Four Black Business Month Inspired Quotes for Entrepreneurs

August is National Black Business Month. This observance highlights the important role of African American businesses in the Black community in addition to the overall national economy. When it comes to effective communication, entrepreneurs and aspiring business owners can glean quite a bit of knowledge from the remarkable African Americans that paved the way in business throughout American history. Looking to make a positive PR impact for your business?

Here are four inspirational quotes from powerful African American businesspersons that can be used to inspire communication strategies for entrepreneurs beyond Black Business Month.

“I’m not a businessman, I’m a business, man.” — Shawn Carter aka Jay-Z, businessman, philanthropist, rapper, and record producer 

It takes grit to be an entrepreneur. When running your own business, always consider your brand. What does it say about you specifically? What is it that distinguishes you from your competitors? What’s your story? Key messaging plays a major role here. You’re a business, so behave as such. Think about what defines your brand and values. Once you figure it out, include it in your messaging. According to the Harvard Business Review, storytelling is excellent for business. All messaging used to share your story should spotlight the values of your business. Tell stories and not just facts. Always be authentic. Keep your messaging concise and make sure it resonates with your target audience.

“My belief is that communication is the best way to create strong relationships.” — Jada Pinkett Smith, actress, producer and businesswoman 

As cliché as it may sound, communication is key. To that end, talk to your clients in order to know what it is that they want specifically. There are a variety of ways to do this. Take social media for example. According to the Pew Research Center, about seven in ten U.S. adults use Facebook. One of our clients, Electronic Locksmith, used social media as part of its communication tactics when it first launched. Never be afraid to interact with your clients on social media by asking questions and getting to know their interests. It will help inform your PR efforts and can be utilized in a strategy because you’ll know what they want and expect. Consider newsletters, email, and even snail mail too.

“To succeed, one must be creative and persistent.” — John H. Johnson, businessman and publisher 

Any entrepreneur knows that hard work pays off when starting a business and maintaining it. To continue attracting customers or gaining positive attention, public relations can help. Challenge yourself to be both creative and persistent with PR strategies. We’re currently in the middle of a pandemic and many people are stuck behind their laptops. To that end, communicate with your audience and get to know them using tactics such as Twitter chats or Instagram Live. Are you a subject matter expert on something? Try hosting a webinar. Reach out to reporters if you have a good story to share. Put together a quarterly communication plan that specifically outlines goals, objectives, strategies and tactics. Some tactics may work and others may not, but you’ll never know if you are not persistent. By having a plan in place, you can ensure that you are always actively doing something to cultivate an audience and remain top of mind. Additionally, a plan can aid you in keeping communication a top priority with your business. Be sure to have measurable objectives and evaluate how well your PR tactics performed at the end of every quarter to determine which strategies you can use in the subsequent quarter. Persistence pays off.

“Luck is a matter of preparation meeting opportunity.” — Oprah Winfrey, businesswoman and superstar 

Prepare, prepare, prepare. When working with reporters, there are a few things to remember. Timeliness is very important. Reporters don’t particularly care for writing about old news, so as soon as something happens or you have something you want to share, make plans to do so. Stories that garner attention and are shared on different platforms are ones that showcase significant milestones, facts, numbers, local elements, and superlatives. Have a story you want to share? Excellent! However, before pitching your story, ask yourself if the story is newsworthy. Has your company had a substantial increase in revenue? Did you lend a helping hand to a nonprofit organization to help them achieve a specific goal? Did you have a successful rebrand? Are you able to latch onto a trend? Can you localize your story? These are examples of things that make for a fantastic story to share.

Entrepreneurship can be a challenge for some. However, with the right PR tactics and communication strategies, you can set yourself up for success. Be bold and savvy! While inspired by Black Business Month, these tips are evergreen and can help you grow your brand all year long.