Antigua Barbuda Association of Small Business Owners

  • 05 May 2016 8:00 PM | Jermile Andrew (Administrator)



    There are many benefits to implementing a CRM solution into your company. Many of the benefits include synergy, sales, and a happy customer. Most cases of the implementation of a Customer Relationship Management solution have improved processes, flow, and the customer experience. 

    Synergy is one of the biggest benefits of implementing a CRM system into your business. You might have a company and it seems as if the departments are detached and they don’t talk to each other. Maybe one department thinks they are more important than the other. This type of attitude happens all of the time and by creating a CRM strategy with your entire organization it can improve these attitudes. This will give everyone the knowledge how important each department and position is and how they provide an excellent customer experience. 

    When you make a job important to the employee who is working in the position they tend to want to do a better job. This is because they feel important as an employee. When your employees have a clear understanding of the importance of CRM then you will see improvements across the organization. Sales will improve also because customers notice a big difference when an employee is working for a company and they don’t feel their job makes a difference. 

    When employees are happy it rubs off on the customers. They will want to return and they will recommend your business to other people too. The biggest benefit of implementing a CRM strategy within your organization is by improving the overall employee morale. When morale is improved with the employees then so is their performance and their attitude about their impact on the company.

    (Photo Credit: http://www.themissionsuite.com/)

  • 25 Apr 2016 9:32 PM | Jermile Andrew (Administrator)


    Business Owners, public speaking does not have to be difficult. Here are some tips to help you prepare for public speaking. You don’t need to be perfect in succeeding in speaking in public. You do not need to be too witty and brilliant to be successful when you speak in public.

    Public speaking is not all about that. It may look like it is, but in actuality, it is not. You can be the average person you are. What is important in speaking in public is that you give your listeners something that is worth their time. If people leave after your speech with something that is of value, they would think of you as a successful speaker. They would consider your speech as something that was worth their time. 

    Deliver your main points You may want to put in as many facts and information as you can but only emphasize three or four main points. You could even talk about one main point if you want. You should remember that what your listeners want from you is that you give them two or three key main points that they can understand and would make a lot of difference to them. 

    If you are able to structure the talks that you have, lots of complexity will be removed. Inject some humor but still practice humility. While there are many other public speaking styles, humility and humor are some of the devices that you could use to make your speech livelier and entertaining to your listeners. Just make sure that you are comfortable being humorous and that the humor is appropriate for the occasion.

    If you do not feel comfortable giving jokes, then you might as well not use jokes which might fall flat on your nose. Humility in public speaking means standing before the others and sharing with them your own mistakes, your human frailties, and weaknesses. 

    If you show to other people that you are not afraid or ashamed admitting such things, you create a relaxed and intimate environment that will permit them to open up to you too. Being humble in public also makes you more believable, more credible, and more respected, with your listeners relating to you easier. You are no longer the remote expert who is ahead of them, but is one of them.

    (Photo Credit: edcast.org)

  • 20 Apr 2016 8:00 PM | Jermile Andrew (Administrator)

    Presented by C&W Business, the Antigua Barbuda Association of Small Business Owners (ABASBO) will be hosting: !LEAP! The SME Conference 2016. This two-day Event will be held at the Jolly Beach Resort on the 25 and 26 May 2016 from 9:00am to 5:00pm daily.

    Sandra Baptist, Founder of the Antigua Barbuda Association of Small Business Owners (ABASBO)expressed, “!LEAP!’s main focus is on small and medium-sized business owners, women in business and corporate leaders and the youth in entrepreneurship. If you want to learn how to maximize your profits and grow your business, then we would like to invite you to attend !LEAP! this May.” Continue Reading

  • 18 Apr 2016 5:23 PM | Jermile Andrew (Administrator)

    Today is your only concern. You have no control over tomorrow or yesterday. Today you are going to get the most of your day while working to improve your personal life. To do this you will need to set up time management plans. You want to include your daily activities, work, and entertainment, relax time, family time and so on. When you set time plans, you are growing to spend your time wisely. You learn to live for now, instead of tomorrow or yesterday. As you write your plans, consider how you will deal with the world around you. 

