EMPOWERING, ENRICHING and ENTERTAINING… sounds like the MsQueenRo brand huh? Yes, you are correct… it is my tagline but it’s also the way I felt while vending at the first annual Black Charlotte Business Coalition. If you are a business owner (especially of color) live in the Queen City and surrounding areas OR if you are looking to support more black-owned businesses in the Charlotte area… you will want to read this!
Eddie D. Love, CPC and Antonio Tolson (AJ) began this movement in 2016. Eddie is a Certified Life Coach/ author and AJ is the CEO of a company called From a Different Cloth, LLC. They have known each other for about 4 years before they became business partners. They both specialize in providing advice on Life, Love and Relationships but wanted to expand their vision so that the business professionals of Charlotte could come together and make this city powerful! So they took their partnership a step further by establishing a way to create relationships while building the cultural economic market in the Charlotte community… hence the Black Charlotte Business Coalition (#BCBC) was born!
The BCBC Mission and Vision
“The mission of BCBC is to provide a networking conduit and business directory for black business professionals in Charlotte, North Carolina.”
“The vision at BCBC is to help black business professionals understand the socio-ecological business model in Charlotte and establish buying power as a collective body.”
First Annual BCBC Summer Expo
They held their first event on July 29, 2017. There was NOT one person who left the event NOT feeling motivated to do something different with their business. The event included everything from motivational speakers to vendors to participants eager to gain knowledge on how to grow their business and the networking… AWESOME; and yes… they were all black owned!
Expo Business Takeaways
Be Consistent– Don’t be wishy-washy or flaky with your business. When you tell your customers you are going to do something, follow through with it. Ex: Don’t market your business via social media for 2 weeks straight and then we don’t hear from you for another 4. If you want to constantly grow your business, then set a reasonable pace for yourself so that you can remain consistent. If your customers see you regularly using creative marketing, they are more apt to consistently buy b/c they are always going to want to know what’s new.
Money isn’t everything, Have a Purpose– Yes I know, we go into business to make money so I’m not telling you not to grind. I’m just saying, have a purpose behind your grinding. Ex: I got into the beauty business years ago b/c I wanted to learn more about healthy skin for myself and for others. There are many women who mostly care about looking good with makeup but when they wash it off, their skin is spotty, bumpy or flaky; especially for women of color… the ones I have come in contact with (some, not all) seem to care less about how to take care of their skin and care more about the latest color from Mac. Even if I didn’t sell one Mary Kay product, my goal was teach more women about the importance of healthy skin.
Personal Development- Take time to grow and research your craft. Ex: If you wore the same outfit everyday of your life, I promise your audience will become bored. They may even leave your company b/c they would think you are too just too lazy (or crazy) to be creative- LOL! Read or listen to self-help books; utilize GOOGLE; Pinterest; shoot, even research your competitors. I’m not saying steal from them but there is nothing wrong with reviewing trends and seeing what else is out there. Then you would incorporate your own spin. Find your niche and remain different.
Perfect your Brand– Do you really know what this means? Hmmm, yep I’ll explain… those half-naked pictures you continually post on Instagram- stop it! Those vulgar quotes or pictures you continually post to Facebook- cut it out! Those white t-shirts, jeans and sneakers you must wear every… single… day, even to your job- mature up and buy some grown clothes. Ex: Make separate social media accounts, have one for personal and one for business. However, this doesn’t mean you go “buck-wild” with your personal account. You still need to ensure your brand isn’t tainted b/c I guarantee- most of the same people will follow you on both.
Take Time out to Rest– You are NOT the energizer bunny… you can’t keep going and going and going. You need time to refresh your mind and spirit to get those creative juices flowing again! I mean geez… even my God took time out to rest. Yasssssss, creating the world is hard work- LOL and so is running a business. Ex: If you are trying to grow your social media accounts by posting 1 to 2 times a day, take one day to not post anything.
There is more to come! I know the next event will be BIGGER and BETTER! If you would like to be a part of the movement by either becoming a sponsor, vendor or would like to attend as a participant. Feel free to follow the movement by joining all of these groups: