In This Week’s Issue:
- Can Small Businesses Benefit From ITC?
- Calendar of Events
- Two Publicity Tips To Help You Promote Your Small Business More Effectively
- How To Keep Good Employees In Your Small Business
- Five Tips On Communicating To Different Demographic Groups
- How To Submit Your News To The Blog Enterprise
CAN SMALL BUSINESSES BENEFIT FROM ITC?
Technology – especially communication and IT technology, if used prudently, can further the competitiveness of a company while reducing their cost structure. This scenario is definitely applicable amongst companies with a limited use of such technologies and whose market appeal (i.e. addressable market) is broad. This typically encompasses most small businesses today. Information and Communications Technologies (ICT), as it is usually referred, can now provide unprecedented advantages without the attendant costs.
Now, it is understood that sometime in September, the Office of the Prime Minister will be submitting a draft ICT Policy to Cabinet in September. According to a news release from the Office of the Prime Minister, the policy will include a recommendation to establish a Single Regulator for the converged ICT sector, which will be empowered to treat with select competition issues that are specific to the industry. Separate treatment for content regulation is also indicated in the document.
The move reflects Government’s recognition that national development imperatives are linked to a robust ICT infrastructure that will facilitate the delivery of emerging ICT-based services relevant to government, business and the society in general.
So what does ICT typically entail; while the definition is broad and academic, it simply refers to all those technologies that enable communication and information processing and presentation. To simplify this in more common terms, it encompasses capabilities like voice/phone, email, web, fax, printing, storage (of data/information) and security (of information) etc, which are delivered over hardware and software products (often from several different vendors).
However, it is believed that this draft will address a wide range of matters inclusive of creating a modern, cohesive and responsive legal and administrative framework; efficient spectrum planning, allocation and assignment; facilitating the accelerated deployment of affordable and accessible high capacity networks island wide; in addition to building the human capacity to support investments in and continued growth of ICT. Focus is also given to the objective of having an ICT environment in which consumers enjoy efficient and reliable communications services that conform to international Quality of Service standards.
The benefits of ICT to a business are vastly outside the scope of this short article, but it is important to stress that it enables even the smallest of businesses to extend its reach and be more effective, while making it more efficient i.e. reduce the cost and time) to do so.
CALENDAR OF EVENTS
Friday, September 4, 2009
Seminar “Strategies to Cope with Global Uncertainty – Choices for Caribbean Business & Finance,” Caribbean Centre for Money & Finance (CCMF), University of the West Indies & Bank of Jamaica, Jamaica Conference Centre, Kingston. Speakers include Professor Avinash Persaud, a member of the UN Secretary General’s special committee on the global financial crisis, and Mr Michael Horgan, Executive Director for Canada and several Caribbean countries at the IMF. Details and registration: http://www.ccmf-uwi.org and http://www.boj.org.jm
Thursday, September 10, 2009
Panel Discussion: The International Monetary Fund (IMF) – What Does It Mean For You? Organized by the Jamaica Fulbright-Humphrey Alumni Association (JFHAA), at 5:30 p.m., the Petroleum Corporation of Jamaica (PCJ) Auditorium and it is open to the public. For further information, please contact Dennis Hickey, PR Officer, JFHAA at 754-1986 direct; 754-1980-3; 999-4439 (cell).
Sunday, September 13, 2009
Caribbean Wellness Fair, Kingston & St. Andrew Action Forum & the Ministry of Health, at Half-Way Tree Square at 10:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m.
TWO PUBLICITY TIPS TO HELP YOU PROMOTE
YOUR SMALL BUSINESS MORE EFFECTIVELY
You know how hard it is to develop a service or product.
It may be a labour of love, but it’s still a labour. And while you’re not out there cracking rocks with a sledgehammer, some might even call it hard labour. That’s okay. Nothing good comes easy. And there’s no question that you’re wonderfully suited for this kind of labour, right? But the challenge comes shortly after you finish labouring on your masterpiece.
What do I mean? You’ve got to jump into the promotional trenches and fight, tooth and nail. Consumers need to know that your product or service is out there and national media exposure is the best way for you tell them.