    If you are sweating their every move, you are wasting time. Instead, say, the world is their own, today is mine. If you have to work, then practice dealing with your fellow employees respectively. When you learn to respect, work in order, and try to get along it makes everyone’s life better. Each day you want to choose a couple of new strategies that helps you to improve your personal life. For instance, if you are into a daily routine of drinking only one glass of water daily, move to drink two glasses. 

    Build your health and you improve your personal life. If you do not exercise, plan today to walk thirty minutes. Plan to practice walking each day. The more effort you put into building a positive you, the more you will get from your works. “Faith without works is dead” the bible tells us. It has proven true far too many times to ignore. If you are attending school or working long hours, learn to manage your time as well. 

    Overworking yourself is leading you nowhere but to poor health. You need to take time out for you. During work hours, you can learn to deal with the complex problems first, as well as deal with the boring items first to eliminate stressing your day. Once you get past the tough, you will get moving toward the simple. Here you will find relief, even if you are studying hard or working long hours. Don’t put off what you can do today. Do it now, get it over with and watch as you grow. 

    As you plan, set a time that is best for you. For instance, do your best job in the early morning, work hard then and relax throughout the day. 

    Tips for relaxing: You can stretch in the morning when you arise, stretch in the afternoon, and stretch at night to relax your muscles. Once you learn how to relax, you can move to find ways to reduce time wasted. For instance, at night you can lay out your clothes for the next day, prepare what you will take to save time. At what time you clear up time wasted you will find more time for productivity. 

    Do you procrastinate? If so, stop. Procrastination is wasting time and building stress. Instead of putting it off, get it done now. You will be amazed at the free time you will accomplish by stop procrastinating. Do you spend long hours on the phone. If so, then you are forming a habit that will lead you to procrastinate, waste time, and put things off. Forget the phone. Set a time limit per phone call you take, or make. Saying no is a great way to improve your personal life. Saying no is a positive attitude that takes you to success. If you say yes to each person that consumes your time, you will waste valuable time that guides you nowhere.

    Photo Credit: (http://www.farrahgray.com/)

  • 05 Apr 2016 6:20 PM | Jermile Andrew (Administrator)


    Every business demands growth, and double-digit growth is the dream of every dedicated business owner, even when lackluster results show up at quarter’s end.

    Most entrepreneurial business owners need a guide to navigate their way toward substantial, sustainable growth.  It can be done even in a slow economy as ours here in Antigua and Barbuda.  

     Here are 5 disciplines of sustained growth:

     1. Retain Your Customer Base:  Keep the growth that you have already earned by coaxing customers into complex relationships that make it a hassle for them to switch to your competitor.  Tailor your products/services using data gleaned from your customers giving you an advantage.  Proactively managing customer defections will help you anticipate and preempt them. Bonding with customers wherever emotion is tied to an interaction is another great way to retain them.

     2. Gain Market Share at the Expense of Your Rivals: Give customers a reason to abandon a competitor’s product/service for yours.  Do what it takes to lower the switching costs.  Pulling customers away from a competitor can be difficult, so you must devote many resources to raiding their customer base.  Offering higher value and quality are crucial to this end.  Buying a competitor is another way to do this.

     3. Exploit Market Position:  Show up where growth is going to happen by spotting it early.  This can be done by watching the industry for shifts in buying criteria, product or service innovations, and population trends.  You must be able to spot positioning opportunities to make the most of them by continually using a systematic approach to the process.

     4. Invade Adjacent Markets: Before moving into a nearby market, decide whether it offers significant long-term growth and profitability.  Determine whether you have an advantage over a competitor, and ensure you can match its standards of quality and value.

