Tag Archives for " Black Business Owned "

Some Online Holiday Shopping Tips

Online Holiday Shopping Tips

It’s getting down to crunch time, and this is the time when almost everyone is out, spending big money.  Cyber Monday has come and gone, but many people are wrapping up their holiday shopping by finding even more fabulous holiday deals online. However… when shopping online you, it’s important to know what you are up against and do your shopping with your guard up. Here’s some tips to make sure you are a wise B.O.B. supporter this holiday season.

  • Know with whom you are dealing with.  Are you familiar with this particular B.O.B.?  Check out any reviews and stalk them on social media for a second. Disgruntled customers are quick to leave negative reviews, but pay attention to the positive reviews left and make an informed buying decision.
  • Protect your privacy and make sure when you place your order you are on a secure web server.
  • It is very important to know your legal rights when shopping online. You’re going to want to check out what kind of refund policy the B.O.B. has in place for customers shopping on their online store. If need be take the necessary time to read all the fine print in their terms and conditions and their privacy policy.
  • This is an automatic, but we’ll put this here too… always check on the delivery date for your purchase to arrive to you.  Like we said, it’s getting crunch time. The window of opportune shipping is closing.
  • If your purchase comes with a warranty, make sure you know actually what the warranty covers.

With so many B.O.B.s coming onto the online scene, how can you tell if you are getting the best deal?

Well first off, it pays off to compare prices.  Don’t just look at the base price, but see what it will cost to have your purchase handled and shipped too. There are lots of online directories of B.O.B.s and their products where you can compare prices. After you’ve made your purchase, keep all your online receipts . This is very simple. Just print a website printout of your purchase once you have checked out.

One last tip…

Make sure to allow extra time for the purchase to shipped and delivered.  We live in a world where is something can go wrong it will. So you procrastinators… you better get on the ball with getting your holiday gifts if you haven’t already!

 

Sharee

First Step is Attitude…

Attitude problems

Your attitude determines your altitude – in business and in life. You can’t change someone else’s attitude for them. However, this is a powerful reminder that you can put in front of anyone who needs an attitude adjustment. Let’s look at some of the ways each of us as Black owned businesses and our supporters can develop winning attitudes to use in every day life.

Maya Angelou, one of our great American poets and civil rights activist once said, “If you don’t like something, change it. If you can’t change it, change your attitude.”
Ms. Angelou, speaking further on the quote said: “ Those dealing with cancer, death and real misfortune still remember to count their blessings.”

I’m not saying that we are to have a ‘head in the sand, everything is lovely’ attitude toward all our problems.  No. I know that life isn’t that simple. But I am saying – in the strongest terms – that we have to as a people, assume a more positive attitude instead of this negative one we have come to embrace.

Our mental attitude is the power that we hold in our heads. It is possible for our reality to be changed dramatically by a single thought. Because contrary to what people want to believe, outside influences don’t usually determine your happiness or success, rather it is how we react to those influences – negative or positive. So how do you change your reactions to those outside forces?

You change your reactions by making how you react a conscious priority, which means you do it daily until it becomes a habit.

Avoiding cynicism and embracing humor is vital. When things aren’t going your way, keep everything in perspective and relax… (I know..no one has ever relaxed when someone says, ‘relax’). But throughout my life, I have found healing in laughter. Not the kind that brings down other people by calling them names or judging their character… the kind of laughter and humor that builds people up…and causes sides and smile lines to ache.

Another thing we  to facilitate a more positive attitude is to say “Bye Felicia!” to self hatred. Positive self-confident feelings not only will help you achieve more; they also make others want to be associated with you. Ever notice how people are drawn to others who have an upbeat outlook on life, who have a can-do attitude? Constant complainers don’t collect an easy following… and the following they do collect don’t bring value. I’m reminded of one of our great civil rights leader Malcolm X asking, “Who taught you to hate yourself…?”

As a Black owned business owner, you are now also a leader. One important job of a leader is to set a positive and self-confident tone. This is a cornerstone of leadership. It’s the same confidence that a quarterback, a golfer, or a tennis star projects every time they come out of the locker room. You need to exude the same tone when you open up your store or conduct business.

To gain strength from the positive and not be sapped by the negative, here are a few ideas:

Focus on the people who will run with your vision and your plan – don’t let the naysayers drain you or your team.

Respect spiritual guidance – use your spirit and your heart to move you and your work forward.

Break the negative energy cycle – if you see yourself spiraling down or getting caught up in some negative conversations whether on social media or in face to face life…breakup the routine and do something fast that lifts you up.  Business owners, when you see one of your team members in a rut of unproductive or unprofessional behavior address it, don’t let it fester.

