Caribbean people are natural entrepreneurs and most have personal experience or family connections to someone doing business. Those who migrate away from the region, always wonder in the back of their minds, how to succeed in business and make it BIG! If you can’t act, like Kerry Washington (Jamaican mom), or sing, like Rihanna (Bajan born), starting your own business is a natural step. Unfortunately the business failure rate is high because most entrepreneurs lack the expertise to carve out a profitable niche for themselves. This is especially true in developed markets where the rules are complex and the competition stiff. So, to help you understand some of the issues, let’s look at what I call the “6 P’s of Business Success” (Product, Place, Plan, Processes, People and Principles).
The obvious starting point is having something worthwhile to sell. What makes a “good” product and how to price it properly, would be a long discussion. Suffice it to say that consumers want quality, value for money and great service or they will shop elsewhere. If you already have a product in mind, ask yourself these questions: Exactly who wants this product? Why? How much are they prepared to pay for it?
The term “place” is not just about physical location, but more importantly, your strategy for connecting with your customers. You can have a great product, but if your customers can’t find you, then you have nothing. Your ideal place may be a physical location where you do business, a virtual presence selling items online, or both. The key is to understand your customers’ needs and work out a strategy to reach them (or them reach you) in a convenient and cost effective way.
The combination of your particular product and your chosen place (distribution channel) create your niche, which is the key to the formula of how to succeed in business. In future articles I will talk more about these two and offer insights into the other 4 P’s.