The business roundtable series is one of several ways the city and chamber look “to support small businesses and facilitate growth of businesses owned by ethnic minorities, women, and veterans,” he said.
Minority businesses, which include businesses owned by women, veterans, and people with disabilities, in addition to people of color, however, need more than just a business plan, said Fout. She said they need a resiliency plan, which allows a business to adapt quickly in order to survive and prosper.
“They need to do more than to plan on the immediate issues,” she said. “There are a lot of small and minority businesses that are just now realizing because of the pandemic they need a website.”
When people were at home searching Google for types of businesses to order products from, Fout said those businesses without an online presence were hurt even more.
She said she’s working with businesses to have a “future-back strategy,” which is a secondary business plan to prepare for the future business environment.
“We thought digital transformation wouldn’t be the norm for several more years, and yet it’s now on the immediate horizon,” said Fout. “Things like blockchain and cryptocurrency, they’re already here.”
In a 2020 Forbes interview, Mark Johnson, co-founder of Innosight, a strategy and innovation management consultancy company, said business leaders have a “future-back strategy,” where they “visualize what their organizations could be” and do what they need to in order to be prepared for the future. Johnson said this strategy doesn’t replace present-forward thinking ― strategies that work in the now ― but rather complements it.
Fout said that a forward-thinking approach includes looking at trends and technology-based products, like with virtual meetings. When COVID-19 hit, virtual meetings with programs like Zoom or Microsoft Teams were not commonplace, but now it’s the norm.
Fout will be joining the Greater Hamilton Chamber of Commerce next week at its Coffee & Conversations. At the Fairfield virtual event on Thursday, she will share about free resources for small and minority businesses, which include those owned by women, veterans, and people with disabilities, in addition to people of color.
According to the Hamilton Chamber’s virtual event, Fout will “lay out the steps local business owners can take to leverage various types of certification with the state of Ohio.” She’ll also provide information about marketing and business growth opportunities available.
“Small and minority businesses need to be aware and knowledgeable about these things for the future to be successful in the future.”
FAIRFIELD BUSINESS ROUNDTABLE SERIES
The next Fairfield Business Roundtable will highlight free resources for small and minority business owners and entrepreneurs. The event is free and open to all.
To participate in the virtual event, which is set for 8:30 a.m. June 17, email firstname.lastname@example.org