March 18, 2010

Edward Harris At Large!


The major economies of the world are definitely showing signs that the decline has been arrested. Work from Home Businesses will expand globally, and in St. Lucia we have already begun to see tangible evidence in this area. Many persons who thought it was necessary to have an office to effectively perform their services have made adjustments in their homes and are now operating from home. Today, most service providers are home based.

It will be necessary for Government to give some incentives to this sub-sector as it holds great promise for the future. Build your business from home and step out on a solid foundation. Home based business persons in the services sector should be given Tax Waivers on certain expenses such as a portion of rent for offices space within the home and on profits at least for a period of five years. When a young entrepreneur steps out into business and is saddled with office rent and other operational cost like utilities, staff, etc., it could be an uphill task regardless of the great prospects presented in the business plan.

This Home Business sub-sector needs special assistance. The MLM industry could be expanded in St. Lucia but customs levies make it impossible for such businesses to be sustainable. As a result, many good product offerings had to be discontinued due to high cost. It is important to note that many excellent products are distributed through the Network Marketing system. It allows products to fast track their entry into the market bypassing the FDA requirements, especially herbal products.

Call Centres have great potential for job creation. Generally, this is true for most areas of ICT and while in the case of Call Centres, set up costs for the operations could be costly at this time, I have a feeling that call centres as we know them today will be a thing of the past as we witness advancement in technology. The industry will develop a strong home based business approach and will allow qualified persons to undertake work/contracts, regardless of geographical location from the comfort of their homes.

There is need for an agency to initiate a survey/audit of Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (MSMEs). The Small Business Association (SLISBA) called for a survey/audit of small businesses so that the needs of the sector could be identified and programmes implemented to realize the full potential of the sector. The current reality necessitates that home based businesses should be included in the project.

There must be a deliberate attempt by Government to ensure that the MSMEs get the necessary support to ensure that they deliver at their optimum level thus opening up jobs and achieving momentum in the economy. MSMEs will help to take the pressure off the Government to provide jobs and put idle hands to work. The approach must be to identify enterprises that can produce the most opportunities for entrepreneurs who will in turn open up employment opportunities. In the process appropriate training must run parallel to the identification of growth areas in industry.

There are many persons in our midst who feel helpless and some have even convinced themselves that they will never get the opportunity to realize their dreams. These persons need to be energized and given a real basis for building their hope so that they can be successful. Persons interested in looking at the role of small businesses in development in the USA can Google Search for documented evidence that will clearly show the benefits to be derived from a dynamic small business sector. Other related information can be sourced at and These are two valuable websites for sourcing small business information on line.

The time has come to initiate a programme that will point to opportunities for investment into new products and services. This seems like a business in itself. There are many current businesses that with some creativity can be repackaged to yield their full potential. Take a hard look and see what can be done in your community to make a difference in the economic fortunes.

Home based businesses will prosper and expand in the years ahead. The opportunities are unlimited and because of the internet and advances in telecommunication technology, the entry cost of many industries/services have been substantially reduced.

Think positive, Keep the Faith, God is in Charge; expect Daily Miracles!

Edward Harris
Biblicist, Freelance Journalist, Realtor, Business & PR Consultant
Websites: St. Lucia – Agent ECREDMC

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