money

Five Money Mistakes Caribbean Entrepreneurs are Making

It didn’t take me long to compile this list as they are mistakes I’ve made and some of them more than once. With the right systems and discipline you can change your money game in order for your business to stay afloat.

1 – Setting your prices too low. Many entrepreneurs believe that they will get ahead by being the cheapest on the block but that’s not so. If your prices are too low and they don’t allow you to properly serve your customers then they won’t do business with you for long. Don’t be afraid to be more expensive than your competitors if you are offering more value and better service.

2 – Setting prices based on time and not value. Consider a software developer who may deliver a business application to a client in a matter of days but which allows them to make millions of dollars. If she only charged for the time spent on the work it doesn’t represent the true value of what she delivered, which is the opportunity to make millions. Know the true value of what you provide to your clients and price accordingly. Charging too low sends the message that your work is subpar.

3 – Setting prices based on supplies and not including your time. It may seem like a no brainer but often when you enjoy what you do, you forget to include the fact that it takes you time to do the work and that has a cost. Going to pick up the wood, building the cabinets, delivering and installing them has a value. Keep track of your hours over several tasks to help you understand how much time it takes you to deliver on different types of projects and include that in your quote.

4 – Not saving. Oh happy day. You got paid and there are bills to pay and fun to be had. By all means pay your bills but save as well. While it would be a real ego boost to run out and by that new SUV with your profits, a better plan would be to reinvest the money in the business, even if it means hiring a financial planner, taking a marketing course or purchasing a new computer. Practice this rule. Spend some. Save some. Give some.

5 – Not keeping good records. There is nothing more embarrassing than a bounced check. Take the time to file your bank slips, invoices, and receipts. At all times you should be aware of how much money is outstanding, how much you need to pay out to suppliers and service providers. Design a strategy to collect payments in a timely manner to keep your business out of the red.

Nerissa Golden is an award-winning Media Strategist, Business Coach and author who helps her clients accelerate their business growth by leveraging high impact communications solutions and income generating strategies. Get tips on starting and growing a business at www.trulycaribbean.net. Follow her on Twitter @trulygolden.

Today’s Power Move – Think Rich

PowerMove---I-am-RichIt’s not spiritual to think about being rich, at least that was what the church sermons and messages I heard growing up seemed to say. The love of money is the root of all evil and it was translated and passed down into “Money will get you to hell quickly. Serve Jesus, suffer without and reap bountifully in heaven.”

What a lie. You can want money without loving money. The bible says as in heaven, so on earth. If heaven is awash with paved roads of gold why are we struggling to find what we need to live daily?

Jesus said not one bird falls that I don’t notice. Not one head of hair on your head goes unaccounted for. Don’t worry about what you need to eat, where you need to sleep or what you will put on because your Heavenly Father knows you need them. (Paraphrase of Matthew 6).

I want you to be rich. I want to be rich. If you are and I am then we can do some amazing things together and help other people who are not yet at the place to see they can get what they need to succeed in life as well.

In the late 90s I worked for a woman who taught me that I should plan my budget around the life I wanted to have, not based on what money I had available to me right that minute. It goes against rationality. It goes against sound mathematics and business practices. However, it is what you need to do if you want to get ahead.

I wrote about it in The Making of a Caribbeanpreneur but honestly I struggled with it for a long time. I wasn’t giving myself permission to want richness for myself as I wanted it for others. I won’t debate now the difference between being rich and wealthy. Right this moment we need the richness of money to do what needs to be done.

Start to plan for it. Expect it. Make room for it in how you think and how you function. It will cause you to look for new ways that you would have ruled out because of an old ideology.

As I opened myself to receive more. The richness sort me out. I did not need to pursue it. I only needed to be open to receiving it.

Practice Today’s Power Move and then taken the inspired action. Create a budget based on the life you want to have.

You are the Solution Someone Needs

My mind went back today to early 2009 when things were really tight financially while living on St. Maarten. I was not working and the kids needed everything, least of all food. There was a young woman who I’d helped the year before who gave birth to a son she didn’t even know she was carrying until it was almost time for delivery. She called me one Saturday morning needing pampers for her baby and bread.

I only had US$10 to my name and wasn’t sure when I would have anymore. I told her I couldn’t help but as I hung up the phone, my conscience convicted me that I did have enough to help. I debated my own shopping list and the truth was I needed way more than $10 to feed the kids for the week ahead.

