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Why You Never Fulfill Your New Year Resolutions

Why You Never Fulfill Your New Year Resolutions
Why You Never Fulfill Your New Year Resolutions

A New Year is like a new chapter opening in your book of life. This prompts us to create resolutions and make certain changes in our lives. However, researchers looked into the success rates of New Year resolutions and discovered that the first few weeks usually go great but by February, most people are backsliding.

Why is it so hard to follow through with your new year goals? Am sure you have a list of excuses and explanations but they can be summarized into these 5 points;

  1. Your resolutions are not specific

Are your New Year resolutions something like,

  1. Lose Weight
  2. Save Money
  • Eat Healthy
  1. Settle debts
  2. Get a better job

Well, that is probably why you never achieve your goals. Having a list of goals with no defined action points is as good as building castles in the air. Giving details to your goals makes them more realistic and achievable.

For example, if your goal is to lose 36kg’s this year, clearly write that down and put it at a visible place where you can easily see. Then break the goal down into losing at least 3kg’s a month, and have action steps like going to the gym 3 times a week for an hour, getting a nutritionist, cutting down on junk food and any other steps to get to your goal.

  1. You do not have an accountability partner

Having an accountability partner increases your chances of fulfilling your goals. Whether it’s one person or a group of likeminded people, ensure you have someone to walk with you through your journey, someone you can send regular updates of your progress so that they keep you accountable.

If you want to fulfill your resolutions this year, do not keep your goals and resolutions to yourself, share them with someone, your family, friends. When the day comes when you slip up or get distracted, they will be there to encourage you and hold you accountable.

  1. You do not write down your resolutions

Writing down your goals may seem like a simple activity but it is vital in helping you fulfill your goals. It is one thing to have your goals listed in your mind where you can easily forget and another to write down your goals.

Making a physical list of the things you want to achieve helps make sense and plan on how to make your goals a reality. Carry a pen and notebook with you everywhere you go, you never know when you’ll get an idea of your next goal. Writing down your goal also helps you break it down into daily, weekly and monthly action steps to keep you accountable.

  1. You start Planning for your Resolutions late

The New Year always feels like the perfect time to set resolutions and make them work. Contrary to popular belief however, nothing magical happens on January 1st. If your goal is more dependent on a date rather than your attitude and readiness, you’re bound to fail.

The tip here is to start now. If you can start living healthy now, why wait to start next year?

The New Year should be more about taking stock of how far you have gone with your previous goals and creating a way forward on how to do better during the New Year.

  1. Lack of discipline in following up your resolutions

New Year Resolutions have the lowest success rates. In fact, research shows that only 8% of people achieve their New Year goals. This means that most New Year resolutions get ditched not so long after they are made, in fact, some never even take off. So what’s the point of setting New Year resolutions if you don’t follow through?

Lack of discipline is why. As you set your resolutions, it is important to not just do it for the sake of it but have a purpose behind it. For example, if your goal is to lose weight, you need to have a why behind it. This will keep you focused and help you stop procrastinating.

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Blog business Experiences

Developing Start-Up Strategies Poised for Success

Developing Start-Up Strategies Poised for Success
Developing Start-Up Strategies Poised for Success

No astute definition of ‘start-up’ exists. It is broadly categorized as a new business venture. It could be based at home, a street-side stall or have hip presence on Internet. In brief, all new businesses are start-ups. Everything from a new neighbourhood sandwich cart to glitzy high-tech software companies are start-ups. Businesses less than five years old get included in this definition too.

A word of caution

Setting up a start-up is easy. Finding funds is hard. Keeping the business afloat is harder. Findings by British commercial insurer RSA indicates, 50 percent of all start-ups in UK failed within the first five years. Insufficient government support, lack of bank loans, regulatory issues, intense competition and high operational costs are cited as reasons. Venture capital experts claim that about 90 percent of all start-ups fail . This scenario indubitably requires strong strategies for launching any start-up.

Off the beaten track

Proverbial flock mentality plagues most start-ups. Entrepreneurs eye successful ventures to imitate. Pitted against established businesses, they stand little chance for success. Uniqueness or exclusivity is the first rule for success. Evolve concepts nobody dreamt of. Get a fair idea about target customers, suppliers and logistics. Discuss ideas with people from diverse industries but remain secretive of your own concept.

Putting it in words

Type the concept on a PC, laptop or simply write it down. Readable concepts can be further developed and refined. Amend any feature where required. Once you have a clear idea about the start-up, draft an excellent project report. Funds permitting, rope in services of a professional project report writer. Great project reports attract attention. Finer detail boosts prospects of the right person reading the project report- and taking action.

Incubators and Accelerators

Joining a renowned start-up incubator works wonders. Start-up incubators guide and instruct entrepreneurs. They refine a project while developing business models. Incubators focus on innovations and are industry specific.

Accelerators help businesses grow. They help by focusing resources of start-ups in most profitable directions. Accelerators look at putting start-ups on the fast track of growth.

Both are vital for a successful start-up strategy.

What’s in a name?

Everything and more, as history has proved. Catchy, easy-to-remember, innovative brands fare better in the market over those with boring, traditional identities. Stretch your imagination, get creative or seek help from relatives and friends. Great concepts with brand identities exhibit a penchant to flop. A good sounding brand requires great looking logo. Presentations for start-ups look better when made under a brand and logo. They lend a business look. Make branding a major part of your start-up strategy.

