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Jeffrey Hall gives details about

By: Andre’ Burnett

BUSINESS LOUNGE

the decision to sell U.K. based Serious Foods Group

The bottom-line figure doesn’t lie and neither does the colour of the ink it is written in. If it is green, let the handshakes and hearty laughs ensue. If red, expect hours of poring over statements trying to find what went wrong, how it can be fixed and how soon it can be fixed.

“The decision was taken after a substantial amount of analysis, said Mr. Hall, in light of the present macro economic situations in the United Kingdom coupled with the fact that the business was targeting a premium market, it was clear that the margins were compressed beyond recovery.”

According to the 2009 first half financial statements released by the Jamaica Producers Group (JP), the handshakes are strong and the laughs rich. At this time last year JP was reporting losses $635.2 million due to unprecedented hurricane activity and the struggles of at least one major subsidiary. A profit of $100.2 million already this year is indicating that the directors of the company have succeeded in righting some of the company’s woes.

JP has therefore undergone a kind of business liposuction. Rather than putting the entire organization on a diet, the company has rid itself of a specific area and focused on increasing performance in the other areas. Mr. Hall stated the company has undergone strategic planning for this year. “We have identified what it is we are good at and are Jeffrey. M. Hall identifying what opManaging Director portunities exist out Jamaica Producers there for what we do Group Limited well”, said Mr. Hall, “we purchase and process food and it is important for us to do this in markets where we can do what we do well.”

The turnaround in JP’s performance is due mainly to the sale of its UK based Serious Foods Subsidiary. Serious foods contributions to JP in 2008 could be

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The first step in this new mindset has been the purchase of Dutch fresh juice specialist, Hoogesteger in the third quarter of 2008. Mr. Hall said that the performance of the recently acquired company has been satisfactory so far in light of the prevailing economic conditions in the Netherlands. The bottom line doesn’t lie, and the truth seems to be that Jamaica Producers Group is definitely on the turnaround.

likened to a hole in the hull in the rough seas of the present economy. A loss of J$1.4 billion after three quarters in 2008 proved to be unsustainable for the group. Managing director, Jeffrey Hall speaking to Your Money commented on this fact.

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5 Critical Tips for Small Business Owners (That Want To Grow)

1. Be Prepared To Sell “Selling” has developed a negative stigma. If you want run a successful company, recognize that sales and business development are critical. You’ll need to fight tooth and nail to earn and keep every piece of business. You’ll be competing with companies that have more resources, experience and better branding. Your customers will be buying YOU and the connection they make with you.

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3. Outsource One of the smartest moves our business made was to outsource our accounting and bookkeeping. Instead of spending hours each week tracking our books, I currently stick everything in an envelope and hand it to our accounting partner, who provides outstanding accurate monthly reports. I now have more time to grow our business, and better information to make informed decisions. Some additional areas to consider outsourcing include networking/computer support, janitorial, payroll and design. I highly recommend hiring a company that will charge a flat monthly fee rather than an hourly fee. This will incentivize them to do the job correctly up front, and allow you to budget for their services. 4. Hire Good People Get ready, your highest expense is going to be payroll. Take your time to find the RIGHT person. The wrong employee can make your life miserable, and sink your company. The right individual(s) can make your company fun, productive and very profitable. 5. Start Small, Think Big Now, I stated “think big”, but what I should propose is, “think of your end result”. If your goal is to run one small café, then work towards that objective. If you want to own 50 café’s then, make critical decisions based on that goal. That may include investing more capital in scalable equipment and more experienced employees, so that in 1-2 years you are better prepared for rapid growth. But most importantly, be prepared to sweat, suffer, and never be happier as you pursue your dream.

