The State of Things
It’s 2020, the world has changed, probably forever. No one was prepared for such drastic changes. We were caught off-guard and severely unprepared for such events.
One thing is for certain, businesses will never operate the same.
Trinidad & Tobago definitely was not ready by a long stretch for these conditions. Still stuck in our Yesteryear practices we could not adapt as fast as first-world countries did, which left many to suffer financially(and otherwise) as a result.
Over months of restrictions, businesses and services unwillingly closed down permanently. I believe in some situations if we were more forward-thinking and dynamically prepared, some could’ve survived.
We need to Adapt, We need to Evolve.
These new circumstances, though appearing dire shouldn’t be seen in a negative light. Instead, we should see it as a challenge and rise up to the occasion.
While it feels like a few steps back for society, it’s actually a stretch back and slingshot momentum forward. It has forced us exponentially forward in some ways providing even more opportunities. We have yet to discover them.
Online First Thinking
We should be thinking online first and brick-and-mortar after, now. This is the way forward even after the pandemic is over. So why not adopt this behaviour now and prepare for a longer-lasting, brighter future ahead?
Trinis, you need to make Online Commerce your best friend.
Learn all there is to learn about the almost limitless possibilities of online transactions. Seek out professionals in these fields to survive this new world. Make your I.T. guy/gal your best friend.
Technology should not be left only for big corporations anymore to offer. Small businesses need to make this an integral part of their operations and culture if they want to survive, and it’s possible now more than ever!
It’s Not Just Social Media
This is probably the first thing that comes to mind when Trinis think of conducting business online. Unfortunately, this isn’t the best method.
Though easily and widely available, social media is still very, very limited.
Social Media (S.M.) should be considered second or third in the plan of action, whereas your own .com should be your first priority.
S.M. is more designed for online personalities and “influencers” rather than businesses, which is why people still have to pay them to promote their brand anyways.
There are some business elements to S.M., which gives it the perception that it’s for business use, but it’s far from enough!
There’s an ocean of possibilities out there outside S.M., like Shopify, which facilitates an almost all-round solution for some businesses (but not all) for their own requirements.
There’s also Woocommerce which has a wider range of possibilities than Shopify. But that requires the use of a WordPress based site which also requires a professional I.T. person or extensive knowledge of it. Again, brings back the point of businesses should think I.T. first.
There’s also our own local TriniFreelance.com which helps Trini Employers work online and link with some of the top professionals in T&T, entirely FREE!
It’s relatively new, so not all Trinis are familiar with it. But as time progresses it will become known to many and used frequently!
There also TriniBizlist.com which caters to Business and Service providers as well as Agents allowing them to be discovered easily by Trinis (FREE!).
Also relatively new to the market so it will become a top destination for business / services and agents listings in time.
These platforms are here to stay beyond the pandemic and not just a pop-up and disappear “cash-grab” tactic we’ve seen over and over in Trinidad & Tobago. They’re both free-to-use, so there’s nothing to lose.
Sister brands to TriniSpace.com which has been around since 2012! Which has also continued to evolve with the times. Which further cements expectations.
It has forced us to think very different. I for one am one. Despite my wide knowledge of technology, never had I thought Virtual Reality (V.R.) would be needed so soon in society, however Virtual Reality classrooms seems like a safe and more user-friendly solution for these times and for the future.
No longer does it seem that people working at home are considered “couch potato” workers. This pandemic has taught us we can survive it with a few alterations to our operations and only those who are bold and flexible enough to adapt, can survive it.
Microsoft has already made preparations for employees to work at home permanently even beyond lockdowns and restrictions. Google and Facebook have made it possible for their employees to work at home till mid 20201, and are considering some hybrid possibilities of this where they don’t have to come into work every day.
Why Can’t we?
Why can’t Trinis be as forward-thinking as this? We pride ourselves in so many things, it’s time we pride ourselves in Technology and forward-thinking culture as well, don’t you think?
This pandemic has shown we can rise up to the occasion and we can and will survive beyond it. It has tested our strengths and weakness, exposed some societal flaws and forced us into situations we never thought were possible. Yet we continue to aspire and we continue to achieve.
May we continue to show the world we are Trini and we are ready for anything that may come! Bring it on!