Category Archives: Business Success

A Jamaican Business Owner’s Fight To Survive: It’s the System, Stupid

We rejoin the saga of business owner David, whose trucking company was facing serious challenges. On the verge of giving up on his entrepreneurial dream, David found a glimmer of hope for the way forward in a book about business success and resolved to keep on fighting.

“Ping!” The familiar notification sound roused David from his reverie. Absent-mindedly, he glanced over at the phone message, his finger poised above the delete button. He expected it to be another annoying advertisement from the mobile provider which constantly interrupted his train of thought.

Seeing the words ‘Free business workshop’, David snapped to full attention and put down the receivables report which he had been reviewing. The holidays were coming and he had to get some of this outstanding money into the bank if he were to pay Christmas bonuses this year.

The seminar looked intriguing, as it promised to reveal steps that a business could take to improve its results. Looking in his calendar, David noted that he had an important meeting with a potential client on the same date. “I can’t afford to lose money sitting down in a training session,” he thought. Continue reading A Jamaican Business Owner’s Fight To Survive: It’s the System, Stupid

A Jamaican Business Owner’s Fight to Survive: The Longest Night

Last week we introduced business owner David, whose trucking company was facing serious challenges. After losing a major client, David was tempted to give up on his entrepreneurial dream. In his darkest moment, however, he was encouraged by some business advice on the television.

“Business success is about the three P’s: People, Process and Product.” Billionaire investor Marcus Lemonis had reiterated this advice several times on his hit reality television show, The Profit, but it never meant much to David until he watched the programme that evening.

Like the embattled entrepreneur on the TV screen, David contemplated the future of his enterprise in an environment that was getting increasingly hostile. He understood that reduced sales and rising costs produced meagre margins, which were a recipe for disaster for anyone’s business.

Self-help brought little assistance

David had never been one to wallow in self-pity. He thought people who complained about their problems were wimps who lacked the strength of mind to find solutions. Despite his bravado, David was now forced to admit that he just didn’t have the expertise to solve his business challenges. Continue reading A Jamaican Business Owner’s Fight to Survive: The Longest Night

A Day in the Life of a Jamaican Business Owner

David’s head jerked at the insistent sound of the telephone ringing in his office. He hadn’t realised that he had fallen asleep at his desk until the call interrupted his late afternoon nap. For several months, sleep had eluded him during the night, and his body was trying to regain well-needed rest.

Despite being bone-tired when he finally crawled home after 10:00 pm most nights, David found it difficult to wind down and relax. Concerns about his business swirled around in his mind and he spent many more hours contemplating strategies that could help him fix the serious problems that he faced.

As the proprietor of a small trucking operation, David enjoyed the freedom that business ownership brought to his life. Twelve years ago when he made the courageous step to start his own venture, David had big plans to turn his fledgling delivery service into a multimillion-dollar enterprise.

The business had enjoyed initial success, as he was the only operator in the eastern parish where he lived with the type of equipment that could meet the needs of the local businesses. Eventually other entities had joined the market and fierce competition now made it a cut-throat environment. Continue reading A Day in the Life of a Jamaican Business Owner

Investing in Jamaica – A Diaspora Perspective

I often receive emails from people living in the Diaspora who express their commitment to this country, and share their concerns for it. Recently, an overseas reader asked me to recommend some investment solutions that would be appropriate for Jamaicans living overseas.

There are several local investment options which can help investors from any country to increase their personal wealth. Licensed investment advisors can assist persons to identify their investing objectives and choose suitable investments that are targeted towards accomplishing their goals.

However, I believe that my reader had a more meaningful purpose for seeking to invest in this country. Aside from building wealth, he wanted to see his dollars make a difference in Jamaica. To achieve this, he would also need to look for investments outside of the traditional financial markets.

Many persons of Jamaican heritage have a desire to direct funds into this country to help promote our social and economic development. If you’re living in the Diaspora, here are some practical ways for you to invest in Jamaica, which will really stimulate long-term development in this nation. Continue reading Investing in Jamaica – A Diaspora Perspective

Making a Fortune With Food

When I was in high school in the 1980’s, a career in the food industry was not considered to be a practical choice for ambitious students. Back then, you only took Home Economics if you were struggling with those ‘prestigious’ subjects that would lead you to more profitable professions.

