ActionCLUB: Helping Our Entrepreneurs

Being an entrepreneur is hard. You’ve got to raise your own capital, build your own team and conduct your own market research. And that’s just the beginning! According to the Small Business Association, 30% of new businesses fail during their first two years, while 50% fail during the first five. At Republic, we want our customers to be in the group that succeeds.

To help small business owners, we’ve supported the ActionCLUB workshop, facilitated by Indira Couch, CEO of ActionCOACH Trinidad and Tobago. This workshop is designed to help small self-employed professionals build the skills to achieve goals, grow profits, build stronger teams, create employment and contribute to the strength and resilience of the local economy. The workshop was conducted over several sessions from September to December 2018 and our 30 participants were drawn from a range of business sectors, including wholesale and retail, food processing, construction and services.

So, what did our entrepreneurs learn?

“My principle was business first, but I have learnt otherwise,” said Anil Gunness, Managing Director of Anil’s Tyre Services Ltd. This might seem counterintuitive. However, Anil learnt that when you focus on team building, a happy, motivated team will ultimately care for customers and boost business. This echoes a lesson learnt by the great entrepreneur Richard Branson: “Clients do not come first. Employees come first. If you take care of your employees, they will take care of the clients.”

ActionCLUB also helped other participants get the most out of themselves and their teams. “The best advice I would give to another entrepreneur would be to know yourself and your staff first,” said Dr Kristoff Samm, Associate Dentist at Naparima Dental Clinic. Lenny Hanomansingh, Director of L&S Surveying Services Ltd, discovered the power of DISC profiling. DISC is a profiling tool, where participants respond to questions in order to receive a detailed report on their personality and behaviour. “This tool empowers us to have the right people for the right position,” said Lenny.

Kimberly Raj, Managing Director of Kimsend Distribution Ltd, knows that it’s easy for small business owners to get bogged down in the everyday running of the company. However, the programme left her with a renewed focus on data. “Know your numbers,” Kimberly advised other entrepreneurs. Glancing at your bank account occasionally will never give you the big picture. Which of your products or services are most profitable? Are there any areas where you are losing money? According to Kimberly, “numbers tell a story.”

After her ActionCLUB training, Kimberly began a yearlong branding process. One of the best things about being an entrepreneur? If you learn something new, you don’t need a boss to approve your ideas. “We have control,” said Sheldon Paul, CEO and Director of Blu Networks Consultancy Ltd. The workshop taught him that, “We determine our success; we determine our failure.” To ensure his company’s success, Sheldon will be implementing more stringent methods for budgeting and cash flow.

It’s true, being an entrepreneur is hard. But it can be one of the most rewarding ventures in the world. You build your small business from nothing. And, with a little coaching, you can be equipped to see it blossom and grow for many years to come. We’re happy to have helped some of our local entrepreneurs on the path to success.

Go to top