October 2019 Book Review: The Business Playbook

The Business Playbook by Christine McLean

Print | Ebook

Many Jamaicans want to create their own businesses because we are independent, creative people who find inventive ways to earn a living.  I believe this has resulted in so many small shops and vendors on the street. You will never be out of food while travelling around Jamaica because there is a shop at every corner. 

However, businesses close all the time in Jamaica, just like anywhere else in the world. This fact raises several questions in the minds of Jamaicans hoping to start a business.

  • How can I make a business profitable?
  • What are the steps I need to take to ensure that I am following the rules and regulations for opening and successfully running a business in Jamaica?

I believe the answers lie in the Business Playbook written by Christine McLean. She acknowledges that starting a business can create financial freedom, but this achievement is not as instant as some perceive it to be. There are certain strategic steps that need to be taken from starting a business to funding and maintaining it.

The book also takes readers through the process of turning a simple idea into a money-making dream. There are eight insightful chapters, each detailing a specific part of the different stages of starting a business in Jamaica. Here are seven key takeaways.

Eliminate Fear

Entrepreneurship is risky. McLean discusses the possibility of failure and seven fears that come with it. In her words, “The risk is worth the reward.” I wholeheartedly agree with that; we have to conquer fear and believe in our abilities to succeed. McLean suggests we reframe our view of failure, change our way of thinking and replace negative thoughts with positive thoughts such as: 

  • I can do this!
  • I am smart and capable!
  • I can master this!

Fear is inevitable but it should never be the reason for us not achieving our full potential through entrepreneurship (if that’s your calling).

Uniqueness is a gift, use it!

Being different in a world full of copy cats is imperative. Too many businesses in Jamaica are offering similar products or services. Differentiation is limited and this lack of differentiation leads to several businesses closing their doors. Providing a unique good or service is important for a sustainable business. Chapter one explains how you can create a unique business idea.

Get that business plan going 

A strong business plan goes a far way. McLean outlines the key elements that constitute a good business plan and the integral role it plays in garnering investors. We tend to prefer to store ideas in our heads rather than put them on paper. That’s one of the biggest mistakes that you can make as a novice entrepreneur. A business plan is important and McLean guides you through the process of creating your own.

Marketing is a Must

A business is nothing without a solid marketing plan. The marketing plan is the glue that guarantees how your business is perceived by your target market. Digital and traditional advertising should be used in a business’ marketing strategy. Otherwise, the business might find it difficult to consistently attract customers.

Don’t shy away from legalities

You can’t escape the legalities of running a legitimate business.  Chapter two of “The Business Playbook”, entitled ‘Get Legal Mi Boss’, provides a birds eye view of the business registration requirements. Not knowing the correct steps to take can lead to long-term problems for the business. This chapter is a must-read!


This is a part of chapter two but I had to mention this separately. If you are a bit clueless, like me, about taxes please read this section carefully. McLean explains the legal obligations businesses have to pay taxes, the types of taxes that should be paid and when they should be paid. She also builds a strong argument, with verifiable evidence from real-life cases, for the importance of filing taxes to avoid legal repercussions. If for nothing else, get the book to learn more about how to identify the right tax forms to use and when you should file the taxes.


Reflections are important. At the end of each chapter, the book gives you the opportunity to put your thoughts on paper. These notes encourage you to reflect on what was discussed in the chapter so that you can take actionable steps towards making a lasting change. This is one of my favorite features of the book. You are able to jot down ideas as you go through the book and your notes can lead to you starting a strong business in Jamaica.

Why should you get a copy of The Business Playbook?

This book is a gem. All new entrepreneurs in Jamaica who want to learn how to create a business the right way should get a copy. Having all this information in one place takes the guesswork out of starting a business in Jamaica. I guarantee that, if you purchase this book, you will find yourself using it as a reference tool even to create a successful business. Purchase your copy today!

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