Today, it’s almost fashionable to declare that you want to make money with food. Thanks to cable TV food shows, the resurgence of fine dining, as well as notable recognition programmes such as the annual Jamaica Observer Food Awards, many persons are now proud to be earning with food.

However, while your co-workers may rave about the bread pudding that you sell on Fridays, it may not necessarily mean that you should venture into opening a dessert business. Earning part-time income from your hobby is one thing, but starting an enterprise requires careful deliberation. Continue reading Making a Fortune With Food

Managing Your Business Accounts

March is tax crunch time for many Jamaican taxpayers, as several annual returns and payments are due within this month. With the increased efforts of the Tax Administration Jamaica (TAJ) to inform persons of the rules and regulations, we all need to be aware of our tax obligations.

Last week we looked at some of the tax considerations for self-employed persons and individuals who earn extra income in addition to their regular salary. If you generate business income, or make money from investments or part-time sources, you may have to report your earnings at this time.

The TAJ recently noted that taxpayers should file the relevant returns for 2014 on or before the extended deadline of March 25 to avoid a $5,000 penalty which may be charged for each month the return is late. For tax assistance, contact the TAJ at 1-888-TAX-HELP or use their website at Continue reading Managing Your Business Accounts

Dealing With Your Taxes

Tax Administration Jamaica (TAJ) has been very active in informing self-employed persons and business owners about filing tax returns and paying taxes. As the tax deadline date of March 15 approaches, it’s important for these individuals to pay close attention to tax matters relevant to them.

With the stresses of running a business, entrepreneurs may sometimes neglect to follow all the tax requirements, which can be costly if they have to pay penalties and interest from late returns. It is critical for them to seek advice and update themselves on their obligations to the tax authorities.

Self-employed persons, who were formerly employed to an organisation which deducted all their taxes for them, may also be a little uncertain about all the steps required to keep them tax compliant. They, too, have a lot to lose if they fall afoul of the tax administration’s regulations.

If you are self-employed or if you earned money outside of your regular pay cheque during 2014, then you may have to submit some information to Tax Administration Jamaica and pay taxes on your earnings. Let’s take a look at some pertinent tax considerations that will apply to you. Continue reading Dealing With Your Taxes

Conversations at Christmas Time

To all my faithful readers, I wish you a blessed and happy Christmas! Just for this day, try to put aside all the concerns and challenges that you may be facing with your finances, and focus on enjoying the food, fellowship and festivity with your family and friends.

If you’re celebrating with your relatives and close companions, consider yourself fortunate. There are many persons whose loved ones are no longer part of their lives, whether through death or separation, who find this time of year particularly depressing and lonely.

There are news reports of disasters – famine, disease, mass murders and kidnappings – that persons all over the world are experiencing at this time. These should help you to put your own problems into perspective when you consider the immense suffering that’s taking place elsewhere.

So eat, drink and be merry! Spend the day making cherished Christmas memories that will last for a lifetime. However, when the holiday frivolity has subsided, your thoughts may return to reflecting on the less pleasant money issues that have been pervasive throughout the year. Continue reading Conversations at Christmas Time

Self-Employed Spending Plan

Budgeting is an essential skill for successful money management and it should be practised by all persons, regardless of their income level. Without a clear idea of the real cost of your lifestyle, you may make improper spending decisions and jeopardise your future financial well-being.

Preparing a spending plan is even more critical if you are self-employed, especially if your income is generated sporadically and you cannot predict when your next dollar will be earned. While there is freedom in being your own boss, there are numerous challenges with not having a regular pay cheque.

If you carry out proper planning by utilising a comprehensive budget, it can help you to overcome some of the feelings of insecurity and apprehension that may be triggered by possible income instability. Here’s how creating a spending plan can be advantageous for self-employed persons. Continue reading Self-Employed Spending Plan

Doing Business with Family and Friends

Would you feel more satisfied with your life if you had a devoted family and great friends but had little to show in the wealth column, or if your net worth made you extremely wealthy but you were estranged from your closest relatives and colleagues or lacked genuine companionship?

For many people, the love of family cannot be equalled by any amount of riches, and as the saying goes, “Good friends are better than pocket money.” Whereas your wealth can be eroded, caring family members and true friends will remain loyal to you through both prosperity and lean times.

While having a good relationship with family and friends is priceless, don’t assume that the rapport that you share with your closest companions will also carry over into the business world. On the contrary, operating an enterprise with your loved ones can sometimes be fraught with major challenges. Continue reading Doing Business with Family and Friends