Your Business with Bernadette
CB recently announced the opening of the 2011 Nation Builder Awards programme. I must admit that each staging of the awards is a source of tremendous pride for me. The programme recognizes outstanding Jamaican small and medium-sized businesses who distinguish themselves by their performance and contribution to community development. We place a high premium on the philanthropy aspect as we want to encourage businesses to share their own success with others. With this in mind, we have added two new categories to the programme: the NCB Impact Award, which will celebrate the spirit of volunteerism by rewarding a nonprofit organization or individual who has worked to improve the lives of others; and the NCB Vision Award, which, through our partnership with the University of the West Indies (UWI), will provide support to the final year Management Studies student with the best business plan. It gives us great pleasure to meet with those being considered for the Awards and to be able to learn more about their businesses. More importantly, we are proud to share their stories with others and to bring greater exposure to those businesses.
Bernadette Barrow Assistant General Manager, SME National Commercial Bank This issue of clickSME features the inspiring story of last year’s Nation Builder Award winner, Jason Henzell, CEO of Jakes Holdings Limited. In his article, he shares how the charming Jakes resort became the cornerstone of the Treasure Beach community’s tourism product, as well as his plans to further develop the area and improve the lives of residents. Applications for this year’s NCB Nation Builder Awards close on July 29, 2011. There is still time for your business to be among this year’s crop of winners. If you have any comments or questions, email me at email@example.com or call me at 935-2065.
I look forward to hearing from you! clicksme
Jason Henzell and The Journey of Jake’s
t’s not the financial investment, the start-up capital, or the public relations campaign that is responsible for its success. It’s about the ability to market the natural beauty of the island, highlight the unique culture of the Jamaican people, fuel the strength of the community and the display of commitment to community development. The journey to Jakes, a charming seaside resort nested in the quaint fishing village of Treasure Beach, started in 1993 when Sally Henzell purchased a piece of land close to the beach house owned by the family. The property had an old country house on it and instead of tearing down the old house, Sally converted it into a restaurant. In 1995, she was joined in the business by her son, Jason Henzell, who added two rooms for overnight visitors. Under Jason’s watch, Jakes has grown to 31 cottages and three villas, all with either a garden or an ocean view; and now employs 110 persons, all from the Treasure Beach community. The relaxed beauty of the natural island landscape is accented by vividly designed cottages. Jakes has also hosted some of the biggest local and international personalities in entertainment, fashion and politics. Jakes’ commitment to showcasing the authentic Jamaica allows guests a mixture of adventurous and energetic tours. These include fishing excursions, biking though the local communities, touring around the YS Falls, and excursion to Milk River. Jakes, which is Green Globe certified, has won the Tourism Excellence award twice and has been named Environmental Ambassador in the Hotel Sector for their outstanding contribution and efforts in promoting environmental stewardship and sustainable development in Jamaica. The company is marketed under the Island Outpost umbrella and benefits from their network marketing, sales, reservations and public relations.
(from left) Dennis Cohen, Group Deputy Managing Director at NCB, Chris Blackwell, Jason Henzell, Patrick Hylton, Group Managing Director at NCB Bernadette Barrow, Assistant Genral Manager of SMEs at NCB
a computer lab in a basic school, training a volunteer corps of emer¬gency response personnel, installing a radio system and GPS system for the local fishermen and sponsoring local football and cricket teams. Currently, Breds is developing a 15-acre sports park and community center that will be the only park of its kind in Treasure Beach. It will consist of a cricket pitch, soccer field, tennis courts, basketball and netball courts and children’s playing area. Phase one of the J$120 million project was recently launched. This includes a bathroom, a changing room and a football field. The community center already makes available computers, training programs, space for workshops and community meet-ings and support for small businesses in the area. As Jakes continues to grow, so does the community of Treasure Beach in which it operates….truly a key ingredient in na-tion building.
