Business

Moguls get serious

BY NEKIESHA REID Business reporter

Friday, September 28, 2012    

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HOT on the heels of their first business-coaching workshop, the 'three to watch' from the Jamaica Observer's Mogul in the Making competition have redoubled their efforts.

Alex Morrissey — the Readers' Choice — expects to have three magazines on store shelves by the end of the year.

Morrissey's Internet business, Jamaicansmusic.com, shares all genres of local music and continues to grow at a steady pace, even giving away two scholarships this year.

But students aren't the only beneficiaries of the three-year-old company.

The start-up, which earns much of its revenue from advertisers, is flexible and willing to work within a proposed budget, Morrissey said.

"Depending on the event, we may exchange advertising space for exclusive coverage," he said.

The website specialises in packaged advertising similar to that done for international music festival Reggae Sumfest, he said.

"We do a pre- and a post-event interview, which are posted to the site along with the banner," he said, adding that the event's promotion is also done through the Jamaicansmusic.com Facebook page, which has over two million subscribers.

With two new hires, the company has a staff of 12 made up of full-time, part-time and contract workers.

Erica Wynter's C & E Innovational Services — the Judges' Choice — can boast of creating even more jobs, having hired three people.

Over 60 people are employed by the bearer and business services company, up from two at the company's start in 2009, Wynter said.

This number may rise still further, she said, as more bearers would be needed to keep up with the recent decision to extend delivery times to 11pm and on holidays.

"As a team, we made the decision to do the extra time based on the demand," she said, "but we are increasing our promotion for [after-hours delivery] and we must continue to satisfy our customers".

In addition to the company's main service, C&E is in the process of planning a taxation seminar for entertainers, but Wynter said the date had not yet been confirmed.

Earlier this year, Angelica Barrett, owner of the Journalists' Choice — Glad Helpers — said that even though she got many requests for her services islandwide, she was not yet ready to expand beyond Kingston.

But a growth in staff numbers to five has now enabled the 11-month-old cleaning company to expand into St Catherine and Clarendon.

Although advertised as a "domestic cleaning service", commercial clients have always been on her list, said Barrett. "Our main focus is domestic cleaning since this is our specialty".

The Jamaica Observer's Mogul in the Making competition was launched in January to highlight businesses started in the past three years.

The competition — started with 21 nominees — wrapped up six months ago, with prizes including ongoing mentorship for the 'three to watch'.

Last month, sponsor Scotiabank hosted its "Action Clinic", which both Barrett and Wynter described as "priceless".

"It gives you a sense of direction, motivates and empowers you," Barrett said, noting that her business now has the tools to succeed.

"I have used it to inspire my team and others," Wynter said. "It has helped us to earn the trust of customers, which makes it easier to sell our business."

The entire experience provided a network of entrepreneurs for Morrissey, who said the competition and everything that goes with it helped people realise his company was not just for entertainment value but should be appreciated as a legitimate business.

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