More commerce. More investment opportunity. More travel. More telecommunications expansion. The answer is more, and it may not be coming quickly for Cuba, but it is definitely on the horizon.
As mentioned in my prior articles, Cuba’s new diplomatic policy with the U.S. is opening up new opportunities that seemed impossible before because of the rules and regulations in place for more than 50 years. This new policy brings historical change and the Cuban population is ready.
Small businesses, big ideas
We’ve discussed the opportunity for growth in several areas: Internet infrastructure, hotel and lodging, travel, trade, and now the opportunity for Cubans to work for U.S. companies.
Americans can now directly support independent Cuban entrepreneurs and cooperatives through commerce, a move policymakers hope will empower them to determine their own economic and political futures.
This new policy will allow Cubans to start their own businesses and grow them with the help of the U.S. Americans will have the opportunity to personally invest in these companies, which will grow them financially and help Cubans personally. They will no longer be at the mercy of the country’s economic status, but instead create their own future. Currently, the Cuban government allows self-employment for only 201 different categories which include but not limited to the following services: repairs on household goods, jewelry, shoes, watches, eyeglasses, etc. There are also more than 383,000 Cubans in business for themselves.
Cubans understand that the trades they are currently performing may not be attractive to the U.S., or of need, however, Cuban entrepreneurs are now allowed to program computers, translate documents, teach languages, and perform bookkeeping for select companies which in turn might pique the interest of the U.S. companies. This will become an immediate partnership- one can’t thrive without the other.
As mentioned before, Americans were off limits from doing business with Cuba and the goods they possessed. Now, they can take advantage of the agricultural setup Cuba has to offer, providing airline travel to the island, and allowing citizens to work off the Government structure in place. This will allow for independence and really gain that band of interaction with the U.S. that was missing before.
Building a stable infrastructure
With the new initiatives in place such as: hotels and lodging, new internet systems, and now with the creation of small businesses of over 200+ categories, someone should be asking, once we hit the road running, will we be able to maintain it? Are we equipped with the tools needed to run this oiled machine to make it functional for our consumers and tourists? The answer is yes, if the right tools are in place.
Here are a few items to remember when planning:
- Administration- To ensure effective implementation and operation
- Conduct of Operations- Ensure safety and reliability of operations
- Knowledge and performance- Understand operations and practices in order to ensure best performance
After the planning stages, you want to make sure your information is effectively managed and maintained for easy access and employee knowledge.
Initial plans and practices for maintenance:
- Organize assets using a CMMS- know conditions of assets at all times
- Eliminate paperwork by computerizing- Document management
- Record history of work for future hires
- Work management tools- Helps reduce work back log and allows assets to last longer
As stated before, a proper business can only work as well as its parts, and the parts need to be in top notch condition. With the expansion of U.S and Cuba in so many directions, this is the time to take control and not only re-build relationships but build great infrastructures.