If you’ve been following my story then you know during this time I’d been living with my ex-husband as I was homeless and not working. That last $10 was the remains of what he’d left with me before he went away on a trip. I was terrified of him coming back and finding out I’d given away the money. Giving money was always one of the things he and I never saw eye to eye on but it was a principle I knew as a child and I grew up practicing it as a way to keep my blessing flow open.

Before too long, I called her back to say I would be at her place in half an hour. On my way over I bought a small pack of pampers and the bread. She thanked me profusely and I was happy that I had listened. The question still remained how would I take care of my own grocery list. I did what I always do when I am in a jam, I pray and then think of solutions. I scraped the car ashtray, the coin cup and the chairs and the jeans..there was no cash. I made the kids some crazy meal with whatever was in the cupboards and they were satisfied. I was going to make do with what I had until an answer came.

I have found that as you do your best and rest in God’s love and provision for you that the answers come. It had to come. God cannot fail and He doesn’t fail me. A few hours later I was off to the grocery store with cash in hand. My ex had returned early from his trip and gave me cash without me having to ask for it. God always covers me 😉

Why am I telling you this? Because you may be so caught up in your own issues and all that you need, so you can not see that you have more than enough to help someone else. It may be that you need $5000 but the $50 in your pocket can help someone put groceries on their table or buy a needed medication. You may be looking for work but in the meantime you can volunteer in a friend’s business they’ve just started or at a community soup kitchen. We always have something that can be shared with others. Don’t underestimate the value of your kind words or a phone call. Don’t you dare believe that your needs far outweigh everyone else and there is no time to look out for others. No one has to know it was your last bit of cash you gave them. No one needs to know that you have needs too. Often the people who need us and ask for our help are clueless as to our own need which often mirrors theirs. I don’t know why God always asks you to do for someone else the same thing you need for yourself. He is funny like that but He is always intentional. Becoming the solution for someone’s problems plants a seed that will grow in yours.

I hope you can find a way today to be the solution that others are waiting for.

For a biblical perspective on this, read the story of Elijah and the Widow at Zarephath.

Release the Wealth

For more than a year now, I have been actively studying God’s word on seed time and harvest time. Not just through scripture but practicing the principles in my own life.

This shouldn’t be a long story but you have got to try releasing what is in your hand and watch what God does with it.

Often when I feel led to give, I am dead broke and the instruction is usually to give all of it. Hearing this instruction when what you are being asked to give is your last ten dollar, that should have put gas in your car or buy bread for your kids is hard. But I will tell you the truth every single time I am obedient to God’s word to me, He answers and not down the road either.

Today as you struggle with questions of how you will meet your next bill or put food on the table, I want you to release what is in your hands. It may be a phone call to a troubled friend with your last minutes on your prepaid or giving away that dress you love so much because you know your friend would enjoy it more. Release it. God promises to supply all of your needs, according to His riches in glory. He is not a man, so He does not lie. He will perform what He told you He would.

Many times, my financial giving has not come back in immediate cash but rather a great idea that I can earn income from long-term. He is the All Sufficient One. He wants to see you in sustained health and wealth, not just moving from crisis to crisis. There is no gift too small or insignificant that God won’t return 30, 60 or 100 times to you.

So release yourself and your gifts and watch God work.

Learn more about giving in both of my new books available at Truly Woman Store.

Don't Buy Into the Recession

Trust me, don’t do it.

This may seem a hard task when the news everywhere is that the US but also other world markets are in a recession. The very use of the word recession is powerful in itself and precludes a set of activities and decisions we make to compensate. They are counting on you to compensate for this by panicking, pulling your money out of one bank or another and making fear-driven decisions that give further weight to the “recession.”

You have to choose not to do so. This does not mean since everyone has stopped spending you go on a shopping spree. It does mean that you be aware of what is happening and continue to live your life with trust in God and the belief that His word which promises you provision in good times and bad will continue. If you do not believe in the bible, this will be hard to do. When your life is based on a worldly economy then what I speak about seems unrealistic. But those of us who know the Christ know that He warned that these times would come and He has already made provision for our supply to remain. 

Fear has torment, the Word says and when you allow the fears of the world to get inside of you, then you become tormented and you lose sleep, health and money. I pray that you will allow the joy of the Lord to permiate every area of your being and you will trust Him as never before to provide for you. In Isaiah God promises that He will open streams in the midst of the desert. This is a great time to expect God to keep His word to you and your family.

Leave the recession for those who don’t believe in the Master.