“According to December 2012 projections by the U.S. Census Bureau, minorities, now 37% of the population, are projected to comprise 57% of the population by 2060.” These figures also include LGBT’s (lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender) and adults with disabilities.
Our target market is no longer static. Our nation and our population is changing and as business owners we have to adapt to these changes and plan accordingly. These minorities are not all poor and some segments have a higher income than the average American household.
English, unfortunately, is not the only language spoken in the United States. Many places of business that you dial, banks, retail stores, etc.) now give you an option of English or Spanish. A fast growing business that I had as a client is one of translating the different languages so people in the United States can better communicate with each other. This one company has access to over 400 different languages. Hospitals, doctors, attorneys, courts, etc. all need translation services.
Some of the grade schools in my area are offering Spanish in the first grade and others have added Chinese as an optional language in the early grades. As you take another look at your target market, you will find that minorities are part of that market. You may have to change your management procedures to encompass these minorities. That may include hiring people who speak several languages.
A recent article I read stated that businesses that attempt to learn their clients’ native languages have a definite advantage. Customers love the fact that someone is actually trying to make the effort to communicate with them in their language.
As our nation transitions to a Multicultural Nation we, as business owners, have to change our mind set. One major issue is that of trust; it takes time to develop relationship and to build trust with these new prospects. They come from different cultures and as they are assimilated in this new multicultural system they will add some of their own business traditions.
This is going to be a new experience for all of us. I believe that no matter to whom you are selling to, you have to speak from the heart. All people know when someone is being truthful and sincere in their dealings.
My suggestions is to keep an open mind and heart and work to make your business a welcoming business through your marketing and management efforts.
To connect with people, be yourself, at your best. Charlie Wetzel