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start ups by Andre Burnett

“S

Cardiovmeds’ Natasha Russell

tarting CARDIOVMEDS was a natural step because it was related to an industry that I had worked in for almost 20 years,” says Ms. Natasha Russell, CEO of CARDIOVMEDS Limited and The Total Job Agency Limited, in response to my question about how she started her company. I wonder for a second if my mental calculator is on the fritz before she catches the puzzled look on my face. Laughing she says, “I get that quite a lot, I’m a bit older than I look.”. As Ms. Russell explains that she was a perfusionist before working in Human Resource (HR) where her innate passion for entrepreneurship overrode the comfort and security of her nine to five, I realize that the effervescent executive couldn’t actually be in her mid

Natasha Russell

twenties as I had initially pegged her. I recalibrate my calculator and move on, “How has the journey been for CARDIOVMEDS?” I ask. “The biggest piece of advice I could give a young entrepreneur that’s just starting out is to write down all the people they know will support them on a piece of paper, then tear that paper up and get ready to go out and do the work,” says Ms. Russell. “I thought that coming out of the medical industry that a company that specializes in providing affordable alternatives for cardio patients would have been an easy start but it wasn’t so, it was hard.” She explains that CARDIOVMEDS is the only distributor of exclusive cardiac, vascular medical and surgical supplies in Jamaica. “We supply medical facilities but we add a personal element as we also sell directly to the patients who can come to our office and learn everything there is to know about the piece of equipment that will be so essential to their everyday life,” says Ms. Russell. The University of Technology graduate with a Masters degree in Clinical Psychology admits that although the market for cardiovascular supplies is lucrative, it is small and as such she has had to make sacrifices to keep her dream alive but it was worth it. “Looking back now, the entrepreneur was always there, I remember growing up in Vineyard Town, I’d wake up early to get the mangoes that had fallen to be the first one to sell them,” she says laughing, “I was always

juggling something, the only problem I had was charging people.” She tells me that she draws inspiration from the stories of self-start millionaires who all came from poor backgrounds. “If they can do it, why can’t I?” she asks, with a quiet determination in her voice. “At the end of the day, no one is going to be as dedicated to my idea as I am, so it’s just a matter of working hard at it.” I advertisment

reflect briefly on the impact that a small company like CARDIOVMEDs could have on the medical landscape before my photographer asks Ms. Russell to hold a model heart. I guess I won’t fight the pun; a small business such as this obviously takes a lot of heart.

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insights

The new consumer

consciousness

L

ike it or not, that old recession that we seem to be emerging from did quite a number on most of us. Even for some of us that didn’t have a house in danger of being foreclosed or a job in danger of being deemed unnecessary, the feeling of anxiety, fear and tentativeness was palpable, communicable and downright contagious. Even things that we COULD afford, we thought twice about purchasing just because the little recession angel on our shoulder was there asking, “Do you really need to see Inception twice? I’m sure you’ll understand it better in two years on Starz”. Caution, something that was never a fixture of a generation lured to the wiles of unregulated investment schemes and credit cards, has become trendy. Today’s consumer is just getting accustomed to a more stable financial world but what has the toll been on tomorrow’s post recessionary consumer? Well, one thing is sure; marketers are going to have to earn their keep. According to Chicago based advertising firm, Ogilvy and Mather in their thesis, “Eyes wide open, wallet half shut”, the post recession consumer’s purchasing choices may seem inconsistent and varied but their choices are all borne of their “hard won experience” and their purchasing choices have now become very deliberate and wholly intentional. Ogilvy found that consumer behaviour has become increasingly collaborative with the advance in social media and communication being responsible for

sumer spending might not reduce but rather be displaced. Consumers would be more likely to spend on items that facilitate family life or personal satisfaction rather than “keeping up with the Joneses”. This post recessionary consumer will require far more research

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consumers reading more before purchase, discussing prices with others and looking around more. Of course this existed before the recession but now it seems prudent to be provident and fashionable to be frugal. In Nielsen’s most recent Global Consumer Confidence Index, it seems that the global consumer, especially those in the west, will find it hard to shake the recessionary habits. The Chinese are the most confident of the bunch with consumer goods sales up almost 21% in a year. Americans seem to be the most shell shocked with 46% of individuals surveyed indicating that they would continue to economize on utilities while only 29% of the rest of the world indicated the same. The report also states that one in six global consumers say that they would continue purchasing cheaper groceries and spend less on new clothes.

and insight and marketers all around the world are waking up to the fact that it might not be just business as usual.

But it also seems that a greater priority has been placed on intangibles such as togetherness and job security so conyourmoney ezine


contributor

Tips To Improve Your Google Rank

W

e all want to be #1 on Google. Hopefully you’re blogging, that’s half the battle. The other half is making sure people see your site or blog. Here are some great tips to get your blog noticed:

2. Create an RSS feed and submit it to all the RSS directories. Update your site as often as possible, depending on your field you may need to update it as often as three times a week.

the power of many can make your task much easier. For example, ActiveRain. com is an excellent platform for all things real estate. They have about 190,000 bloggers, all blogging on real estate topics.

1. Back Links Google’s algorithm loves back links and back links that are relevant to your topic are especially important. So if a site has excellent ranking on the search engines and has a link to your blog or site...that’s gold. The search engines interpret that as important and relevant then rank you accordingly.

3. Complete the internal linking structure within your blog. You want every page in your site to be reached from any page. Spiders can now follow your site comprehensively and making it easier for them to index your site or blog. You can simply have a site map and include the site map on every page of your site.

Google doesn’t distinguish 190,000 blogs, it simply sees “ActiveRain” and sees thousands of updates, posts, changes, visits and back links. So when you blog on an ActiveRain account you benefit from all that activity.

Do some searches and contact the top rankers in your field. Maybe you can write something for them, show them what you’re working on - if they’re impressed they may include it in their next post.

4. Some industries have blogging platforms that can be very helpful. You don’t need them for high ranking but leveraging

Gail Lewis 917-873-9660 | glewis@gailsdtp.com | www.gailsdtp.com Visit Our Blog: www.gailsdtp.com/blog Social Profiles: Twitter | LinkedIn yourmoney ezine


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