Money matters

The trickiest part comes here. Funding start-ups is extremely complex and tiresome. Angel investors and venture capitalists are spoilt for choice. Bank loans for start-ups are almost non-existent. Financial institutions do not lend to companies that live in fertile minds and a few scraps of paper- they require proof.  Thrift is key for start-ups. Launch the business with minimum budget, limiting operational expenses where possible. Common and not-so-common modes of staffing and operations combined help save costs while maximising profits during initial years. Successful start-up strategies do not include high costs.

Finding money

A great strategy for successful start-ups involves finding seed or initial capital. Knowing who can finance how much is key to successful funding. Start-up incubators and accelerators provide essential insights into the complex world of angel investments and venture capital.

  • Self finance: Investing your savings/ assets to seed a start-up.
  • Crowd funding: Collecting money from public for a start-up. These investors get stocks of your company, commensurate with amounts chipped in.
  • Bank/ Institutional credit: Money borrowed from banks/ financial institutions to fund start-ups. Most lenders are reluctant but with some collateral, you may get lucky to get bank loan.
  • Government funding: Almost inexistent. Yet, some ministries do offer soft loans and credit for ventures they believe may help the society at large. These include start-ups concerned with environment protection, animal welfare, alleviation of poverty, child and mother care, facilities for persons with special needs, prevention of HIV/ AIDS and other sensitive, global concerns.
  • Social organizations: Start-ups with obvious benefits for the society attract attention of social welfare organizations. Some consider chipping in with seed investment.
  • Family holding: Hailed as best way to fund start-ups. Getting family members interested in your start-up by encouraging them to invest in exchange of stocks. Ensures your successful start-up remains within the family.
  • Venture capital: Those who got strategies and presentations right attract venture capital. Such funding is limited to seeding the business and initial years of operation.
  • Conglomerate funding: Business conglomerates look for start-ups that can assist their trade. A good presentation to those in your field can help generate much needed funds.

Saving taxes

Taxes and government charges often wreak havoc on profitability. Acquaint yourself with local taxation regimes. Superb strategies for successful start-ups find ways and means to lower tax burden. This means operating from a section of your home, if merited. Avail tax benefits offered to new businesses.

Low cost employment

Students, fresh graduates and freelancers make excellent staff, once trained. Base your start-up strategy on employing these categories of manpower. They can be paid by the hour or for specific jobs only to help cut expenses on wages. Qualified professionals can be hired as consultants only, when required. Working online and getting staff to work from home reduces transportation expenses immensely.

Carpet bombing the market

An essential component of a successful strategy for start-ups is creating brand awareness before hitting the market. Teaser ads in local media, through stores and restaurants, clubs and community hang-outs, social circles help create excellent brand awareness. Those lucky may find investors and customers well before launch.

Splash in cyber world

Strong presence in cyber world is prerequisite to any successful strategy for start-ups. Register the domain of your company and post regular updates about the project. These should be sufficient to keep interest alive but insufficient to alert competitors. Blogging about your start-up, posting frequent press releases and ‘leaking’ insider news to websites works in favour. Email stakeholders frequently about latest developments and innovations, company news and other relevant information aimed at keeping them engaged.

Social media spans the world

A decade ago, nobody would have imagined Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and YouTube to stand where they are. For start-ups, healthy social media presence works miracles. It helps disseminate information about your start-up to people across the world at fraction of a penny. Social media allows stakeholders, decision makers, investors and other entities to “feel” your start-up through pictures, videos, posts and comments. Social media offers essential tools for introspection and quick turnaround of offerings.

Health and wellness

The secret to successful start-up lies in your health and wellness strategies too. Setting up a business is indeed tiresome. Lack of sleep and skipped meals are common. These take severe toll on wellbeing of entrepreneurs. Lack of concentration combined with mood swings can destroy an enterprise before it gets off drawing board. Include health and wellness as part of your start-up strategy. It also helps foster a good impression among investors and other stakeholders.

Author Bio:
Pritam Nagrale is a blogger and running a digital marketing company in Mumbai. His blog MoneyConnexion writes about make money ideas & tips on Saving Money.

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Our top 10 blog articles from 2017

Our top 10 blog articles from 2017
Our top 10 blog articles from 2017

2017 has been a tough year for small business owners in kenya mainly due to the political uncertainty that clouded the country for almost half the year. However, one thing stood out; the resilience shown by small business and sme owners in kenya through this tough times. Through the year however, the kuza biashara blog has remained consistent in sharing informative articles that empower budding entrepreneurs and small business owners to start or grow their businesses.

It’s that time of the year where we reviewed the articles that resonated most with our audience from inspiring life stories from entrepreneurs who had to overcome major struggles to build their business empires to creative business ideas you had no idea we’re viable and motivating articles to get you out of your comfort zone to go out and implement your business ideas.

Here is a roundup of our favorite articles from 2017;


You’ve probably gone through the best schools, gotten excellent grades all through your education which helped you secure a job quite fast and now you have a healthy paycheck every month. However, could the fact that you are smart also be a hindrance to your progress in life? This article definitely gives you something to sit down, analyze and rethink the decisions you make in your life moving forward.


The Kuza Biashara #SheGoesDigital Program was undoubtedly one of the most successful programs we conducted this year. The program attracted over 600 applicants from all over the country out of whom 50 young women were selected to go through the intense practical training free of charge. After 45 days, 42 young women successfully graduated from the training and were placed for paid internships at leading companies in the country.


When you think about starting a mabati factory business, you think big expensive machines and a lot of capital. However, this article gives insight into how you can break through into the mabati industry with about Ksh. 5 Million and make a healthy profit of about Ksh. 4 Million per month.


With a budget of as low as Ksh. 500,000 to as high as Ksh. 1, 000, 000, you could be well on your way to having your own Misumari Factory. This is a great business idea especially due to the booming construction industry in Kenya. This article clearly states all you need to know before venturing into the misumari business and make approximately Ksh. 210,000 profit per month.


