Entrepreneurship in Trinidad and Tobago is considered by many persons often as a means of obtaining quick income. The journey to become an entrepreneur starts with the idea. We cannot however be very swift to act on every idea we have. We must determine why we want to go into business. What ever the reasons you should consider them seriously and determine whether they will be enough to allow you to persevere in business in times when things are not going as you expected.
One of the important factors that we must be aware of is that there are advantages and disadvantages of entrepreneurship and we must count the cost correctly before leaving our jobs and launching out. The first thing we have to do is examine whether we can deal with the possible disadvantages of entrepreneurship.
The disadvantages are many and it is in this area that we can offer you assistance. Generally there is high risk and less than fifty percent of new businesses survive more than one year beyond start up. You have financial and legal responsibilities with respect to your employees and you are personally responsible for all aspects of the business. You can therefore be sued for all debts of the business that you may have to repay from non-business income and even risk the sale of your personal assets. You are ultimately responsible for acts committed by your staff and have to respond to customers, creditor, the government and the competition. Often your personal life suffers as you have long hours at the business trying to deal with emergencies, etc. The success of the business depends on you.
There are many benefits of being an entrepreneur
You may be wondering with so many disadvantages why persons go into entrepreneurship. There is a sense of independence, self-employment, being your own boss, of pride and ownership of the accomplishment. It provides you with an opportunity to take control of your business, to challenge yourself, to follow you passion, to give back to your community, to make a difference, to reap high profits while pursuing your interest and at the same time being able to help your workers to achieve their potential. You can find your own work/life balance. There is also the great satisfaction of developing new skills and of offering a product or service of value in the marketplace. Invariably you interact with many persons thus extending your network or associates and sometimes even getting new friends.
You may be thinking of going into business believing that this will allow you to have:
1 More money than you ever did in any job.
2. More financial security than you ever could in a job.
3. More independence than is ever possible in a job.
4. More satisfaction than you ever could in a job.
You have to carefully weigh the above against the risks involved and to determine whether you are willing to take those risks.
Judging your readiness for entrepreneurship in Trinidad and Tobago.
The Micro and Small Enterprise (MSE) Development Policy for Trinidad and Tobago 2014 – 2016 of the Ministry of Labour and Small and Micro Enterprise Development gives a lot of up-to-date information on entrepreneurship in Trinidad and Tobago. It is useful to peruse this document which discusses driving entrepreneurship in the country.
In order to go forward you have to examine in greater detail your readiness for entrepreneurship and the reason for your going into entrepreneurship. Often the reason can be the belief that it will enable you to have income you will not have in a job. Please note that often in the early months of a business the business owner does not receive money from the business. You should therefore be in a position to meet your own expenses in this settling in period.
Check out our entrepreneurial assessment exercises to determine your suitability for business and why entrepreneurs should choose ffts, to see what help can be given.
The entrepreneurial exercises are designed to help you to more clinically examine any proposed move into entrepreneurship and to allow you to determine areas you need to improve on.
Challenges of entrepreneurship
Having come through the test successfully you need to ponder some of the challenges. There is the need:
- For initial startup funding,
- To ensure proper market research is done and there is a market for your product or service which will enable you to operate at a profit
- To ensure that you have a proper marketing strategy to create product/service awareness and you can successfully reach your target market.
- To set up the business with its systems, procedures, processes
- To hire the proper staff, obtain the required suppliers
- To manage not only your time but the time of your staff.
There is Help available to become an entrepreneur in Trinidad and Tobago
The blog post entitled “Doing Business in Trinidad and Tobago” discusses government’s online facilities which make doing business in the country easier through the Trinidad and Tobago Trade and Business Information Portal.
MSME Clearinghouse: Trinidad and Tobago discusses a series of national iniatitives to support the MSME Sector.
One can also check the Green Enterprise Development Policy for Micro and Small Enterprises and Cooperatives of the Ministry of labour and Small and Micro Enteriprese Development.
At this stage it is important to check the Lolovesit Startup Business Model Checklist. While on my face book page – Project Management Made Easy, like it and browse around for additional information.
You may also go to the blog on this website and read the articles on business start up
You can also check my article on funding small businesses in Trinidad and Tobago