Sunday, August 2, 2015

Business Planning Tools For Startup and Small Business Owners

Tools To Accelerate Business Growth
Are you planning or running a “Lean” business?  The primary goal of every startup and small business owner is to make a profit.  Malcolm X said; “…by any means possible” and of course he was not talking about profit but it’s no different for small business owners.  The only caveat is that it must be legal and ethical.  Usually, resources are limited, like rag tag guerilla you must make the biggest impact with these limited resources.
Operating lean means that you have identified the essential functions in your business.  Then you find the most efficient, cost effective solutions.  It means implementing a business model that directly addresses the problem you are solving in your market.  A Lean Business Model is the most inexpensive way to test any new business idea.  
This new business modeling trend makes the long drawn out business plans obsolete.  Business plans may still be requested by financial institutions and venture capitalist but as an operational planning tool, business plans are useless.   Today, astute business owners are familiar with the Swedish business innovator, Alexander Osterwalder who developed the Business Model Generation Canvas.  If that’s new to you, read all about it Business Model Generation site here.   
The Business Model Generation Canvas is the foundation upon which other innovative business planners like Eric Reis and Ash Maurya built more sophisticated business planning tools.   Ash maintains a thought provoking training web platform and blog, the LeanStack where he introduces the concept of the Customer Factory.  He uses very simple analogies to explain what could be a vague concept.  If you are serious about finding innovative ways to build your business, follow his blog from the link above.  Ash Maurya’s LeanStack responds to the…
Biggest Challenge For Startups & Small Business Owners
It is not an easy task to install growth systems when you don’t know what they are.  Startup and small business owner think that everything they do in the business have something to do with growth.  For many, it is the first time that they ventured into the business they choose to invest their time and family’s future into.  Most apply the old “trial or error” method to resolve issues that surface.  Expensive, slow and unpredictable but most times appear like the best option for the business.  
The advancement of technology has improved business performance by reducing many of the risks businesses formerly faced.  The business model canvas focuses primarily on the performance related functions that generate profits to a business. 
It was only a matter of time before someone incorporated Mr. Osterwalder’s Business Model Generation Canvas.  Ash Mauyra did it with his Customer Factory, Lean Canvas model.   
The challenge: Use technology to make business planning easier.  
Today, I read an article entitled : How To Stop Lying To Ourselves – A Call for Self Awareness  I would like to recommend that you read it too.  It’s short and will take you only 5 minutes.   Self improvement is the only way to improve your life. Read it here.  I want you to read it because your business is “You Incorporated” What you do in your life reflects your business.
The author of the article, James Clear, makes a very potent point; “you cannot change what you don’t measure”.  My words, not his; a variation of a very popular quote.  When we make statements like; “we doing great” “business is good” “we all set” we are actually lying to ourselves.  Not being really aware makes us delusional.
The Cure
Measure everything about your business.  Install a system that ignites your business model so that you will never have to guess how your business is doing.  Easier said than done but doable with technology. First you must have a system that works for your particular business.  The system is important but even more important is the information you get from it.  Technology has made it doable.  
First you need to be introduced to Trevor and Grace, two innovators who used the concepts developed by Alexander Osterwalder, Eric Reis and Ash Maurya.  Trevor and Grace developed the software to assist business owners in executing their business model and measure each phase of the execution.  
The Tool
Javlin may prove itself to be one of the 21st century most effective business planning tool.   
Get it now, because if you do, you may still be able to get the Early Access opportunity to use the software for a year.  Javelin will make executing your business model so much easier.

Tuesday, July 21, 2015

The UNC Anti-Campaign

How To Lose An Election

This blog is not about politics but politics affects every retailer in TnT.
The TnT population has not had time to digest the latest UNC General Elections Campaign.  This can be better described as an anti-campaign; the NoRowley Campaign. What’s that?  That’s when a political party does something so irrational and counterintuitive that their motives are questioned.  BTW that’s my definition, not Oxford’s.   It’s as if there is a mole high up in the UNC party purposely giving bad advice.
Will that bad advice work?  What are the chances that the TnT population will believe what they did not believe a few months ago when A Topping went into Parliament and debased the institution.  It did not work then, let’s see if it works now.

The irony about this new campaign is that only the committed UNC supporters will take pleasure in denigrating the opposition leader.  The undecided voters are not dundaheads, they see, they assess and understand motives and intentions; that’s why they are still undecided.
After this campaign, if they were thinking about voting for the UNC , they probably would not vote at all.  Is that the purpose of this campaign? And meanwhile in TnT,  Dr. Rowley gets a tremendous avalanche of free advertising.
Don’t forget that “even bad advertising is good”.   And while we quoting…
Take a look at the ad…

Monday, July 6, 2015

Trending Topics In The Caribbean & TnT

Important Because We Read It

In case you did not read previous post, the Caribbean Blogger will be curating articles and reports from various publishers throughout the Caribbean, centering on Trinidad and Tobago.

