Black business roadmap: Three ways to keep your feet on the ground as the cost of doing business rises

By Mikal Quarles and Byna ElliotJPMorgan Chase

Entrepreneurship is booming in black neighborhoods across the country. 2021 saw the highest number of black businesses created in more than two decades and accounted for 25% of all businesses founded nationwide. Owning a business is one of the fastest ways to build wealth for black American households. And while starting a business is tough, especially when faced with today’s challenges like inflation, supply chains, and labor shortages, the benefits of owning a business are many.

Managing Director, Head of Racial Equity Strategies, Corporate Banking at JPMorgan Chase & Co.

Additionally, black entrepreneurs are more optimistic on the future of their business than any other small business group, according to the Chase Business Leader Outlook.

If you are a business owner or thinking about starting a business, one of the best things you can do as an entrepreneur is to invest in yourself and your business. As you hear more about inflation and the economy in the news, now is the time to check in on your business’ financial health and lay a solid foundation for long-term success. Here are three suggestions to consider:

Rise above the cost of doing business

There are creative ways to combat higher costs that can help lessen the impact on your customers. For example, some business owners tend to opt for a combination of cutting non-essential expenses and increasing the prices of certain products and services only. You may also consider adopting other tactics, such as buying smaller inventory orders or bulk ordering, investing in new technology to streamline operations, diversifying or switching suppliers, changing the products or services you offer and obtaining funds to help you with cash flow or refinancing. debt on a business loan.

When it comes to financing, always talk to a banker who can help you explore competitive or flexible loan rates and understand which options are best for your business.

Collect the rewards

Whether it’s supplies, inventory, utilities, or payroll software, these essentials are recurring operational expenses that come with running a business. Rather than dipping into your working capital to pay for them, you might consider using cash back. Some cards allow you to redeem for cash back in the form of a statement credit to be applied to your business credit card balance. This can help maintain your workflow even as costs rise.

Your team is your greatest asset as a business owner. Consider investing not only in their training and development, but also in their happiness. Redeem rewards from your corporate credit card for employee-of-the-month gift cards or cash in cash back for surprise bonuses throughout the year.

Head of Black Lane Advancement at JPMorgan Chase & Co.

Make the most of downtime (for personal development)

As an entrepreneur, it’s sometimes easy to forget to invest in your personal growth and focus on the business at the same time. Fortunately, there are a number of resources to address both – and sometimes that can be through your bank.

For example, JPMorgan Chase offers many helpful programs designed to empower Black entrepreneurs, including through our Advancing Black Lanes initiative. We’ve developed Advancing Black Entrepreneurs, an educational program that offers practical advice and resources to help business owners navigate challenges and prepare for long-term success.

To celebrate the vast contributions of black small businesses everywhere during Black Business Month, we’ve put together a list of businesses to consider shopping with this month and beyond, including Lush Yummies pies and candles from Emmerse soy, bar soaps and body butters.

This year, after a two-year hiatus, the Chase Business Insight Seminar brings growth strategies, networking opportunities and business tools to owners nationwide. Additionally, entrepreneurs can now sign up for free for three to six months one-on-one coaching and work with a Chase Certified Senior Business Consultant to help them prepare for credit, improve business efficiency, earn free MBE certification, and more.

For more resources and tools on how to start, run and grow your business – as well as develop your business leadership skills, visit Chase Business Resource Center. JPMorgan Chase Bank, NA Member FDIC.

Sponsored content from JPMorgan Chase & Co.

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