Do Active listening – Work at it, to hear what your team and consumers want. Often just by being heard, problems can go away and people really make a big turnaround.

We must become the emotional managers of our lives and our community – not the media…or others who do not understand the oppressions we face. In a family, parents must be the emotional managers or chaos rules the home. In your business, you must bear that responsibility, even if you are reluctantly at times. It’s part of your leadership role and power.

If we take time to focus on it, as well as changing our reactions to external events, we’ll see the culture around us shift to the positive.

A negative attitude will pull us down and with it our results. A positive attitude will pull us over the rough spots, allowing us to reach new heights as a people – expanding our vision. Whether you need an attitude adjustment a couple of times a day, once a week or only occasionally, never forget that your attitude will determine your altitude so don’t let outside people or events bring yours down.

-Sharee-

The Excellence of Owning Up…

Taking ownership

Ok…so I’ve been seeing a lot of #blackexcellence hashtags lately.  This is a wonderful hashtag that expresses just how much the Black community excels in so many of the things we do.
Another way for us as Black business owners and leaders to excel and show #blackexcellence is by taking ownership and responsibility for all of our own actions.

Once you decide to ‘own’ your choices – fully accepting the consequences, then you’ll be viewed as a person who can be respected. Others  will see you as someone who they can depend on. This is one of the single  most traits we must strive for.

The easiest way to display ownership is to stop making excuses. For example, if you are late for an appointment don’t come up with some ridiculous excuse. Just tell the person you are meeting, why you are late and apologize. That’s it.

I know it’s hard being a Black owned business in today’s society.  It really is so easy to blame outside influences and the outright oppression we face – and make that the reason for our mistakes or oversights. While no-one can control one hundred percent of what happens, we as Black business owners can control how we respond to certain situations. This reaction can completely change our lives, our businesses and our communities.

Start taking ownership of your relationships, your education, your fitness and your social life… your decisions.  Own them outright.
Learning how to be more flexible is also something that is needed.  Are you willing to do things differently when something isn’t working?  Do you take advice and learn from others?  If you do you will begin to excel at business which of course will increase your confidence and self-esteem.

Becoming a flexible person means that you are happy to respond to a situation in a different way. When you are flexible you are not rigid and set in your ways.

Flexibility brings us to another important point in leadership and Black excellence… it brings us to the step of adding balance to your life.

Living a balanced life means you are focusing on those things that hold the most meaning to you.  However, you are still mindful of those around you. You make choices that are related to the way you feel and what you are thinking.

Balancing your life is knowing when you have to say NO and not go out with friends…because you need to  finish up an important project…because you recognize the importance of staying focused on the end game and therefore, act accordingly.

When you combine taking ownership, being flexible, and living a balanced life, you will be well on your way to leading a life where you are committed to excellence….#blackexcellence .

-Sharee-

Did this post make you feel some kinda way?
Drop a comment below and get the discussion going.

Confession

confession

I have a confession to make...I cheated, on my favorite brand of hair products!!!! (dramatic pause)

But, wait, there’s more…I don’t plan to go back! I am in love with a new brand, a Black owned brand. I wasn’t looking to stray, trust me – I was very happy with the other brand. I was LOYAL,  but as I’ve been more conscious about buying Black I decided to try something new and fell in love. There. I said it! So glad to have that of my chest.

I’d been using the same brand of hair products for YEARS. I wouldn’t even try another product . That, my friend, is Brand Loyalty, and Brand Loyalty = Power. I cannot tell you the amount of money I’ve spent on my favorite brands. Way more than I would like to admit!! Black consumers, we may not realize the amount of spending power we possess. According to a study conducted by the New York marketing- analytics firm, NewMedia Metrics, “African American are more brand-loyal than whites and are eager to share their satisfaction with family and friends…” What does that mean? The money that we spend on goods and services is a vital aspect of keeping businesses profitable! Cha-ching!

Big Businesses know this and have taken full advantage of our loyalty. Have you noticed the change in advertisement for many major brands? Black and minority actors being used as spokespersons for popular items. Mainstream products introducing “natural products” catering to the natural hair wearing black woman. Why? In order to keep their loyal customers happy BUT mostly to KEEP their loyal customers.

If products are advertised in a way that targets a particular demographic it is more likely for said demographic to be attracted to the product and to buy it. So, if I’m loyal to a brand, the brand uses a black woman with natural hair (that looks like me) in its advertisement, I’ll buy it. However, when it’s all said and done my community still doesn’t benefit from my purchase. This goes back to the differences between “Black owned-Black endorsed” that we spoke about in our “Hello. My Name is B.O.B” newsletter.