Tycose Keeru is one of the few women who has climbed the ranks in the male dominated field of construction. A graduate of Kuza Biashara’s Mason’s program to equip masons with digital literacy, entrepreneurship and soft skills, the founder of Typca Contractors has had to overcome a lot of challenges to build the booming construction business empire she runs. Her inspirational story is one of our favorites;


Moses Ndura’s story is certainly an inspiration to young people, especially those keen to venture into entrepreneurship. At barely the age of 30, the founder of Container World Kenya proves that you do not need a bank account full of cash to build your business empire. If you have been notorious for procrastinating implementing your business idea, Moses’ story will challenge you to get off your comfort zone.


This is one of those articles that totally demystifies the mindset that you need hundreds of thousands to millions to start a business and make a healthy profit. With a little as Ksh. 1000, you can venture into any of these 10 businesses, start small and eventually grow into a full fledged business;


What comes to your mind when you think of Nakuru? The flamingoes, the sizzling Menengai crater or the friendly locals? Despite its calm exterior, Nakuru town is responsible for some of the most successful businesses in Kenya. Read all about it in the article below;


Most of us wake up early every morning to go to work so as to create a better future for ourselves and our families. However, does the comfort that employment provide also contribute to the costly misinformed decisions you are prone to make. This article is certainly an eye opener for us employed folks.


This article takes the crown of our favorite article from 2017 because of how the writer paints a clear picture of how the choices we make in life have long term implications that you may ignore especially if you are short sighted with your goals. If you haven’t read this article yet, you have no idea what you are missing out on.


Do you have any favorite articles from the Kuza Biashara Blog in 2017? Feel free to share with us in the comment box below.

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Blog business Learning

How to Make Ksh. 30, 000 Monthly from Dhania Farming

How to Make Ksh. 30, 000 Monthly from Dhania Farming
How to Make Ksh. 30, 000 Monthly from Dhania Farming

Dhania is a popular spice in Kenya commonly used in stews and kachumbari. Universally known as coriander, dhania is loved because of its pleasant aroma and the delicious flavor that it adds to food.

Getting into dhania farming is a profitable venture due to its high demand both locally and internationally. A report by Farm Biz Africa stated that the international demand for dhania and similar herbs has gone up by 40% with farmers gaining more revenues of up to 25% compared to traditional crops. If you are interested in making money out of dhania farming, here is what you need to know:


You can get quality dhania seeds from Kenya Seed Company, Simlaw Seeds, Kenya Highlands Seed Co. Ltd and other seed companies for Ksh. 1000.
After tilling land, plant coriander seeds in drills 30cm apart at a sowing depth of 2.5cm – 3.5cm. You should expect germination to take place 10 days after sowing.

Dhania seeds

Dhania seeds


To control weeds, thin the plants when they get to 7-15cm.
Dhania also requires regular watering as the plant responds well to even distribution of moisture. Also ensure the soil is rich in manure. If not, apply well decomposed organic manure regularly.
Some of the challenges you’ll face are attacks from pests like aphids and diseases like bacterial leaf spot, soft rot and powdery mildew. However, these are easily controlled through maintaining field hygiene, crop rotation, seed dressing and using disease free seeds. Spraying with pesticides and fungicides is not recommended unless it is necessary.


Dhania matures for harvesting within 4-6 weeks after planting. Start by harvesting the largest ones first to allow the smaller plants to grow. It is advisable to harvest dhania immediately the leaves are ripe for harvesting lest they get feathery and turn yellow.
For storage, soak the roots of the harvested dhania in water to keep them fresh.

harvested dhania
harvested dhania


For an acre plot of land, dhania seeds will cost you Ksh. 1000 in order to obtain maximum yield. Dhania is a fairly easy crop to maintain and you do not need to spend so much on labor. You can expect to make a profit of Ksh. 30,000-35,000 monthly.


Dhania farming is a great side hustle if you wish to make extra cash. Planting dhania is also profitable, given it is not a labor intensive crop and does not require a lot of maintenance. Dhania also has ready market both locally and internationally. Coupled with the fact that dhania doesn’t take too long to mature, that makes it is an attractive hustle to venture into.

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7 Apps that Will Help transform your Sales

7 Apps that Will Help transform your Sales
7 Apps that Will Help transform your Sales

If you are looking for different ways to ensure that your sales increase, you may need more than just an advertising team. You need to make maximum use of current resources and productivity. You might need a new approach to solve problems that may arise and to keep a closer look at your team’s work. You will also need proper analytics, data, and insights. There are some things that Salesforce cannot do but luckily, there are some apps that will help you get all that is missing.

There are very many apps you can use to help increase your sales but here are the best apps that you need:

  1. Inside View

This app’s main aim is to deliver the right messages at the right time and to the right person. It triggers events and analyzes your social network connections. If your sales force contact base is a bit lacking, Inside view will provide you with updating and import features. It also lets you monitor over 30,000 sources so as to get sales intelligence. Sales intelligence helps you to execute shifts, business mergers and release of new products. Those in your sales team can also look at valuable information from prospects and it lets you track activities from their profiles and also act at the right moment.

  1. Market analytics

This app helps you boost your marketing campaigns and improve the quality of your leads. It easily helps you create landing pages on your website. It also has an in-built lead scoring ability. The system handles lead scoring with a fresh approach and saves effort and time.

  1. Demand tools

Salesforce tools such as Salesforce DX can be time-consuming. This app ( aims to provide you with an improved and more enhanced structure while also automating some tedious admin duties. It also removes duplicates and cleans up standardized data so as to sort it easily.