     5. Invest In New Lines of Business:  If you take this approach, never overpay for a new line.  You must find simple strategies instead of complex ones, and partner with the new business by assessing its leadership team and balance sheet.

    Although a successful growth portfolio might not include all five of these disciplines, it must contain more than one.  Only a balanced growth portfolio can keep an organization growing when the market shifts dramatically.

    In closing, have a profitable and successful week my entrepreneurial members!

    (Photo Credit: https://fwdco.wordpress.com/)

  • 29 Mar 2016 7:21 PM | Jermile Andrew (Administrator)


    St. John’s, Antigua (29 March, 2016) – Presented by C&W Business, the Antigua Barbuda Association of Small Business Owners (ABASBO) will be hosting: !LEAP! The SME Conference 2016. This two-day Event will be held at the Jolly Beach Resort on the 25 and 26 May 2016 from 9:00am to 5:00pm daily.

    Sandra Baptist, Founder of the Antigua Barbuda Association of Small Business Owners (ABASBO)expressed, “!LEAP!’s main focus is on small and medium-sized business owners, women in business and corporate leaders and the youth in entrepreneurship. If you want to learn how to maximum your profits and grow your business, then we would like to invite you to attend !LEAP! this May.”

    The theme this year for !LEAP! 2016 is Clients! Leverage! Profits!  At this Conference there will be Local, Regional and International Guest Speakers and Presenters which will include: Sandra Baptist – Antigua, Nerissa Golden – Montserrat, A. Cecile Watson - Jamaica, Troy Holder – Barbados, Stephanie Treasure – Jamaica and Carol Sankar – from the United States of America.

    All of the Guest Speakers and Presenters at !LEAP! are Entrepreneurs and are experts in their respective fields. They will be presenting on how to attract more clientsleverage what you have to create a quantum leap in your income and understand your business’ performance indicators to create massive business growth and generate more profits.

    !LEAP!: The SME Conference 2016 is a two-day Event which will feature:

    !LEAP! Day 1: Entrepreneurs and small and medium-sized business owners! Get ready to !LEAP! and transform your business! Day 1 is for for dynamic and motivated business owners. Learn how to get more clients, make more profits and create sustainable growth in your business.

    !LEAP! Day 2: in the morning is all about the Youth in Entrepreneurship. The 1st half of the day is for the youth! By invitation only, Youth !LEAP! is a workshop designed for young entrepreneurs. Teens from the Antigua State College will discover the entrepreneurial opportunities that exist around them and the five (5) core business skills that they will need to create their own business in the world today. On this day, the afternoon session is designed for women in business and corporate leaders.

    Early-bird tickets for !LEAP!: The SME Conference are available now! Make this investment in yourself and your business. To attend, visit LeapAntigua.com or call us at 268-464-1084 (M-F 8am to 4:30pm).




     


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  • 18 Mar 2016 8:00 PM | Jermile Andrew (Administrator)


    The unhealthy affects of stress can be evidenced in physical as well as mental and emotional health problems. Besides heart and digestive problems, stress can contribute to overall muscle aches, stiffness and even pain. Relaxation techniques can help manage the affects of stress on the body as well as the mind. There are various techniques one can use to experience a state of relaxation and calmness, which require little time or effort on the part of the individual seeking to benefit from them. 

    Here is one relaxation technique that many people have found beneficial in managing the level of stress they experience. Stair Step Relaxation Technique Begin with a series of deep, cleansing breaths. Feel your body relax, as you slowly breath in and out. It can be helpful to imagine the tension and stress leaving your body as you exhale, while peace and calm fill you, as you inhale clean, fresh air. 

    Once you have done this for a period of two to three minutes, begin to experience the tension leaving your muscles, one at a time. Once you are ready, picture yourself at the top of a flight of 10 stairs. Take one step down this set of stairs, and imagine that your body, your mind, and your spirit feel more relaxed, and more at ease as you reach this step. Say the number “One” as you descend. With each succeeding step you can experience a deeper and deeper state of calm and relaxation. 

