Dear Entrepreneurs and Entrepreneurs To-Be.
This page serves to provide you with tips and tools that can assist with launching and growing your business in Haiti. The information is provided in English. Your internet browser should automatically provide you with a translated version. You can also access Google Translate as needed.
There are 10 steps to take when starting your business, as reported by the Small Business Administration (SBA). The steps are defined for the US market however the process and discipline can apply to Haiti and just about any country. The 10 steps are listed below (we adjusted it slightly for Haiti).
Steps: 1 – do market research, 2 – prepare a business plan, 3 – fund your business, 4 – pick your business location, 5 – choose your legal structure, 6 – choose the business name, 7 – register your business, 8 – apply for licenses and permits, 9 – open a business bank account, 10 – get started!
Listed below are components that address most of the steps listed.
Market research is one of the most important aspects of putting together and running a successful business. You must know the size of your market, what is driving your market, how it is trending (e.g. growing, reducing, flat), who is your customer, and what is the proposition you are offering that will make your product stand out and capture customer sales and loyalty. All these points are key and will feed into your financials (cost, projects, sales, profit).
All these points will drive the way you put your business together, the way you position your business in the market (e.g. lowest price/highest price, packaging, processing, etc.; and will determine your outcomes. It will also determine how you get your funding, and how much funding you raise. Research can consist of checking market pricing for products similar to yours, understanding perceptions of products like yours, understanding how much of a need there is in the market and why, etc.
Research can be done by speaking with potential customers, doing surveys (on-line or in-person via focus groups or one-on-one), and any other gathering of information that will logically present a compelling scenario of success for your business. Listed below are free tools available on-line that can assist you.
- Google Drive (free) – provide a suite of survey on tracking tools that can be used on-line. Google Drive has always been completely free. All you need is a Gmail account to access it. All free Google Drive accounts come with 15GB of storage too, which is plenty to get started. You can purchase additional space if you need additional storage. (click here to get started)
- Small Business Association (SBA) – following are links with tips from the SBA. Again, note that direction applies to any business HOWEVER some of the specific resources will not apply to Haiti. You may see some resources for which there is a similar source in Haiti – we will continue to update and add similar resources that apply to Haiti, as available. Finally, you may be targeting the U.S. market for your business – if that is the case, these resources are perfect. Use what makes the most sense for you – you know your business better than anyone.
Provided below are planning templates that can be helpful as you develop your business and prepare for success. Note that these tools have been pulled together from various sources including SCORE, the Small Business Association (SBA), Google, and more. Although many of the tools were designed for businesses in the U.S. market, the business principles apply to all businesses. You can easily adjust these tools to add significant value to your business in Haiti.
Listed are Business Plan TEMPLATES you can use to help build your plan. All are free and can be downloaded from SCORE for your use. The plan can be as long or short as you want, The most important part is that you are clear with you direction and with your financial projections.
Marketing is perhaps the most important component in your formula for growing your business. There have been many businesses with outstanding products that failed because they did not invest in marketing.
Marketing is the process of exploring, creating, and delivering value to meet the needs of a target market in terms of goods and services; including selection of a target audience; selection of certain attributes or themes to emphasize in advertising (branding); operation of advertising campaigns; attendance at trade shows and public events; design of products and packaging attractive to buyers; defining the terms of sale, such as price, discounts, warranty, and return policy; product placement in media or with people believed to influence the buying habits of others; agreements with retailers, wholesale distributors, or resellers; and the creation of awareness, loyalty to, and positive feelings about a brand – often viewed as advertising, in many forms.
Provided below is a list of resources that can help you create and activate the marketing for your business. Most of the resources listed are free. At some point you may also invest in paid resources (e.g. packaging, radio, outdoor boards, etc.).
Learn English & Change Your Situation. – English can make all the difference with your business interactions, opportunities, and outcomes (e.g. technology, tourism, manufacturing, etc.). Open those doors of opportunities for your business by learning English. Register for an opportunity to earn a free 2-year English learning code for your phone by clicking here.
On-Going Education – Every time you learn something new you elevate yourself and inspire those around you to do the same – economically and spiritually. Be the spark of Le Flambeau by learning something new every day and by passing your torch of good fortune forward for the benefit of others.