By STEWART MILLER
Guardian Business Reporter
Many mark the end of 2010 as the close of the first decade of the Century. The decade had a turbulent beginning, with the destruction of the Straw Market by fire on September 4, 2001. A week later the world stood still as the Twin Towers of the World Trade Centre fell at the hand of terrorists. By the close of 2010 many economies across the globe had tottered on the brink of depression, and still face hurdles for recovery.
As the old saying goes, those who do not learn the lessons of the past are doomed to repeat them. Guardian Business asks leading figures in the business community what the biggest business lessons of the last decade are.
Khaalis Rolle, President of the Bahamas Chamber of Commerce, told Guardian business what he thinks the great business lessons were.
“From a business perspective the biggest lesson is that we should have learned that the old way of doing business died a long time ago, and we should modernize our approach to doing business,”Rolle Said.
“Our entire approach is old and archaic,”according to Rolle,”By now, there shouldn’t be a question about whether small business people keep good records, whether small business people can go into a bank and properly negotiate terms that are beneficial to their business. That should be something that is standard, and I don’t think it truly is.
“The other is that we need to be structurally prepared to handle external shocks. Unfortunately we are very dependent and reliant on an external economy to drive our economy. We have one big customer and that’s the US for our main product. We need to find far more creative ways to diversify our customer base.
“We have focused so much on the US for a number of things. It’s our largest trading partner in goods and services, and it’s our largest customer for our most dominant product, which is tourism. We have to find ways to diversify and expand that relationship beyond the US. Profitably.”