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Zaytoven’s Mama’s Basement: Discussing Entrepreneurship, Networking, and Brand Management Inside the Music Industry

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According2HipHop is here at AfroTech 2023 to share details from conference where speakers discussed how to deal with common challenges small businesses face as they navigate their competitive environments. 

Today there are more small business owners than ever. As of 2021, the Small Business Administration reported that there were approximately 32.5 million small businesses in the United States, and they accounted for roughly two-thirds of the job creation between 1995 and 2021.

Despite being such a large part of our economy, starting a small business is commonly a risky and difficult endeavor. However, with digital toolsets that are constantly getting better, people have more access than ever to manage and grow their small businesses without relying on traditional channels. The availability of software solutions for managing finances, payroll, marketing, operations, and other critical business functions has made it more possible than ever for a small business to be run by a few people, or even an individual, that handle nearly all the business’s needs. 

But if it’s so much more streamlined to operate a business, why is it that more start-up small businesses don’t succeed? According to the United States Bureau of Labor Statistics, roughly 10% of start-up companies fail within the first 12 months, and upwards of 45% of businesses fail before their fifth year. Many businesses fail due to lack of funding, even amidst a successful business model. This dynamic was a large focus of the discussions and panels during Zaytoven’s Mamas Basement. 

Throughout the course of Zaytoven’s Mamas Basement, successful entrepreneurs discussed the obstacles that they overcame to achieve success. The wisdom they imparted upon the audience was designed to illuminate paths to success in business and inspire entrepreneurs and artists to find more lucrative ways to operate. To do this, an example was made of a restaurateur. 

Imagine for a moment that someone opens a restaurant and sells food. Then they open their food services to UberEats, DoorDash, and ghost kitchens. Now the restaurant owner identifies off-hours in the business and invites people to come for cooking classes to learn how to prepare their style of food. Then comes the creation of educational videos and a social media push to bring the business’s educational experience to a broader and more remote audience. Now that the business has begun developing a larger following, they create and sell brand related merch. They can then utilize their growing reputation to seek out brand partnerships and sponsorships. At this point in the business owner’s journey, they have overcome many hurdles that typically cause businesses to trip and fall, and they can leverage that experience into consulting within their industry to help others avoid the same pitfalls. This restaurant has developed seven separate revenue streams from doing what it already does as a business. I.e., bring customers into their brand by cooking at their restaurant. 

There are a few important take-aways from this example. Firstly, it’s important to maximize the value of the efforts that are already being made. Secondly, keeping overhead down by using both synergistic practices and modern technology is key for cost-sensitive businesses to survive their growth phase and compete in the current landscape. Lastly, always continue to strive for innovation and growth.  There is almost never a good time for a business to become complacent and rest on its laurels. Never give up. Never surrender. 

AfroTech 2023 followed up a strong opening of their event in kind and brought many amazing people to the stage. Environments like these are what will propel the next generation of entrepreneurs, visionaries, and developers into success. 

According2HipHop will continue to be on the forefront of the news as the world keeps changing daily. Stay tuned for more to come from the brilliant minds of AftroTech 2023 and beyond.



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