As we seek to empower our community, let’s use our power to “Buy Black”. I encourage you to patron a black owned business and/or find a black produced product. When you find one you like, get behind that product and establish your loyalty. Tell your family and friends about it and together we can empower our community by supporting our businesses.

Until Next Time.
I’ll Holla.
-C-

Brown Skin

Brown Skin

I’m dark brown… my skin is the color of a creamy rich Hershey’s bar and I am in love with it. I feel beautiful. I love the fullness of my lips and my big almond eyes. My short springy coils of natural hair are happy! I love to amaze my friends when I pull a curl and they say, “I didn’t realize your hair was that long!” “Shrinkage, I say”. I wear my shrunken curls as my crown. I am in love with her. She is beautiful, inside and out. She is happy. Fulfilled.

You might be wondering, “What does any of this have to do with supporting Black-owned Business?!?” We will get there…

When I was a little girl, I was much darker than I am now. The only “raisin” surrounded by a sea of light-skinned cousins and and lighter brown siblings. I felt a bit out of place. I remember putting a large towel on my head, pretending that it was long blond hair. I would swing it around and call myself Sally. I loved to look at the pictures in the magazines of the pretty blonds and imagined that I was one of them. All of my Barbie dolls were white. All of my baby dolls were white.  I didn’t have ANY toys that looked like me and I rarely saw a brown-skinned woman in the magazine. If a black woman did make it into the magazine or a movie she was usually of fair complexion. No one looked like me.

Fast forward to my December 7, 1999. I gave birth to a beautiful brown baby girl. When she open her big almond eyes, I saw a mini version of myself looking up at me. Those are my eyes! When my husband, her daddy, held her I saw a dark chocolate man holding his new little princess and I saw everything that I ever thought was deemed beautiful evaporate into that moment. I softly said to myself, “This. Is. Love.” From that moment on I made the decision that she would never feel like I did. She wouldn’t need to look to society.

To give her the definition of beauty. She could look in the mirror and love the reflection looking back at her.

My husband and I have since had another daughter and they are one the reason that we believe in supporting Black owned business! We make it a point to visit our local Black owned cupcake shop (Oh la la Elite cupcakes) that happens to be owned by black women. I love the look on my girls faces when they realize that “Hey, I can own a store too!”

When our youngest daughter was small and Disney released “The Princess and The Frog” we got to see the first BLACK DISNEY PRINCESS! My girls got to see someone that looked like them!!! A few years after the movie’s release, we visited Disney World at got to take pictures with Tiana. I wept. Like a baby as my girls looked up at the “Princess” in awe. They would never know a time when there wasn’t a Black Princess, or a Black President, or a Black Model on the cover of a magazine.

The little girl that hid in the house, trying to avoid the summer sun, in order to keep from getting “black” is gone. She is a happy, dark chocolate woman who is raising two equally happy women who are helping to change the face of beauty.

Until next time.
I’ll Holla
-C-

 

Shop. Share. Repeat.

shop,share,repeat

You’ve done it. You’ve found a few Black-owned businesses or products that you enjoy and have decided to patron them more frequently. You feel GREAT! You’re a part of the solution. You’re empowering your community. You sleep great at night; like a baby. But…you haven’t told anyone. Well, why not? We have the power to take our love for a product or business to the next level by telling others about it.

When I first went natural back in 2009, YouTube was my “university”. I went to “class” multiple times a day and as my YouTube “professors” would instruct me to purchase this clarifying conditioner or that super sealant moisturizer, I would run out and buy it. My linen closet could no longer hold any linens as it was overrun by all the stuff I NEEDED. There is nothing like “word of mouth” or at least a review from someone who has experience with a product or has patroned a business. Now that we’re making a real effort to support B.O.B’s let’s use our social media platforms to post about our experiences and/or about the product.

B.A.M. Founder and CEO, Sharee Cammon, recently visited Holley’s Seafood and Oyster Bar, in Houston, TX and posted about her experience there. She noticed that when she posted just a picture of the food there wasn’t as much interaction or interest expressed than when she posted a picture that included her at the restaurant with the food. It’s so important to share your experiences just make sure to include a snap of yourself or a shot of the place or product.

Just as important as it is to share your experiences with your friends you should also share those with the owner of the business if you have the opportunity. You enjoy a great meal ask to speak to the chef, manager or to see if your message could be relayed to them. Enjoy a product? Send an email to the owner. Great customer service? Let them know. On the other hand, if you have a bad experience let them know as well…in a cordial manner. Sometimes business owners may not know that the customer service or product is lacking if they’ve never been told.

 

Until next time.

I’ll Holla

-C-

 

So…Why Pay More?

Why pay more?