    As you descend upon each step say the corresponding number of the step you are on. When you reach 10, which is at the bottom of this set of steps, you will be entirely calm and relaxed. Any problems or worries you had will have vanished, and you will feel totally at peace. 

    Once you have experienced this state for a moment or two, you will be ready to come back up the set of stairs. With each step that you climb, you will become a little more awake and alert to your surroundings. Your body and mind will remain at calm and at peace even after you return to the final step. You will feel renewed energy, and a renewed sense of purpose and joy, as you return to the top of the stairs.

    (Photo Credit: http://www.activehealing.ca/)

  • 14 Mar 2016 5:06 PM | Jermile Andrew (Administrator)


    Values make us as a person and define how we invest our time, energy and money. When our values are high, we can reach the limits of improving our personal life. Throughout our life, we decide what we want to do with our time. Time is essential, since time runs out quick. For this reasons you, want to invest time, spending your time wisely. Spending time wisely includes activities, entertainment, work, quality time and so on. The average person spends most of their day working. At the end of the day they return home to spend time watching television, or engaging in activities with the family.

    Unfortunately, family is a thing of the past. If you want to improve your personal life, you are going to have to put family first. If you have wife and kids, or husband and kids, you will need to learn how to invest time with the family. Unfortunately, you have five or six hours after a day of work to do this. You also want time for self. To achieve a time frame that works for everyone try considering discovering new interests. When you discover new ideas, it will help you open the doors to success. 

    Your directions in life are based on new ideas. For instance, if you come home after work most times without spending time with the family, try practicing eating at the dinner table each night with your family. Do not allow room for excuses. As you feast together, take time to ask how each person’s day went. This has proven to enhance relationships. When you enhance relationship, you are also building a new bridge to personal improvement. 

    One of the biggest mistakes some people make is hanging out with poor influences. If you hang out with poor influences, you are wasting time. Your values are low. You will need to build your values to improve your personal life by changing company. You want to hang around with positive influences. Let me draw you a picture. If you hang around at bars with your friends, you are wasting time. In time, you will face court costs, fines, and perhaps jail, especially if you visit the bars and drive home after drinking. 

    In time, you will learn new bad habits. Each bad habit you learn takes over your life, which only keeps you down. Finding new positive influences is a key to success. Anyone who thinks positive will rub off on you, helping you to develop good habits. When you find friends that care about you, you will have friends that do not allow your to drink and drive. You will have friends that care about your future. 

    To make new friends you have to learn communication skills. Don’t be afraid to smile and say hi. There is nothing wrong with being friendly. One has to use good judgment however, since this world is filled with bad characters that have harmful intents. In addition, many people today fear friendliness. When you learn to communicate however, you are building blocks that lead you to a happier future. Failure to communicate is one of the leading reasons why businesses fail, relationships falter, children kill and so on.

    Communication comes in many forms. Sometimes when you sit and listen as well as pay attention to gestures or body languages you learn best. Observation is the ultimate key that helps you to gain successfully and learn to develop skills that lead you to improve your personal life. You have many options in the world. Take those options, use them to your advantage and you are on the road to improving your personal life.

    (Photo Credit: www.cpapracticeadvisor.com)

  • 02 Mar 2016 4:30 PM | Jermile Andrew (Administrator)

    The importance of listening extends far beyond academic and professional settings. Understanding how to practice good communication even in your day to day life, among friends, family, and significant others, is important for a number of reasons.

    Try listening to other expert speakers as much as possible during a speaking event especially the guest speaker since they may be able to provide useful tips while hearing them talk. This could also eliminate redundancy and add more bits and pieces when it is time to speak in front of the audience. Also, this is to save a speaker from any embarrassment, since other speakers at some point try to use materials of the same kind. 


    Aside from listening to the other speakers, try to listen to the majority of the audience. By knowing the audience, a speaker can have a clearer idea on what is really sought after and what the audience may not like to hear. 

