Black businesses may be missing a trillion-dollar-plus fortune by not increasing efforts to sell goods and services to their own culture, entrepreneur and digital marketing expert Lamar Tyler suggests.
What is most stunning is the unrealized amount of money Black businesses may leave behind by not tapping into that market. “Black buying power was $1.4 trillion in 2019, based on the Selig Center for Economic Growth, per CNBC. That amount is reportedly higher than Mexico’s gross domestic product and is predicted to swell to $1.8 trillion by 2024.”
“That means there is massive opportunity for companies and brands that cater to the needs of this community, Tyler told BLACK ENTERPRISE. “Who better to identify what those needs and gaps are other than Black business owners?”
So, the key is finding the competitive advantage from the Black culture. Tyler offered insights on how Black entrepreneurs can leverage Black culture with their businesses, make it a profitable endeavor, and use it as part of their marketing mix to reach customers.
“Everyone thinks it’s OK to target Black consumers except Black business owners,” Tyler explained.
“If you want to take a bite out of that $1.4 trillion, you should go after it.” And with the current cultural climate, Tyler pointed out Black consumers are looking for Black-owned brands to support and bring into their homes. He says now provides a better opportunity for Black entrepreneurs to achieve that than in previous times.
Still, he emphasized that Black businesses must still focus on creating products and services that solve consumers’ problems.
“You can’t build a business on support-based purchases alone. You need to offer a solid solution. The fact that you’re Black-owned is a bonus that the consumer is looking for.”
A compassionate and practical entrepreneur, Tyler knows his business. He has been cited nationally as a top 100 mover and shaker in the Black community with former President Barack Obama and Michelle Obama and power couples Will and Jada Pinkett Smith, and Beyoncé and Jay Z.
Tyler is the creator and co-founder of the international business network Traffic Sales & Profit (TSP).
It’s a highly regarded community for Black American entrepreneurs, providing them answers to help drive more website traffic, generate extra online sales, and boost business profitability. With a network of over 35,000- members, it offers business education, coaching, and consulting among its services.
In 2021, the firm’s parent company, Tyler New Media, was on the Inc. 5000 list of the country’s fastest-growing privately held companies. And in 2020, it was awarded for generating over $10 million in cumulative sales using the ClickFunnels software platform. Tyler and his wife, Ronnie, have been selected finalists for BLACK ENTERPRISE’s Family Business of the Year.
From July 2019 to July 2020, 91 Black business owners in the TSP Mastermind Program worked collectively to generate more than $49 million in sales despite being impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic during that period. This June, TSP will host a three-day sales and marketing conference for Black business owners to help them learn about new sales strategies.
Tyler mentioned that some of TSP’s clients had some of their best-performing years ever during the pandemic because they took advantage of a shift in the marketplace and provided products and services online that met the needs of consumers stuck at home.
Tyler offered tips Black businesses may do well to consider when trying to access or gain a larger share of the Black culture market:
- Find out what specific needs or challenges your clients or potential clients have that you can solve. It’s always about them and never about you.
- Think of the fastest way to create that product or service and get them to market. You can’t validate if it is good or not until people are willing to pay you for it.
- Once you have customers, focus on how you can acquire more either through advertising, partnerships, or organic growth via platforms like social media.
- As customers are coming in, spend time creating a path to get them to return and spend repeatedly.
- Once you have these processes up and working, properly focus on automating them and building out systems. This allows you to remove yourself from the process and hire workers to handle it.