  1. Cirrus Insight

If you are using Google apps along with Salesforce, cirrus insights will help you integrate sales force with Office 365. You can also track emails and see when and where they have been opened and on which device. Integration is easy and fast. It makes managing effortless.

  1. Conga compose

This app will help take your sales force fields and objects and turn them into documents. It works very well with HTML-based emails and PDF forms to help you create more invoices, proposals, and quotes. It uses existing rules to distribute and craft reports automatically. The most valuable feature has to be its ability to integrate into your existing Salesforce workflow. You can also schedule solutions and use event triggers to increase productivity.

  1. Geopointe mapping Analytics

Many businesses or companies need to unlock customer data and Geopointe provides companies with systems that work in a similar way to Google maps. They help create boundaries and assign territories. This tool also helps improve the productivity of salespeople.

  1. Gravity Forms and WordPress

Gravity forms plugin will move data from your contact forms to your sales force. You may also use the built-in-web-lead system.


Author bio
Sujain Thomas is an app developer and business marketer who has worked with for 6 years. She uses Salesforce tools to implement ideas and develop apps add-ons.


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Blog business Learning

How to start a Business while still in University

How to start a Business while still in University
How to start a Business while still in University

Getting into entrepreneurship requires a lot of sacrifice and dedication. It takes so much commitment to start a business at any age but getting into entrepreneurship while in campus can be especially challenging due to having to balance out school and work. Interestingly, some of the most famous entrepreneurs like Mike Zuckerberg got their big ideas while still in campus and didn’t hesitate to go out and implement.

University can serve as a great platform to better equip you for entrepreneurship. If you are a budding entrepreneur still in university, here are 6 tips to help you break through.

1. Make use of University Entrepreneurship Programs

One of the main challenges faced by university students is lack of capital and relevant networks to help them jumpstart their business ideas. Most universities have entrepreneurship related clubs and activities that you can take advantage of. Being active in such forums can help you find likeminded people, access events that will help you find networks and access to alumni who can provide mentorship for your entrepreneurship journey.

2. Take up Internship at a startup

There is no better way to learn the basics of running a business than working at a startup that is in its initial stages. Interning at a startup will help you learn the professional side of running a business, familiarize yourself with the challenges that startups face and also make relevant connections. Getting an internship at a startup that is in line with the business you would like to venture into is an added advantage.

3. Make use of the University Market

Being in college or university gives you ready market for your products. It’s also a great place to conduct a basic market research to test how people will embrace your products in the outside world. Starting your business while in college also helps you make and learn from mistakes as you start small scale so that you are ready for the ups and downs of running a business after school.

4. Brand Yourself

As a university student looking to get into entrepreneurship, that’s the right time to work on your personal brand and image. To do this, you’ll have to focus on building your brand and your networks. You can make use of simple tips like having a customized email address that includes your business name, printing out business cards, building a social media presence for your business, creating a simple website and carrying yourself professionally.

5. Attend a lot of  Start Up events

There are numerous start up events that you can register for as an upcoming entrepreneur in campus. Some organizations that organize such events are NaiLab, Startup Grind, Kamakazi, Nairobi Garage and iHub. Attending such events will expose you to great networks, mentorship opportunities and trends in your industry.

6. Read, Read, Read

You are what you read. If you have hopes of building your business empire, reading a lot of books lays a great foundation for you. In campus, you have the advantage of being flexible with your time. Spare a few hours daily to feed your mind, join book clubs, make friends who love reading too so that you can exchange books.

If you are really passionate about an idea, don’t be afraid to take the risk and develop it. University is the perfect place to grow your business while becoming a well-rounded individual.

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Blog business Learning

10 Tips for Finding a Workplace Dream Team

workplace dream team

In today’s world, working in line with a team of good employees is important if you want to attain success. Good employees will keep your business afloat in a variety of both predicted and unforeseen situations. Simply put, whether you are the CEO, manager, or undisputed company superstar, the future of your company does not depend on you. It’s all about your employees. For most companies, however, finding good employees has become hard and seems to be getting harder all the time. A recent study indicates that 68% of human resource departments report problems filling positions. This has gone up from 50% in 2015. If you can’t find good employees, here are ten tips to help you find a workplace dream team.

1. Use Social Media
Facebook, twitter, and other interactive platforms have not only changed how we do business but have also transformed how companies recruit employees now days. Hiring managers and recruiters are increasingly using social platforms to search for talent. You should also use these platforms to find employees as well. Use social media targeting features to reach people who match the talents, region, and even hobbies that you require.

2. Take Advantage of Recruitment Organizations
In-house recruiters are relying on recruitment agencies to fill vacancies. Recruitment organizations align their support with your goals and help you cut costs that you would otherwise spend on conventional methods of hiring and recruiting candidates. If you are looking for IT professional, for instance, you can partner with IT recruiting agencies to ensure you get exceptional IT experts.

3. Break Geographical Barriers
The world has evolved, and geographical limitations should not stop you from getting the employees you want. Technology lets you connect with people around the world. Use it to look for employees beyond your locality.

4. Use Your Current Team to Find New Talent
Your employees know everything about your company and can give potential candidates a real insight to your business. They understand your company’s values and expectations and will help you bring in people with the necessary experiences and expertise.

5. Figure out What Positions Job Seekers Are Looking For
When posting a job opening, you want to make sure what you post compliments job searchers needs and ambitions. A simple research online and offline will help you know what job searchers want and help you come up with titles and content that match what most job seekers are looking for.

