Sunday, January 25, 2015

3 Fresh 2015 Calypso Picks for Trinidad Carnival

Which of D 3 Videos Yuh Think is Best and Why?

Let the lyrics speak.  It tells about the country.  Listen, read between the lines, hear the innuendos and the jabs, listen carefully and you too will know the future...

Tigeress:  What you willing to die for?

Good kaiso, lyric make sense, relevant and funny.

Shadow say:  Dey Sticking...

Shadow still good as always, good lyrics, relevant and old master at the game...

Mistah Shak:  Target

New man on the scene, at least it sounds like it....

You be the judge.  Which one is the best and the worst,  take a minute and leave a comment.  

Thursday, January 22, 2015

The Achilles' Heel of Small Business Success

Knowing Your Typical Customer

If you are a small business owner, the chances are high that you do not have a profile for your typical customer. You probably have not taken the time to write out a  description because you assume that you know; especially if you have been in business for any length of time. 

A typical customer profile provides specific demographic and psycho-graphic details that are unique to each product or service. Small bits of information like, what they do for a living, marital status, where else they shop or how often. 

It does seem like a lot of work; doesn't it?

If your product is selling already; why do all that?

If you asked that question, tap yourself on the shoulder.

Nobody need to remind you that the customer is the source of your revenue, the reason you are in business, the only way you will stay in business. Somehow this first cog in the wheel to success is left to one side and the product, the marketing and controlling cost becomes more important. Without customers, none of those things will matter.

Life's contradictions say otherwise.

The reality is that many businesses stay in business for many years without ever taking the time to identify who their customers really are. Businesses view this as proof that there is really no need to know that much information about the customer.

We see it every day.

A business that is doing well will double and possibly quadruple productivity. For no apparent reason a business thrives while other similar businesses around are closing their doors. It appears as if a business owner is fortunate enough to have hit the nail exactly on the head with no apparent systems in place.

The fact, however, is not controversial. Knowing your typical customer will give you more leverage and generate more profit.

Without doubt, almost every customer who has purchased a specific item shares a common characteristic with other customers. The task for small business owners is to identify that common characteristic: a want, need or experience that the customer desires.
This common characteristic is the key to opening doors and attracting more customers. Preferably, this should have been done before a product is manufactured. However, given the nature of business the task would not be changed, it would just become more labour-intensive.

This characteristic should be included in the business value proposition and clearly shared with prospects and existing customers. It must offer a solution to satisfy the customer's need.

Getting to know your typical customer inside out is simple; however, it  does require in-depth research. The main benefit is that you will attract more customers, without incurring any costs.

Your customer is the reason for building your business in the first place.  This has been traditionally where most businesses have been most vulnerable.   Take the time to get to know them.  


Wednesday, January 21, 2015

Who Is Going To Win The Next Election In Trinidad and Tobago

The Caribbean Blogger is back. 

Hello everyone, thank you for keeping this blog alive, I have not visited for awhile and now I am back it seems as if I never left.  Quite a lot has been happening since my last post on corruption in Trinidad and Tobago. 

This is an election year and it seems like once again, like déjà vu the population want to change the government.  And once again, the government just doesn’t get it.   They are adamant on winning the election.  A lot of money will be spent on a futile cause.  It was the same in the last general election. 

The PNM, Patrick Manning administration did not get it.  When it hit them like a ton of brick, Mr. Manning could not hide his surprise.  The people who supported him turned on him and chased him out of the party headquarters.  To Mr. Manning, the PNM party and his supporters the results devastated them.  Everyone else knew it was inevitable. 

Trinidad and Tobago is for all intent and purposes a two party state.  All the other parties and the independents are usually left out of the race. 

The present government pushed for constitutional change that would affect the upcoming elections but after a lot of heat the fire has cooled down.  It is rumored that it will not be signed by the President because if it passed before the elections it will help the opposition more than the incumbent party.  And they were the ones who were pushing for it to passed post haste.

