Friday, March 7, 2014

7 Super Ways to Jumpstart Your Southeast Queens Business

Blacks in Southeast
Queens Make more
Income than Other
Ethnic Groups
One of the ways we aim to keep Southeast Queens viable and cutting edge as a community here at the Southeast Queens Scoop, is to do regular articles on topics like technology, real estate, investing, and small business development.

Jamaica, NY and the larger Southeast Queens area is a strong striving, middle class, and progressive community. We all know some of the world's most successful celebrities and entrepreneurs come from this historically rich and legendary area of New York City.

In fact, I took just the top 12 celebrities from  Southeast Queens, people like Russell Simmons, Daymond Johns, Ja Rules, Richard Parsons, and Joe Morton (the Dad from Scandal) and combined their net worth it is over 1 Billion dollars.  Also Southeast Queens, according to the New York census and the New York Times, is the 1st and only large area in the US where: Blacks make more aggregate income than other ethnic groups in the surrounding area.

Therefore, It wouldn't be hype to draw parallels between Southeast Queens and Greenwood, Oklahoma, a suburb of Tulsa, known more in informed Black circles metaphorically as "Black Wall Street." Could Southeast Queens be equated to the modern day equivalent of "Black Wall Street?"

Both communities have their divergent upscale community features.  However, really Wall Street is the sector of the US that symbolizes its capital markets.

Southeast Queens Needs More
Black Businesses to be like Black Wall Street
In my opinion the term Black Wall Street isn't really a good moniker for Greenwood, Oklahoma.  Greenwood had a lot of local black businesses and professionals. It would be better characterized as an upscale Black Main Street.  

On the other hand Southeast Queens has a lot of working class and middle class people who work for the NYC government, Corporations in Manhattan, and small businesses in Queens.  What I would like to see in Southeast Queens is more viable Black businesses in fields other than restaurants, haircare, and real estate offices. I've been in business over 20 years and here are some of my tips for Southeast Queens residents looking to start their own businesses.

The following are 7 Super Ways to
Jumpstart Your Southeast Queens Business

Before you go into a startup please be realistic.  Over 80% (actually I've read as high as 95%) of small businesses fail within 5 years.  In order to not be in that statistic learn as much about your industry and running a business in it as you can.

1. Avoid launching a business without any glimpse that it will make money - not just in your mind but in the real world.  Try to avoid taking a noncritical view of your business. Especially, if you don't have a lot of capital to waste do your due diligence before starting a business endeavor as much as possible.

2. Test in consumer shows or trade shows in your industry - if there is a viable market for what you are offering and listen to feed back to see if people are willing to spend money for what you are offering.

3. Join an existing business, even if you are a volunteer - in your industry to see how they are run before taking your leap of faith.  Learn what makes money in your industry and how to sell products and services with the most profit margins.

3. Gain inside knowledge on your industry - so you know the seasonal shifts which will affect your cash flow. If you can learn not only the operations of a business but the sales and marketing aspects as well you will be on much more solid ground running that business.

4. Discover how the major players in your industry operate - and see if you can model some of their behavior and how you can fill a niche better than your major competitors.  Save as much money as you can before you start and get mentors in your industry.

5. Clean up your credit and try to get a good source of financing to fall back on or aggressively leap forward with whether this source is an angel investor, crowd funding source, or some reliable microfinancing sources.  Create a compelling digital footprint online including an automated email follow up system, social media presence, a search engine friendly website, Google+ and Bing Local listings, and a blog.

6. Build a good team to support - you with savvy business mentors, family who can work with enthusiasm in the business, and people you trust.  You can't build a successful business by yourself - you need a team.

7. Consider doing a business plan - and run it by your support group and potential investors. I strongly suggest this.  By taking the steps above your business plan will be that much more informed and compelling to potential investors.

These preparatory moves will save you a lot of time and headache in the future. You will be in the elite 5% of business startups that actually make it.  Kamau Austin is the publisher of the Southeast Queens Scoop Blog. If you need mentoring or consulting on starting up or expanding your business in Southeast Queens contact me at 973-298-6148 or Click Here

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