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We Always Should Look At Things On A Net Basis.

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“When I elongate the relationship that I have had personally with Dennis and Patrick, and when I think about the relationship that these two gentlemen have had with the organisation, against the background of what we were going through at that moment I said to myself (as I said to Dennis in a WhatsApp chat), ‘We always should look at things on a net basis. You don’t judge a relationship by the ups or the downs in the short run, you look at the net positive over the long run.’ So it was with that in mind I reached out to Patrick,” Lee-Chin noted.

“We’ve had disagreements [in the past] but it was more because we were debating. We’ve never had any emotional angst with each other, never!” he posited.

Michael Lee-Chin, chairman of NCB Financial Group

Source: https://www.jamaicaobserver.com/business/golden-handshake/

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Why Caribbean Startups should embrace eCommerce

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In recent years, the Caribbean region has witnessed a burgeoning entrepreneurial spirit, with startups emerging across various industries. However, despite this growth, many startups in the Caribbean have yet to fully tap into the potential of eCommerce. In today’s digital age, eCommerce presents an invaluable opportunity for Caribbean startups to expand their reach, enhance competitiveness, and thrive in the global marketplace.

In this article, we will delve into why all Caribbean startups should embrace eCommerce, explore the potential for a thriving eCommerce sector in the region, and outline a step-by-step guide for startups to integrate eCommerce into their business models.

eCommerce, which is short for electronic commerce, refers to the buying and selling of goods and services over the internet. It encompasses a wide range of activities, including online retailing, electronic payments, digital marketing, and supply chain management. Essentially, eCommerce leverages digital technologies to facilitate transactions between businesses and consumers, breaking down geographical barriers and expanding market access.

Interestingly, the COVID-19 pandemic played a very crucial role in validating the ecommerce business model in our reason. A 2021 study by Retail Systems also found that 78% of people shopped more online during the pandemic. This trend is likely to continue for years to come.

The Caribbean region boasts a rich tapestry of cultures, landscapes, and economic activities. Despite facing challenges such as limited access to technology, logistical constraints, and fragmented markets, the Caribbean presents immense opportunities for eCommerce growth. The Inter-American Development Bank (IDB), has highlighted the potential for eCommerce to drive economic development and foster entrepreneurship in the region.

One notable player in the Caribbean eCommerce landscape is First Atlantic Commerce (FAC), a leading payment gateway provider. Headquartered in Bermuda and founded in 1998, First Atlantic Commerce (FAC) is a leading provider of secure and robust Internet payment solutions for merchants and acquiring banks in Central America and the Caribbean. Its solutions include multi-currency, real-time credit card and debit card processing, as well as online consumer authentication and other fraud management services.

FAC has been instrumental in creating an enabling environment for a regional eCommerce market by offering secure online payment solutions tailored to the needs of Caribbean businesses. Their efforts have helped facilitate cross-border transactions, mitigate fraud risks, and promote consumer trust in online shopping.

Now, let’s explore why Caribbean startups should prioritize eCommerce as part of their business strategy:

Expanded Market Reach. By establishing an online presence, Caribbean startups can transcend geographical limitations and reach customers beyond their local markets. This opens up opportunities to tap into regional and international markets, thereby increasing sales potential and revenue streams.

Enhanced Competitiveness. In today’s competitive landscape, embracing eCommerce allows Caribbean startups to stay ahead of the curve. By offering online purchasing options, streamlined checkout processes, and personalized customer experiences, startups can differentiate themselves from competitors and attract tech-savvy consumers.

Cost-Effectiveness. Compared to traditional brick-and-mortar stores, eCommerce offers cost-effective solutions for startups. Setting up an online store entails lower overhead costs, reduced need for physical infrastructure, and more efficient inventory management, thereby maximizing profitability and scalability.

Data-Driven Insights. eCommerce platforms provide valuable insights into consumer behavior, preferences, and purchasing patterns. By leveraging analytics tools, Caribbean startups can gather actionable data to optimize marketing strategies, tailor product offerings, and improve overall business performance.

