Leap of faith pays off
It was always her dream to operate a business with her husband.
And on April 6 this year, Gail Bennett’s dream came true when the couple leased the mini-golf course at Plae, the former Ocean Park property in Balls, Christ Church. They currently employ three people and operate with an executive team under the name On The Greens.
“When we got married, we actually registered a business. At that time . . . it was just a dream. We said, ‘You know what? Let’s take a leap of faith’, and we registered our business in 2007, the same year we got married,” recalled Bennett, who is originally from Trinidad.
“That was a leap of faith we took and it has worked out for us, because now we can say, ‘Yes, our dreams are coming to pass’. So it was always an idea; but it never blossomed until now,” added the certified accountant.
Bennett told Barbados TODAY that since the opening of the facility, business had been favourable, and it was her plan to grow it to become one of the island’s top spots for locals and tourists. She added that while they were still working on the long-term plan, they were focused on beautifying the location over the next six to 12 months.
“The one- to five-year plan is to focus on what customers, fans and supporters want and keep the place at the level where anyone would be proud to say I have been at On The Greens; that is where I have a lot of fun and I want to go back there. We want to have persons come and say it is a top Barbadian attraction if you come to Barbados you must go to. That is where we want to be in the next one to five years. We want to be ranked in the top five attractions in Barbados,” she said.
So far the couple have invested about $30,000 in the operations, the majority of which went towards renewable energy.
When asked why open this type of business at this time given the economic conditions, Bennett asked “why not?”
“You would find that in times when the economy is down, people need a release because they are stressed out and some of them have lost their jobs. Sometimes just to relax is not something you can easily do without spending lots of money. So again that is where we come in. You can come and picnic on our grounds and it doesn’t cost you anything but you get to relax and have fun.
“Even though harsh economic times continue, you still find that some businesses continue to thrive and those are businesses that are geared towards family entertainment; they are the ones that tend to do well. If your business can withstand the harsh economic times, when things get better you will prosper as well. So it is a testament to your managing capabilities and we believe that we can do that,” Bennett added.
After just over two months of being in business, she admitted, it was challenging, but she, her husband and the staff had a passion for what they did. That passion, she said, made it much easier for them.