Archive for July, 2013

Why Atlanta’s Sweet Auburn District Is So Important To B.O.B.O.B.S.

(Written by Kyrus Keenan Westcott) While reading about B.O.B.O.B.S. and their mission, you may often see the words “Sweet Auburn” mentioned multiple times by B.O.B.O.B.S.(Black Owned & Black Operated Business Supporters) founder, David Crawford. This is mainly because Sweet Auburn refers to David’s historic hometown of Atlanta, Georgia. In Atlanta, there is a historically African American neighborhood known as The Sweet Auburn Historic District that has origins that go all the way back to the early 20th century. This Sweet Auburn district is 1.5 mile stretch of commercial businesses and social hubs that were created and ran the black community. Designated a National Historic Landmark in 1976, this district would serve as the inspiration for David’s vision of connecting black owned and operated businesses all over the country.

An Atlanta Race Riot in 1906 was beginning of what would eventually become the most vital “black business” area in the city of Atlanta. Before this race riot took place, most of the black owned and operated businesses operated mainly in downtown Atlanta, but competing white businesses only triggered a lot more fear and tension in the downtown Atlanta area. This tension led to the race riot of 1906 and resulted in many African Americans relocating to an area west of downtown Atlanta, on a street named Auburn Avenue.

From here, black owned and black operated businesses began to grow and spawn in that area. In fact, the city’s first black owned life insurance company, known as Atlanta Mutual, opened its doors on “Sweet” Auburn Avenue. From there, the area turned into a celebrated area of black businesses, black newspapers, black churches, and black nightclubs.

Unfortunately, like many inner-city neighborhoods in the United States, Sweet Auburn was claimed as another victim of bad investments, widespread crime, homelessness, and abandonment. Things were not looking good, until the year 2005 when the Historic District Development Corporation was created in order to turn this unfortunate trend around. Since 2005, the HDDC has been working on preserving and renovating the Auburn Avenue area, particularly the areas surrounding the birth home of civil rights legend, Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

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“The 501c3: What Exactly Does That Mean?”

(Author: Kyrus Keenan Westcott )   B.O.B.O.B.S. has recently announced that it has begun taking the steps toward applying for its 501c3. While some may know exactly what a 501c3 is, a majority of people are not aware of what it is, and how important and influential a form like this is.

Let’s keep it nice and simple: a 501c3 is pretty much a part of the tax code that the IRS supplies to non-profit organizations. This 501c3 take code will define a specific type of non-profit organization, because believe it or not, not all non-profit organizations are the same.

The 501 in the code stands for the tax exemptions for a particular organization, while the c3 will represent the fact that the organization that is applying is being organized and operated for educational, literary, public safety, scientific, chartable, or religious purposes. In addition to those purposes the c3 can also represent a national or international amateur sport league or it can represent a movement that will help prevent cruelty to an animal or a certain type of person.

In the latest studies, the 501c3 is actually the most popular tax exempt form that is filed with the IRS, counting for nearly 80% of non-profits being recognized as qualified charities under this designation. What sets this tax exemption apart is the fact that it is a very highly coveted tax code to have if you are a non-profit organization. These tax exempt organizations are more likely to give back to the community and support causes that most other organizations do not think twice about.

The primary purpose of these 501c3 organizations is to assist hospitals, schools, and educational services in poor or underprivileged areas around the United States. These organizations are a force for good in our country, and B.O.B.O.B.S is doing everything in their part to make sure that they can give back to the community as well.

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The B.O.B.O.B.Supporter Tips to Great Customer Service

The B.O.B.O.B.Supporter Tips to Great Customer Service(Author: Kyrus Keenan Westcott) Here at B.O.B.O.B.Supporter, we love to support black owned and black operated businesses that not only offer a great, quality product, but we also love to support businesses that offer great customer service as well. You see, offering a great product is beneficial, but people will always remember how you treat them while they are shopping in your establishment.

So for all of those black owned and black operated businesses out there are not exactly sure what exactly constitutes as great customer service, here are some healthy tips to achieve that goal.

Clear & Precise Explanations
A customer that is upset is usually a customer that is misinformed. For example, if you run a furniture company, your customers should get detailed explanation has to how your furniture delivery process works. You should never assume that the customer already knows how it works. If there is something you cannot do for a customer because of a company guideline or a rule, kindly explain to the customer why it cannot be done. Usually it is for their own safety and/or convenience.

Always Stay Calm and Have a Polite Demeanor
If a customer service representative does not sound or behave in a polite manner in person, through the Internet, or over the phone, or if they are simply just not nice to people in general, then they should look into finding another place of employment. The way that your customer service reps speak with your customers will directly affect the way the customer speaks to them in return. A quality customer service rep should never try to talk over a customer, nor should they raise their voice if the customer begins to get loud and upset. No matter who seems to win a shouting match between a customer and a staff member, the staff member should lose by default for being drawn into a shouting match.

Always Pay Close Attention
The worst thing you can do to a customer is not pay close attention to their needs. It is very important that you put away any and all distractions and listen to the customer as carefully as possible. Write down notes if you have to. A good business person does not need to ask the same question more than once.

Under-promise, Then Over-Deliver
This is an old adage but it will always ring true in the business world. A huge part of how a customer will view their overall experience with your business is based on the expectations that were set. A good business will always deliver on promises and then go above and beyond to impress. This technique will blow their mind every time.

Post Your Policies
This is particularly true if you run your business online or through a website. For example, if your product is non-returnable, then it is YOUR responsibility to make sure that the rule is posted clearly in a place where the customer can see it BEFORE the item is purchased.

Follow these tips and your business will always be exceeding expectations for the customer.

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