Today’s environment of economic instability requires African American small businesses to make changes and adjustments in order to survive and thrive. Small businesses all over the United States are streamlining their business proving that the overall environment of economic instability does not mean African American small businesses cannot thrive.

Today’s environment of economic instability requires African American small businesses make changes and adjustments to survive and thrive. How are African American small businesses in the United States coping during these troubled economic times? The answer is business streamlining.

As many African American small businesses are finding, flexibility and adaptability is a competitive advantage during times of economic instability. Large competitors often can’t adjust and make changes in response to the market like small companies can.

Business streamlining, or trimming operation costs to maximize profit, takes many forms. Small businesses are streamlining their business proving that the overall environment of economic instability does not mean African American small businesses cannot thrive.

Improved electronic infrastructure is one of the most valuable forms of business streamlining. Many African American small businesses are consolidating operations, communicating more efficiently, and increasing employee productivity by improving their electronic infrastructures. Electronic communication goes beyond having an online store or using email. By consolidating and improving their electronic infrastructure, African American small businesses are eliminating redundant business activities, such as entering information in multiple computer systems, better managing inventory, and directly communicating information to their suppliers and customers.

Although there is often some initial cost with improving a company’s electronic infrastructure, many African American small businesses report that the savings from this kind of business streamlining far outweigh the costs. Many businesses that are surviving and thriving in the current American environment of economic instability say that improvements and consolidations in electronic systems are a key driver of current success.

Strategic marketing is another type of business streamlining that is benefiting African American small businesses across the country. In a booming economy, small businesses can afford prolific broad based marketing activities such as print and web advertisements, mailers, events, and large sale campaigns. However, times of economic instability require businesses and small business in particular, to be more strategic and targeted in their marketing activities.

African American small businesses that are thriving in today’s economy are taking strategic marketing seriously and are putting time and effort into increasing the payoff of each and every marketing dollar. Successful companies are getting more strategic by better defining their most profitable customers and getting more personal in marketing to them. Another element of strategic marketing that many African American small businesses are recognizing is the need to cease marketing to unprofitable customers. By better focusing on only the most profitable customers, companies are increasing the profitability of each and every marketing dollar.

Ultimately, African American small businesses all over the United States are not only surviving today’s environment of economic instability, they are thriving. When we dig deeper and look at how these businesses are finding success, the answer is, more often than not, business streamlining. Whether in the form of improved electronic infrastructure, strategic marketing, or one of the many other ways to streamline, small businesses all over the United States are finding ways to make a profit in today’s economy.