taken seriously. Slang is not universal language and different slang words can be perceived differently depending on your geographical location.  Most importantly, remember that just because someone looks like you does not mean that they understand the same slang lingo as you. 
  2. Minimize Buzzwords - Buzzwords are used for one thing, to impress.  Although, they can be used in a setting with your peers, who understand the same terminology, refrain from using buzzwords with clients.  Your clients need to understand what you are saying.  Using buzzwords to impress can quickly turn your clients away simply because they don't understand the jargon that you are speaking.
  3. Send Clear and Concise Emails - Emails have become the most used form of business communication.  Some send hundreds of emails daily.  When contacting someone by email, remember that this is still a formal form of communication.  The following information should be clearly stated in your email
    • Who you are - The most important information in any form of communication is stating who you are.  You should do this at the beginning of the email and at the end in an email signature.
    • What do you do - This is information that validates who you are.
    • What you want - This should be clearly stated.  Refrain from using industry specific terms and buzzwords.  If your email is not understood, it could end up in the trash. 
    • Action Item - An action item should be included.  Tell the reader what you want them to do.  Don't assume that they already know.
    • Thanks You - Thank the reader for taking time to read your email.  This is just a common courtesy that is missing from many business communications.

What advice do you have in regards to effective business communication?
DEPARTMENT OF ADMINISTRATION
Minority and Women’s Enterprises Division

Indiana Government Center South
402 West Washington Street, Room W469
Indianapolis, IN 46204
(317) 232 - 3061

STATE OF INDIANA
Mitchell E. Daniels Jr., Governor

For Immediate Release
Central Indiana Resource Fair: Concrete Business Knowledge

INDIANAPOLIS (July 2, 2012) - Indiana minority and women-owned businesses are the focus of the 2012 Central Indiana Resource Fair, Tuesday, July 17. The event, hosted by the State of Indiana’s Minority and Women’s Business Enterprises Division, will be held at the Indiana Government Conference Center in downtown Indianapolis.

The Resource Fair will include networking organizations, as well as state agencies, universities and private sector vendors that utilize minority and women’s businesses as subcontractors. A workshop series will inform business owners about the benefits of various minority and women’s business certifications, responding to business opportunities, building business plans and technology applications for business. Workshop registration is recommended (http://www.in.gov/confreg/).

“We have planned a content-rich resource fair that will assist minority and women entrepreneurs with expanded business opportunities. Our workshops: The Supplier Selection Connection; Responding to an RFP; and Doing Business with Casinos; will De-mystify the procurement process in the public and private sectors”, said Felecia Roseburgh, Indiana Department of Administration Deputy Commissioner. “The matchmaking sessions will provide direct access to procurement representatives, while the Certification Boot Camp, will provide a one-stop shop for information on public and private certification programs. This will be a day well-spent for minority and women entrepreneurs who want to position their
businesses for growth.”

Event Information:
What: The 2012 Summer Resource Fair & Workshop Series
When: Tuesday, July 17, 2012
Where: Indiana Government Center South Conference Center, Indianapolis
Time: 8 a.m. - 2 p.m.
Cost: Free – registration recommended.

The 2012 Summer Resource Fair & Workshop Series is being held in conjunction with the Indiana Black Expo Black Business Conference, and is sponsored by Citizens Energy Group. About the Minority and Women’s Business Enterprises Division The Indiana Minority and Women's Business Enterprises Division is a multi-purpose service agency for all Minority Business Enterprises (MBE) and Women Business Enterprises (WBE). On behalf of the State of Indiana, the Minority and Women's Business Enterprises Division actively promotes, monitors, and enforces its MBE/WBE program in order to provide an equal opportunity to minority and women's business enterprises that seek to participate in the state's procurement and contracting process. Media Contact: Debra Walker, (317) 234-3438, This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Every successful entrepreneur eventually comes to the point where they have to quit their day job to focus on their own business. Before you decide to take that big leap, make sure that you take steps to prepare yourself for your journey ahead.