Call it the double whammy of product or service development — as hard as it is to develop a terrific product or service, it can be even harder to promote it. Which has, sadly enough, turned out to be the death sentence for far too many “could-have-been” best-selling products or services. After all, how many companies have been great at the first “whammy” only to throw their hands up at the second (and then, tragically, and out of sheer frustration, given up altogether)?
Fortunately, good product promotion doesn’t have to be as mysterious as the pyramids — you can put some little-known (but wonderfully effective) publicity “tricks” to work for you starting this very day. For example…
Is This YOUR Month?
Ever notice how every month comes with “awareness themes?”
Take September, for example. Among its other awareness themes, September is Menopause Awareness Month, National Chicken Month, National Humour in Business Month, National Piano Month, National Sewing Month, Pleasure Your Mate Month, and Update Your Resume Month.
And that’s just September. Every month has its own theme list. And you can bet many of those months have themes aimed at your product.
So what’s the strategy here? Pretty simple, really: Tie the message of your product or service to a month’s theme. Do a good job of that, put your news release right in front of the media’s “nose,” and you could just land several high-profile interviews.
That’s one nice way of cracking into the formerly impenetrable “media fortress.” Here’s another.
Tie Into Today’s News
You’ve got to be a bit more agile for this.
Whenever there’s a news story that relates to the message of your product, cook up a strong news release and shoot it right over to talk radio producers, TV news producers and newspaper editors. These people are ALWAYS looking for credible guests with great slants on today’s news.
How long do these kinds of news windows stay open? Not long at all. That’s why, as I said, you’ve got to be quicker and more agile than the lightening fast Usain Bolt.
Either that… or you’ve got to enlist the help of a PR professional who is quicker and more agile than Usain Bolt or you’d ever care to be.
I hope this information was helpful! Is there a topic that you would like me to write about? Please send me your recommendations!
HOW TO KEEP GOOD EMPLOYEES IN YOUR SMALL BUSINESS
This has to be one of the oldest quandaries in the history of business. But, I think it’s the wrong question to ask. The question I would ask is, “How can I create a work environment that employees will never want to leave?”
The reason employees are hard to keep is because they have their own personal goals and I’m sorry to say that those goals are not to make you, the business owner, rich.
And, I’m also sorry to say, that as long as you put your business goals ahead of your employees personal goals you are going to have turnover and lots of it. How can a business create a work environment that helps the business owner and the employee both reach their goals?
Read more here: http://bit.ly/10xRyl
FIVE TIPS ON COMMUNICATING TO DIFFERENT DEMOGRAPHIC GROUP
Diversity not only has grown in the work place, but in the customer base of almost every business and industry.
Small business owners need to acknowledge the important role culture and gender plays in today’s businesses.
Take a look at your own business.
How do your employees interact with customers from different cultures?
Here are 5 tips on communicating to different demographic groups.
- Do not assume anything about a particular demographic. If you’re giving a speech, prepare, but don’t use cultural or gender generalizations.
- If you are trying to win over women in your speech or presentation, be conscious of how you speak. Don’t always use the word “he” when telling a story. Be respectful and treat everyone the same. Don’t make common mistakes like telling sport jokes or mentioning the results of last night’s game. While women are very much into sports and will probably get the joke, you don’t want to seem like you’re disregarding them as part of the audience.
- Listen to what your audience has to say. They will tell you whether or not your product or service is going to work. Feedback is essential.
- By simply making people comfortable and validated, you will be taking the first step in winning their loyalty.
- If you have a web site, think about what group you want it to appeal to. If it’s the attention of women you’re trying to capture, then you’ll want a completely different web design than if you were looking to capture the attention of Generation-X, the 26 to 46 audience. Unless, of course, it’s Generation-X women…but that’s a whole other demographic. As you can see, there are demographics within demographics. That’s why you need an intense study before you start.
The Blog Enterprise! Promoting You, Promoting Your Business!
The Blog Enterprise (https://whytehallcommunications.wordpress.com) is an online publication that publishes the latest Jamaican small business news, information, profiles, and industry trends. It is published every Monday by multi-award-winning Caribbean journalist, copywriter and blogger, Delroy A. Whyte-Hall, Publisher/Editor-in-Chief.
You are invited to send your submissions (notices, news releases, profiles, or any other small business related information) to: firstname.lastname@example.org.