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Category : Caribbean Entrepreneurs

Caribbean Entrepreneurs Entrepreneurship Featured

Should Caribbean Nationals Get Involved in Entrepreneurship?

On Thursday September 3rd, I had the pleasure of hosting the first blab discussion of the Caribbean Entrepreneurs Mastermind Group. We spoke about why Caribbean nationals should get involved in entrepreneurship and we had some solid advice worth millions from people like Monique Welch, Daniel Williams, Lovell Felix, Cemal Copeland, Dwayne Clement, Donald Thomas and Devon Wells. I want to share the experience with you as we had a really great time, talking about Entrepreneurship in the Caribbean. We will be hosting this show every Thursday at 10pm Eastern time.

Comment and share your thoughts below and you are welcomed to join us on the next Show on September 10th 2015.

 

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Caribbean Entrepreneurs Social Media

Get Brand Exposure and Build Credibility with a Twitter Chat

Social media platforms, particularly Twitter has been growing exponentially over the past months. Consequently, Twitter’s growth can provide entrepreneurs with a plethora of business advantages once used properly. Business owners can creatively utilize its services to grow their brand online by hosting twitter chat for free. A twitter chat is a live event where people attach a hashtag to their tweets to discuss a particular topic. The host of the chat poses questions using the hashtag, and a guest will then tweet out answers using the same hashtag. The people you invite to be part of the twitter chat can search for the discussion with the hashtag you selected and join the discussion by asking their own questions or answering previously asked questions.

Problems that may be faced when hosting a twitter chat are remembering to include the hashtag in every post and seeing all the posts with a particular hashtag in one place. Therefore, for those reasons, it is wise to use certain tools for assistance. To resolve some of the named issues tools such as Twub and Tchats, which automatically add your hashtag to every tweet so you do not have to remember, Tweetdeck, and Hootfeed from Hootsuite can be utilized. For the most effective usage, check each one out to determine which is best and easiest for you.

To fully maximize the marketing potential and increase brand awareness using twitter chats, you need to select a hashtag that is memorable, short, and unique. Twitter has a 140 character limit so ensure that the hashtag is not very long. Therefore, both you as the host and your guests need to be prepared for the level of interaction that will take place. Ensure that your guest is someone knowledgeable in a particular topic and able to provide enlightening but concise answers to different questions. To make the process more efficient, send your guests a list of possible questions that may be asked, allowing them the time to prepare short answers advance. Another area that should not be overlooked is the speed with which responses are generated. Consequently, both you and your guest need to be able to type quickly as a lot of questions can possibly come in based on the interest in a particular topic and the number of people on the chat.

On a twitter chat, whenever you respond to a particular question from a participant, you should start your response by mentioning the person’s name so everyone can see exactly who you are responding to. For instance, if you were direct a reply to me, you should start with @kimroncorion then continue with the intended message. Once you have planned your twitter chat, spread the word. Broadcast it via all your social media channels, share with people on your email list, ask your guests to share it with their communities and their followers, and ask their followers to share with their friends that may have an interest in the topic you will be discussing.

Once your twitter chat is finished, make a summary of all the questions that were posed and all the responses that were given then share them with your community so people can see everything. You can also add other information you find useful based in the questions asked. You should not make your twitter chat a one-time occurrence unless it is for a one-off event when continuity would not be necessary. Thus, select a time, whether weekly, biweekly, or monthly but make it continuous once the situation warrants such an approach.

 

 

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Business Start-Up Caribbean Entrepreneurs Entrepreneurship

5 Tips for Choosing the Right Domain Name for Your Small Business

One of the most important pieces of real estate that small online businesses can have is their website. While having social media profiles such as Facebook business pages or twitter handles for your business is smart, entrepreneurs do not own these sites. For instance, Facebook can remove a business’ page at any time of their choosing if they think it violates one of their policies. Therefore, for this reason, it is important that business owners create a website for their businesses. One of the most important aspects of a website is the domain name. Consequently, just as entrepreneurs are expected to take the time to carefully select a proper business name, they should do the same for their company’s domain name. The domain name is used for identification on the internet, so it should be easy to find and it should match the business it represents. Below are 5 tips that business owners should employ when deciding on a domain name.

