Happy Black History Month! For the entire month of February, we’ll be having several initiatives to support black entrepreneurs and business owners. Black businesses in particular have been hit hard by the pandemic. We want to encourage new business ideas and help support those who already have businesses. Here is a list of what we have in store.
Black Business Pitch Competition
In an effort to celebrate black excellence, we’re inviting Black people to pitch their businesses to us! The requirements are:
Black-owned business (at least 51% majority ownership)
Solving an interesting problem with an innovative solution
Presence: Strong digital presence and visual media
Must have a website & at least one active business social handle
Business must be located in the United States
You’ll also be required to submit a sixty-second video with your elevator pitch. We’ll pick three (3), winners and they’ll be awarded monetary grants and gift boxes. You have until February 28, 2021 at 11:59pm. You can submit your applications HERE.
What is an Elevator Pitch?
Imagine you met someone in an elevator that could fund your business and you only have a couple of seconds to pitch your business idea and convince them your business is worth the investment. What you would say to them would be your elevator pitch. Elevator pitches are also necessary for people who are job hunting or someone looking for a mentor. It’s a good idea to prepare a couple of elevator pitches for a variety of situations. Here is how you do it.
How to Prepare an Elevator Pitch
An elevator pitch should be brief. Your elevator pitch simply should include information about you and your business or you and your skills depending on the situation.
Stanford graduate and mentor at 500 Startups, Elliot Loh was quoted in Forbes with the following template for an elevator pitch: We solve [problem] by providing [advantage], to help [target] accomplish [target’s goal].
Your elevator pitch should clearly state what is special about you, your business, product, or service. However, don’t ramble too much about yourself, if you’re asking for a grant, investment, or any other favor, you may need to include the reasons why helping you is beneficial to them.
Finally, it’s best to practice your elevator pitch or pitches so that when you deliver it, you won’t ramble and sound much more confident and comfortable. In addition to that, make sure you’re not monotonous when delivering your elevator pitch, that’s not very persuasive. Be pleasant and excited when pitching.
If you’re interested in starting a business, check out our blog post 5 Things You Need to Know About Starting a Business.
2. Black Business Shopping Guide
Are you a Black person who sells products and services? If you’ve answered yes then consider submitting your business for consideration to our Black business shopping guide. We are featuring 50 Black-owned businesses in a special holiday guide to be shared with our network of over 30,000 fans. Here are the requirements:
Must be black-owned and operated (at least 51 % majority ownership)
Have a link directly to the featured product where interested buyers can purchase it (either via a website, social media, or other retail platforms)
Must be able to ship products within the US
If you’d like your business to be featured, then complete the sign up HERE.
How to Know What Product To Sell and How to Sell Your Products Effectively
If you have are looking for a way to expand your store or if you want to open a store but not sure where to start, don’t worry we got you. Knowing what products to sell isn’t easy. Here are some tips:
Look out for popular trends, the earlier you catch the trend the better.
Figure out what people need and address their pain points.
Research what people love or hate about your competition.
Do the math, make sure that the price you pick for your products makes sense for both you and your target audience.
Market your products well. You’ll need to know where your target audience hangs out and how they like to consume content. You could have the best products out there but if no one knows about it you won’t make any sales.
Test out your products on unbiased participants. It’s best to use a member of your target audience who isn’t a friend or family member.
If you haven’t started your own business yet and would like to we recommend our simple business plan called The Roadmap to Business Success Business Plan. This 5-page pdf template is a great tool for anyone looking to brainstorm and start their business.
We wish you the best of luck with our Black History Month initiatives.