Yaneek Page is widely regarded as one of Jamaica most promising and dynamic young entrepreneurs.
She is a pioneer in litigant support services and enterprise-wide risk management in the Caribbean, having founded Future Services International Limited, the first company in the region to specialize in legal funding and helping companies manage enterprise risks. Future Services International Limited/Yaneek Page was a regional winner in the prestigious NCB Nation Builder Awards (2011), in the category “Women in Business”. Read More
QUESTION: I have been in ceramics manufacturing for over 10 years. I started my business out of pocket, and to be honest, things have not been easy. Working out of pocket was slow, but at least I could realise savings and it was not really stressful. I wanted to renovate my location and acquire a motor vehicle, to improve profitability, so I accessed a loan from my credit union.
From I entered the cycle of borrowing, running my business has got more difficult. My business has the potential to generate a sizeable amount of money but it is not as predictable as I would like, and due to the stringent repayment, terms, the money goes into paying the loan and late fees.
I have some good prospects, for example, an offer from a hardware chain to supply them with ceramics and my old customers who are still loyal to my product. To move ahead, I need significant capital injection, preferably outside of the usual financial arena – banks, credit unions, and micro lenders – as I think their terms aren’t designed to help you grow. I prefer funding through a private/angel investor. I would love to hear your thoughts on my situation.
BUSINESSWISE: I’m truly happy to receive your query because I can offer some advice that can transform your business while highlighting a fundamental problem for small businesses: effective cash flow management.
Let me commend you on the calibre of your ceramics, in particular the beautiful, high-end finishes which I was able to view via the Web links you sent. Since you requested anonymity, I am not able to share them here. Suffice it to say, quality is one of your strengths.
While you are convinced that your biggest problem is access to funding, I don’t agree.
Business Wise with Yaneek Page
QUESTION: I’m a hairstylist who lived in the US for many years and returned to Jamaica in 2012 to open my own salon. Unfortunately, things have not been good. I don’t have enough customers to break even and I’m frustrated. My location in Kingston is good, but parking is limited. I have printed business cards, flyers, and did BB broadcasts. The response – not good. How can I get more customers?
- C., Kingston
BUSINESSWISE: Don’t be disheartened. You are in a field that has good potential in terms of scalability, sustainability, and profitability, but to move forward you need to develop a strategic plan and start executing.
The plan will outline your vision and medium-term goals, and exactly how you will achieve those goals.
It forces you to answer questions such as: Where do I want to be? Where am I now? What do I need to do to realistically bridge the gap? What is my unique selling proposition (USP)? How can I navigate the economic environment and other external challenges?
Before you delve into the strategic planning process, you must ensure you are operating lawfully. You first need a licence from the Kingston and St Andrew Corporation.