We had the good fortune of connecting with Cyntoni Miller and Saidou Diallo and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Cyntoni, Saidou, we’d love to hear more about how you thought about starting your own business?
Our thought process behind BOTJ was simple, how can we impact the lives of black people right now? We found that black people were not getting access to affordable career services and we decided to provide a solution.
What should our readers know about your business?
The most frequent questions we get asked as a black business who works exclusively with black people are: “How do you deal with your customer’s attitude? The black customers I do have are difficult” Our team grew this company together, and since we have an all-black staff, we concentrated on what was important to black people. Our business model is formed around communication, trust, and transparency. Doing this has limited negative reactions to once in a blue moon. We also don’t shame black people who can’t afford our services, instead, we offer free DIY ways. This is where trust comes in. If a customer is still unhappy we resolve their grievance WITHOUT blasting them. How do we live comfortably and charge below market value on services and pay a team? The very first thing our team did when we decided to start charging (we actually did our services for free for 8 months) was to decide what was our hourly rate, and how many hours per day did we want to work. So if a team member says my hourly rate is $100 an hour and she wants to make $300 a week…. We created passive streams of income such as courses and e-books to help alleviate the burden of one time services on our customers. This way the team member can still meet their hourly rate and our customers are not paying huge prices. When you create multiple streams of income, you are not focused on selling ONE service to pay ALL your bills… and in return pushing that HIGH dollar amount on customers. Currently, we have 22 streams of income, 3 companies, and working on 5 more for Q4.
Let’s say your best friend was visiting the area and you wanted to show them the best time ever. Where would you take them? Give us a little itinerary – say it was a week long trip, where would you eat, drink, visit, hang out, etc.
We love to hike! Our team takes trips throughout Arizona to find cool hiking trails.
Shoutout is all about shouting out others who you feel deserve additional recognition and exposure. Who would you like to shoutout?
The person who deserves credit for our mission is Laura Smith. When we first started Black On The Job, it was a free Facebook group. She jumped right in and asked can she help manage it with us. As the company has grown to what it is today, she has been there every step of the way, creating efficient processes and paving the way to the innovative ways we are able to service 70K black people globally.