Let’s Grow Your Business in a Depressed Caribbean Economy…
Written by: mupesa
Business owners and entrepreneurs around the world will agree that starting and maintaining a successful business growth process will face a lot of obstacles. The failure rates for small businesses are incredible and depressing to think about, to say the least, but the West Indian entrepreneurial spirit continues to drum up ideas and start businesses in the face of discouraging odds.
Lets take a look at some steps, which can give you the best chance on How to grow your business in a depressed economy, especially for those in the Caribbean. In fact these principles all can apply across the globe as well.
Validate your idea, product, or service…over and over
Have you ever thought that you had a really great idea, but everyone else had little or no interest in what you had to say? This is a common occurrence and is a great indication as to how your idea can be received by the public. You should always cast your idea in front of a small number of trusted individuals and ask for honest feedback. Think about it, large companies are always doing some sort of survey, or research and development. This tends to lead to them creating a modified product out of an existing service or idea. So we can apply this to our very own small business…
For example, sugar cane used to be a great idea on a large scale back in the early plantation days, 18th and 19th century. However, as we take a look at the rate of export and production today, our markets may be unable to fully support export to the EU, but it is able to supply the rest of the Caribbean. At the 167th Meeting in November held in Belize, they concluded the following.
“The four regional producers have the capability to supply the full market requirements and we plan to increase our outreach efforts to all stakeholders who use sugar to make the case for the application of the CET and to discuss with them how best to do so for the benefit of both producers and users,” said SAC Chairman, Karl James.
Build A Website
Does it seem strange that building a website would make it into the first five steps for starting a successful business Growth? A few years ago, a website was only an afterthought from the marketing department in order to help the company develop a presence online. Today, your website can and should be used for so much more. Because of the centralized role that a company’s web presence now plays, the website should be developed first, before the company opens its doors. In fact, this is just one piece of artillery in the Social Media space.
There are a significant amount of businesses within the Caribbean who still operate offline. Operating in this capacity only is a handicap, and therefore any business without a web-presence is likely to experience very little to no growth. Furthermore, there are significant amounts of places available that are very affordable even in a depressed economy.
Along with this website presence, should be some form of digital marketing, as it makes no sense just having an online presence and not capitalising on the 7 – 8 billion online shoppers.
Develop Company Procedures and Build Systems
Good systems and procedures are the lifeblood of any successful business. If strong, well thought out systems and procedures are not in place, before your company starts to grow, you may find yourself backpedaling or barely keeping your head above water. Think about it…This condition may cause your good idea to go down the toilet unnecessarily. Instead, plan and implement good systems and procedures before you start taking on clients. Of course, these systems must evolve as well over time.
Overcome Adversity and Persist
Perhaps at the end of the day, this is the most important step.
There will no doubt be bumps in the road. You probably think that hardships only occur in your life and in your business. That could not be farther from the truth. Roadblocks will crop up no matter what path you choose. As a business owner, you may encounter more challenges than the average person, especially in this Caribbean economy. To overcome and be persistent in the face of extreme disappointment or challenges is what distinguishes success from failure. It also makes for an exciting story as well as an example to those others looking to do the same thing.
If you know you have a good idea, and others feel the same way, you have crunched the numbers, built a website and business model, and developed solid systems and procedures, then you need to have faith in your idea and be persistent. This quality is one of the most visible attributes found in successful business owners.