This Black History Month, we’re excited to share our conversation with two talented small business leaders in our Keap community: Marcus J. Farmer, principal and founder of Accintive Marketing Group, and Carla Erskin, sales funnel automation strategist at Bossingly Automation Solutions. Listen as host Kim Mortensen, senior director of partner development at Keap, asks them to share their insights on small business growth, their biggest challenges and successes, and their advice for other aspiring entrepreneurs.
Some advice and highlights to listen for:
Don’t be afraid to make mistakes.
You’re going to make big mistakes as a small business leader — even huge ones. These experiences are ingrained in the success you’ll eventually find.
Think outside of the box.
Success doesn’t have a single formula. Being a successful small business owner requires finding your best path, whether you planned for it or found it.
Entrepreneurship is a real option.
Many Black people don’t even have entrepreneurship on their radar at a young age. There is an opportunity to expose more to the dream of business ownership through mentorship.
Expertise comes with experience.
While everyone’s life experience is different, you can’t expect to be good at small business ownership right away. That comes with building community and a trial-and-error mentality.
The corporate grind isn’t for everyone.
Corporate life can be a foreign concept to many Black people entering the workforce. For many, the ability to create something new as an entrepreneur is more appealing.
Access to capital can be a barrier.
Whether you’re starting your own thing or coming into a small business as a partner, it takes money to make it happen. However, availability and access remain real issues.
Sometimes, you need to work while you build.
It’s okay to start a side hustle when you are working another job to pay the bills. Just make sure you’re taking steps to turn that side hustle into your main hustle.
Find a local Small Business Development Center.
There, you can find the training a small business leader needs to manage budgets, set and host effective meetings, and add professional polish to your skill sets.
Create financial cushions.
There is real risk in entrepreneurship — and not all of your investments are going to pan out. It’s wise to create those financial fallback plans that protect your business.
Find the tools that lead to business success.
While a CRM for small business and sales and marketing automation are wise choices, according to the roundtable guests, you need to identify the tools that help you scale.
Pay what you have learned forward.
No small business leader finds success without fans and supporters along the way. Honor those who helped you by doing the same for someone else who’s just getting started.
Find your community.
Whether a Black Chamber of Commerce or the Keap Community, every small business leader needs to get active in a group that offers resources and helps with networking
Get connected with Keap’s Empowering BIPOC Entrepreneurs Workshop series.
Not only will you connect with amazing small business leaders like Carla and Marcus, you’ll also get real-time strategies for consistent growth. This includes monthly workshops, tips for quick implementation, community support, and guidance on finding the resources you need to succeed.
This workshop series is especially for you if you’re looking to leverage Keap’s small business CRM and automation to grow and scale your business. Keep an eye on our events page for news about upcoming workshops.