Black Business Roadmap: 3 Ways to Stay Grounded While Cost of Doing Business Goes Up

·3 min read

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 percent of all businesses founded nationwide. Owning a business is one of the fastest avenues to creating wealth for U.S. Black households. And while there are challenges to getting any business off the ground, especially when confronted by today’s issues like inflation, supply chains and labor shortages, the benefits of owning a business are numerous.

What’s more, Black entrepreneurs are more optimistic about their company’s future 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 a good time to check-up on the financial health of your business and set-up a strong 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 mitigate impact to your customers. For
example, some business owners tend to opt for a combination of cutting nonessential expenses, and
raising prices on only selected products and services. You might also consider adopting other tactics,
such as purchasing smaller inventory orders or ordering in bulk, investing in new technology to streamline operations, diversifying or switching suppliers, changing the products or services you offer, and getting funding to help with cash flow or refinancing a debt on a business loan. When it comes to financing, always speak with a banker who can help you explore competitive or flexible rates for loans and understand options best suited for your business.

Reap the rewards

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

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

Make the most of down time (for personal development)

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

For example, JPMorgan Chase offers many helpful programs designed to empower Black entrepreneurs,
including through our Advancing Black Pathways initiative. We 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 have also curated a list of businesses to consider shopping with this month and beyond — including
JNYC Jewelers in Miami, Atlanta-based Play Pits, Harlem Candle Company, Teas with Meaning in Oakland, Calif., and Lush Yummies Pie in Detroit.

This year, after a two-year pause, Chase Business Insight Seminar is providing growth strategies, networking opportunities, and business tools for owners across the country. In addition, entrepreneurs can now enroll in a free three to six-month one-on-one coaching and work with a certified Chase senior business consultant to help them get credit ready, improve business efficiency, obtain a free MBE certification, and more.

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