Sunday, June 21, 2020

Businesses need multiple resources in the same category

Increasingly, there's going to be a need for businesses to work more in clusters. This is even more so since the pandemic crisis. This raises a few questions though in the minds of seemingly successful entities that others will seek to work with:
  1. Can we deliver working with the members of this team?
  2. How fast can we make shifts to protect, secure and enhance our reputations?
  3. What are our legal obligations should we have to make pivotal changes? 
  4. How can we ensure the end-user does not waste their investment in using our services? 
We have all been on teams where team members want to share in the rewards but offer as little effort as possible towards the final outcome. Dealing with this type of individual can be quite challenging; especially when seeking to meet and exceed the needs of the client. 

Every time you work your reputation is on the line. Are you reliable? Is your work of a high quality/calibre? Will you work have the impact that encourages others to speak positively of it so that you get referrals as a result of your more recent efforts? 

Legally we should meet all the obligations of our contracts which we would have been a part of the negotiation process. It is necessary that all team members operate with honour in fulfilling their elements of the work. 

The circumstances are even more demanding of accountability regarding money spent. Items once deemed miscellaneous will now have closer attention paid to them. Greater care will be taken when considering expenses and assets expenditure. 

So who's on your team? 

Are they interconnected so that they work as one? Are your accountabilities on point? These are questions that you must ask and answer to ensure that you have the necessary fail/safe's in place. When you really examine your operation, you too will realize why it is important for businesses to have multiple resources in the same category. 

Tuesday, June 9, 2020

Foreign Direct Investment [FDI] - How practical and accessible is it?

For most who have become frustrated with the available local funding options for one reason or another, there are some who have decided to explore other options. This comes against the backdrop of governments suggesting urging business owners to expand outside of our jurisdictions, export more and seek to expand. 

Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) is often discussed and seems to be seldom understood, even by those within the financial sector. It would appear that the various entities responsible for overseeing these types of transactions seem to be more than apprehensive about such transactions. What do I mean? 

The organizations:
  • Don't seem to trust the source of funds and don't really seem to be able to assist in the provision of due diligence/even be able to advise on the process of due diligence that is available. There seems to be a fear of making a mistake permeating the various entities. 
  • The entities that are in authority of such transactions don't seem to relate to each other. Why do I say that? Their information isn't synchronized and at times can seem to be conflicting. The organizations don't appear to even have a relationship with each other. This comment is made from the outside looking in. 
  • There is no clear methodology to advise the public how to go about seeking and attracting FDI. So that even when entities successfully attract such interests, there's always a catch 22 that frustrates the process. 
Is FDI worth it? 
It seems to be more of a hassle than anything else. Why one has to go through a number of compliance steps in order to become compliant which usually is expensive, only to be told that there's an absurd aspect that prohibits the deal from being completed. This can even happen after getting authorisation from the Central Bank, meeting previous compliance standards, being legally compliant, then you get snagged on a technicality that could have been prohibited if you had the necessary guidance from the outset. It's a hard lesson to learn. 

In many cases, investors ask how come the banks are not jumping at these deals locally. They then decide to fund the transaction(s) completely [100% funding]. With seeming low-interest rates; until the payback is calculated in full. Then you see the hidden elements of the deal. Here's what I mean:
  • Investors reserve the right to divest of the investment to other investors, which means you totally lose control of the ownership and who you can do business with. Often these contracts don't seem to have the first right to refusal. 
  • You must have the insurance sums to prepay and secure your commitment to show that you're serious about doing business in the first place. This insurance acts as your security to participate in the transaction and can be quite expensive. 
  • Defaults in repayment offer little recourse on the part of the investors who ensure that they clearly state what must and must not happen. 
There are other considerations and these examples are not exhausted by any means. If you're going to be in business, you need a strong team in order to build a business confidently and transparently that people can trust. 

Richard Blades functions in business development primarily in Barbados and regionally as we serve to help businesses do it right when planning their strategy. 

Thursday, June 4, 2020

Techniques to grow your business

There's good news if you are seeking to grow your own business now. If you are serious about having a successful business, you must be well planned. Regardless of whether you intend to operate post-pandemic or if you were operating from before the pandemic; there are certain processes that would be rudimentary to your success. 

Let's address the big one that keeps people up at night continually. 
  • Finances - It may be a bit more difficult to obtain finances in this current environment, at least on the surface. Before the pandemic, it was still "challenging" to obtain funds. It was like getting blood from stone in some cases. Who is on your financial planning team?
  • Marketing - Needs to be well thought out and insightful. Your business needs to be going within a direction that will encourage your public to want to interact with you for the products/services you are offering. In the past, many of you tried to do this alone only to fail dismally. Who is on your marketing team? 
  • Operations - We have witnessed entities putting programs together that just didn't gel. It seemed like the organization was unprepared for their own efforts. Information wasn't communicated internally and the result was poor execution all around of an effort that was to hopefully bring about positive results. Who is on your operations team?
  • Management - There are too many solo operations which result in areas of importance falling through the cracks. Apart from the aforementioned, we must also consider legal, human capital, administration to mention a few others. It begs to question, who is on your management team?
Your teams must add value to your business. They do not need to be employed on a full-time basis, but what you need access to is their knowledge, skills, abilities, and hopefully contacts. You must be willing to pay for these resources. In the past, those who struggled most are those who thought the payment for information was too expensive, they quickly found out the alternative of not paying to access what the business needed was way more expensive. 

There are way too many businesses functioning by hunches rather than having well thought out and practical plans. Be different and don't fall into that category. Seek the help you need. Learn the techniques necessary to grow your business. 

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