Now that we’ve established the importance of eCommerce for Caribbean startups, let’s outline a step-by-step guide for integrating eCommerce into their business models:

Step 1: Conduct Market Research.

Start by conducting thorough market research to identify target audiences, assess demand for your products or services, and analyze competitors in the eCommerce space. Understanding market trends, consumer preferences, and competitive landscape will inform your eCommerce strategy.

Step 2: Choose the Right eCommerce Platform.

Selecting the right eCommerce platform is crucial for building a successful online store. Consider factors such as ease of use, customization options, scalability, security features, and integration capabilities. Popular eCommerce platforms in the Caribbean include Wipay, eZeepayments, Fygaro and GetPaid to name a few.

Step 3: Develop a User-Friendly Website.

Design a visually appealing and user-friendly website that showcases your brand identity, product offerings, and value proposition. Optimize the website for mobile responsiveness, fast loading times, intuitive navigation, and seamless checkout experiences to enhance user engagement and conversion rates.

Step 4: Secure Online Payments.

Partner with a reputable payment gateway provider like First Atlantic Commerce to facilitate secure online transactions. Implement robust security measures such as SSL encryption, PCI compliance, and fraud prevention tools to safeguard customer data and build trust in your eCommerce platform.

Step 5: Create Compelling Content and Marketing Strategies

Generate engaging content, including product descriptions, images, videos, and blog posts, to attract and retain customers. Develop comprehensive marketing strategies encompassing SEO, social media marketing, email campaigns, influencer partnerships, and paid advertising to drive traffic to your online store and generate sales.

Step 6: Optimize for Search Engines

Optimize your eCommerce website for search engines to improve visibility and organic traffic. Conduct keyword research, optimize metadata, create SEO-friendly URLs, and build quality backlinks to rank higher in search engine results pages (SERPs) and attract qualified leads.

Step 7: Provide Excellent Customer Service

Deliver exceptional customer service by offering responsive support channels, clear communication, and hassle-free returns and exchanges. Prioritize customer satisfaction and loyalty to foster long-term relationships and positive word-of-mouth referrals.

eCommerce presents a compelling opportunity for Caribbean startups to accelerate growth, expand market reach, and thrive in the digital economy. By embracing eCommerce and following a strategic approach to implementation, startups can unlock new avenues for revenue generation, enhance competitiveness, and create lasting value for customers. With organizations like First Atlantic Commerce paving the way for a vibrant eCommerce ecosystem in the Caribbean, the future looks promising for startups willing to seize the opportunities presented by eCommerce.© Germaine A. Bryan, 2024

Sources: EY.com, premierds.com

Germaine Bryan is an entrepreneur, advisor, lecturer and startup coach supporting startups and small, and medium-sized businesses in the Jamaican MSME sector. Germaine is a skilled tactician in strategic business planning and has helped hundreds of entrepreneurs build their capacity to operate at scale. Germaine is the Principal Consultant of Gerbry Business Ltd. For enquires. please email gerbrybusiness@gmail.com.

 

 

 

 

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To Be Wise, You Must Be A Reader….Charlie Munger

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How did Munger become the sage that he was? Being a voracious reader played a significant role. Munger viewed reading as necessary for developing wisdom: “In my whole life, I have known no wise people who didn’t read all the time—none, zero. You’d be amazed at how much Warren reads—and how much I read. My children laugh at me. They think I’m a book with a couple of legs sticking out.”

Munger thought reading beyond just one discipline was necessary to become a world-wise person. He noted, “You must know the big ideas in the big disciplines and use them routinely — all of them, not just a few. Most people are trained in one model — economics, for example — and try to solve all problems in one way. You know the old saying: to the man with a hammer, the world looks like a nail. This is a dumb way of handling problems.” Source for

In Munger’s view, to be a great investor, you’d be better off reading 100 biographies than 100 books about how to invest. The key is to immerse yourself in ideas across disciplines to create your latticework of mental models. He admonished people to “Develop into a lifelong self-learner through voracious reading; cultivate curiosity and strive to become a little wiser every day.”

