Help each other in hard times
Small and micro-sized businesses are being urged to support each other more during this recession. Former president of the Business Network International (BNI) Cecilia Elliott-Alleyne said during an interview with the BARBADOS BUSINESS AUTHORITY that doing so could pay dividends and ensure the sustainability of those companies.
“The basic philosophy of the BNI is that givers gain. If I give business to you, you’re going to remember that and there’s a level of loyalty that’s built up and when the opportunity comes you’re going to remember me,” she explained.
There are two chapters of the franchise which was brought to Barbados by Curtis Belgrave. One meets on Wednesday and the other on Thursday. Prospective members have to be invited by standing members. There is only one business in each chapter.
The owner of Nature’s Creations said when the members of her chapter meet on Wednesdays, they do so with the intention of bringing business to each other. They not only recommend the members to others who want that particular service or product, but tell them the business they want to get into or want more of.
“To me, it’s a revolutionary way [to do business]. . . . We want perfection. In business and in government, we want perfection. If one or two issues occur, I’m not a person to run. I sit and look and see first, if it is something that can be fixed and if we can fix it, how can it be done. Whenever there are human beings involved there will be problems,” the entrepreneur said.
“When we meet every Wednesday we educate each other about our businesses and how to look for business for each other. A lot of my clients have come through BNI. Not only in terms of those business people doing business with me but finding me clients. Right now, we have 14 members; we had 20 something before the recession hit, people got scared and left,” Elliott-Alleyne said.
She has noted an increase her business by 30 per cent since joining the organization of which she is now visitor host.
The businesswoman further noted that one of the things she admires is young people in business. She believes firmly that parents should encourage their children to get involved in their businesses from an early age.
“One of the things we have to learn is not to be so hard on them. . . . We have to learn to be a bit more flexible so that we are encouraging and they get interested in the business and stay with it,” he asserted.
“. . . If we do it early enough the children have, I think, a natural inclination for business. I did it with my boys with a little resistance from my husband, . . . I chose to do that seeing what my father did [she and her sisters had to work in the family business from age 13. (Green Bananas Media)