Jasmine Black is the owner of BrainChild Business Consulting, a boutique marketing and consulting agency serving small to medium-sized businesses. They are experts in creating, implementing, and managing strategic digital marketing campaigns for professional and service-based businesses, and serve clients both domestically and internationally. With 15 years in finance and serving the needs of small business owners through bank management, sales and marketing leadership, and more, Jasmine is on a mission to change the trajectory of financial literacy for women worldwide.
Her goal is to equip her clients with the tools necessary to increase their profitability and overall bottom line while providing them with the resources they need to be successful in their industry.
Jasmine is a champion for Minorities and Women in STEM and can often be found on the Clubhouse app leading and engaging in conversations designed to demystify the technology surrounding digital marketing and making online entrepreneurship accessible and inclusive.
What’s the most common mistake that small business owners make when getting clients to use their service? How can they correct it?
A common mistake is not fully understanding their target market and how to communicate with them. This can lead to one of the primary reasons businesses don’t survive – ineffective marketing. Truly understanding your customer’s needs will help you ensure that you’re presenting products and services they truly want as well as how to price and position them in order to generate the sales you need to grow.
Many new small business owners elicit advice from other business mentors. When looking for a business mentor, what attributes should they have?
Experience, empathy, and a coach of their own! But the most important attributes a mentor has should be ones that are relevant to you and your present needs. I like to think of mentors in some of the same ways I think of educators in that there is not a one size fits all approach. As an example – if I was a restaurant owner struggling with growing in my local market, could a coach that specializes in tech start ups help me? Potentially. But depending on my needs, I’ll likely be better served by a coach with restaurant industry experience that I can immediately leverage.
When you started Brainchild Business Consulting
, what were some of the valuable lessons you learned the first 2 years?
Wow! The first two years were FULL of lessons. I’m not sure I was aware not just of the lifestyle shift, but also the mindset shift that full-time entrepreneurship requires. I heard a quote by Lori Greiner that said “Entrepreneurs are willing to work 80 hours a week to avoid working 40 hours a week”. I think that really encapsulates the experience of many entrepreneurs. But I think the biggest lessons I learned were that “sweat equity” has an amazing ROI, and that coaching truly is an investment in your business.
I was bootstrapping and building my business on an extremely limited budget, and I didnt’ have employees or a team to support me. I had to be fully invested in finding creative solutions to create awareness of my brands and services. I spent days at a time on Google and YouTube learning how to create my own logos, build my website, and pitching my services as a freelancer while basically surviving on faith and energy drinks (which I definitely do not recommend). I created my own landing pages and email lists, and showed up to networking events to pitch my services every single week. My early work definitely wasn’t the prettiest, but it allowed me to grow my brand in a really profitable way because I was doing that work instead of paying someone else to do it. The time and effort I invested also grew my skills exponentially, which creates additional value for my clients and separates me from many of my peers. So much of that early investment is still paying dividends today and has allowed my business not only to survive the first two years, but to scale.
Keeping with the theme of paying dividends, coaching truly is an investment in your business. Developing expertise in any area of business or life takes focus and dedication. Working with different coaches enabled me to leverage their skills and experience and tie them directly to the strategies and tactics I needed to grow my business. Coaching is a time, growth, and revenue hack.
The first five years seem to be the most trying for small businesses. What advice can you give businesses that are literally trying to stay afloat in this pandemic?
First – don’t panic. While there have definitely been some big changes in nearly every facet of our lives, these changes have also created new opportunities and ways to meet the needs of potential clients. The advances we’ve made in digital networking since it began have also created opportunities for business owners to expand into a global market. Now is the time to adapt and align your business model to work with instead of against these changes.
Second – take action. Many of us have heard the term “analysis paralysis” – which is basically overthinking to the point of inaction. While we definitely want to be thoughtful and intentional about moving forward, we don’t want to stifle our own progress. Review the areas of your business that are not profitable and see if you can improve them, explore ways that you can connect and engage with your customers online, and look for ways that you can serve their needs in new ways,
Finally, there has been debate about having a business plan or not. What is your take on this subject and why?
I think traditional plans are really important when you’re preparing to launch your business because they give you a framework to build from. Once you’ve gone from ideation to implementation though, you may find that you want to make adjustments.
Because of this, I highly encourage that entrepreneurs create annual plans as well. Just like a GPS system provides directions to a physical destination, your business plan is most useful when it provides direction on how to move your business forward. Creating an annual plan and then dividing it into quarterly and monthly goals can help give the step by step direction entrepreneurs need to keep moving forward.
Connect With Jasmine and her company online by visiting http://www.brandsbybrainchild.com