 

  • Make the Domain Name Easy to Type– Using names that are easy to type is crucial because it increases the chance of being found easily online. Persons also should avoid using slangs or even words that have multiple spellings which may affect their ability to be found by customers.

 

  • Use Keywords in the Name– The use of keywords in the domain name will help with the search engine optimization (SEO) efforts that drives organic traffic to the site. Therefore, business owners should always include keywords that are associated with their business in their website’s title. For example, if an individual has a business that is focused on grooming dogs, the person’s domain name can be doggroomers.com. From the onset, such a name clearly indicates what the business is about.

 

 

  • Use the Proper Extension– Depending on the type of business, different domain extensions may have to be used. Whereas the typical domain is .com, there are a number of other domain extensions that can be used such as .org, .net, .info, .co .bi among others based on what the domain name and by extension the nature of the company.

 

domain name

choose the right domain name for your small business

 

  • Keep the Domain Short– When determining the best domain name, it is important that the name that is settled on is short and easy to spell because using lengthy, complicated names have a many disadvantages. Names that are long and difficult to spell increase the likelihood that persons will have trouble memorizing and spelling it which in turn will directly affect the traffic that the site will most likely receive.

 

 

  • Protect your Domain– Protecting a businesses’ domain name is quite important. To illustrate this concept, a real life example from a popular figure Sara Palin will be used. Unfortunately, she learned this lesson the hard way. She purchased the domain name sarahpalinchannel.com. However, Steven Colbert purchased thesarahpalinchannel.com where he makes a mockery of her because as the owner, he can basically do what he wants on the site. The lesson here is to buy different extensions of your name, misspelled versions of your name, and other versions of your name if necessary. Taking such an approach will help prevent competitors from purchasing and tainting the brand’s image. Plus, protecting the domain makes it easy for customers to find the business.

 

The domain name is an important part of a business, and to reemphasize, entrepreneurs should spend the necessary amount of time to ensure that they have a proper domain name that fulfills the criteria outlined above. Additionally, other useful tips about domain names can be obtained from sites like godaddy.com.

After choosing the right domain name, ensure you are not making these mistakes when naming your business

 

 

 

 

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Caribbean Entrepreneurs Entrepreneurship Featured

Entrepreneur vs Employee: Which do you choose?

I am an advocate for entrepreneurship and i have always encouraged people to start their own businesses and create their own opportunities. I realize however that not everyone is equipped to be an entrepreneur. The following is an infographic showing three differences between en Entrepreneur and an Employee.

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Caribbean Entrepreneurs Entrepreneurship IMPORTANT

Seize Opportunities Don’t Count Losses

Seize Opportunities
About three weeks ago, I was at JFK International Airport awaiting a flight to Toronto. Since I had some time to spare, I decided to look around. I went into a store, and I saw a lovely bracelet. If I were a cartoon at that particular moment, everyone in the store would have been blinded by the brightness of the lightbulb that went off above my head. I thought to myself, my wife would love this! Satisfied by my excellent choice, my movement appeared to mimic that of Will Smith in The Fresh Prince of Bel Air as I gleefully bounced with the bracelet to the store’s sales representative to the to make the purchase. She took the bracelet, looked at it, skimmed through a stack of papers then said to me, “I don’t know the price of this.” At that point, I knew exactly how the Wile E Coyote feels when one of his anvil traps for the Road Runner backfires and gets him instead because I was crushed. I was unsure how to respond, and with a confused look on my face I asked, “You don’t know the price?” She said, “No.” I then asked, “Okay, so what now?” Then I followed my question with, “I want to buy this bracelet.” She then apologized and mentioned that she was new and unsure about a lot of the prices of the items. I am sure everyone in the store heard the thud my jaw made as it hit the floor from utter shock. While scooping my chin from the cold surface, I thought to myself, if someone wants to buy $1000.00 worth of items, the store easily runs the risk of losing such a sale because of
an untrained and poorly equipped salesperson.
 
