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From Solopreneur to CEO: How Hiring Can Take Your Black-Owned Business to the Next Level

Starting, growing, and scaling a business are significant achievements - especially if you’re Black. In 2019, of the nearly 6 million businesses in the U.S., only 2.3% (134,567) were Black-owned, and less than 5% of these Black businesses had employees.

Although Black business owners enjoy the excitement, risk, freedom, and unlimited earning potential, operating a successful business requires significant time, effort, planning, and energy.

Most Black business owners start as solopreneurs, wearing every hat in the company. Some business owners prefer to stay small, and others choose to expand. If you want to scale your operations and grow your business, you’ll need to bring on extra team members that can provide additional support, innovative ideas, and new solutions to solving your client’s needs.

These five (5) indicators can help you decide if it’s time to start recruiting:

Working IN the business, not ON the Business. Growing your business requires balancing your focus between:

  • Anticipating future needs

  • Assessing the current state of the business

  • Evaluating the external marketplace

  • Developing products/services

  • Understanding customer needs

As a Black business owner, you have to maintain your competitive advantage. However, you cannot continue managing all aspects of the business. Also, solely focusing on generating revenue and not planning for the future can negatively impact the longevity of your business, leading to exhaustion, fatigue, and burnout.

Experiencing Burnout. Typically characterized as feeling cynical or detached from work, burnout may also include being less enthused about your accomplishments. Black business owners are disproportionately impacted by burnout because they often face additional stressors. A 2020 study found that Black business owners were more likely to report experiencing negative mental health impacts, including increased stress, anxiety, and depression. Thus, hiring team members to share the workload can help reduce these symptoms.

Failing to Establish or Meet Goals. Goals are necessary to assess your business performance and are meant to be met or exceeded. Failing to establish or meet goals indicates that you have not implemented a business strategy or roadmap with measurable results. As a Black business owner, setting clear and measurable goals can help overcome historical barriers to success and build confidence in your ability to achieve objectives.

Declining Business Opportunities. Turning down business opportunities can result in lost revenue that could be reinvested in the business for additional resources. Onboarding new team members will strengthen your business by increasing your workload capacity, allowing you to complete tasks you currently lack time to perform. Also, leverage automated systems and processes to execute various administrative and revenue-generating tasks to increase productivity.

Suffering Critical Functions. Your business cannot operate without core infrastructure, including:

  • Customer service

  • Talent acquisition & HR support

  • Operations & Compliance

  • Financial management

  • Marketing and sales

  • Timely delivery of products or services

When critical business functions suffer, your business becomes at risk, and it can damage your relationships with customers. It takes time to build trust and seconds to lose. Therefore, consider hiring support who can prioritize your critical business functions to ensure continued success and customer satisfaction.

If you are generating sufficient revenue or have access to capital, you can avoid these scenarios by hiring qualified candidates to join your team. Whether you add a part-time worker or a contractor, additional help can propel your business forward. Onboarding new team members can also help Black business owners reduce stress, create jobs, and support growth, leading to business expansion and job creation. By adding to their teams, Black business owners can positively impact the socioeconomic status of their communities.

A Brookings study found that if Black-owned businesses had the same number of employees and annual revenue as their white-owned counterparts, there could be 1.6 million new jobs and over $675 billion in increased revenue. Thus, Black-owned businesses can single-handedly drive economic growth and improve the livelihoods of their communities through strategic expansion.

Expanding your operations may require additional support. Evaluate your current situation to assess if adding new team members is practical and can benefit your business. If not, setting goals and establishing processes can help prepare your business for expansion. After all, building sustainable businesses is a critical factor in creating generational wealth for the Black community.

If you’d like to discuss the feasibility of hiring new team members, contact Abnormal Logic at to get started.

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