6. Use Mutual Connections
Use your colleagues, former colleagues, and friends to get new talent. Those close to you know more about you and your company and will recommend the right type of candidate who would help you enhance productivity. Use mutual connections to learn more about a candidate. This will not only help you get competent employees but will also influence and motivate employees to live up to their reputation.

7. Use Emails to Hire Candidates
Email communication has become an integral part of the recruitment process, and more recruiters are embracing it. When it comes to emails, job seekers are incredibly responsive and are more likely to pay attention to what you are saying. Use emails to reach the candidates that you need.

8. Contact Previous Candidates
Don’t let the resumes and data of previous candidates collect dust in your desk drawer. Use them. Previous applicants can be turned into a talent gold mine. They know about your company and are interested in working for you. Contact them.

9. Target Your Rivals’ Employees
If you are in an industry where there is stiff competition, poaching for talent can help gain an edge. A recent study reveals that employees who are contracted to work for an organization that competes with a former employer come in with enhanced energy and motivation that translates to increased productivity.

10. Use Paid internships
Investing in paid internships will help you lure the brightest and most talented candidates available on the job market. Internships allow you test the waters and help you identify which of the interns suits your needs and wants.

Final Word – With these tips, you will certainly find a workplace dream team.

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Blog business Learning



Starting your own business isn’t for the faint of heart. It’s stressful and pretty much demands your complete focus. On the plus side, it can also be a fulfilling experience professionally and personally.

Do a self-inventory:  Not everyone has what it takes to start a company. That’s not to say that your idea is not brilliant. It just means that you may not have the personality traits to handle launching a company of your own. Before investing any time or resources, evaluate yourself and see if you have some the typical traits of an entrepreneur. Are you motivated, able to adapt and confident? Are you resilient? Do you have personal integrity?

Develop an idea:  Don’t just start a business because something is in vogue and you think commercializing it will make money. Develop a business concept that you’re passionate about related to something that you have experience with. From there, come up with a product or service that you believe can enhance the people’s lives.

Test the plausibility: Once you’ve settled on an idea, figure out how you can make it become a reality. Is the product or service something that people want or need? Can you make a profit selling it? Does the product work?

Write a business plan:  A solid business plan will guide you going forward. It’s also needed for presenting your idea to potential investors. Your business plan should include a mission statement, a company summary, an executive summary, a service or product offerings, a description of a target market, financial projections and the cost of the operation.

Identify your market:  Even though you may have detected some interest in your business, you need to do more homework. Assess the market, targeting the customers most likely to make a purchase. Perform a competitive assessment.

Determine the costs: Do additional research and find out the standard cost factors within this industry. Not only will this help you manage your business more effectively, investors will want to know this.

Establish a budget:  Once you determine how much money you’ll have to work with, figure out how much it will take to develop your product or service and create a marketing plan.

Find the right investors:  You’re going to need some sort of funding to start off, whether from your savings, credit cards, loans, grants or venture capitalists. Find an investor who shares your passion, someone you believe you can work with.

Listen to investors: Whether you like it, investors do have a say in your company. And you need to listen to their advice or suggestion. But that doesn’t mean you have to do what they tell you.

Set up a great support system:  You’re going to be investing a lot of time and resources into your new business venture. Be certain that your family is on board. They must be aware that this process will be challenging financially and emotionally.

Determine the legal structure:  Settle on which form of ownership is best for you: a sole proprietorship, a partnership, a limited liability company, a corporation, an S corporation, a nonprofit or a cooperative.
Select a business name:  Decide on a name that best suits your business. Then check to see if the domain name is available online, as well as if it’s free to use in your county, state and in the country.

Register your business name:  If your proposed business name is available, register it with the government, have it trademarked and secure a domain name.
Take advantage of free resources: to enhance your business skills, numerous free resources can offer advice, training and assistance.e.g kuza biashara, mara mentor #askkirubi etc.

Determine tax obligations: Now it’s time to wrestle with the tax obligations.

Secure permits and licenses: Ensure you begin the application process for permits and licences early enough since some of these processes take quite some time.

Buy insurance:  Make sure that you arrange for the proper insurance for your business. This will vary according to the type of business. If you’re working from home be sure that your homeowner’s insurance covers theft or damage to business assets, as well as liability for any business- related injuries.

Set up the accounts books:  Figure out if you’re using a cash or accrual system, determine the fiscal year for the business and set up a recordkeeping system.

Choose a business location: Select a location that best fits the needs of your business, one that offers an opportunity for growth, the right level of competition and proximity to suppliers. It should also be accessible to customers.

Don’t worry about an office: If you’re not making any revenue, then don’t concern yourself with an office or warehouse just yet.

A patent can wait: Patents can cost thousands of dollars. Wait to pursue this route until you have a few customers paying the bills. A patent is less useful if you can’t enforce it or have the money to see it through.

Be flexible: Chances are that your original idea will have to be modified. Being able to pivot and adapt to create what customers want will determine if your business will fail or succeed.

Share your ideas with friends and family: Your nearest and dearest will most likely be the most honest with you about your business. Don’t hesitate to seek their advice and suggestions.

Ignore the naysayers: At the same time, there’s a difference between constructive criticism and someone’s quick jab projecting that your business will fail. Always ignore them.

Don’t become angry: If your idea is rejected by customers or investors, don’t just succumb to anger. Find out what they didn’t like, make adjustments and go back to them when you’ve made the changes. There’s the possibility that the timing was wrong as well.

Deliver the product or service fast: Your business is a work in progress and if you launch your product or service quickly, you will be able to build a community of customers who can provide valuable feedback that can help you improve the offerings.

Offer new products or services: If you already have customers, be sure to hold on to them by providing new products or services.

Be patient: Always keep in mind that success won’t happen overnight. It’s going to take some time before you make a profit.

