Black History

Black Small Business: Certain Industries Dominate Online

black small business

Today I’m not covering or featuring a different black-owned business today or the rest of this week. The reason is this: I couldn’t find one which stood out from the rest. This is a problem I ran into all month, frankly. However, I know there are plenty of black-owned businesses throughout the United States. Yet, many of them are local and for some reason do not have an online presence (which I discuss why later). Here’s what I think about why and how black small business dominate online in certain industries.

The Industries Black Small Business Dominate In

After searching for black-owned businesses to feature on my blog I discovered many of them dominate in the following industries:

  • Clothing
  • Health & Beauty
  • Hair Care & Styling
  • Home
  • Art

Why Black Small Business Enter Into These Industries

I think many black people start business in the above industries because 1) they are very familiar with those products and 2) the barrier to entry is not high. Thus, they can create business and sell products with a small amount of money.

If you’re familiar with the product and/or industry, you know the market and all you have to do is create or source a good product. With the Internet, you can find vendors, chemists, formulation companies, and others online. And many of these merchants will help you develop your product further, while providing marketing and advertising assistance.

Why This Is A Problem For Black Small Businesses

Now I’m not saying that black people cannot open businesses in this industries. However, when they do they enter into a very competitive market.

Yes, there are plenty of customers willing to spend their money on clothing or health & beauty, but there are only so many customers for those industries. Thus, a black small business owner has to find a niche to separate their company from the rest.

A few years ago that was quite easy. An owner or founder could use organic ingredients or sustainable materials. Other businesses at the time weren’t doing that because those changes were quite expensive to implement. Yet, the consumer sentiment changed over time. They wanted to pay more for better ingredients or earth-friendly materials.

Finally, certain industries like art susceptible to changes in the economy. I know this from experience because I’m a writer. Even when the economy is good it’s tough to make money from writing. So when a recession many people go into survival mode. Hence, the arts and writing suffer. This can also affect the Home industry as many customers stop spending money on decorating their home and divert that to food and bills.

“Hidden” Black Small Business

There are many “hidden” black small businesses throughout the United States, meaning they don’t have an online presence. Most of these are local and don’t see the need to have a website and/or advertise. While I can understand that, this move is no longer prudent.

Every business needs a website in today’s economy. I explain why on my WordPress blog and provide inexpensive ways of building and launching a website.

Now, having a website is just the first move an owner must make. They must keep it updated. I found many websites during this past month with broken links, bad layout, and spare content. I’ve thought about reaching out to this individuals and companies to offer my assistance since I love creating, designing, and updating websites. However, my list is quite long now. I don’t know if I could assist all of those businesses while maintaining my own.


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Naomi Lane
1 month ago

It sounds like any black small (or larger) business operators should definitely get in touch and hire you to create a website for them. You would do an amazing job and obviously there is a need out there.