Rashida’s guide to feeding your passion
How many times have you heard people say you should do what you’re passionate about, love what you do and it never feels like work?
While Rashida Parasram might not have the copyright on the term “Feed The Passion” that is exactly what she does with her blog of the same name and within her business MPR Consulting.
In an interview with BARBADOS BUSINESS AUTHORITY, the lifestyle blogger, editor of Feed The Passion and managing director of accountant consultant business said she started the blog after starting the business when she left Ernst & Young.
“I still wanted that thing to do. I was trying to figure out what was the thing I wanted to do, what it is I want to be known for or contribute to. In May, 2015, I went to an infoDev session for entrepreneurship and incubation and while I was there we had this group setting and we had to come up with innovative ideas to propose an incubation programme for. I was sitting at a table with all females and we decided to be entrepreneurs,” she said..
“After that, I started to do some research on female entrepreneurship and different things and what I found was that women are very quick to form informal businesses. They have a hobby or something they’re good at and they would go to friends and family and sell their product or perform the service.
“When it comes to structuring the business, I find that’s where it tends to fall by the wayside a little bit or it’s because of the kids or some other commitment, that it doesn’t meet the potential that it has,” she added.
Having done business advisory at both KPMG and Ernst & Young, Parasram thought about what she could come up with to help women instead of looking to others and she is doing this through Feed The Passion aimed at helping women not only launch but successfully grow their businesses.
She started with a Facebook page to “weed out” what women were interested in before moving on to launch a website in June and then producing a magazine for Barbados Youth Business Trust’s Global Entrepreneurship Week last year. She also also produced a book, Be Your Own Boss, which is an essential guide for prospective business owners.
One of her main tasks is to ensure there is relevant information about the Caribbean.
“From working in the advisory practice, I find you don’t get lots of information on industries and it is even harder when you’re a smaller business trying to get some research.
“I said maybe that could be the slant I take it from. Let me provide information that’s tailored to Barbados,” she said.
“So, when you start to talk about the things that are relevant to Barbados like income taxes around tax season or when you start to talk about the economic performance of Barbados, I found that’s where the interest was.
“When you start to talk about things that are happening locally and regionally, you get a lot more engagement on the page. Every month, it started to grow little by little.”
Although Parasram’s intention is to promote the website and Facebook page more, she is also hosting a course in March to help entrepreneurs interpret financial results so they can grow the business.
Her advice to clients depends on the nature of the consultation but it could include advice on how to go about setting up contracts, scheduling and compiling payments, financing and she has also helped them identify deficiencies and how to improve.
“One of the things I find is the concept of how to price their products,” and, she added, she has advised clients on how to structure their payments.
“I find people have questions on inventory in terms of stock counts. A lot of smaller businesses recognise that, because of how the economy is, they’re trying to purchase the right amount of stock to meet their needs. I advise them on how to go about pricing the stock so they will be able to make the purchases as they need to.
“I also find that a lot of people are asking about starting a business. A lot of them approach me through the same Facebook page, sending queries as to how they can go about starting a business and what they need to do so.
“I always tell them to start with a business plan but outside of that, I advise them on things they need to consider”. (GBM)