Over deliver at first: Once you land a new client, be sure to go above and beyond the call of duty for at least the first month. You’ll have this customer hooked from then on.

Blog all the time: Don’t be ashamed to share both your triumphs and struggles. Customers will enjoy your honesty.

Avoid fights with partners: If you have disagreements with partners, then sever ties as soon as possible. In-house bickering will prevent you from focusing on growing the business.

Don’t worry about dilution: So an investor has required a stake in the company. Recognize the fact that eventually at one point or another you’ll have to give up some control of the business. Accept it and move on.

Hire a copywriter/secretary:  Unless you’re an excellent writer, hire a copywriter to compose emails for highly targeted customers. A copywriter will also prove handy for press releases and other pieces to spread brand awareness or provide business updates.

Prepare for meetings: When preparing for a meeting with a client, read up on everything that’s available, steeping yourself in information about the industry, that firm’s employees and its competition.

Don’t fear the competition: Don’t bad-mouth the competition when talking to investors or customers. There’s no need to become an object of pity. In fact, talking in this manner might even point customers to a competitor who may offer a product or service that you don’t. Remember, when competition exists, there’s a market for your business. Use that knowledge as inspiration to outperform a rival.

Benefit from word-of-mouth: Nothing beats some good old-fashioned word-of-mouth marketing. Let friends, family members and influencers in your field spread the word about your product or service.
Network: Don’t be afraid to get out there and show your face to the public, whether at a conference or just being out and about with friend on a Friday night. But try to stay local because travel can dwindle your budget.

Provide outstanding customer service: Interacting with people is a big part of the job. Your business may gain new customers because you made them feel important.

 Be sure your website functions: Potential customers want to know as much about your business as possible and they should be able to quickly access that kind of information on your website.
Don’t be overly concerned by the economy: Some of the best businesses have launched during a recession.

Make sure clients pay their bills on time: Always be certain to receive payment for your products or services. Instead of being taken advantage of, establish a time frame for payment. It also wouldn’t hurt to accept credit cards and have an online payment system set up.

Find the right employees: Hire the right people for the job. Even though it’s your business, you won’t be skilled at every task, which is why you need qualified people to complete the work.

Assign responsibilities: Delegate attainable tasks to employees. This is all about effective management.
Know that honesty is the best policy: If any issues with employees emerge, be sure that they are addressed. No one enjoys being talked about behind their back.

Remember that opposites attract: Hire people with skills and personalities that are the opposite to yours. They’ll challenge you and will bring different skills and talents to the business that you don’t.

Say goodbye to your social life: You’re going to spend a lot of time devoted to the business. Even if you plan a night out, you may leave early because a light bulb just went off. Hopefully those closest in your life will understand.

Recognize that you’ll be the final person to be paid: As the CEO, you’re the last to collect a cheque. That’s just how it works until there’s adequate revenue.

Arrive at a useful definition of success: Just because your business hasn’t made you a millionaire (yet) doesn’t mean that your enterprise is a failure. If you’re able to make some sort of profit doing something that you’re passionate about, isn’t that a success story?

Realize when it’s time to move on:  Failure is inevitable. If things aren’t working out and you’ve done all you can, then put aside your pride and close up shop. Something like this is not easy to accept. But it’s for the best.

Don’t just rely on the advice of others: Despite my offering up all of these tips for you, perhaps the most important piece of advice is something learned the hard way: While many people may offer a startup assistance, recognize that in the end you’re the person running the show and the one responsible for the company’s success and failure. If you understand what worked and what didn’t, you’ll burnish the skills and knowledge to run your business.


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Why Is It Difficult For Female Entrepreneurs to Get Investors?

Image Courtesy | Odyssey Online
Image Courtesy | Odyssey Online

For some reason, many investors prefer investing in men compared to women. Access to funding is one of the biggest challenges for women entrepreneurs. Female Entrepreneurs, regularly ought to make greater effort to show their credibility compared to male entrepreneurs, especially when dealing with Venture Capitalists who are a male-dominated group.

This may be due to the predetermined notion that women are not as competent as men as far as Entrepreneurship is concerned.

In this article, we look at some predictable reasons for why female entrepreneurs find it more difficult to get funding.

1. Entrepreneurship Experience

The lack of practical entrepreneurial experience is one of the reasons why women fail to get proper funding. Many women lack entrepreneurial aptitude because of lack of practical experience.

Aspiring women entrepreneurs have to first get practical experience in the field they hope to venture into before they begin implementation of their business ideas. This will help them get some exposure and help them to better handle challenges they face in entrepreneurship. Practical experience in entrepreneurship greatly compliments the knowledge we get from books and studies.

2. Mobility

Due to having to juggle between family commitments and professional life, many women entrepreneurs are not able to give their 100% to entrepreneurial ventures. Cultural restrictions imposed on women in certain places also serve as a challenge since women don’t have freedom to travel to business meetings and move around to fulfill their commitments.

However, the hassle lies within the perception of every individual. To overcome this, women should ensure they have support of their close circle of relatives and friends when they decide to venture into business. Whether you are a married woman or a single woman, the support and the encouragement of family is vital. Women also need to establish a balance between household commitments and business pressures.

3. Venture Capitalists

Venture capitalists prefer to invest in startups run by people they know directly or indirectly since they trust them more. However, the gender gap between men and women in entrepreneurship highly favors men posing a challenge to female entrepreneurs who often have to work twice as hard to secure funding from venture capitalists.

Female and male entrepreneurs may have similar qualifications, however, the minor gender-based variations pose a challenge but then, hope and possibility remains. Women should not only be encouraged to get into entrepreneurship but also to become venture capitalists so that they can help other women to come up.

