In your interest

Cash in on Crop-Over

As the Crop-Over Festival season begins to move into high gear, it is the opportune time for those in the private sector and entrepreneurs to cash in on the many business opportunities that present themselves. For most Barbadians it is a time to forget the pressures of the recession and celebrate the festival in the way locals know best.

Some would say fete, while others would simply say party hard. Whatever expression is used, there is a clear message that the intention is to enjoy one’s self. For the business man or entrepreneur, it is the ideal opportunity to sell both services and products. It is the gateway to improving cash flows and for earning a living.

In reflecting on the growth of the festival over the years, it is evident that several different business opportunities have opened up. In the formative years, the festival was in the main about calypso tents, costumes bands, sale of food and beverages and craft vending. There are now several other opportunities, some of which emerge from the creative minds of our young and old alike.

It is quite possible that some only see it as providing services and products during the festival as a short term measure. They seize the moment to cash in on the dollars that are floating around, as thousands spend on anything that would add to their enjoyment and pleasure during the festival. Some of the offerings put on the market during the Crop-Over Festival are unique in nature, and could be developed into good business ventures.

A fair assessment would be that many of those behind the projects, products and services on offer, do not recognise the potential of their offering. This is likely to be the case because of individual shortsightedness, and/or a lack of understanding of what can and needs to be done to make the venture a profitable and sustained one.

Irrespective of what product, service or skill that an individual would promote extensively during the Crop-Over session, there are basics which ought to be followed if the business is to be successful. Inasmuch that the focus is on sales, it requires that careful attention is paid to marketing and promotion. The only way the public will know of what is available, is by way of deliberate efforts to call their attention to it.

It is often said that word of mouth is usually the best way to let others know of what you have for sale. Experience suggests that this is absolutely true. However, this is dependent on two significant factors. These are the quality of the service that is given and the quality of the product or work offered. Added to these, presentation and personal attitude will make the great difference between success and failure.

Crop-Over may be the perfect time for most entrepreneurs to cash in on the opportunity to introduce their product or service on the market. To get the venture off the ground must be the initial focus. Thereafter, attention should be directed at how to sustain it.

Some might consider their venture as short term, since the belief is that it will go into a slump or lull after the Crop-Over season has ended. There may be merit in that contention, but does not necessarily have to be the case. Consideration has to be given to capitalising on the many other seasonal opportunities that are on the annual calendar.

These include but are not limited to AgroFest, the Jazz Festival, Independence celebrations and the Christmas season. There is the adage, “where there is a will there is a way”, and this should not be taken lightly, and so anyone who has a business idea, should make good of the opportunity when they have the attention of both buyers and sellers in the market place.

Those who have ideas, especially persons on the breadline or underemployed should be proactive and aggressive of making something work for them. There is nothing to lose, but everything to gain in establishing a business venture, creating and securing their own employment, and possible employing others along the way.

It may make good sense this Crop-Over to seize the opportunity to put your business venture to the test. Remember! The longest journey begins with the first step.

* Dennis De Peiza is a Labour Management Consultant with Regional Management Services Inc.

Visit our Website: www.regionalmanagementservicesinc

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