Today we have a special invitation for you to join the Caribbean Journal, usually stuffed with very interesting, relevant and topical articles they traverse the islands in the Caribbean to share what is important to Caribbean people.  Take a look at a selection of articles from the...

The Caribbean Journal

A Major New Port in Haiti:  A major new port is now operational in Haiti.
Port Lafito, the brainchild of the GB Group, is the country’s first Panamax Port. It was inaugurated in a ceremony last Thursday. It is located about five minutes from Port-au-Prince International Airport.  Read More

This Top Cruise Line is Adding a Homeport in Havana:  A major cruise line is adding a new homeport in Havana. MSC Cruises, the world’s largest privately-owned global cruise line, will begin homeporting its MSC Opera in Havana in December. The 2,120-guest-ship will homeport for the winter 2015-16 seaon to offer 16 Caribbean cruises  Read More

In CARICOM a  Push for Creativity: Private sector investment and entrepreneurship are key elements for sustainable growth and fighting unemployment in the Caribbean, CARICOM Secretary-General Ambassador Irwin LaRocque, said this week at the opening of the 36th Regular Meeting of the Conference of Heads of Government. Read More

The Dailies

The Express


Trinis climb world's highest mountains to raise funds Two brave Trinidadians have embarked on a mission to climb the world's highest peaks in a bid to build a home for pregnant teens and children in this country. The T&T mountain climbers are 29-year-old Safiyyah Ali and 30-year-old Henry Mungalsingh.

The Newsday:


 HEAVY rainfall and strong winds resulted in major flooding in various parts of Central, South and East Trinidad, with the roofs of several houses partially blown off in several  Read more 

The Trinidad Guardian

Prisons officers uneasy over relocation of inmates

Just over 100 prisoners were relocated from the Golden Grove Remand Yard and at the Maximum Security Prison (MSP) in Arouca in an exercise that started at about 9 am on Saturday and lasted for about six hours, ending at 3 pm. It is believed that more prisoners are expected to be moved today. Read More
TRINIDAD Y TOBAGO: Ramesh, Abdulah launch Citizens Intervention / News day / Addressing a joint news conference at Royal Hotel, Royal Road, San Fernando yesterday, Abdulah said the meetings would be held under the banner, "Citizens Intervention", with the first meeting scheduled to take place on Thursday July 9 at the Plaisance Park Community Centre, Pointe-a-Pierre from 6pm. Read More

Sunday, July 5, 2015

Trending in Trinidad and Tobago

Important Because Trinis Are Looking At It

Get the stories that most Trinidad and Tobago are concerned about.  It is stories and news reports posted on social media; Twitter, Facebook and the local Dailies and Weeklies.  Whatever is important in Trinidad and Tobago you can follow it here.

Daily Trending Headlines

Trinidad Express:  I Am Mon $8M Man FORMER San Fernando Mayor Ian Atherly is the “mysterious man” who was approached to fight the San Fernando West seat for the People's Partnership. Read More

Newsday:  Jack Pays Up  FACED with bankruptcy proceedings being filed against him and a similar application to the courts for a levy, Independent Liberal Party leader Jack Warner yesterday delivered a cheque for a little over quarter of a million dollars to Chaguanas councillor Faaiq Mohammed -  Read More

 Guardian:  Man in Center of Enterprise Violence Flees.
The reign of terror in Central is being linked to one man who is well known to San Fernando police. The 31-year-old man has a long rap sheet in the South area but has never been charged for any crime in the Central Division  Read More

Trending Videos

Jouvert Carnival 2015

Trending Picture

TRINIDAD Y TOBAGO: International Panorama Championships in August

n what is shaping up to be as fiery a battle as any post-war steelband clash, 12 foreign steelbands will challenge the world's best when they come against 12 local steel orchestras for the title of International Panorama Champions. This competition, which offers a lucrative prize of US$250,000 takes place at the Queen's Park Savannah, Port of Spain on August 9. Read More

Is There Racism In Trinidad & Tobago?

Racism Should Not Be Advertised But...

My hiatus is over, the last post was during the Carnival season.  Truth be told, this blog did not experience the traction as it did in previous carnivals.

I am always heartened by the daily stats that consistently logs over 200 visits a day without any new posts.  The automated traffic is a direct benefit of aging with Google. This blog has been alive since 2007, Google likes that.

 The reality is that it was a  comment I just approved on a post that revitalized my interest in this blog. Funny how little things ignite action.  This little thing, this racist comment on a post made me start posting agan.  It was a post made last January about Trinidad and Tobago upcoming elections   The post predicted the outcome of the next General Elections.  It was entitled Who Do You Think Will Win The Next Election. 

At first, I was just going to delete the nasty comment but then I said to myself; why not? Why not let everyone know that there are people like this out there.  Feeling like what is expressed in that comment should not be deleted, it should be shared.