4. Profile

Many people think that the profile of a successful entrepreneur is that of a man. If you try to think about it, you’ll understand how true that is. Whenever it comes to giving an example of successful entrepreneurs, we take into account Bill Gates, Mark Zuckerberg, Steve Jobs, and Dhirubhai Ambani etc.

That is the same image in the thoughts of financial establishments too. They have an opinion that men could be extra reliable than their female counterparts.

To overcome this, we need to change our mindset to embrace and celebrate women in business. As much as we also appreciate the contribution made by reputable men in the entrepreneurship world, we shouldn’t forget the women who have conquered the world.

5. Networks

Having lesser networks is also a reason for female entrepreneurs not getting funding. That’s due to the fact that networking uncovers possibilities where they may not be apparent, giving entrepreneur’s access to capital and management when they require it. A person with contacts of 100 members is much less probable to know someone who is powerful than a person with 300 contacts in their network.

A recent study found that women have smaller networks than men, spend less face time with their seniors, and are much more likely to have a network made up of different women. All of that adds up to fewer opportunities and the notion that Women founders lack network contacts.

Women are hindered in building networks due to the fact that they have a tendency to be worried about their work-life stability.  All the studies about networking display that men generally tend to spend extra time with men, while women frequently have very balanced networks.

Final Word

Over the past years, female entrepreneurs had to prove themselves in the male dominated world of entrepreneurship where for a long time, they haven’t received the same treatment when it comes to opportunities. However, this trend has been changing. Women have proved their worth in all fields.

There have been several trials made my social activists to offer girls equal opportunities in all areas, which helped to enhance the situation. But still, there is still more work that needs to be done. Few investment corporations have been initiated with women entrepreneurs who made it big. Considering the gender bias in Venture Capitalist funding, there should be a change. When more women get into entrepreneurship, then more Venture Capitalists can see successful women entrepreneurs. And women entrepreneurs should change their approach towards networking in order to secure Venture Capital.

Even though many entrepreneurs face gender discrimination yet there is a hope that there are as many experienced successful women venture capitalists that started their own enterprises, and they keep inspiring the other Women to succeed.

Author Bio:

Pritam Nagrale is a blogger and running a digital marketing company in Mumbai. His blog SureJob writes about make money ideas & tips on career development.

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Practical Tips to Grow your Small Business without making major changes

Practical Tips to Grow your Small Business without making major changes
Practical Tips to Grow your Small Business without making major changes

Growing your business is a step by step process that certainly does not happen overnight. However with dedication and persistence growth is inevitable. Today, we share 10 practical ideas that you can turn into action steps for the growth of your small business.


When you think of growing a business, the first thing that comes to mind is getting new customers or expanding your client base. However your current customers could be the key to your increased sales. All you need to do is to vamp up your customer service strategy with more focus on customer retention and word of mouth marketing. Some simple tips like remembering your customer’s names, responding promptly to customers queries online and listening to your customer’s needs and feedback can help promote customer loyalty and have your current customers bring in new customers.


As a small business owner, you need to take every opportunity to showcase your business and get your brand out there. What a better way to do this than taking part in trade shows and exhibitions that are relevant to your industry. If you are a fashion startup, find ways to get into popular local fashion shows and fairs. Food startups can make use of food expo’s, and the list goes on. The best thing about trade shows is they draw people who are already interested in your product/service and it’s a great way to get new customers, investors and suppliers.


Another way to grow your small business is to slowly introduce new products/services related to what you are currently offering. When you start a small business, for example, a bakery, you will have that one product that your customers will love the most hence defining your brand, like cakes. After some time though you can try expanding to other pastries like cookies, bread, maandazi, e.t.c, as long as you maintain the same good quality. This concept can apply to other businesses as well. However, before you venture into new products, it’s important to conduct a market research first so that you may know what your customers needs are exactly.


It is much easier to have a global market for your product/service now than it was in the past, thanks to tools like social media that have made the world a global village. With a great online marketing strategy and a quality product, you’ll definitely start attracting international buyers who may request to have your product shipped to them. You can start off by shipping to one or two customers as you expand and slowly penetrate other markets. To make it here though, you need a strong online presence since that is where your customers are.


One thing that will make your startup grow and set you apart, is being able to quickly adapt to changes in the market and within your industry. I’ll use an example of the food industry. There was a time when you only had to go to a physical restaurant to dine. However, the concept of delivery came through and the restaurants that adopted to this quickly gained a whole new client base that had food directly delivered to their homes. Restaurants that didn’t catch up however are not reaping the benefits of the new market. Ensure you are up to date with changes and innovations in your industry.


As a business owner, you constantly need to diversify your skills and be all rounded. As much as you have a team in place to handle different tasks, you’ll definitely play an oversight role and this requires you to have basic knowledge in most topics like IT, finance, and communications. Make time and take business related courses, further your studies, attend relevant workshops and conferences. All these will translate in making better decisions for your small business and in turn boost your growth.


Social Media is huge. There are clearly big sites like facebook, twitter and Instagram that have been there for a while but newcomers such as Snapchat are also gaining ground quite fast. However, as a small business, instead of opening accounts on multiple social media platforms, why don’t you conduct some research, find out where your target market is and use the best site to reach them?


Search Engine Optimization is a detailed topic but for this article, my advice is to have your business listed on as many local web directories as possible. Web directories are a great place for your business to be found when someone searches for a product/service you offer on the internet. Examples of local directories you can sign up for are Yellow Pages Kenya, Kenya Business Directory and Kenya Business Listing.


