Nackeshia Tomlinson, Gleaner Writer
SANTA CRUZ, St Elizabeth:
COOL AND collected, St Elizabeth entrepreneur, Sidney Parkinson, is the owner of Right Klick Internet Café in Santa Cruz. Located in the middle of Santa Cruz, it offers Internet service, printing, ink refills, copying, minor computer repairs, and graphic design, among other services.
At 23 years old, Parkinson told The Gleaner that he had been in business a little more than three years. He said the business started out with two other family members until they parted company a year after the start-up date.
He explained that with the assistance of an investor, the trio started out with six computers, one printer, and some furniture.
To attract customers, Parkinson said he advertised the place for three consecutive months and did additional marketing by offering discounts on products and services. Subsequent refurbishing has enabled him to retain customers.
Parkinson is not formally trained in computers. He specialised in electrical technology at high school. However, he has acquired additional knowledge through experimentation and through videos on the Internet, especially YouTube.
Parkinson told The Gleaner that his journey to becoming a businessman happened gradually. He said he wasted his high school years as he left with only three subjects at the Caribbean Secondary Education Certificate examinations level.
After high school, he participated in the National Youth Service programme, where he was exposed to information and communications technology. He later worked at two other companies. Parkinson said those experiences fuelled what he described as his desire to be a business owner.
Additionally, a series of tragic events in his family helped to motivate him as a businessowner. He lost two brothers in a drowning incident in September 2008 and another brother in a fire in 2009.
Still affected by the tragedies, he admitted that those events have influenced his work ethic as he works seven days a week.
He said his added motivation comes from the urge to reach a palce where he can support his parents and his future family.
Parkinson told The Gleaner that he was attending classes in principles of business and principles of accounts.
"I plan to go deeper in business, and if you plan to go deeper and be successful, you need to have some understanding to make a profit, and all of that. You need to know what business is about."
He plans to attend university eventually. Parkinson, who is looking forward to being an accomplished businessman in the future, advised young people that "anything the mind can conceive, it can materialise. Wor whatever you think, it can be done - as bizarre as it might sound."