Giving small business owners the big picture
More than 50 small businesspeople have benefited from a special seminar aimed at helping them improve their bottom line.
Vendors were told the most efficient way to import goods, the use of technology to increase sales and smart use of social media to keep a business in the public eye.
William Spriggs, who organised the event on behalf of the Economic Empowerment Zones Agency, said: “We're pleased that we had a great turnout and that all attendees received valuable knowledge that can assist them with taking their business, whether it be vending or retail shops, to the next level.”
Mr Spriggs, the Somerset EEZ economic development officer, added: “This is what the Bermuda Economic Development Corporation is all about, supporting entrepreneurs.”
Vic Ball, co-owner of Strategic Procurement Solutions, told the meeting, at the BIU HQ in Hamilton last week, that it was important to plan ahead on imports to avoid increasing costs, while Bermuda Forwarders' William Forbes offered tips on efficiency and advised seeking advice on from Non-vessel Operating Common Carriers (NVOCC).
Attendees at the seminar also heard from Butterfield Bank's Florence Smith, who highlighted the banks's wireless credit card processing device, which allows payments to be deposited direct into the sellers' bank accounts.
And Michelle Wales, who owns CV Cafe in St George's, said that low-cost marketing techniques like using media community calendars and social media to get their messages across.
Nikki Fagan, a graphic designer for AAC Saatchi & Saatchi, said public events could be used to promote particular businesses.
She cited social media photographs of a police car submerged on Pembroke's Bakery Lane during heavy rain as an ideal means to promote plumbing services.
She added that most Bermudians had access to home computers — so a social media strategy was vital for all small businesses.
Ms Fagan said: “Social media is fluid, measurable, opportunistic and fun. And unfortunately because most of your audience is online in some way or another, although you may not go out of business if you don't use it, you certainly stack the odds in your competition's favour if they are already using it effectively.”
The workshop was the second of three — with the others focusing on merchandising for success on Tuesday, November 5, and the last taking a look at how to identify a niche market, to be run on Tuesday, November 19.
Registration for individual seminars is $15, or $20 for both. Both seminars will be held at the BIU and run from 5.30pm to 8pm.