‘Small shops big busi­nesses’ – help­ing ru­ral en­trepreneurs ex­pand

Jamaica Gleaner - - SCIENTIFIC RESEARCH COUNCIL - Ta­mara Bai­ley Gleaner Writer

MAN­DEV­ILLE, Manch­ester: THE NUM­BER of in­di­vid­u­als who wake up daily with the idea of es­tab­lish­ing a busi­ness is prob­a­bly too many to men­tion, but the num­ber of busi­nesses that are ac­tu­ally estab­lished and sus­tained can be eas­ily counted.

But why is this so? Is it that there is not enough cap­i­tal? Are the mar­ket­ing strate­gies in­ad­e­quate, or is it that per­sons are way in over their heads?

It could be one of or sev­eral other mit­i­gat­ing fac­tors that con­trib­ute to a busi­ness’ fail­ure, but busi­ness de­vel­oper An­nette Salmon is say­ing that con­sis­tent suc­cess can be ex­pe­ri­enced by all busi­nesses.

In a re­cent fo­rum, put on by a team of ex­perts in the field, themed, ‘Small Shops Big Busi­nesses’, busi­ness own­ers from the cen­tral re­gion and the western re­gion were en­gaged and pro­vided with the req­ui­site in­for­ma­tion to take their goods and ser­vices to the next level.

IG­NO­RANT

En­trepreneurs from the ru­ral ar­eas are some­times ig­no­rant as to all that is needed for a suc­cess­ful busi­ness and can­not af­ford a course that of­fers in­sight into busi­ness devel­op­ment, hence the col­lab­o­ra­tive ef­fort to host such a fo­rum.

“This fo­rum is re­ally to show small busi­nesses that be­fore the funds are avail­able, you need to un­der­stand what needs to be done ... these small peo­ple re­ally don’t get this kind of train­ing un­less they’re willing to pay some se­ri­ous money, and they can’t af­ford that,” said Salmon.

The fo­rum cov­ered top­ics in­clud­ing, but not limited, to sales, sales pitches, mar­ket­ing, fi­nance and plan­ning, and busi­ness man­age­ment.

“... The chal­lenges that mi­cro and small busi­nesses face are so sim­i­lar...they’ll get a loan, and in no time, the loan is used up and the busi­ness has not im­proved. They don’t know what to do with it. The fi­nance com­pa­nies push them to get a loan, but even be­fore they get the loan, they need to un­der­stand what they need to do, who their clients are that need ser­vic­ing, how they’re go­ing to sell, how they’re go­ing to mar­ket and pro­ject them­selves,” Salmon fur­ther stated.

Busi­ness owner of Lesa’s Home Im­prove­ment & Dress­mak­ing Lesa Collins told Ru­ral Xpress that the fo­rum would pro­vide the in­sight needed to ex­pand her 19-year-old busi­ness.

“This func­tion is re­ally to help me get into the big­ger sale mar­ket. I need to move from just do­ing it for homes to ho­tels and cor­po­rate ar­eas. Next five years, I see my­self with a fac­tory and sev­eral em­ploy­ees.”

Melissa Thomas of Saints Elec­tronic Se­cu­rity, though with a much younger busi­ness, echoed the sen­ti­ments shared about the value-added ca­pac­ity train­ing nec­es­sary for the growth of her busi­ness.

“We sup­ply, ser­vice, and in­stall all se­cu­rity sys­tems ... at first we were just do­ing it as a side job, but now we have for­malised the busi­ness, and we want to take it to the next level, and this fo­rum will do that for us. We want to fur­ther es­tab­lish our brand, be­come recog­nised, and be a one-stop shop for our clients. Cur­rently, we have two ma­jor com­peti­tors and I fore­see us sur­pass­ing them in the fu­ture,” said Thomas.

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