Small Business PNG Style

I had my most unusual business coaching session for the year last night, with Francis and Cecilia from the village of Veifa'a in Papua New Guinea.

My brother Jon and his wife Fiona lived in Veifa'a for a couple of years as part of a volunteers abroad program (there are now numerous babies and toddlers named Jon and Fiona in the village). They become good friends with Francis and Cecilia, and were adopted into their respective clans. And now they have brought them out to Australia for a holiday.

They plan to take back a laptop and an old printer / scanner / copier to start a letter writing and photocopying business in their village. Jon asked me to give them a pro bono business coaching session. And I have to say, doing business in a PNG village has its advantages!

We talked about a few of the domains in the Love Your Business Model. Marketing isn't going to be too much of a challenge. As soon as they start, everyone in the village will know. And within a few days, so will everyone in the neighbouring villages. There's your marketing plan. Tax? You don't start paying tax until you are a big business, so finance is simplified also.

  We looked at other possible revenue streams. There are lots of mobile phones in the village, but very few power sources. One of the start up costs for the business in buying a generator to charge the laptop and run the printer. So a side line will be charging people's mobile phones - the going rate is between two and five kina.

While there are definitely differences in doing business PNG Style, the Entrepreneurial Spirit is the same. The possibility of creating something from nothing, connecting a product to a market, providing something that makes a difference while improving life for yourself and your family. The thrill of hanging up your shingle, and being open for business.

If you are ever passing through Veifa'a and need a letter written, or some photocopying done, I recommend Inoino Office Services - tell them Pete sent you.