November 27, 2021 is a Saturday for Small Business. A day dedicated to “celebrating and supporting small businesses and all they do for their communities.” Small businesses have been one of the hardest hit during the pandemic, with 9 million small American businesses expected to close. Black-owned businesses have been experiencing the brunt of this burden as small black-owned businesses have seen a 50% decline in revenue. Given the noteworthy racial disparities in small business financing and pandemic relief, the impact of buying from black-owned businesses is pivotal. Abu Fafaneh is a business owner who helps entrepreneurs gain brand vision and generate income. In an email, Abu shared with Forbes Readers a little bit about his entrepreneurial journey and what advice he would give black-owned businesses trying to stay afloat.
Janice Jassam Asari: Talk to us about your business. Can you share it with Forbes Readers What does your business focus on?
Abu FafanehI run a marketing accelerator focused on teaching business owners and entrepreneurs how to market and monetize their businesses online and on social media. There are a lot of entrepreneurs who have great ideas, products or services but struggle to get them in front of customers. My goal is to give economic empowerment to business owners by teaching them a skill they can use to develop appropriate marketing campaigns to make their business stand out. Since we started the Marketing Accelerator, we have served nearly 10,000 students and more than 90% of women-owned businesses.
asari: What prompted you to start helping people with Facebook ads?
faunaEarly on, I saw a disparity in business owners using their social platforms to generate sales. I’ve seen our other counterparts use social media to gather input and data to connect with their customers. Having seen both things happen, I wanted to bridge the gap and help minority, women-owned, and solo entrepreneurs learn how to use social media to collect data to better connect with their customers. This will not only lead to more visibility but more sales. I chose Facebook and Instagram because this was the preferred platform. I chose advertising education because I felt that once you learn this skill set, you can set yourself up for monetization.
asari: How has Covid-19 affected your business?
fauna: Covid actually accelerated our business. The power of the marketing launch accelerator has been pushed to the fore. Many people who quit their jobs to pursue their passion turned to us to help them generate income. Many small businesses and moms have leaned on us to teach them how to appear in front of customers online rather than normally online.
Covid help us speed up [bringing] Business to the digital world. Now that we’re here, more people understand [that] The future is all about finding, connecting, and realizing sales online. Since the Covid hit, we’ve gone from helping 500 students in 12 months to 5,000 students in the same time period. I am very fortunate to be at this intersection as my company is called upon to help other business owners stay in business.
asari: What advice would you give to black business owners, many of whom have been negatively affected by the Covid virus?
fauna: I would tell them that their efforts are respectable and in fact they should be proud of how well they can anchor. How many of them are doing their best and that is commendable. Additionally, I’d tell them now that it’s also time to focus on skills that can give them an edge or hone them. I appreciate everyone who does their best because sometimes that’s all we can do. This is what I appreciate the most for black business owners; They are innovative and will not stop. And if any of them are interested in marketing their business online, I recommend signing up for the Power Your Launch Marketing Accelerator.
This interview has been lightly edited for clarity and brevity.