BOOK REVIEW – Winning Strategies for Micro, Small & Medium Enterprises!

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For Micro, Small & Medium Enterprises by Edward A. Harris
A Review by Modeste Downes

Although Edward Harris has no scruples about revealing his age—which for purposes of this review is of little consequence—the contents of this specialized volume (94 pages) has achieved a lot more than to convince this writer that the author is suitably qualified to write on the subject and to urge his readers to accept the advice he so magnanimously shares to all and sundry. To remove any doubt as to the strength of this statement, one simply has to browse the man’s data provided toward the latter part of the book (Ch. 18).
Although he has written extensively in the local press over a long period, how many know, for example, Edward Harris has provided consultancy service to the garment industry, on assignment, to Saint Lucia, Jamaica, Guyana and as far afield as Sierra Leone, West Africa? (pp. 82-85) Besides the country of his birth, Guyana, Ed has lived and worked in Barbados, Dominica, Grenada, Jamaica, Sierra Leone, Tanzania and, of course Saint Lucia, his adopted home for more than three decades. On the basis of such information, I am prepared to say upfront that I endorse unreservedly Harris’ claim, at pg. 80, “I feel eminently qualified to use the designation QBE”, to say, he is qualified by experience. Which is not to say the writer is not otherwise schooled and educated.
Winning Strategies is a one-stop shop to understanding, setting up and developing a business, and to do the right things and develop the right attitudes to make a success out of it. ‘Dedicated to students, employees, and business practitioners’, the book seeks to guide and influence those learning about business and trade in a formal setting, enthusiasts desirous of venturing into business, as much as it offers advice to the established entrepreneur who may be in need of a paradigm shift.
Set out in short chapters and written in clear, easy-to-digest English, Winning Strategies maps strategies and techniques, from the birth of the idea, to determining what type of business/structure—sole proprietorship, joint venture or partnership, etc.—to preparing a business plan, where to locate, securing finance, to staffing, marketing, etc.
Finance being a major ingredient for initiating a business venture, the writer, no doubt based on his own experience and observation and knowledge of the sector, urges business enthusiasts to seek and secure all the advice they can get from professionals before approaching a bank or other prospective financier, if that is a necessary step to move forward. This is in tune with a statement I heard recently on the evening news, by a trainer at a small business workshop: “Small business persons (often) have difficulty accessing finance because they do not meet the standard requirements…”
Curiously, the author does not limit his advice to physical or financial or infrastructural wherewithal for establishing a business or service, or for the marketing of a product. For instance, there is the issue of ‘the mindset’—“which is based upon information and education about the implications of business and a passion to succeed.” Emphasizing the need for discipline, passion to succeed, the writer speaks of ‘ethical greed’—the desire to achieve more without offending others (which I suspect refers to customers as well as one’s competitors). (Ch. 2)
Chapter 13 offers a wide range of useful tips for success (pp.64-66) followed by The 4 P’s of Marketing (Ch. 14): Product, Place, Price, Promotion, all essential ingredients to success in business.
Additionally, Winning Strategies, instructively, speaks to a whole lot more than the attainment of personal goals and success in business. The book offers sound advice for life. For instance, the exhortation to approach life with the right attitude or mindset, translates to “Be right with your mind and you will be right with the world.” (pg. 13) Harris stresses further, that it should never be about business for self, the bottom line. Social responsibility, consideration for the needs of the community where the business or the entrepreneur operates, is part of the ethics of business, thus we often hear the expression ‘giving back’ when the business community makes donations, etc.
The twenty-two chapters that constitute Winning Strategies for Micro, Small & Medium Enterprises, is an ample manual for whoever is interested in acquiring an understanding of the sector, the rudiments of business or entrepreneurship, or is keen to reshape their already established business for profitability and a more fulfilling experience.
Edward Harris is a deeply religious person. His writing and the advice he offers is strictly professional. Yet he manages to squeeze in a line on faith, as he ends a section and extols the virtues of Multi Level Marketing (MLM): “Remember always to keep the faith, God is in charge, dream big and expect daily miracles!” (Ch. 15)
Understanding the role of information technology (IT), the Internet and social media in the environment in which businesses thrive, flounder or crash depending on whether or not the free and timely access to information is used as an effective tool, Harris provides an entire section, (Ch. 20) with links to relevant websites.
With Harris’ credentials and wide ranging experience (QBE) in Business and PR Consulting, Real Estate, Networking, Freelance Journalism, Motivational Speaking and Private Sector Advocacy (pg. 81), I stake my own integrity on the assurance that the advice contained in Winning Strategies is authoritative and will serve the author’s intended target most beneficially.

(Modeste Downes is an award-winning author/poet, proofreader, book reviewer, freelance newspaper commentator. Email:

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