Charlie Munger, the vice chairman of Berkshire Hathaway and Warren Buffett’s business partner, died November 28 — less than a month short of his 100th birthday.

Source: John Jennings Forbes Contributor
I write about investments and issues that affect wealthy families.

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Beware Of Making Decisions Based On Predictions of the Future…..Charlie Munger

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Given Berkshire Hathaway’s great success, you’d think that Munger and Buffett had an uncanny ability to predict the future. The opposite is true: A pillar of their success is their ability to admit they cannot predict the future.

Munger has noted that he’s “never been able to predict accurately. I don’t make money predicting accurately. We just tend to get into good businesses and stay there.” Moreover, Munger didn’t place much stock in experts’ predictions either: “People have always had this craving to have someone tell them the future. Long ago, kings would hire people to read sheep guts. There’s always been a market for people who pretend to know the future. Listening to today’s forecasters is just as crazy as when the king hired the guy to look at the sheep guts. It happens over and over and over.” Source for quotes.

I think about Munger’s perspective whenever I’m tempted to click on some investment guru’s prediction about what the stock market will return or the path of interest rates. If Munger and Buffett, two of the greatest investors of all time, don’t think they can predict the future or listen to expert predictions, why should we behave any differently?

Charlie Munger, the vice chairman of Berkshire Hathaway and Warren Buffett’s business partner, died November 28 — less than a month short of his 100th birthday.

Source: John Jennings Forbes Contributor
I write about investments and issues that affect wealthy families.

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Know The Other Side’s Arguments……Charlie Munger

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Munger cautioned against having an opinion unless you are fully educated on all sides of the issue, which is a specific application of the concept of inversion.

In 2007, Munger gave the commencement speech at the USC School of Law, and in his talk, he warned of “extremely intense ideology because it cabbages up one’s mind.” He told the attendees that whenever he “drifts toward preferring one ideology over another” he forces himself to consider the other side by telling himself, “I’m not entitled to have an opinion on this subject unless I can state the arguments against my position better than the people do who are supporting it. I think only when I reach that stage am I qualified to speak.”

The underlying concept is that it takes work to have an informed opinion, and ideological thinking is lazy thinking. Instead of looking for facts that support your ideological leanings, having a valid opinion involves the often painful task of researching facts that support the other side.

Charlie Munger, the vice chairman of Berkshire Hathaway and Warren Buffett’s business partner, died November 28 — less than a month short of his 100th birthday.

Source: John Jennings Forbes Contributor
I write about investments and issues that affect wealthy families.

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The Power Of Inversion……Charlie Munger

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“Invert, always invert.” – Carl Jacobi, 19th century mathematician

A compelling mental model Munger espoused is inversion, based on Jacobi’s belief that a powerful way to solve math problems is to restate them in inverse form. Munger’s insight is that inversion is robust beyond mathematics; thinking is clarified by considering issues both forward and backward ways.

Most of us think of our goals in a forward direction, as in, “What do I need to do to accomplish my goal?” But it can be powerful to look at it backward by thinking about what we should do to ensure we won’t meet our objective. For example, if you want to lose weight, instead of just thinking about what you need to do to lose weight, it’s also instructive to ask yourself, “What would I do if I didn’t want to lose weight?” Those things might include not exercising, overeating, avoiding fruits and vegetables, and consuming many highly processed foods loaded with sugar. That inverted list can help you decide how to behave to achieve your goals.

Also, as I wrote in “Five Ways to Be a Terrible Investor,” inversion is a mental model that is valuable in shaping good investment behavior.

Charlie Munger, the vice chairman of Berkshire Hathaway and Warren Buffett’s business partner, died November 28 — less than a month short of his 100th birthday.

Source: John Jennings Forbes Contributor
I write about investments and issues that affect wealthy families.

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