Jason Henzell has also done extensive work in the Treasure Beach community. At the heart of it is the Treasure Beach Foundation, Breds, which he founded and chairs. It is a not-for-profit organization dedicated to community projects, some of which include the building and equipping of
NCB Launches The 4th Nation Builder Awards
ational Commercial Bank (NCB) recently launched its fourth Nation Builder Awards, aimed at recognizing and celebrating the achievements of its small and medium enterprise customers. The Awards highlight outstanding entrepreneurial performance and sound operational practices as well as the enterprises’ contribution to community development. The Nation Builder Awards are open to both NCB and non-NCB customers in the categories Start-Up, Innovation and Women in Business. However, nominees in the Nation Builder category must be NCB customers. Nominees will be assessed on community involvement and impact, creativity and innovative thinking, strategic direction and commercial viability. This year’s Awards also feature two new categories: the Impact Award, to be presented to a non-profit organization or individual who has undertaken an initiative that has positively impacted the lives of others, and the Vision Award, which will encourage budding entrepreneurs by providing seed capital of J$250,000 to the final year University of the West Indies (UWI) Management Studies student with the best business plan. The judging panel of management consultant, Dr. Henley Morgan and Executive Director of the Jamaica Business Development Centre (JBDC), Harold Davis, has also been expanded to include Marigold Harding, Custos of St. Andrew and Dr. Carolyn Hayle, Executive Director of the HEART Trust/NTA. Speaking at the launch, Group Managing Director, Patrick Hylton, noted that the greatness of a nation is measured not only in natural resources, military might or foreign exchange reserves but the mettle and substance of its people, which has seen Jamaica excel in areas such as sport, entertainment, culture and academics. “At NCB, we recognize that our small and medium enterprises are among the most creative in the world and together, they employ a significant number of Jamaicans at varying levels of skill. Their impact on our nation is widespread,” he said. Attesting to this, Jason Henzell, the 2010 Nation Builder Awardee for his work in developing community tourism in Treasure Beach, St. Elizabeth, described the Awards as a “fantastic initiative” and also took the time to outline a number of upcoming projects. 5
(From left) 2010 Nation Builder Award winner Jason Henzell, CEO of Jake’s Holdings, Audrey Tugwell-Henry, Senior General Manager of Retail Banking, NCB, Bernadette Barrow, Assistant General Manager for SMEs,NCB and Patrick Hylton, Group Managing Director, NCB.
Dennis Cohen, Deputy Group Managing Director of NCB, speaking on the importance of the Nation Builder Awards partners who have “added value to the programme.”
The Nation Builder Awards benefits from the contribution of its partners PricewaterhouseCoopers, HEART Trust/NTA, the JBDC, Fujitsu, the Gleaner Company, the Lions Club of New Kingston, the UWI, the Private Sector Organization of Jamaica (PSOJ) and the Women Business Owners’ Association. Along with NCB, these partners will provide the winners with trophies, cash prizes, technical training and assistance, capacity building, business mentorship, scholarships and marketing support. Businesses may apply in single or multiple categories. Applications are open from June 1 to July 29, 2011 and may be submitted at any NCB branch islandwide.
Is Small business Ready for Open Source Software?
he term “Open Source Software” (OSS) means little or nothing at all to many of us, even though most people are very familiar with one OSS, the internet browser Mozilla Firefox. What is OSS and how is it potentially beneficial to small business owners? Let’s take a look. Open source is a developmental method for software that harnesses the power of peer review and transparency resulting in better quality, more reliable and cost effective software. Simply put, OSS is distributed to software developers worldwide who inspect, change and improve upon the existing product until the best possible product is achieved - for free.
In terms of cost, it is obvious that OSS beats traditional software on that front but what of the other aspects like reliability and availability of open source solutions? In terms of reliability, Open Source seems to provide the most robust testing and reviewing available because it invites the entire world to try and find any bugs in the software rather than a set of programmers hired by a software company. In this way, Open Source engenders closeness to the customer that proprietary software never could. Another argument of OSS supporters is that most small businesses pay big bucks for software solutions and then use less than 30% of the capabilities as the software suites are bloated with features in order to justify the high costs. Many of the Open Source programs that are lean and highly productive could have your workforce run¬ning in tip top shape.
According to data by the US-based IT research firm, the Standish Group, the adoption of Open Source saved US$60 billion in 2009 to consumers.
The main benefit of OSS to SMEs is the ability to reduce the burden of the cost of software purchases. According to data by the US-based IT research firm, the Standish Group, the adoption of Open Source saved US$60 billion in 2009 to consumers. In small businesses, cutting costs and improving productivity are two major points of focus and the supporters of OSS maintain that open source provides an ideal opportunity to do so. 6
The obvious drawback of OSS is the compatibility issues, not only with the computers but with having to train your employees to use programs that they would have had no previous experience with. However, this is not such a tremendous hurdle to overcome, especially when you consider the potential benefits. Of course, the success of OSS in your business will come down to whether you decide you are willing to be inconvenienced a little at first for great¬er benefits in the future. Here are a few of the more popular OSS solutions that can be applied in your business: • ClamWin –Antivirus • Gnumeric- Spreadsheet • PDF creator- Document creator • AbiWord- Word Processing • Scribus- Page Layout
How Technology Has Changed Small Business Marketing
ince the technological revolution, small businesses have been able to use tools like the computer and the internet to hold their own against their larger counterparts. Technology has effectively created the means by which a small business can potentially reach the same number of people that a big business has been reaching for years. Finally, the marketing presence exerted by a company could be directly proportional to the extent of their creativity rather than the depth of their chequebook. How about that for a paradigm shift? Twenty years ago, it would be mindboggling to think that the manager of a small business could subvert a comparatively minimal amount of marketing dollars to use social networking, a website, text messages, etc. to potentially reach a market that can return millions in revenue. A business can use its online presence to seem larger and more established than it actually is to a prospective customer. The creativity employed by your web designer and the corporate relationships you form online will go a long way to endearing yourself to the hearts of your prospects. And, of course, a website is only the beginning of the 21st century marketing campaign. When a radio or television advertisement is broadcast, it is difficult to determine the true reach of your marketing efforts. As yet, there is little to help predict the listening or viewing habits of the desired demographic despite the best efforts of advertisers and broadcasters. Technology has provided ways of segmenting the market and allowing better targeting of potential customers rather than the scattershot approach that only big business could afford. A perfect example of this is a car parts distributor that formed a profile on a popular Jamaican automobile website where they used this leverage to get better insights from people who would most likely be interested in car parts and services. Another aspect of marketing that technology has made easier for small businesses is the ability to utilize multiple points of attack. Rather than paying for a costly radio campaign, you can use your website, Facebook page, blog, Twitter and text messages to reach each of your customers in the way that you feel would be most suitable. Itâ€™s a brave new world and if you arenâ€™t already on line (pun intended), then you may be well be left behind. Of course, this is all still de-
Twenty years ago, it would be mindboggling to think that the manager of a small business could subvert a comparatively minimal amount of marketing dollars to use social networking, a website, text messages, etc. to potentially reach a market that can return millions in revenue. pendent on the time and effort that it is put in. Technology has made life easier but it is by no means a cakewalk as big companies have the same facilities available to them. The difference will lie in your creativity and your ability to build on the relationships that you have with your customers.
