Find solutions to problems, package your skills this year

BY LUKE DOUGLAS Career & Education writer

Sunday, January 08, 2012

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WITH the excitement of the holidays and the elections behind us, one thing everyone can agree on is 2012 will be a tough year and all Jamaicans could do with extra money. So what are the areas in which one can earn extra income?

According to money coach and founder of Financially SMART Services, Cherryl Hanson Simpson, one should think about finding solutions to people's problems, package the skills you have, and tap into the global market through the Internet.

"Regardless on the size of your business, you have to understand, entrepreneurs make money by solving people's problems. There are opportunities wherever you can provide a service or product to someone. It could be at your school, your workplace or church, wherever people are gathered. Try to think about what is it that people want that they are willing to pay money for," she said.

"For example, one of the problems at many workplaces is that many people don't have breakfast; this could be a business opportunity. It doesn't have to be something as big as ackee and saltfish; it could be something simple like waffles or fritters -- whatever I can serve to my co-workers to make a few extra dollars," Hanson Simpson said.

Setting a target that you are working towards helps one to be more focused on what is needed to make the business successful. If you need money to pay for a particular item or pay for a credit card debt, knowing how much you need helps you set weekly and help in the pricing of goods or services, she suggested.

Hanson Simpson also said that Jamaicans need to tap into the global market via the Internet if they want to grow their small business outside the island. Affiliate marketing and auction websites like eBay are great ways to take your business to the international market.

"It's not enough to say nut'n nah gwaan in Jamaica; people all over the world are establishing businesses on the Internet. There are ways for people to link up and do business without it costing them a cent. It doesn't have to be an extensive business, it can be a niche market," she the money coach whose website address is

"Not because things are tough in Jamaica, not everyone is poor. Remember the money that is leaving your pocket is going into someone else's pocket. There are countries in the world, such as China where hundreds of millionaires are being made," Hanson Simpson said.

She also suggested that Jamaicans take advantage of the unique products available in the island and sell them to the world; spices, herbs, handmade jewellery are some that come to mind.

Hanson Simpson further encouraged Jamaicans to read and learn about business through books and online.

"If you don't have a computer at home, there are many Internet cafés around which offer Internet service for as little as $500 for half an hour. One of the books I recommend is Rich Dad, Poor Dad by Robert Kiyosaki. Almost everybody I speak to who has read that book has developed some business idea from it," she said.

One way to make extra money is to attractively package the skills you have and teach them to others.

"The new economy is not about what you have; it's about what you know. It's about understanding how to make money from what you know," she said.




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