One of the few positives that came for the encounter was that it caused me to evaluate my life’s experiences. I wondered if I was ever unprepared to seize an opportunity when it when it became available. Moreover, opportunities present themselves in a multitude of ways on a daily basis. They may come in the form of job prospects, new contracts, and the chance to sell some more products just to name a few. Unfortunately, many opportunities are wasted because we are unprepared for them or untrained just like the sales representative I encountered in the store.
Therefore, you must always be ready to seize any opportunity that comes. Here are a few tips that should be followed to help in that regard:
 
·         Always be Prepared– Preparation is key. Being prepared allows you to be like a sharp shooter with your eyes peeled on the target and ready to pounce once opportunities present themselves.  Don’t be like the lady in the store. She was unprepared and unequipped which led to the loss of a sale, and it is safe to assume that if ten people came in after me seeking the same product, she would have left their money on the table as well. Take the international scouts motto as your lives’ directive and always “be prepared”.
 
 
success failure
 
 
·         Don’t Listen to Critics– When opportunities come along, all the critics come out to play. They may tell you why your vision is a bad one, why your idea won’t work, or why you shouldn’t take a class to improve your understanding to increase your chance of success.  Steve Jobs opined best when he says, “Your time is limited, so don’t waste it living someone else’s life. Don’t be trapped by dogma — which is living with the results of other people’s thinking. Don’t let the noise of others’ opinions drown out your own inner voice. And most important, have the courage to follow your heart and intuition. They somehow already know what you truly want to become. Everything else is secondary.” Consequently, use their negativity as the fuel to ignite and perpetuate your burning desire to succeed.
 
·         Believe in yourself– If you want to become a successful entrepreneur or land a huge contract, you can’t let fear and self-doubt hold you back. You need to have self-confidence. I am a firm believer in the notion that believing is half the battle won. Never let the fear of striking out keep you from playing the game. Additionally, even if you fail, don’t let doubt creep it in. Dust yourself off and try again. Use failure as an opportunity to learn because in many cases a lot more can be learned from failure rather than success.
      Wonders can happen when one is ready to seize opportunities as they come. Always believe in yourself, filter the voices of the critics, and be ready to exploit any chance that may become available at all times. You never know when a great opportunity may come along.
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Best Post Caribbean Entrepreneurs Entrepreneurship

9 Steve Jobs Quotes to Show How a Genius and Innovative Entrepreneur Thinks

When Steve Jobs died, the world lost one of the most innovative and  creative thinkers of all times. I have always admired Jobs and quotes that he left behind are testimony of how much of a Genius he was. Below is a list of 8 quotes that shows how this Genius really thinks and the kind of mindset entrepreneurs should have today.

Steve Jobs Quotes




1- When you’re a carpenter making a beautiful chest of drawers, you’re not going to use a piece of plywood on the back, even though it faces the wall and nobody will see it. You’ll know it’s there, so you’re going to use a beautiful piece of wood on the back. For you to sleep well at night, the aesthetic, the quality, has to be carried all the way through.

2- That’s been one of my mantras — focus and simplicity. Simple can be harder than complex. You have to work hard to get your thinking clean to make it simple. But it’s worth it in the end because once you get there, you can move mountains.
If you keep your eye on the profit, you’re going to skimp on the product. But if you focus on making really great products, then the profits will follow.

3- Your time is limited, so don’t waste it living someone else’s life. Don’t be trapped by dogma — which is living with the results of other people’s thinking. Don’t let the noise of others’ opinions drown out your own inner voice. And most important, have the courage to follow your heart and intuition. They somehow already know what you truly want to become. Everything else is secondary.

4- Deciding what not to do is as important as deciding what to do.

