The Central Statistical Office of Trinidad and Tobago defines a small enterprise as one having between 6-25 employees with sales of TT$250,000 to TT$5,000,000 and a medium enterprise as one having between 26-50 employees and sales of TT$5,000,000 to TT$10,000,000 (excluding real estate). To gauge the size of businesses captured in the survey without real sales data, the determination was made to define any company with 100 or fewer employees as an SME (Small and Medium Sized Enterprise. Size notwithstanding, the value of these companies is not to be discounted. It is estimated that SMEs (Small and Medium Sized Enterprises) account for about 50% of the GDP of Trinidad and Tobago.
COVID-19 has been catastrophic for the business sector and for society at large. The unforeseen pandemic severely distressed economies and people. Officially it is estimated that 22% of the Small Medium Enterprise businesses were closed since the onset of the pandemic. Some 13.5% of companies reduced their hours of operation. Only, 8% of businesses managed to maintain regular hours, whilst some others experienced increased demand and worked longer hours. The data furthermore indicate that some businesses either expanded or implemented ‘work from home’ protocols for staff that are able to do so. Finally, there are those businesses that opted to redirect operations to cater to new demands.
One way in which businesses have sought to survive the restrictions and reductions that resulted from the COVID epidemic has been to adopt a more E-commerce based approach to business. This along with other innovations have allowed for some successes amongst Micro Small and Medium Enterprises (MSMEs).
It begs the question, what can we as change agents do to help our people, our clients and the wider business sector survive, adapt and succeed as a result of the effects of the pandemic?
Our consultancy, GBest, has recognised that governments and policy makers cannot be the only ones to herald some new way of doing business. We are therefore embarking on a series of initiatives to help businesses and individuals cope, survive and succeed in the new commercial environment. Our first such venture will be a training workshop “Blueprint for Optimizing Customer Service and Sales Revenue in the online and offline environment”.
You can register for this workshop at https://bit.ly/3F9PNdD. Join us to examine modes and strategies to help us transform ourselves into the people, nation and businesses that will not just survive the pandemic but take advantage of an opportunity to be a forerunner in Trinidad and Tobago and the wider world economy.
What are you doing to force the change?