In my humble opinion, I am no politician or analyst but the incumbent party will experience an awakening like the PNM had theirs five years ago.  It does not matter what legislation they are able to put in place, how much money they spend or how well they run their campaign, they will lose.  The people have had enough and they cannot pay all the people who want them out.

The only way the smaller parties or the independents will make a difference is to focus and generate a following based on a solid ideological position.  The PNM will win the next election without a doubt because there are no other significant choices.  They will win by default.

There are rumors about Mr. Rowley management style, his arrogance and aloofness.  It is also my opinion that the Prime Minister according to the constitution has too much power.  Power corrupts what is good.  Just imagine what it does with someone who has no moral compass. That is not something we have to try hard to imagine.  
They say everyone has one and I just showed mine. If you have one you can leave a comment below. 

Monday, October 27, 2014

Corruption in Trinidad and Tobago is Below Bad

The Prominent Color of Our Flag Is Also The Color of Our Corruption Indicator  

Someone said that the reason Trinidad and Tobago is in the state that we find ourselves is because we never had to shed a drop of blood for our independence.

Blood should  not be shed to manage corruption. Denmark, Sweden, Finland and New Zeland never fought for their independence and the are at number one.

 Instead, laws should be enacted to control corruption.  The problem is not in man but in the systems he creates.  Those were the inexact words of the grand father of systems Buckminster Fuller.

Transparency International annual survey of the Corruption Perceptions Index 2013 scores 177 countries and territories on a scale from 0 (Highly corrupt) to 100 (very clean). The Corruption Index, is focused on the abuse of power, secret dealings and bribery that continue to ravage societies around the world.

 What they found is that no country had a perfect score, with approximately a third of the countries scoring below 50 points on the index.  These countries are consider mostly corrupt.

 Trinidad and Tobago ranked at 83 with a corruption index score of 38.  Think about it this way, if you took a test and scored 38, that tells you something.  There is a lot of work to be done, and it does not matter what the government is promoting the picture is completely different for the rest of the population. .

Trinidad and Tobago's score is exactly the scores given to Burkina Faso, El Salvador, Jamaica, Liberia, Mongolia, Peru and Zambia. Draw your own conclusions.

Small, emerging economy is no excuse because our neighbor Barbados, ranks at 15 with a index score 75 right next to the United Kingdom and Belgium.

 What's wrong with this picture. It's all red, the color of our flag.

Corruption is a serious, worldwide, the world urgently needs a renewed effort to crack down on money laundering, clean up political finance, pursue the return of stolen assets and build more transparent public institutions.

Enlarge the map below to see where we rank or go to Transparency  International to get all the details. The link is below the map.

Transparency International

Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Advertising Your Small Offline Business in Trinidad & Tobago

A Simple, Proven & Powerful Local Business Advertising Tactic

What’s the most effective advertising for independent small businesses in TnT?   

As a small business owner in Trinbago you must have asked this question, or something similar, over and over.  This is a question that is constantly on the minds of thousands of small business owners in Trinidad and Tobago.  It may come more frequently in anticipation of the upcoming holiday season; it is, however, a perpetual question.  

There are really only a few options available to the low budget, local small business owner.  If you have operated in Trinbago for any time, you already know how you advertise in Trinidad, there are limited options, they are:

·         Flyers: Distributed to the local community.  Typically produces a 1 - 3 percent response rate.  It means that 1000 flyers would produce between 10 and 30 responses, not sales.  

·         Newspapers:  There are the dailies and the weekly that all cater to a national audience.  This has worked to extend the reach of many local businesses.  It is much better for big ticket items, such as; automobiles, large appliances, industrial products and services. Unfortunately, for locally based small businesses, the only affordable option, in the newspaper, is the classified section. 

