Small Business Owners Learn Effective Marketing Strategies

Micro and small business owners from a number of inner city communities in Kingston and St. Andrew benefited from well-needed information and advice on effective marketing strategies to improve their businesses, during a workshop on Tuesday (October 12).
The three-hour session, which was organised by the Churches Co-operative Credit Union (CCCU) in collaboration with the Citizen Security and Justice Programme (CSJP), was held at the Ministry of National Security headquarters in New Kingston, under the theme: ‘How to market your business cost effectively’.
Approximately 30 micro and small business owners participated in the workshop from a number of sectors, including cosmetology, catering, landscaping, entertainment, automobile, and food and beverage.
Marketing and Public Relations Manager at CCCU, Juven Montague-Anderson provided the participants with solid marketing advice during the lively rap session, while the business owners shared their experiences and challenges.
Mrs. Montague-Anderson told the business owners that the image, quality of service, convenience and pricing of their products and services were just a few of the reasons persons will choose to do business with them over someone else. She advised them to pay special attention to the needs of their customers, and ensure that their products are of a quality that will set them apart from the competition.
Mrs. Montague-Anderson also suggested marketing strategies such as creating business cards and flyers and participating in tradeshows; and creating business partnerships as an effective cost cutting measure. She further urged them to maintain a solid and reliable customer base.
Landscaper, Phillip Watson, said he was extremely excited about the information he received during the seminar, which he believes will help him improve and further develop his small business.
He has been operating as a certified landscaper in Kingston for the past two years after graduating from the HEART/National Training Agency. Mr. Watson said the field is sometimes quite challenging, but admitted that due to the recent heavy rains, he has seen an increase in the amount of work to be done.
He told JIS News that the workshop has helped him to look more seriously at the financial and marketing aspects of his business.
Caterer, Sherell Smith-Walker shared similar sentiments, noting that she will be looking seriously at partnering with two other business owners she met at the workshop as a cost cutting initiative.
“I’ve been trying for a long time to open my own restaurant, but I cannot afford the rent and one of the things we learned at the workshop is that we can form networks and partnerships to make thing easier. So, I am planning to partner with two other women, who do baking to see if we can rent a space together and share the rent,” Mrs. Smith-Walker said.
The workshop was the second in a series entitled: ‘$mart Actions = $mart Results’ organised by the CSJP and CCCU, and targets inner city entrepreneurs. The first workshop took place on Wednesday (August 11) at the Cassia Park Community Centre in Kingston, with some 28 persons in attendance.
Mrs. Montague-Anderson said the main objectives of the sessions are to foster the development of small businesses, and provide entrepreneurs in inner city communities with the right tools and “the know-how on how to conduct their businesses in order to succeed.”
CSJP is a multi-faceted crime and violence prevention initiative of the Ministry of National Security, which focuses on building community safety and security. The programme provides crime and violence prevention services to 28 vulnerable and volatile communities, and supports institutional strengthening at the Ministry level.

JIS Social