    Here are some tips that can be accomplished before making that big speech. 

    • Whenever possible, go to the entrance hall and try to mingle with the audience as they arrive. Greeting them will remove the tension and putting a smile on their faces at the start could let it stay there when the speech begins. 
    •  Feel the room. Being familiar with the people and the place can be helpful in knowing the audience type. 
    • Remember that people came there to listen and the event has been probably scheduled ahead of time and the last thing that the listeners would want to hear is a speaker giving apologies. 
    • Do some research. Knowing who you are delivering the speech to and the place where these people came from will definitely give ideas on how to properly talk to them. 
    • Study their facial expressions. They may not be saying anything but their actions and the way they tense their muscles would definitely mean either they do not understand what the speaker is saying or they have other questions to support what was earlier spoken. If this happens, open the floor for questions. Begin by raising one's own hand to invite people with questions. 
    • The audience would especially want a speaker who is interesting, very informative, and can provide entertainment. 
    •  If they have questions, make sure to understand each and answer them in the most informative and non-offensive way as possible if the topic is very sensitive. Put seriousness in if the topic calls for it, but for minor issues, a little keynote for an icebreaker will surely help. 
    • A speaker must know when to halt during the speech. Practicing the speech at home by using a timer would help a speaker eliminate unnecessary words or phrases during the speech. Unimportant words are not needed since he would not like his audience to end up being bored and not having to understand the speech all together in the end.
  • 29 Feb 2016 5:33 PM | Jermile Andrew (Administrator)

    Are you thinking about setting up your own business? Have you an idea for a new business but are unsure about how to proceed? If you have answered yes to either of these questions, this article could be of benefit to you!

    Many people are looking at ways in which they can become self-employed, they want the freedom of being their own boss and to be able to choose their own hours of work. However, leaving a full time career can be quite a scary prospect. The security of having a regular income and other benefits such as a pension and a share save scheme can seem hard to let go. I am sure many people whether rightly or wrongly have opted to stick with this security and to merely keep their business plan as an idea, which they never see through or use. Other people are willing and happy to take the risk and see it as a way of getting out of the rat race.


    When you have an idea for a new business you then need to think of a name to call it. I would keep this name quite short as it makes it easier to remember for people. It obviously needs to have something to do with the business sector you are entering. You will now need to work out how much money you will need to set up the business. This can be quite daunting but is essential. In the short term I would advise to keep these start up costs as low as possible, you can always buy or rent better machinery in the future as an example. Once you are aware of how much money you need, you then have to find it. You may have enough yourself via savings or a redundancy payout, however most people are not in this position. If you do not have enough money, you could try and raise money via the family, by seeking a partner or by releasing the equity from your house. There is also the option of a business loan.


    The next stage is to market your product or service. There are many ways of doing this including: The internet via a website or an advert in the newspaper. Direct marketing in the form of leaflets or an advert in the yellow pages. Exhibitions and Trade fairs such as the Antigua Barbuda Business Expo is an excellent way to market and promote your products and/ or services!

    You then need to work out how much to charge for your product or service. I always keep these charges fairly low at the outset in order to attract as many people as I can and to get some income in. I then hope that word of mouth will take over and the idea is that after a few months I will be in a position to increase my fees. 

    It is also important to realize that we will make mistakes along the way. When this happens we need to think positive and not to beat ourselves up. It is an experience we can learn from. Always have belief in yourself. At times any business will go through a rocky period, this is when we need to be strong. 

    In my opinion the more work we put in, the more rewards we are likely to obtain. Self-discipline is one of the keys to your success. Being able to choose your own hours of work may seem like a dream but it can prove to be many peoples downfall. We have to ensure that we work the required amount of hours. It is far too easy to stay in bed for that extra hour or to arrange yet another game of golf. These things are fine once you are established, but this is a long way off at this stage.

    (photo credit: Entrepreneur-Ideas)

(c) 2015 Antigua Barbuda Association of Small Business Owners

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