Text Messaging and the Human Touch
It is no secret that technology has changed the way we communicate and the way in which we define personal interaction. Just as phone calls augmented good, old-fashioned face-to-face conversation, text messaging enhanced the use of phones by opening up a whole new way of communication. Of course, big business has seized upon the opportunity to use text messages to market products and disseminate information, but often, the personal touch gets lost in translation. For small businesses, this personal touch is essential because of the need to inculcate customer loyalty. clickSME has found one particular product that manages to promote that interaction by using technology. That product is Coretalk, a Customer Relations Management tool that employs two-way text message communication. Whenever the use of text messaging in business is mentioned, Marketing is the first thing that comes to mind and that is usually what it is used for. It is in this particular instance that the services provided by Coretalk Caribbean, itself a small business, offers much more than an opportunity to bring awareness to your products and services. The offering of two-way communication via text messages means that companies don’t just talk to customers, they can actually have a conversation. Sales Manager of Coretalk Caribbean, Winston Henderson, emphasized this as he spoke to clickSME. “Using our technology, a business can ask a question of a customer to which they can provide an answer and, more importantly, the process can be done the other way around,” he said. Mr. Henderson expressed the view that text messaging “is the ultimate tool for gathering information on just how a customer feels about a particular promotion or service.”
For small businesses, this personal touch is essential because of the need to inculcate customer loyalty. “Once again, it is not about how much money one has to spend, but how interactive one is with their potential and existing customers, and how best they respond to that interaction,” said Mr. Henderson. He stressed that “SMEs actually hold a particular advantage over large enterprises because their customer numbers are less, they can spend more time interacting with their customers, giving them a greater level of attention and one-to-one interaction, and increasing the likelihood of securing longevity of business through customer loyalty. This is something money will never be able to buy.”
Just as the theme song of ‘Cheers’ implies, a big part of the appeal of “mom and pop” enterprises was the familiarity that came over time. That sort of personalized attention has been proven harder and harder to maintain as companies get larger. A tool such as Coretalk brings back this aspect of business to the table.
SME Tips How to Create an Effective Facebook Page for Your Company Joycelyn Rowe Business Banker, NCB Half Way Tree
The Right Design – Create a customizable welcome tab or landing page that will attract more people to your page than the traditional Facebook layout, says social media expert Gary Vaynerchuk. Take advantage of the features Facebook provides to enhance your page. Joycelyn Rowe , Business Banker
Content – Post regularly, but don’t inundate your customers and certainly don’t just talk at them. Engage them in discussion threads, solicit feedback on your products and services and share other relevant resources such as blogs, links and videos.
Upload Photos – Post pictures of your products or customers using your products. If you host a customer appreciation days, post those pictures as well. Allow fans to tag photos of themselves using your products or at your events on your page as well. Set the “Photo and videos I’m tagged in” option to “Everyone” or “Just Fans”.
Promotions and Contests – This tab allows you to offer incentives to your customers, such as discounts, special rates and giveaways. You can make this a special incentive for your Facebook fans, which would increase the number of “Likes” you receive as more people seek to take advantage of the deals. Track Your Progress – Determine whether your Facebook strategy is working is by looking at which posts, updates and comments are generating the most buzz on the page. Track what you are sharing, note the times of the posts and updates and pay attention to the feedback from your fans. This will help you to fine-tune your strategy.
Allow fans to tag photos of themselves using your products or at your events on your page as well. Determine whether your Facebook strategy is working is by looking at which posts, updates and comments are generating the most buzz on the page.