Making it in the business world today is harder than ever before. Competition is high, tension is high, everything is high but the profit. However, everyone with a good idea should try their hand at being an entrepreneur. Entrepreneurs have a lot of things to consider, but LGBT business people have to wage a war on two fronts—we have to face business and personal struggles at the same time. If you’re an LGBTQ person with big aspirations, here are a few tips that will help you grow a successful business:
Get NGLCC certified
First things first, it’s possible to find a third-party body that will verify that your business is owned and run by LGBTQ individuals. National LGBT Chamber of Commerce will provide you with the Certified LGBTBE designation which will open many new doors for your business.
Companies that hold the LGBTBE certification are often contacted by the National LGBT Chamber of Commerce’s partners who are looking to invest in queer-owned businesses. Therefore, if you apply for your certification and get it, you will gain access to hundreds of corporate representatives and other professional contacts who are interested in diversity. With a network full of useful contacts, your company can arrange face-to-face meetings with investors and build even stronger relationships.
Attend LGBT networking events
One of the best ways for your business to grow is to have regular interaction with customers, investors, clients and other LGBTQ business owners. There are countless networking events throughout the year you might be interested in attending, but make sure to leave some time aside for specific LGBTQ events where queer business owners can gain the knowledge necessary to grow and support each other.
If you’re a Certified LGBTBE owner or entrepreneur, you will have access to many exclusive events every month. This organization or any similar one in your own country or state offers a variety of resources and information that cover everything from loans and workplace conflict to digital work tips. At these events, you can meet with other LGBTQ professionals and share knowledge, contacts and experiences.
Seek proper funding
In many cases, LGBTQ entrepreneurs feel like it’s impossible to get resources since money is often only reserved for certain regions and communities. And unfortunately, to expand your business and break into other markets, it’s necessary to have a good budget. Luckily, some organizations offer small loans starting at $300 that help businesses with difficulties in accessing traditional loans. Community development financial institutions are also helpful since they help low-income businesses. There are special nonprofits just for LGBTQ entrepreneurs that offer access to different resources and connect LGBTQ-owned businesses with investors. With a cheap membership, it’s possible to access the portal, post about your business, promote it and maybe get funding from investors. It’s also crucial to find an experienced strategic business consulting agency that will turn your ideas into things of true value. With consultants on your side, your business, startup or organization will become better than ever.
Build an inclusive environment
To maximize your business potential and build successful ideas, it’s important to design a workplace that’s accepting of all different people. By hiring the right people without paying attention to their age, sex, race and sexual orientation, you will create a workplace that’s full of hard workers with innovative ideas and different perspectives.
Invest in branding
One of the biggest keys to success in the LGBTQ sphere of business is being open towards the customers. Companies with LGBTQ certification can brand themselves as LGBT on their packaging and thus attract people willing to invest their money and support their business. It’s also crucial to create a successful marketing tactic that will put you ahead of your competition while also being transparent.
Being an LGBTQ business owner in this day and age is not easy, but it’s certainly very exciting and dynamic. If you employ these strategies above, you can expect your business to grow, expand and become more profitable than you dreamed of.