5- Creativity is just connecting things. When you ask creative people how they did something, they feel a little guilty because they ddidn’treally do it, they just saw something. It seemed obvious to them after a while.

Steve Jobs Quotes

6- Here’s to the crazy ones — the misfits, the rebels, the troublemakers, the round pegs in the square holes. The ones who see things differently — they’re not fond of rules. You can quote them, disagree with them, glorify or vilify them, but the only thing you can’t do is ignore them because they change things. They push the human race forward, and while some may see them as the crazy ones, we see genius, because the ones who are crazy enough to think that they can change the world, are the ones who do.

7- Being the richest man in the cemetery doesn’t matter to me … Going to bed at night saying we’ve done something wonderful … that’s what matters to me.
8- I’m as proud of many of the things we haven’t done as the things we have done. Innovation is saying no to a thousand things.

9- When you grow up you tend to get told that the world is the way it is and you’re life is just to live your life inside the world. Try not to bash into the walls too much. Try to have a nice family life, have fun, save a little money. That’s a very limited life. Life can be much broader once you discover one simple fact: Everything around you that you call life was made up by people that were no smarter than you. And you can change it, you can influence it… Once you learn that, you’ll never be the same again.
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Caribbean Entrepreneurs Entrepreneurship

How Often Should you Post on Social Media?

Are you using Social Media in your business and wondering how often you should be posting on different platforms? This infographic from Constant Contact will break it down for you by platforms

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Best Post Business Start-Up Caribbean Entrepreneurs Entrepreneurship

15 Financial Ratios for EVERY Start up Entrepreneur

As an entrepreneur sometimes you are required to be everything in your business especially when starting out. Financial management is always a challenge when working without an accountant. Ratio analysis is a tool that allow you to trend in your performance as well as compare how you are doing financially compared to others in your industry.
Here are 15 Financial Ratios that you can use to manage your business when starting up
Profitability Ratios
Gross Profit/Sales = Gross Profit Margin
Operating Profit/Sales = Operating Profit margin
Net Profit/ Sales = Net Profit Margin
Net profit/ Owner’s Equity = Return on Equity
Net Profit/Total Asset = Return on Assets
Liquidity Ratios
Current Assets/Current Liabilities = Current Ratio
(Current Asset- Inventory)/ Current Liabilities = Quick Ratio
Working Capital/Sales = Working Capital Ratio
Activity Ratios
(Account Receivables*365)/ Sales = Account Receivables Days
(Inventory*365)/Cost of Goods Sold = Inventory Days
(Accounts Payable*365)/Purchases = Account Payable Days
Sales/Total Asset = Sales to asset
Leverage Ratio
Total Liability/Owner’s Equity = Debt to Equity
Total Liabilities/Total Asset = Debt Ratio

(Net Income+depreciation)/Current Maturities of |Long Term Debt = Debt Coverage Ratio
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Business Start-Up Caribbean Entrepreneurs Entrepreneurship

How to Optimize Your Business Facebook Page for Success

Optimize Facebook Pages
Every business, especially small and medium size businesses should have a fully functional Facebook page. However having a page is not just a simple as it seems every Facebook Page needs to be optimized for success especially when looking to undergo serious Facebook Marketing.  The steps to optimizing your Facebook page are as follows:
·         Understand the difference between your Profile and your Page– Your profile is your personal space on Facebook where you add your friends and you can interact with them, you can only have 5000 friends. A Page on the other hand is where people can click like and become fans of your business and there are no limits to these, you must have a page to run Facebook ads, you can’t run ads on a Profile Page
·         Link your Facebook page and your Facebook Profile– In the about section of your Profile, you can select places you have worked. You can click edit your work and you’re able to add your work, in places, you select your Facebook Business page and enter your position. When someone goes on your page and they hover over your work, they can be taken to your Facebook Business page.
·         Have a Well-designed Cover Photo– Every business should have a cover photo and use your cover photo to tell others who you are and what you’re about.  You can show sample of your products or even promotions you are running at the time. The ideal specs for your cover photo should be 851*315 pixels. Your profile photo will cover a part of your cover photo, the lower left corner so this part needs to be kept clear to avoid covering any information.
·         Name your Page– This is important, your Page name should be your business name, not your personal name and this should tell your clients and potential clients who you are.
·         Enter information in about section– Your about section has different categories, and you need to full out these categories.  The about section is indexed by Google so you will want to use Keywords in here.  You can add certain links to different pages and websites you have in this about section as well. However you need to spend enough time and flesh out your about section.
·         Ensure your Private Messaging added– This will allow people to contact you, if you have messaging turned off, then go to settings and general, click messages edit and then click turn on. You need to ensure that you constantly check this section.
     Once you have your page optimized then you are ready to start generating traffic to it, also with a highly optimized page then you can now start engaging in Facebook Marketing.
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Best Post Caribbean Entrepreneurs Entrepreneurship