·         Radio and Television:  Both these mediums are national and rely on frequency to generate conversions.  These mediums are also best suited to big ticket items or in instances where there is a large inventory of a drastically discounted small item.  They both come with an unsustainable high advertising budget. 

That’s it; after that business owners must rely on word of mouth.  It makes no sense for small local clothing stores, shoe stores, appliances, accessory stores or similar small businesses to consistently advertise in the national media. 

 At best, the small business owner who advertises on the radio, TV or newspaper, do so sporadically or seasonally, both very ineffective in establishing top-of-mind awareness.  Ads in these mediums may cause a spike in sales but the real, inevitable risk is the possibility that the investment may not breakeven.   
What results are small business owners seeking? 

In three words you want “more sales revenue”.   You need more of your regular customers buying more frequently, more prospective customers, more sales.  The only way that will possibly happen is to advertise more; not less. Nothing happens when nothing is done. 

As a small business, if you don’t advertise you will eventually die.  Revenue is what keeps you going, if you don’t invest in advertising your revenue will stagnate or worse you will need additional investments.  

What you really need is a systematic inexpensive way to get local top of mind awareness.  “ Local” may be national for most big ticket items and rare services but for small independently owned local businesses; it means the city and area in which the business exists. 

For small business owners, every penny counts.  They need to know that when they spend money on advertising, it works.  Most cannot afford to take out ads in national newspapers, radio and television; many turn to distributing flyers.   That experience is short lived because of the returns on investment in copying and distribution.  

There is another way.  It is a bit of a strange concept to small business owners in Trinidad & Tobago’s independently owned small businesses community.  This type of advertising is dominated by the large business that can afford the cost of designing printing, and distributing coupons.  This is a sure way to get your business in the hands of the most unlikely prospect.  Big business use it because it consistently provides a return on their advertising investment.  

Soon this simple, powerful advertising strategy will be offered to local merchants in Trinidad and Tobago.  It’s presently in prelaunch and promises to change the advertising landscape for a select few independently owned local merchants.  

Find out more about this soon to be released advertising strategy in Trinidad and Tobago.  Clickhere  

Monday, September 1, 2014

Why Are The Chinese Spying On Caribbean Children?

This Article From Caribbean News Now

PORT OF SPAIN, Trinidad -- Following several articles previously published on the issue of spyware programs hidden in computers supplied to Caribbean governments and agencies by foreign governments or companies, an amateur radio organisation in Trinidad and Tobago has tested Chinese-supplied computers and confirmed the presence of such malicious software.

In a 
letter on Saturday to the president of the Trinidad and Tobago Unified Teachers Association (TTUTA), Julien Dedier, chairman of the board of directors of the Trinidad and Tobago Amateur Radio League (TTARL) stated that TTARL’s intelligence group has investigated and tested of several of the computers given to schoolchildren in Trinidad and Tobago by the government during the period 2012 to 2014.

“In layman’s language, the children are being spied upon and at the same time being used as gateway for spying purposes. The compromised computers were sending back information via a backdoor protocol, which is normally used by government spy agencies around the world,” Dedier explained.

He said that his own daughter, who attends a government secondary school, had a computer given to her that was compromised by spyware, something that is illegal in Trinidad and Tobago under the country’s Interception of Communication Act.

Students entering Form One at government schools in Trinidad and Tobago are entitled to a brand new laptop computer with preinstalled and configured software and, in 2011, the government switched from Hewlett Packard (HP) to Lenovo computers from China at a concessionary price. 

Furthermore, Education Minister Dr Tim Gopeesingh revealed last year that 3,300 of the latest purchase of 21,500 Lenovo Thinkpad laptops by the People’s Partnership government were to be shipped to Saint Lucia as part of a government-to-government agreement. 

According to Gopeesingh, the 3,300 laptops would be distributed to fourth form students in Saint Lucia, the cost to be repaid at some point by the government of Saint Lucia.

