On Friday morning, Dancehall Queen Spice showed that she clearly knew the assignment. She put her artiste profile on pause, and Grace Hamilton, the company CEO, walked through like a champion – wearing a Grace Noir top, of course – and delivered a set that was professional, riveting and full of spice.
Hamilton was one of the speakers at telecoms giant Flow’s weekly virtual ‘InKnowvation: Small Business Fridays’ live stream sessions, and she effortlessly brought the wow factor as she stunned with her knowledge of the topic, her fluency and candour, while injecting a little humour. Flow Business InKnowvation live streams aim to empower small and medium business customers and help them grow their businesses in the digital age.
The owner of several houses and the CEO of Spice Official Entertainment; Graci Noir, a clothing brand; and Faces & Laces, a company that provides full lace wigs, Hamilton shared tips on how to run a business using the digital tools available. Spice knew the jargon and terms such as “multiple streams of income”, “effective marketing strategy”, “brainstorming”, “search engine optimisation”, easily rolled off her tongue as she outlined to her captive audience the skills needed for success.
“Moving from traditional to digital marketing is the new way of getting your brand out there. Everything is getting modernised; you have to change with the times. Now it’s right at your fingertips. Digital marketing is the new way of promoting your business. Without digital marketing in this lifestyle, your business is absolutely nothing,” the entrepreneur stated.
She even used the analogy of a business as your vehicle.
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“Your business is your vehicle, and you have to maintain it and make noise with your marketing strategy. When you are on the road, and you are driving, there are distractions – other cars, loud noise, police may pull you over, you may get a flat tyre – but just focus on the road. Press gas and never look back until you achieve your goals,” she advised.
Showing her social media savvy, Hamilton dropped a few nuggets. “What I want you to realise with social media is that you first need to know your target audience. For example, let’s say that you are starting a swimwear line. You can pay to promote on Instagram, but you wouldn’t want to promote on Pinterest, which has a more mature audience. Learn about things like Google Ads; TikTok is hot and hype right now,” Hamilton said as she unveiled her 10 ‘Ms’ in business.
These include a master plan, manufacturing, manifest, money, motivated, marketing, margin, multiply, management and maintaining.
Hamilton, who lost her house in a fire, now owns several houses. She told business bible Forbes magazine in a September interview that although she grew up in poverty in Old Braeton in Portmore, her entrepreneurial spirit was ignited by her mother, who used to catch fish and sell it at her restaurant by the water.
“I come from humble beginnings, and I managed to overcome all of the adversity and boss up. On top of that, I lost my house due to a fire when I was in high school. I remember coming back from school, and my house was gone. My tag line now is, ‘From homeless to owning houses’. Now, I own multiple homes between Jamaica and Atlanta. My journey has been a rough one, but I always tell people, ‘It’s not how you start the race. It’s how you end that matters’.”
Last Friday, Hamilton emphasised that poverty was “not where [she] wanted to stay”.
“Knowing where I wanted to go motivated me. Write your business plan, write down your goals. If I can do it, you can do it. It is important to make some noise along the way, toot your horn. I believe in multiple streams of income. The same way, you have different bills; you want to have different streams. I like the finer things in life – eat good, dress good. I have to place myself in the position to live in comfort,” she said.
Hamilton, who revealed that she is currently at the Miami University, shared that she has experienced pitfalls and made mistakes along the way but noted that it is “important to feed your brain so that you have the knowledge to set up your business. I can say knowledge is power.”
The live chat was flooded with positive comments, including one which stated, “Thank you, Grace, for speaking into us and giving us the tools we need to succeed.”
Flow Business InKnowvation live streams are part of the company’s Small Business Month line-up of activities with engaging speakers, hands-on workshops, and a chance for participating small businesses to present their business and ideas to win an opportunity to pitch to an expert panel, with cash and prizes totalling US$15,000 to be invested in the successful pitches.
Grace Hamilton’s 10 ‘Ms’ in business
– Master plan