Business

How to Make Social Media Work for Your Business

We can, no doubt, all agree that technology is an important tool, and through it, one is able to capture the attention of their target audience.

According to Internet World Stats, as of June 30th, 2016 the penetration rate of internet access in the Caribbean is 43.7% and 66.5% in St. Lucia. Moreover, Facebook alone has a user base of 10,972,840 in the Caribbean. More specifically, a large 88,000 of St. Lucia’s population actively uses Facebook. For an entrepreneur seeking to break through the digital world with their business, this is both a promising prospect and a challenge.

It is prudent for small businesses to have an extraordinary display, distinguished presence and unlimited but carefully crafted promotion on social media. Continue reading

How to Use Instagram to Boost Your Brand and Drive Sales

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Social media has become one of the most powerful communication platforms, popular with both everyday people and many of the great leaders of our time.

But what about the entrepreneur trying to launch or grow their business? With over 20 popular social media sites available to users, trying to choose the right one to launch your digital marketing campaign could seem a bit overwhelming. Fortunately, we can provide you with some insight into what is perhaps the most effective of these sites – Instagram – and how you can use it to your advantage.

Hosting over 500 million active users scrolling through countless feeds, no matter what kind of goods or service your business offers, you can find your target audience on Instagram. The following tips should get you off to a good start. Continue reading

Aiming to Revolutionize Freight Delivery to St. Lucia

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In Saint Lucia shopping online has become more popular than ever as more people browse the internet on tablets, smartphones and desktop devices with the hope of finding better deals and bargains.

Many of them are now discovering that they can do so a lot easier and more affordably, and with less hassle thanks to West Tech Shipping, a locally owned freight forwarding company that is set to become a major player in Saint Lucia’s shipping and freight forwarding market.

First established in January 2015, West Tech Shipping has two offices conveniently located in Castries and Rodney Bay, as well as an office in Florida. The company is owned and run by Rashid Jean-Baptiste. West Tech provides freight forwarding services from the USA to Saint Lucia. It coordinates shipping for consumers as well as businesses and does everything from finding the right combination of trains, planes and trucks for a speedy delivery from the U.S. to Saint Lucia, to pushing shipments through customs. They also deliver packages to customers at their doorstep or workplace in the north, from Castries to Gros Islet. West Tech Shipping also provides a package consolidation service whereby several smaller shipments are assembled and shipped together to avail of better freight rates and security of cargo. Continue reading

How to Improve Your Chances of Getting a Bank Loan

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Ever since the global financial crisis in 2008, banks and other financial institutions have become more stringent with their lending policies and practices.

They began to reduce their lending as a result of the harsh economic conditions, rising unemployment and a lack of foreign direct  investments.  These developments forced the financial institutions to revisit their credit risk policies in an effort to safeguard the funds of shareholders,  depositors  and  other stakeholders.

Contrary to popular belief, if a bank declines your request for a loan, it would be incorrect to say that they are not lending you THEIR money. Rather, they are not lending you OUR money.

Many people believe that a good paying job, a steady stream of income and no credit history will automatically qualify them for a loan. However, this is not the case. Many institutions use different instruments to determine whether you fit the criteria for a loan. The most widely used tool is called ‘The Five Cs of Credit.’ These five factors are used to determine the credit worthiness of potential borrowers and the likelihood of them defaulting on their loans. Let us explore those five Cs, namely Character, Capacity, Capital, Collateral and Conditions. Continue reading

Use TripAdvisor to Boost Your Hotel and Travel-related Business

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TripAdvisor is the world’s largest travel website, providing reviews of hotels, restaurants, attractions and other travel-related content.

It also has interactive travel forums. It reportedly has more than 60 million members who have generated over 200 million reviews.

Why use TripAdvisor?

With travellers’ increasing reliance on peer reviews to help them make informed decisions, TripAdvisor is the first website that springs to mind for holidaymakers wishing to get additional information about a particular destination, hotel/inn, restaurant or island tour they wish to experience.

