When opportunities come calling, will our micro enterprises be ready?
We hear the stories all the time
A micro or small business earns a good reputation among a small circle of people for the quality of its products or services. As the customer base grows, clients find that wait times for delivery of goods and services keep getting longer. In some cases, the business’s standards fall as short cuts are taken to meet customer demand.
The Best of SVG 2020 people’s choice campaign, concluded on Sunday, February 16. That campaign has shone the spotlight on several micro businesses, who for the first time, are coming to national attention. Curiosity will propel many to seek out these budding entrepreneurs, but will they be ready?
Sadly, in many cases the answer is no. With greater demand placed on these businesses, many of which are solo enterprises, deadlines may be missed and standards fall, along with the once stellar reputation of the fledgling entity. We must find a way to empower these micro businesses to ensure that when opportunities come calling, they possess the capacity to quickly take operations to the next level. That means easier access to low-cost financing, technical assistance and programmes that offer business mentorship, hand-holding and financial planning.
The enactment of legislation that would make it easier and safer to transact business online, needs to be fast tracked. In general, we here in the OECS have allowed inertia to set in when it comes to harnessing e-commerce to help support small business development. The sluggish rate at which we are adopting the use of e-commerce to pay for goods or services is undermining the potential that exists for businesses, especially small and micro enterprises.
Several businesses have received the coveted accolade ‘The Best of SVG’. This can now be leveraged by the businesses to create growth, but these businesses need help in getting it done. The financial institutions and business development agencies among us should reach out and step up; and the businesses themselves should take the initiative to seek help which would help propel them to the next level while they have the attention of the public.