It’s true. The cost of products at many Black-owned businesses are higher than those at chain stores. Sure. You walk in, pick up an item and think, “Daaang, if I go to (insert chain store name here) it would be much cheaper!”

Folks, we must consider that most Black-owned businesses don’t have the size to command low prices from suppliers. Basically, supplier charges them more, we have to pay a little more. I’m all about saving a dollar. Trust me, I’m an avid couponer (crazy coupon lady here), but more than saving a couple bucks I want to empower my community! Raise your hand if you own a designer anything…
Mmm hmmm yeah, you can pay an extra dollar for some conditioner.

Another thing, many Black-owned businesses are privately owned and much of their resources are reinvested into the business. The income generated from sales is used to pay the rent, payroll, and to purchase additional goods. Quite honestly, sometimes, they don’t even bring home enough revenue to pay themselves!

Speaking of the rent: some of these business owners jump into leases and/or take out big loans that require a HUGE return on investment. They may even have large personal debt. All of these things, unfortunately, causes them to increase prices.

None of this is fair to the consumer, but it is what it is. And don’t get it twisted, this doesn’t only happen to Black-owned businesses but to businesses in general. In particular to small, privately owned businesses. Revenue dips, prices increase.

This is why The B.A.M.Market strongly supports and encourages consumers to patronize Black-owned businesses. Just as the lack of revenue is passed on to the consumer by higher prices, conversely, a significant increase in revenue can also be passed off to the consumer with lower prices (Who’s ‘bout that discount life? Holla!)

I believe that the businesses within our community can get to the point where they can demand lower prices from the suppliers! Where there are multiple locations of their stores with fully stocked shelves! I have a dream that one day, Black owned businesses and White owned businesses will stand side by side…I have a dream today! 🙂

It will happen. With your help!

So, next time you shop at your local B.O.B, just remember to bring a couple extra bucks and pay with a smile. You’re investing in your community. Yay!

Until next time,

I’ll Holla
-C-

 

Does This Make Me Look Black…owned?

Does This Make Me Look Black Owned?

Shopping. The favorite pastime of many of us. I know I enjoy a good stroll around the mall. The smell of new shoes, the feel of a new hand bag, the scent of my favorite fragrance, sigh…. (I digress)

So many thoughts run through my mind when I make any purchase, whether it be something to wear or something to eat. However, I can honestly say that I never question if my favorite products are “Black owned”- is the money I’m spending going back into my community or simply “Black endorsed” – catering to the Black consumer yet our community gains no return. In doing some research I was quite surprised at the number of “Black” products that aren’t owned by Blacks at all.

Black Entertainment Television! Black is in the name then certainly it’s black owned? No, no it’s not.The network was founded by an African American, Robert Johnson, in the 1980’s but in 2002, BET was sold to Viacom, which also owns MTV and VH1. Johnson became the first Black Billionaire with the sale.

Essence Magazine: The publication that was once the second largest black publication hasn’t been black owned since the remaining minority stake in Essence Communications Inc. was sold to Time Inc. in 2005. The corporation originally purchased 49 percent of the popular African American publication in 2000, leaving the style bible in the hands of a man more partial to Brooks Brothers than Carol’s Daughter.

Speaking of Carol’s Daughter, in 2014 the once African American owned company, founded by Lisa Price, was sold to L’Oreal. According to L’Oreal, Price will remain the creative visionary and spokesperson for the brand.  

My whole life has been a LIE (insert shocked emoji face here)…

So, instead of just telling you what businesses are not Black owned, here are a few that ARE Black

Alikay Naturals, founded by Youtube Natural hair Guru, Rochelle Graham, The brand offers more than 60 products focusing on Natural Hair Care, Skin Care and Bath & Body and can be found in Sally’s beauty supply stores and some Target stores!

For your magazine subscription needs check out Black Enterprise Magazine which was founded by Earl G. Graves, Sr. and is still owned and controlled by the Graves Family.

And of course, we can’t forget the Queen of T.V. Ms. Oprah Winfrey and The OWN network! Black owned, great shows (have you seen “The Have’s and Have Not’s”).

It’s time to support Black Owned Business, not just business that cater to black people. So instead of just asking myself “do I look fat in this?” I will be more conscious about asking “Will my community benefit from me buying this, watching this, reading this?”

I would be misleading you were I to say that everything I purchase will be from Black owned businesses; Shoot, I can’t! There aren’t enough out there!!! Imma need more Black owned businesses available in my area!!! Whew…I’m back. Hee Hee, I make the decision to support Black business, to support my community and to “be the change I want to see”.

We will discuss that further.

Until next time.

I’ll Holla
-C-