Globally, travel review websites are the go-to travel resource for the majority of vacationers and business travellers and they are used by an estimated 69 percent of consumers. Next comes online travel agencies, which are popular with 57 percent of travellers, followed by tour operator sites used by 56 percent of general travellers and by 43 percent of families and friends. Magazines and brochures are the primary source of information for 30 percent of holidaymakers while 24 percent of them use social media. This means the best way to market your business to prospective vacationers and tourists is through  TripAdvisor. Continue reading

How to Start a Side Business and Earn Extra Cash

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In recent times it has become increasingly difficult to not only find gainful employment but to also make ends meet. The cost of living has risen to an alarming rate and many people are finding it hard to satisfy even their basic needs. As a result, they are now searching for new and innovative ways to provide for themselves and their families. Setting up a side business is an ideal way to do so.

A side business is any venture that provides someone with extra cash but does not serve as their main source of income. Many people who start side businesses do so while working a fulltime job. Becoming a successful entrepreneur requires time, dedication and persistence. There are a number of steps that must be taken now that you have decided to become an entrepreneur. Continue reading

Make More and Save with Online Marketing

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Marketing and advertising techniques have evolved  tremendously  over the past five years.  We’ve seen more businesses moving away from traditional forms of media (billboards, radio/TV/ newspaper ads, flyers) and they are gravitating to digital media (online advertising, Google ads, social media) to get their messages out to consumers.

The challenge most businesses face is understanding digital marketing and how to take full advantage of the new technologies since they’re more used to traditional forms of media, and are often resistant to change.

Nowadays, consumers are gravitating towards online media to obtain information, whether it be for research, education, entertainment or news. The internet is where they are gathering and businesses should always be where consumers congregate.

Consumers are watching television and listening to radio less. Due to the introduction of lightweight laptops, tablets and cheap data plans, not to mention low-end smartphones by popular telecommunication providers, consumers have 24-hour access to the internet and are now constantly online.

Here are five facts you should know about Digital Marketing: Continue reading

Do You have What it Takes to Become a Successful Entrepreneur?

doyouhavewhatittakes

Entrepreneurs are essential and inspirational figures in the global market.

Any true entrepreneur knows all too well that the basic definition of being a ‘risk taker’ is a far cry from what truly defines their work ethic.

While risk taking is certainly a central factor, it does not fully characterise what motivates entrepreneurs to pursue such a career path. In order to provide you with a clearer and more holistic picture of entrepreneurship, we have put together a list of key qualities that we believe every successful entrepreneur should possess.

First off, it’s important to understand the importance of having unique leadership skills in business. While the common perception of a leader is ‘being the boss,’ a true entrepreneur knows that ordering their associates around will not produce the results they are working towards. Instead, a competent leader puts equally as much hard work and effort into the business as the employees, and adopts a ‘we’ approach instead of projecting themselves as the boss. Continue reading

Entrepreneurship…Ready, Set, Go?

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You did it! Your baby is born. Months, even years in the making, your business has entered the world; you are officially an ENTREPRENEUR.   Business  plan…check!

Financing…Check! Location…Check! Staff…Check! Self Analysis…Check? Have you stopped to consider whether you are actually cut out to run a business and if your character and personality are actually suited for this journey?

If there is one thing I have learnt in years of working with, counseling, observing entrepreneurs and unsuccessfully trying entrepreneurship myself, is that long-term success is very much tied to who the owner/operator is at their very core. This element is not often considered, but careful review of many successful businesses can be traced to the basic character/personality of its owner. Not everyone is cut out for this, but for some…they were born to do it!

THE BASICS

Business ideas are as varied as individuals, but whether a service, retail or manufacturing entity, there are certain basic traits that are commonly needed for all: Continue reading

Personal Branding 101

personal_branding

We are CEOs of our own companies: Me  Inc.  To  be in business today, our most important  job  is  to  be head marketer for the brand called You.” –Tom Peters

Personal Branding is about identifying your story and then communicating what makes you unique, relevant and different. A strong, authentic personal brand helps you become known for what you’re good at, sets you apart from the competition, and can position you as a niche expert. Developing a personal brand is similar to product branding and the process includes; defining your brand, personal brand goals and then managing all aspects of your personal brand.

Here are some steps to managing and enhancing your personal brand: Continue reading

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