"African Americans have over 700 billion dollars available to spend as they please. The most they spend with Black business is only 6-7%. That's a major problem. That means 93%-94% of the money that Black people earn (income) is being spent with someone else (outgo). Some else is getting the "lion's share" of our money.
Other ethnic groups spend money with THEMSELVES 3-6 times before their dollars leave their communities. Black people only 1/2 a time. There's something wrong with that picture."
Thank you Carolyn for that comment! You get it. Sad to say so many of us don't get it. My husband and I expanded our radio show to an entire hour (www.wokbradio.com Fridays, 11am-12nn). By adding this extra 30-minutes to our radio show we have dedicated it to showcasing and discussing the importance of buying from black businesses to our communities. We started a shift $20 to black a few weeks ago and got such a response we expanded it. We even created a contest among black business owners to give them 20-seconds to tell our audience about their business and the name of another black business they do biz with. We wanted to provide info to the audience on who and where these black businesses are, so they can buy from them.
In a portion of you response you mentioned the products that we don't manufacture. I tend to disagree with you on that point. Take a look at the members of BBWO and look at all of the soaps, lotions, hair products, etc. that these sisters are producing. I also mentioned on an earlier comment that TAG TEAM was formed in Atlanta to move the products of black businesses into the hands of black consumers. The entire mission of this program is to improve the economy in our communities by recycling the black dollars from black consumer to black business. The entire community will benefit from this, more jobs (less crime, less drugs), more taxes paid to increase or improve schools, parks, etc.
Visit www.tagteammarketing.com/TeamDollar and look at all of the products created, designed and even invented by black entrepreneurs from around the country.
Thanks for the feedback Carolyn, but the future plans for TAG TEAM is to encompass every aspect that you mentioned and more to make every black community self-sufficient across the globe. The plans are being implemented in stages, once each stage has reach a certain level, the next stage of the plan will be launched.
Take my workplace for example. I go to work and follow my work through from start to finish. I take pride in my work. I care about my work. I am getting paid to provide a service. Yes, some days are better than others, but I am getting paid to perform a service. Most importantly, appearance makes a huge difference; not only grooming, but your workspace, neatness in filling out paperwork, the way we approach people, and the way our car look on the inside (messy) when you offer a co-worker a ride, etc... Believe it or not all this counts. And, it will get back to you one way or another.
Frankly, I work with people of all shades who gives a rat stank about the work they produce. My patience are being tried but I have to be tolerable. Lord knows its hard. Then we rack our brain to try and figure out why people don't buy our product or services. The first thing we say, "it ain't me". Really, we need to take inventory of ourselves if you want your business to thrive.
I agree with Rhonda! I try to network with others as well. But I've noticed that in some instances. We have to pay more for the products we want because where we get the products from weather it be beauty products for example when you go into those beauty stores the prices are higher than those of the asian beauty supply stores. I don't mind paying more money for the products just to support my own, but now they are very hard to find! I've just moved to the Houston Area and can't find an African American Beauty Supply store! Is it because those close down due to the Asian stores charging lower prices and stealing our business?
As an Economist perhaps I can shed some light on this issue. The question posed really misses the point of why money circulates within a specific ethnic or racial community. Money circulates longer within one community than another simply because "Group A" offers a greater range of services and businesses within their community than "Group B' does within their community.
First, lets remember that money being spent within a community originates OUTSIDE that specific community. There is nobody in the Chinese or Arab or African-American community with a printing press in their basement, working into the wee hours to spew out money from that printing press. It originates outside the community. There is also a clear route in which money moves. Enter community->circulate>continue to circulate->Exit.
Let us take the Chinese community as an example. Money enters this community, where a certain percentage is spent on basic needs for the community member who possesses the dollars. This money is spent on food, shelter, clothing, and other necessities. However, after this initial amount is spent, further monies can now be spent as discretionary. Whether it is spent WITHIN the community will depend on whether businesses exist in the community to meet the needs of the consumer with his/her discretionary dollars.
In the Chinese community, some of those discretionary dollars may spent on family affairs - taking the child to a photography studio for a portrait, taking Fido the dog to doggie daycare at $40 per day, stopping by the local garden centre to purchase seeds and bulbs for planting. purchasing a bicycle for Junior. Any monies left over from the paycheque can be deposited in a Chinese community bank.
Now, how many of these services/products would you realistically find in an African-American community? If, for some reason, a Black community member requires garden supplies they would, out of necessity, have to shop at a business outside of the community. They have no other option (unless they live in Atlanta). How many doggie day-cares have you counted within African-American communities? AA communities contain barber shops, probably TOO MANY Hair Salons for women, and NO doggie day cares. The typical AA community also has no Black owned local bank.
This is how money leaves a community prematurely. If African-American communities want money to circulate longer within their communities, they will have to offer a greater RANGE of business services and products where discretionary dollars can be spent. That of course, will happen when Black people make that big leap and become economically and culturally members of the American Middle Class. I have no problem in spending $40 a day (or more) on a dog. That's because I have the money to do so, and I understand the value of pets within the cultural makeup of western middle class consciousness. The leap cannot simply be economic. It has to be cultural too. When that leap does happen, money that originated OUTSIDE the community will circulate longer when it reaches African-American communities before exiting.
First of all, we as black people don't trust each other. Somewhere down the line that trust has been violated. For example, we take our sweet time getting back with the customer, we think somebody owe us something because we purchased their product (forgetting that you are receiving a product or service that you just purchased from the seller). Secondly, we are plum cheap, but we continue to purchase cigarettes, liquor, go to BINGO, bad habits, and spend our money foolishly. Third, its all in how we approach people. If your product or servive is good it will sale itself. Remember the salesman when you go to the car lot to buy a car and Mr. Aggressive Salesman try to make you buy it makes you sick and not want to buy. Or, the salewoman at XYZ department store who keeps asking, "do you need some help". How does that make you feel? Well, it makes me feel pressured and wanting to go someplace else to spend my money. Fourth, we feel left out if we don't keep up with the Stones, Foxs, or Goldsteins. You get the point!
I personally don't see anything wrong with wanting a high-end product, or taking a vacation. We work hard and want to play a little. However, Black people need to find their way back to the landmark of pumping money back into our community. We need to earn our customers trust again, provide better customer service, produce a blockbuster product or service, target the right market for our products, give referels, be more organized, and if you get overloaded with your business seek help. Fifth, we need to keep our mouths shut and learn to listen to the customer wants and needs. Lastly, attitude makes all the difference in the world. We have to learn to smile and not be soo quick to catch an attitude with people especially if they are spending their dollars with you.
This is a great post, which is why I have decided to feature it on 'The Business', a digital magazine featuring the best Small Business discussions and material on the BBWO Network. This is a new feature, so it is still being customized and I would love your feedback. Feel free to add comments on 'The Business' page. I've been wanting to set this up for a while now, especially after reading the responses I got from my post 'Putting the Business Back in BBWO.' As our community gets bigger, it is becoming a SPAM magnet, and I want to ensure that does not happen. We are experts in our own right with tons of info and experiences to share, which is what I want BBWO to continue to be about. If you feel as I do, great! Continue writing these wonderful posts and I will do all that I can to promote you and your business.
Quick tip: If you haven't already done so, feel free to include your web banner or business details at the bottom of this post. I hope that with the new Magazine page, more traffic will be directed to your way!
I lived in the quote on quote urban community most of my life and I see that happen a lot. Going out of the community to buy what you need or want that is. I can speak for me, I do both spend in the hood and out of the hood, depends on what I'm looking for.