Starting a Manufacturing Business in Trinidad and Tobago: Key Things to Know
Entrepreneurs are always seeking a combination of new challenges and tried-and-tested models. If you have that sort of mindset, it’s perfectly normal for you to be applying standard procedures for efficiency and productivity to drive profits incrementally, while also entertaining some risky business proposals.
Going against the grain can yield unexpected rewards if you get the timing right. In Trinidad and Tobago, for example, the major industry contributing to a high GDP per capita is energy. Due to the trade surplus generated by this wealth of energy reserves, the country has traditionally been an importer of food and manufactured goods. However, with several global factors leading to increased volatility in energy prices, there is considerable incentive now for diversification, and the government has recently been encouraging the development of the manufacturing sector.
There may be a great opportunity in this market to do something different and establish a manufacturing business now as the economy shifts further away from its reliance on the energy industry. Here are some things to consider before you start.
The manufacturing plan
A good business plan is founded on identifying and addressing a need. You can observe your local community for ideas, and talk to people in business about common problems in their respective fields. Some suggestions include manufacturing local jewelry to compete in women’s fashion, or production of agricultural tools and components to help supply local farmers with their needs.
Many people find it easier to import various products to meet their needs because the overall cost after markup is still lower than what it would take to manufacture things from scratch. Finding a solution such as cheaper materials or locally assembled machinery can be the starting point for you to use economies of scale to undercut the prices of imported goods eventually.
Organize and develop
Before you start looking for funding, you need to formalize your plan and have a presentation ready. This includes a summary of your idea, estimated sales and startup costs, and other assets you’ll need. Having a prototype of your product is also essential. Look for expert machine shop services in Trinidad and Tobago so that you can have a working prototype crafted to your specifications.
Along the same lines of doing something different, it’s important to keep an eye on the export market for your manufacturing business. Industry leaders have pointed out that the country’s manufacturing industry has saturated the Caribbean, and this limits diversification options. The government has been working on improving its trade agreements with the US and Canada as well as other nearby Central and Latin American countries, which presents significant opportunities for your business to grow and access bigger markets down the line.
Address labor issues
A common problem encountered by businesses across industries in Trinidad and Tobago is the shortage of skilled labor. Part of this is due to the lack of training programs, as well as poorly developed transportation networks leading to congestion and wasted time for employees. This has a significant negative effect on productivity.
You may want to forestall or mitigate at least part of the problem by coming up with your solutions. Coming up with your training programs for members of the local community can help your business draw upon a skilled pool of workers who don’t need to travel far to get to work. It’s important to keep working closely with the community to maintain good results.
As Trinidad and Tobago begin to lessen their dependence on energy reserves, you could profit greatly from a measured risk and establish a manufacturing business in a favorable climate.