Doing Business In St. Lucia
By Edward A. Harris
Welcome to doing business in St. Lucia!
We are at our 3rd article on Doing Business in St. Lucia. Many of you have sorted through information on the country and its people provided by the websites. You know a bit about buying real estate and the deals that are available in the industry in St. Lucia.
On this occasion we will move away from large investment such as real estate, which could be a major decision for many families. Residing in a first world country exposes you to many products and services that sometimes take years to reach countries in the Caribbean and other developing states.
The history of most Caribbean people in commerce began with a community shop and later speculators came on board with suitcases, which heralded the boutique business. Trading has been a way of life for as long as our fore parents were freed from slavery. Many of us know of the barrel trade, yet another way of a commercial venture for many if we look beyond the barrels at Christmas and at intervals when relatives send clothing and other items for consumption within the home. An understanding of the foregoing can set the stage for a micro/small but lucrative business which can be done with relatives, friends or complete strangers at home in the Caribbean.
As you are aware the Cricket World Cup (CWC) comes to the Caribbean in 2007. This is the time when would be small businesspersons need to establish relationships that can be strengthened in time to reap real benefits in 2007 and beyond. The Caribbean will never be the same again after Cricket World Cup 2007. This is not only related to those countries that have been awarded matches but other countries will get the spin off as once the tourists get into the area, the natural thing to do is to explore the neighbouring countries.
After reading this article, I would like to envisage that your entrepreneurial spirit will come alive and right where you are, you will see many opportunities that hitherto although always there, never existed. As you walk the streets, begin to observe the several business signs, make a note of the ones that are not the ordinary type of operation and investigate what’s happening inside. As you go shopping check the new products if they have potentials to be successfully sold in the Caribbean. Look out for services, what’s new in technology. If until now you didn’t have a real reason for developing an eye for business opportunities, I do hope that by the time you are through reading this article I would have provided you with such an opportunity.
I am one who has always maintained that while money could be a vital ingredient in business start-up, there are many instances where persons have gotten into business without money. Do you remember this quote “Whatever the mind can conceive and believe, that can be achieved” – Napoleon Hill. I recommend that you get a copy of his book – Think and grow rich. The process is a simple one, Visualise, Conceptualise and Actualise. Develop a Mastermind Group, share your ideas with trusted friends and put them to work on your project. If it can happen, it will. All you need to do is to maintain the right frame of mind. Dream Big. Let me hasten to say that business is not for everyone but for many of us, we are destined to be businesspersons, all that is needed is to awaken the giant in us. The key to getting involved in a business venture regardless whether it is micro or large scale is to keep the objective focused in your mind and the spark will come forward when the opportunity presents itself.
Make a decision whether you will start up a formal home based business with the assistance of the Small Business Administration or you will take the step without understanding the rules of the game. A few years ago I met with a Director of an SBA division in NY and he informed me that they would arrange substantial export credit guarantee for a small businessperson who is engaged in the export business. What is interesting is that there are also training programmes to bring you up to speed. If you have a burning desire to succeed as an Entrepreneur you will do it right from the start. This doesn’t mean you can’t be making deals as you go along from day one.
Here are a few opportunities to look our for:
The areas of involvement are unlimited. Entrepreneurs in the Caribbean are looking for new ideas, new products, and new services. The best way to find emerging products and services are at trade and franchise shows. Develop a new past time, visit trade shows and get a glimpse of the many opportunities. Do it right get a few hundred well designed Business Cards before embarking on visiting your first trade show and be liberal with their distribution. Check out the Jacob Javit’s Trade Centre in New York for their trade shows schedule.
I am prepared to be your coach and introduce you to my network of associates. With the help of technology, we can begin immediately after you put down this newspaper. Send me an email and if I get 10 responses from interested persons, I will establish a Yahoo Group and we will proceed on the journey of establishing the Caribbean Business Network Group that can make a difference in how we spend our spare time. It can be great to involve the family so that they can justifiably share in the financial rewards. Let us do it together. I will immediately open up my real estate portfolio for your participation. No financial investment on your part. Become an Independent Real Estate Referral Agent and earn up to 25% of the Broker’s Commission for referring clients for properties or hotel reservations.
St. Lucia is on the move, check out what’s happening in NY this month. It is a combination of business and pleasure St. Lucian style.
St. Lucia Expo – New York will be held on Sunday, 22/8/04 at Africa House. There are a number of activities billed for the weekend. Visit www.thenewstlucian.com for details.
The Global Conference on St. Lucia will be held on 27-29/8/04 at the Marriott, NY. Check details at www.slucon.com
The next article will report on St. Lucia’s response to the CSME.