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3 reasons why black small businesses should embrace digital transformation.

Opinions of contributing entrepreneurs are their own.

Small businesses are the backbone of our communities. They provide and care for our families, support economic growth and stability, and maintain meaningful relationships with the people they serve. No one understands the value of small businesses better than those who live in communities most likely to experience divestment and neglect from corporate investors – which are disproportionately communities of color.

These small businesses are also mostly owned and operated by black entrepreneurs and other entrepreneurs of color. Despite their value to their communities, racial inequalities persist, and many black-owned small businesses lack the financial resources needed to grow and survive an economic crisis.

Fortunately, in today’s tech-driven economy, black small business owners have new digital tools to help their businesses survive, thrive, and stand out among business competitors. Here are three reasons why black small business leaders should seize this moment and embrace digital transformation.

Related: 12 steps that can help your small business start a digital transformation

1. Improve agility

Businesses that rely on foot traffic to reach customers were hit hardest by pandemic closures. The needs and interests of business leaders and their customers were changing dramatically, and those without the infrastructure to adapt to our new normal were most at risk. As experts continue to indicate that we are approaching an economic recession, flexibility is becoming increasingly necessary for the survival of small businesses.

When small business leaders use digital tools and infrastructure, they can move quickly to ensure they can continue to deliver their services to their customers. Whether it’s ecommerce websites or social media campaigns, digital adoption can help small businesses stay afloat amid global economic disruption. If business leaders start planning and implementing digital strategies now, they will be better prepared to meet the next challenges.

Related: Digital transformation means adopting a new culture: here’s how to do it

2. Expansion of customer base

One of the many reasons Black-owned businesses struggled to survive during the pandemic was the direct economic impact it had on the people they serve. A lot of Black-owned businesses operate in predominantly black communitieswho are disproportionately affected by job loss and illness due to COVID-19 due to differences in economics and health care.

Business leaders must find new ways to expand their customer base. Digitizing operations can open up new markets for small businesses to explore, generating greater growth opportunities. Through online advertising, cloud computing and mobile commerce, small business leaders can expand their reach beyond local communities and into national or global markets. This will not only promote the success of small businesses, but also ensure that they are still around to serve their communities well after an economic crisis hits.

Related: The Ultimate Guide to Competitive Research for Small Businesses

3. Level the playing field

Business competitors routinely receive more investment than small businesses, meaning they have the resources to position themselves as better service providers. Small business leaders can differentiate themselves from corporate competition when they invest in digital tools. These tools provide a more efficient resource for inventory management, data analytics, and marketing automation, resulting in faster turnaround times and better decision-making processes.

Small businesses, especially black-owned ones, often miss the financial capital and investments needed to innovate and keep pace with their larger competitors. The good news is that there is support for small business leaders, especially those who lack financial opportunities because of pre-existing racial disparities.

One of the groups I work with, the Digital alliance for small businesses (SBDA), connects small business owners with digital tools, training and other opportunities to reach new customers by expanding their digital networks. Services and resources offered by the SBDA can help small businesses adopt digital strategies to grow and sustain their businesses – and they’re free to those within the network. This can help small businesses better understand their customers’ needs and quickly meet their expectations. By investing in digital solutions, small businesses can level the playing field and put themselves on an equal footing with larger companies.

There is no way to predict the impact of an economic crisis on our businesses, but we can take steps to prepare for and mitigate risk. Beyond business survival, digitization offers many benefits to Black small business leaders looking to stay competitive in an increasingly technology-driven landscape.


Shreya has been with australiabusinessblog.com for 3 years, writing copy for client websites, blog posts, EDMs and other mediums to engage readers and encourage action. By collaborating with clients, our SEO manager and the wider australiabusinessblog.com, Shreya seeks to understand an audience before creating memorable, persuasive copy.

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