10 of the wickedest Online Tools all Caribbean Entrepreneurs need to be using now

Online Tools for Caribbean Entrepreneurs



In the information age it is becoming much easier for Caribbean Entrepreneurs to start and run businesses even though they never had a formal business education or are unable to finance certain specialized business courses. Below is a list of the 10 best online resources that Caribbean Entrepreneurs Should be using now.

  •   Fiverr.com- fiverr is a resource where Caribbean Entrepreneurs can get anything done for 5 dollars. One might think, since its 5 dollars the work would be of poor quality, and depending on what you want done it may be of poor quality. You wouldn’t try to get a quality website built for 5 dollars. However for gigs such as graphic designs, articles, videos, desktop publishing, if you need a virtual assistant among many other services. Every Caribbean Entrepreneur should be checking Fiverr now to get things done.

  •    Asana- Asana is a free project management tool. This tool allows teams to communicate without the use of email. How cool is that? This is ideal for businesses where the team members are not in the same location or in the same country.

  •   Google Hangout- Hangout allows you to have face to face conversation online, you can record an interview with someone for free and publish it as a video on YouTube. Every Caribbean Entrepreneur should be using Google Hangouts and if you’re not download it immediately.

  •  Wix.com- as a Caribbean Entrepreneur in 2014, you must have a website, if you do not have a website or you can’t afford to pay to build one then Wix is for you. Wix is a platform where you can create free stunning websites to give your business a home online and a professional touch.

  •  Survey Monkey- Survey monkey makes it very easy for Caribbean Entrepreneurs to conduct market research. If you have a product idea and not sure whether it will resonate with your target audience, well create a survey on Survey Monkey and get people to give their feedback. This is one of the most efficient ways to get feedback from your customers and it’s free.

  •   Canva.com- Canva allows you to create remarkable visual graphics for your website or business social media pages free of cost. No design skills is needed, canva is easy to use and you can create top quality visual contents that can generate a buzz online for your business.

  •  Jing- This is an app from Techsmith, jus type Jing in the Google search engine and you will see it. Jing is awesome; it allows you to capture any part of a screen and save it as a picture. It also allows you to create videos that you can share online and the best part is Jing is free.

  •  MailChimp- Email marketing is alive and well and lots of Entrepreneurs in the US and Canada are having lots of success with email marketing. Caribbean Entrepreneurs should not be left behind, Mail Chimp is one of the simplest ways to manage your email marketing effort and it allows you to have up to 2000 email subscribers for free.

  • Evernote- Evernote allows you to manage your life and your business in an efficient manner. It allows you to capture data whether on your mobile device, computer or tablets and help you remember projects you’re working on in your business.

  •   Blogger.com /Wordpress- These two resources will allow you to build a blog for your business for free. Blogging is one of the ways that businesses are currently making their mark online. Caribbean Entrepreneurs should not be left behind with this. Create a blog and share valuable resources to your readers, you will benefit tremendously.

Do you know of any other online tools that Caribbean Entrepreneurs should be using right now?

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