2. Remove Your “Expert” Hat And Become A Leader And Businessperson (Sometimes) If you are designer, and love to design, be prepared to sacrifice a significant amount of your design time to manage employees, find new customers, manage your books, fix the phones, take out the garbage, manage vendors and the list goes on. If in your heart, you only want to “design”– then I recommend you

Your Money eZine

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Based in New York, Gail’s Graphic Designs offers a broad spectrum of creative design and communication solutions to assist in the marketing of your small business. Contact Gail Lewis at glewis@gailsdtp.com or visit Gail’s Graphic Designs at www. gailsdtp.com. | Daniel Natale is a guest writer for Gail’s Graphic Designs.

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Mind Your Business

Starting a successful business is challenging and stressful. That’s why 80% of small businesses don’t last for more than 5 years. Of the 20% that do survive—only 20% of those will last another 5 years. So, what can you do in order to avoid going extinct like the rest of the small business owners?

Provided by Gail’s Graphic Designs work for another company, or do freelance work. However, your expertise in a specific field will still play a very important role in ensuring that your employees meet your standards. Don’t ever sacrifice your high standards.

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10 Smart Steps to: start a business Question: I don’t like my regular job, and

I would love to work in a business of my own. I’m a little afraid of the risk, as I have seen friends lose money in their own ventures. How can I be successful in business?

Raise Your Financial IQ! -

ing a business, but it is possible for you to achieve your entrepreneurial dream if you plan carefully. Here are some things to consider:

1. What type of business should you do? Do you have talents or knowledge that can turn into dollars by offering your services for sale? Are there any products you could provide that can solve a problem, or satisfy an unmet consumer need?

4. Is your business idea feasible? Get professional

guidance to help you decide if your plan is workable. Contact the Jamaica Business Development Corporation or the Small Business Development Agency to receive expert assistance in business planning.

5. How much money will you need? Many busi-

nesses fail because there wasn’t enough capital to meet everyday expenses. Your business plan should include a start-up budget and cash flow projection to help you decide how much money is needed.

6. Where will the money come from? You should

2. What will make you different? How will you

start saving to create capital for your business, but you may also require additional funding from a lending institution. With a good business idea, you may be able to interest persons to invest in your venture for an equity stake.

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7. How much do you know about your field? Con-

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duct market research to identify your potential customers’ product needs. To provide a good service, become an expert in your field through training sessions and apprenticing.

8. What do you know about owning a business?

Running a business is a skill by itself. Read entrepreneurial magazines and books for expert strategies and techniques. If possible, get a mentor or coach who is successful in business.

9. Can you start small? Try to sell a product or

service while still working at your regular job. A small venture can teach you entrepreneurial determination, help you earn extra cash, and give you the confidence to begin your bigger business venture.

10. make your product or service different from other businesses with similar offerings? Work at creating a unique selling proposition that will make you stand out from the crowd.

3. What’s your plan? Don’t jump into business

without making a plan; it will help you define your overall goals, identify your target market, know how much money you need to stay afloat, and identify

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How persistent are you? Business success does not happen overnight. Use your business plan to see if you are on target, or if you need to make strategic adjustments. Learn from your errors, but don’t let them defeat you.

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Financially S.M.A.R.T. Services is Jamaica’s number one source for practical, downto-earth and independent answers for all questions relating to personal finance. Get more money smart advice at www.financiallysmartonline.com. Email advice@financiallysmartonline.com with comments or questions.

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MONEY $MART...

Answer: It’s smart to be cautious about start-

Provided by: Financially S.M.A.R.T. Services potential threats.

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Credits Publisher eZines Limited Managing Director Tyrone Wilson Your Money Reporters Andre’ Burnett Ryan Blake Kenartur Mitchell Jr. Latoya Hutchinson Columnist Gail’s Graphics Design Financially S.M.A.R.T Services Design and Layout eZines Limited Subscription subscription@yourmoneyezine.com Editorial editor@yourmoneyezine.com Your Money eZine is a product of eZines Limited, and is distributed via e-mail and other online sources such as Facebook. To subscribe FREE, log onto www.yourmoneyezine.com today or email to subscription@yourmoneyezine.com Advertising advertising@yourmoneyezine.com

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