As at the end of 2013, some 70,000 laptops have been distributed to secondary school students in Trinidad and Tobago from Form One to Form Four. Gopeesingh said that all principals at primary and secondary school levels and school supervisors have also received laptops. 

Gopeesingh said that Trinidad and Tobago’s laptop programme had ranked the country among top countries integrating information technology (IT) with education. 

However, British and Australian intelligence services have in the meantime discovered that malicious Lenovo circuitry modifications, in addition to other inserted hardware exploits, allow a third party to access a device remotely without the user's knowledge.

Saturday, July 19, 2014

A mistake, and 298 potential FB friends gone

Another example of man's inhumanity to man.  .

Will it ever stop? 

This should never have happened. Man seem to have an intrinsic desire to destroy each other we are like spectators at the arena, the lucky ones.  Lucky to be here and not there. 

But it comes home, where ever we call home, we read, hear and learn about incidents like this and it hurts hearts everywhere.  We know that genuine human beings, people who could be our friends, could justify these action. 

 They really meant to hurt others, not these people.

We understand weapons of mass destruction, total annihilation because what our belief is different from another man, country or race.  Beliefs changes, this is an a perfect example of taking permanent action because of a temporary belief. The reality is that we are not in charge. 

Call Him what you want, it does not matter if you never call Him, He has no religion and it does not matter what you believe; He is in charge. 

In charge, meaning He is responsible.  Our little minds will love to change the world, to seek some sense of comfort, happiness, peace.  Instead we get this, we get killings justified in the name of a belief.  In Gaza, Nigeria, Ukraine, Sudan; men killing men, women, and children. 

We are the lucky ones until it hits home, our family and friends.  Social media has added a new dimension of pain.  It hurts even if they were merely FB friends.

Our little minds, all of us, the perpetrators and the spectators cannot understand it.  It transcend our realm of imagination and understanding. 

We can all rest assured that because we know He is in charge, all is in Divine Order, things are the way they should be.  We need not understand, we do have to accept. 

Sunday, July 13, 2014

Internet Threat – Cyber Bill for Trinidad & Tobago

Revise the Cyber Bill Now
Isn’t it ironic that the only T&T government administration that was ever accused of what is known here as “emailgate”  is piloting a Cyber Crime Bill.  

The law enforcement agency charged with investigating that incident is still investigating and in the meanwhile the man who was originally given the assignment has retired from the service and now occupies another government cushy job. 

People on the ground are saying that the proposal for this bill suddenly popped up after the government accused the opposition of hacking into their email accounts.   Almost as if the government is making a move to protect itself.  

The proposal, still to be debated in parliament, made international news because it is so unsual for a country like T&T to consider a cyber bill.  An article in the Epoch Times had the headline "Trinidad and Tobago's Cyber Crime Bill May Be the Beginning of an Already Failed Quest"

Failed before we start they say.  Can they be right?  They say it will cost billions of dollars with no appreciable rewards.  Here are the 3 main reasons they gave;
1.   Most technology companies are very secretive with user information; they would not even share it with the US Government.  Why will they share it with the T&T government? 

2.   98 percent of our cyber infrastructure is foreign based like Google and Yahoo.  (Initially, in the emailgate scandal, the police publicly stated they were stymied by Google.  The never said anything about why they could not access the TSTT accounts.)

3.   The country’s cyber infrastructure can be accessed from as far away as Russia, China or India where our laws are meaningless.

The article quoted the expert as saying that: “…too many preceding cases have cost other countries hundreds of millions of lost dollars in their efforts to extradite accused cyber criminals from uncooperative jurisdictions; – since it is a quest that often fails”
Read the article here. 

The fact is that this country does needs defensive cyber security.  The bill as it is proposed intends to spend millions of dollars to identify and prosecute cyber criminals.  

Once again, this is democracy at work.  This is our elected government and what they say we need, we need.  The fact still remains that the country will lose millions if this bill passes.   

But who is complaining.