Avia Collinder, Outlook Writer
Individuals are born with different aptitudes, and 25-year-old Tanesha Burke, part-time entrepreneur and full-time operations manager, came into this world to do business.
Frankly, if you have dreams of raking in lots of cash but you have no business ideas and - worse - hate the idea of being responsible for running your own company, this means that you will be better off just selling your skills to someone else for a monthly salary.
But, it is clear from the number of ideas galloping through this young Jamaican's mind, and her meticulous approach to implementing her very first project, that she was born for business.
One other sign of the certain destiny of this Meadowbrook High School graduate was her determination to do her own thing in spite of getting loads of discouragement.
"They told me it would never work," Tanesha reflects in a recent interview with Outlook. "They told me it would take lots of money to get it off the ground."
Refused to listen
The young woman, who had the idea of offering professional nanny services to high-income Jamaican professionals, said, "I refused to listen. I bought a book on Amazon.com called How to Manage a Small Business." And, having determined exactly what she needed to get off the ground, she begged friends and family for assistance. She is especially grateful to the aunt in Canada who gave her the money to open a business account.
Friends, she said, pitched in with their skills and assisted in doing research, constructing her company website and accounting services.
"I looked at everyone who had special skills and approached them for help."
Tanesha also chose friend, Francine Burton, as a business partner. Tanesha and Francine fine-tuned their business plan and presented it to their chosen 'assistants' who, on realising that the pair were serious, gave them advice on marketing strategy and labour recruitment.
The germ of her business idea, she said, took root when she graduated form the University of the West Indies (UWI) and wanted to have a social life, but could not find anyone reliable to babysit her son.
She wanted someone who knew about childcare and who could stimulate him in ways which would contribute to his development. There was no one that she could find, and she realised that there would be other professionals around with the same problem.
"The typical babysitter can wash, cook and clean. I wanted someone with early childhood knowledge and who knew what cognitive and motor skills to work on."
In a few months prestonchildcare.com was born, the friends operating from a virtual office that allowed Jamaicans to choose qualified caregivers and pay for them at the same time, too.
Tanesha and Francine targeted university students and early childhood graduates as workers, placing an advertisement throughout the placement and career services of the UWI, began recruitment and then started offering their services in July 2007.
In addition to babysitting services for children, Preston Childcare Services will also create its own nanny's corner at special events, permitting parents to enjoy their parties and social gatherings with their children safe and protected not far away.
"They feel more relaxed, knowing their children are nearby," Tanesha Burke notes.
Preston Childcare Services also offers tutoring services for CAPE and GSAT students.
"We try to make is as easy as possible for parents and they can pay through Paymaster online."
Tanesha says she owes lots of gratitude to Audrey Marks and her Paymaster organisation, as when local financial institutions quoted her horrendous prices to set up an account, Paymaster made it very easy for her.
She targets groups who are Jamaican professionals, who have no problem with paying for her experienced nannies, she claims.
The nannies from Preston Childcare Services are also equipped with a quick reference childcare manual, created by Tanesha herself, to ensure that they are always doing the right thing.
Tanesha, a full-time operations manager at G.I.F.T. - a life transformation coaching company in Kingston - uses the evenings of every day and her weekends to keep her company running smoothly.
Today, she has solved not only her own nanny problems but that of many local professionals as well.
She says she has other business ideas but she is keeping them close to her chest. She also hopes that one day Preston Childcare Services will be offered in every Jamaican parish.
With all that she does, she still enjoys quality time with her son, and enjoys fellowship with friends at Toastmasters, Fellowship Tabernacle, and takes in a good movie now and again.
Good time management is her secret, she claims.
Her advice to other young people with a business bee in their bonnet is, "Your best business idea will come form the thing that annoys you the most.
"It annoyed me that I could not get a good babysitter. Getting good ideas that will work are not as hard as you might think."