It in no way represents the feeling of everyone in that race but it exemplifies how some people in our society think.  This is a two sided affair, both sides are guilty of having similar despicable views.  Some people just feel they have the right or anonymity to express these vile comments.

Look out for comments on what is happening in the next general elections and get opinions from a semi objective observer.

You can read the post and the comments here.

Monday, February 16, 2015

Chucky Wins Dimanche Gras 2015

Second Year In A Row

Roderick "Chucky" Gordon reigned supreme at the Dimanche Gras on Carnival Sunday night to win his Calypso Monarch title for the second time in two years.

He  graced the Queen's Park Savannah stage in Port of Spain with two scintillating performances.
Chucky won the judges' approval with his renditions of "The Rose" and "I Believe" to defy the challenges of 11 rivals and keep the crown on his head for another year in what was a quality-filled event.

Devon Seale captured second with his offerings "My Humble Plea" and "Soul Judges", while third place was taken by former monarch, Karene Asche, with her delivery of "Bridge The Gap" and "Every Knee Shall Bow."


1. Roderick "Chucky" Gordon - "The Rose"/"I Believe"

2. Devon Seale - "My Humble Plea"/"Soul Judges"

3. Karene Asche - "Bridge The Gap"/"Every Knee Shall Bow"

Sunday, February 15, 2015

Can Machel Montano Get Nominated for a Grammy?

Machel Vision - Beyond Island Soca

This week, after winning the Monarch competition for the 5th time, he let it slip out he has a bigger vision.  This is not new, he has mentioned it on many occasions.

Today's Carnival Sunday Trinidad Express headline states,  "Machel Passes Soca Baston: Sets Sights on Grammy" .  

He is serious..

That is a big thing but for some people, it's the little things that count.  How you deal with unexpected situations and occurrences can give some insight into the other side of a person's character.

Last week it was reported that Machel allowed his emotions to control his behavior, publicly lamblasting everyone in sight.  His, what was described as "disrespectful behavior" triggered an immediate response of hundreds of patrons walking out of the event.

Later it was reported that he refused to apologize.  It may appear that this is totally unrelated to his desire to get a Grammy nomination but like was noted before, it is the little things that count.

In 2013 he was nominated along with Bunji Garlin to the Soul Train Awards  Best International Performance' category.  Bunji won in that category.  Then in 2014 his winning Road March "Ministry of the Road" was nominated along with a number of other local artists.

The Grammy is no Soul Train Award, getting the attention of over 100 million people is a far cry from enticing 1.3 million people to jump and wave..  Here's what the Grammy Awards is according to Wikipedia:

Grammy Award (originally called Gramophone Award), or Grammy, is an accolade by the National Academy of Recording Arts and Sciences (NARAS) of the United States to recognize outstanding achievement in the music industry. The annual presentation ceremony features performances by prominent artists, and the presentation of those awards that have a more popular interest.

The important word there is "popular interest" meaning the interest of a significant segment of the world's  population.  Popular interest will not be generated in one man but in a genre of music that is supported by many artists.  The first step is to get soca/calypso to be accepted as category before his dreams can be realized.

But never say never, with God anything is possible.

Join the Facebook Discussion On Getting A Soca/Calypso Grammy Award Category

On a scale of 1 to 10, how would you vote: Can Machel Montano get in the Grammy's next year?

Saturday, February 14, 2015

2015 Carnival Soca/Groovy/Power Monarch Results

International Soca Monarch Groovy Monarch Results

1. Olatunji

2. Farmer Nappy
3. Ricardo Drue
4. Destra

Finalists as they appeared :
1: Wildcard artiste. To be advised on Monday 9th February
2: Chow Chow
3: Erphaan Alves
4: Chucky
5: Blaxx
6: Skinny Fabulous
7: Destra Garcia
8: Nadia Batson
9: Farmer Nappy
10: Ricardo Drue
11: Benjai
12: Lyrikal
13: Leadpipe + Saddis
14: Fadda Foxx
15: Olatunji Yearwood

International Power Monarch Groovy Monarch Results

1. Machel Montano
2. Iwer George
3. Granny
4. Shurwayne Winchester
1: Shurwayne Winchester
2: Shal Marshal + Squeezehead
3: KI
4: Patrice
5: Mr Killa
6: Granny
7: Snakey
8: Iwer George
9: Machel Montano
10: Blaxx
11: Kernal Roberts

Friday, February 13, 2015

2015 TnT Carnival Police Advisory

Be Careful This Carnival 2015

Police Advice: Leaving home, wearing jewelery, wearing a mask if not in a band, not driving with a mask, must be register in a band, wearing camouflage, ladies traveling alone, meeting strangers for the first, use public transport avoid PH taxis, bands must be registered,

Jumping up indiscriminately in bands, observe band security, tolerance, act responsibly,