  1. Stash some Cash: Have at least six months worth of living expenses saved. This is your backup plan. If you are not making enough in your business, these funds will pay the bills while you work on building your business
  2. Register a domain name: Before you choose a business name, make sure that the domain name is available.  Once you find a domain and business name, register your business. Make sure you can get a domain name that accurately reflects your business name. Once you find a domain name that works best for you, register your business name.
  3. Buy Supplies and Equipment: If you do not already have everything that you need, then purchase your supplies and equipment after you have registered your business.  Remember that the business purchases you make after you have registered your businesscan be written off as tax deductions.
  4. Get a business checking account: Having the ability to accept multiple forms of payment is essential for any thriving business.  Don't limit your clients.  Having a checking account gives you the ability to accept cash, checks, and credit cards.  Most importantly, having a separate business checking account allows you to keep you personal funds separate from you business funds.
  5. Create a website:  Yes, it's good to have a Facebook fanpage, twitter account, and to be active in other social media platforms, but consumers still want to see your website as a way to verify that you are a real business. Get a PROFESSIONAL website before you start spreading the word about your business.  Your starting website should focus on answering two main questions:
    • What do you do
    • How you can be contacted.
    The website is an essential step when launching any business and is a step that should never be skipped.  .  It not only presents your business professionally, but it validates your business.  With the internet being so easily accessible, the first thing consumers do when they hear of a business is to search for it on the internet.


What steps are you taking to prepare yourself to quit your day job?

Becoming disabled from the waist down is enough to stop anyone from pursuing their dreams. But it wasn't enough to stop one determined man.

Anthony Stroy, the owner of the Locker Room Barbershop in Vivian, Louisiana was shot in 2005.  As a result, he became disabled from the waist down.  For many individuals, a tragedy such as this would mean the end of the world, but not for Anthony.  Anthony managed to turn tragedy into triumph.  Anthony looked at his situation and said, "NOTHING is going to stop me!", and nothing has.
 
As soon as Anthony was physically able, he returned to school at Louisiana State University Shreveport ( LSUS ).  He went on to receive his degree in Kinesiology Health Sciences and became a teacher at the Hosston Alternative school in Hosston, LA.  The school soon closed leaving Anthony without a job.  Determined to not receive a disability check, Anthony started looking for other options.
 
Disabled Man Coaches Little League TeamLittle did Anthony know, losing his job was the first step leading him on the path to bigger and better things.  Using his skills as an artist, Anthony decided to attend tattoo school where he excelled.  While in tattoo school, he used his networking skills to make the right connections.  He was later caste on TLC's reality show "Tattoo School" which premiered on Thursday, May 24, 2012 at 10/9c.  "Tattoo School" profiles prospective tattoo artists who are given a once-in-a-lifetime, two-week intensive course on the art of tattooing at the World's Only Tattoo School.

With his career taking off, Anthony still has not stopped.  Anthony manages to give back to his community in many ways.  Anthony said that "God saved me to help others". He spends his spare time mentoring neighborhood kids and helping to prepare them for their GED, ACT, and SAT tests.  Even though he is in a wheelchair, Anthony is also a coach for the local little league football and basketball teams. That's still not enough for Anthony. When school starts, Anthony also spends his time giving free haircuts to the neighborhood kids who cannot afford them.
 
Anthony is an entrepreneur, businessman, teacher, barber, tattoo artist, and a role model.  He is an inspiration for his community.  He lives by his words that "Quitting is not an option".

So what's next for Anthony Stroy?  He plans to expand his business, the Locker Room Barbershop, to offer a tutoring program, study hall, and a place for kids to go after school.  He plans to offer all of these services under one roof.  He is determined to make his community better.

We all know that starting a new business can be costly.  There are several ways that you can reduce your start-up costs.

    1. Reduce Legal Fees - Lawyers are very useful when it comes to starting a business, but don't pay for services that you can do yourself such as registering your business.  All the information and forms that you need can be found online.

    2. Office Sharing - There are many companies who could benefit from sharing office space and expenses.  Many companies have unused space and are willing to offer it to you at a reduced cost.  Some companies will even allow you to use services such as phone, internet, and copy machine for free.  All you have to do is ASK!!!

  1. Barter Services - You are not the only one looking to lower your costs when starting a business.  Attempt to barter services with another company. The key to this is offering something of value.  Bartering can reduce or eliminate your costs for products or services.  For example, the black owned business network just paired a photographer service with a landscaping service.  The photographer needed landscaping services performed at their building.  The landscaper needed some photos taken for their portfolio.  The two companies considered this to be an equal trade and no money changed hands.

  2. Buy Used or older Models - You can buy file cabinets, Computers, cameras, desks, and more Used.  Take advantage of going out of business sales and garage sales. By last years model of that camera or computer system that you need.

  3. NEGOTIATE - Remember that EVERYTHING is negotiable.  The worse thing that someone can tell you is no.  So it does not hurt to as for a better price.


While, you can reduce some of your start-up costs, remember that there are several things that you should never skimp on including your product, marketing, and web design services.  See "Run Away from Free Website Offers" for more information.

What are ways that you have reduced your business start up costs?

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