July 1, 2010

Edward Harris At Large!


Sometimes I wonder what it is about money that brought the world to the state that it is in today. How it is distributed and what is the method of attracting this illusive thing called MONEY? While some are catching hell, others are enjoying the good life. With few exceptions, old assets – fixed and liquid are in most cases, the key to present day wealth. We have seen in recent times, expansion by new entrants into the field of entrepreneurship have suffered severe set backs in their cash flow position as a result of reduced sales. The threat of closure of many businesses will become reality if the situation doesn’t improve within the next year. The private sector is under pressure. Relief has to come from somewhere and very soon.

The most vulnerable businesses should be provided with stimulus packages. The brightest and the best in the field of Entrepreneurship must be called out into action. Their knowledge must be put into action. It is MOTIVATION TIME. Like the location of most businesses providing tangible products is key where the term – LOCATION, LOCATION, LOCATION must be taken seriously to ensure the chances of success.

It is important to identify new industries and new markets to place the efforts of our business class. Too many business persons are holding on to dying businesses and not recognizing it is time to let go. Manufacturers may have to switch to distribution of the products they now produce so as to take advantage of their customer base. Manufacturers should be seeking out alliances with the best sources for their product range. Move to the next level and position themselves to leverage their current brand to produce private label products. There is also the possibility of satellite plants or Joint Venture with already established business. It is time for New Thinking. At one time there were some buzz words like transition, paradigm shift, economic diversification, think tank, etc. but now these are seldom heard. It is time for NEW THINKING!

How do we attract wealth into our beloved country? We need to expand beyond tourism and put New Thinking into action. Knowledge is power but only when put into action. I keep drawing attention to the Coalition of Services Industries Inc. which has the best opportunity to bring creative minds together. Unfortunately, I sense a lack of sharing of ideas. We are still very much an individualistic society. We are always fearful of the other person taking our ideas, so many of us will rather keep our ideas to ourselves because we don’t have the vital ingredient of MONEY to implement them. There is always the desire to put together a system of Bulk Buying but it never worked because effective raw material sourcing could be a major contributing factor to maintaining a competitive edge. This self interest could be wrongly applied and a little thought could save an industry sometimes. There are local companies that are willing to manufacture private labels for companies. Entrepreneurs from other countries are taking advantage of this option but local business persons are hesitant to do so. It all boils down to the one word – TRUST! Why go into all the problems of staffing, sourcing, equipment maintenance and all that goes with manufacturing when you can simply acquire a private label from an already established company.

Many business persons want to take all, so they want to manufacture, they want to market, they want to sell and do the accounting for the sales. There is room for marketing companies to create their own brands. You own the Brand, you own the product.

I am overwhelmed with information reaching my desk in all areas of business and I am amazed at how much is happening in our world today and we simply stand by and watch. Congratulations to those persons whose brilliant ideas have worked but do you stop there? Does your source of information no longer produce ideas or opportunities that could be used by someone else to create a business? The power of individuals coming together to create wealth is the missing link in our quest to achieve success. There is need for Think Tanks dedicated to New Thinking to be established so that we can begin to see new businesses/services development that will create a momentum of excellence based upon sharing of ideas.

Private sector organizations should be the catalyst in bringing our brightest and best minds to the fore. We must continue on the path of recognition of our outstanding entrepreneurs – Who’s Who in Business, the Chamber of Commerce Awards, etc. This recognition should unite the leaders and expand the base that others may join the ranks. Where is the collective interest? Though not visible, I hope it exists? How many business persons sought to find out how they can be of assistance to the Management of CIE as they grapple with the issue of closure of one of their operations? Entrepreneurs are in a battle for survival and it is only in sharing that lessons will be learnt from important experiences. How does a business person prevent such a situation? This is an opportunity for the DCA to dialogue with the private sector in general and the construction sector in particular.

Members of the Realtors Association (Saint Lucia) Inc. at their Monthly Networking Meeting held at the Bay Gardens Hotel on Wednesday, 30th June, 2010 were addressed by Andre Mathurin, Head of the Department of Property Tax. It was a learning experience for Realtors who now better understand the role and functions of the department.

This is a time for Knowledge Sharing! The better equipped our professionals are, the better they will perform. Congratulations to Mr. Simon Octave – Sales Director/ Realtor – Doubloon Real Estate Ltd. on his successful showing on HGTV House Hunter programme.

Continue to enjoy Carnival!

Keep the Faith, God is in Charge, Dream Big and expect Daily Miracles!

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

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