You cannot possibly handle everything yourself as a business owner. You have to figure out what your personal strength and skills are and delegate the rest of the work to an experienced team of people you trust.


Most small businesses have quite a small but productive team. This is why it is so important to keep your employees happy and motivated. Some simple ways to do this are giving them bonuses once in a while, having clear communication lines, helping your employees achieve their personal goals and having rewards for outstanding performance.

FINAL WORD: Do not be overwhelmed by all these ideas but pick one or two that are relevant to your business and work with them. Overtime, your business will reap the rewards.

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Inspirational: Great Lessons in Failure from 3 Top Kenyan Entrepreneurs

Great Lessons in Failure from 3 Top Kenyan Entrepreneurs
Great Lessons in Failure from 3 Top Kenyan Entrepreneurs

Show me a successful entrepreneur who has never failed not once, but multiple times. Whether its investing all their savings and losing it all before the business even takes off, having extremely harsh competitors who can do anything to keep someone else off their monopolized market or even business partners walking out on you. The list is endless.
If you are in business, or looking to get into business but are too scared to dive into the deep waters, here are 3 successful Kenyan entrepreneurs who have had enormous failures but still made it big.

Tabitha Karanja
Tabitha Karanja

When you think of success, you think Tabitha Karanja. However, the Founder of Keroche Breweries has had to encounter so many challenges that could have completely set her back. Being a woman in a male dominated industry and getting into a business that was already monopolized, her resilience pushed through to make her one of the top entrepreneurs in Africa.
Some of the major challenges she faced were a smear campaign against her drinks that claimed her drinks were unhealthy for consumption. She also had to fight a court battle on tax where she was asked to pay Ksh. 1.2 Billion in 14 days but she fought the case and won. At some point, Keroche Breweries billboards were pulled down upon charges of unethical trade practice; and these are just a few obstacles she faced.
In an interview with Capital FM, she was quoted saying;

The way my challenges came you could never try to think of giving up because if I ever gave up, it meant that I could have hurt a generation, especially my children and anyone trying to come up in business. Then people would have later said… you remember that woman who started a beer business and closed down?

She has gone on to win several awards such as the Business Woman of the year 2014 at the CNBC All Africa Business Leaders Awards, Transformational Business Award 2015 and Entrepreneurial Excellence in Africa Award just to mention a few. She also believes that women have an equal chance as men to succeed in business if they set their mind to it.
Lesson; Don’t be afraid to take risks and walk the path that many seem to avoid.

George Wachiuri
George Wachiuri

George Wachiuri is undoubtedly one of the most successful entrepreneurs in Kenya. The founder of Optiven Limited started his company 18 years ago with savings from his previous jobs. When he first got into real estate, his focus was on providing value added plots to Kenyans. However, it wasn’t easy at first. The first plot he bought worth Ksh. 5 Million ended up being a con and he lost all his savings. Things were not looking great. The huge loss took the company through a great depression and Mr. Wachiuri started applying for jobs in order to make ends meet. He got a job as a lecturer at a local University but his income still wasn’t enough to meet his needs.
In an interview with Business Daily, he was quoted saying,

After the loss I swore that I would never do business again, but I remembered that winners never quit and quitters never win.

He then ventured into property investment afresh having learned from his past failure and went on to make Optiven Limited one of the most successful property investment companies in Kenya.
Optiven has been continuously recognized for its impact to Kenyans and they have won several prestigious awards including coming first in the Kenya Top 100 SME competition and being voted a Super Brand. George was also recognized this year as the Best Entrepreneur at the Diaspora Entertainment Awards and Recognition (D.E.A.R).
Lesson; Do not give up on your dreams even when you fail. Use your failure as a stepping stone and a lesson to do better next time.

Chris Kirubi
Chris Kirubi

Unlike some of us who had a fairly easy childhood, Chris Kirubi grew up in a poor home, he lost his parents at an early age and he had to start work early in order to meet the daily needs of his family. This experience lay a foundation for him to become the successful entrepreneur he is today. However, building his business empire did not come without its fair share of challenges and failures along the way.
One of his notable failures was when he tried to venture into the painting industry. Chris thought that as long as he produced quality paint, his product would sell. At the time, the paint industry was dominated by a few individuals who were also the major distributors and contractors. They were threatened by Kirubi’s new product and in order to stifle his product, no big contractor would buy his paint and there was no one willing to stock his product. The few who took his paint took it on credit with the promise to pay back but they never really paid him. After some time, Kirubi went into huge debt and he was forced to shut down the company.
However, this did not stop him from trying out other business ventures after learning from his past failure. In an interview with Capital FM, he was quoted saying,

All this did not deter me from achieving my vision. It however gave me the strength and power to move on to better things. I became wiser and made sure that every business I invested in thereafter would be a success.

Lesson; Know when to move on when something isn’t working but keep your dream intact.

Final Word;

As an entrepreneur you’ll never be successful if you are unwilling to take risks. Have an open mind, push for the results you want to see and accept that at times, you will fail. However, do not allow your initial failures to define your entrepreneurship journey. More so, a failure may be the motivation you need to move forward.

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Being a writer can very easily lead you into the path of entrepreneurship if you take your craft seriously. The beauty about writing is that you can take writing jobs as a side hustle and make extra cash or work at it full time. So if you have great writing skills and wish to make money off it, here are some ideas that could be perfect for you.

1. Freelance Blogger

Do you have a laptop? Fast internet? Dedication? And a love for writing? Then you’re all set to make money as a freelance blogger. There are numerous blogs out there that require services off freelance contributors at a fee. You can start of by signing up on freelance platforms like, and

2. Social Media Manager

Most small businesses have warmed up to social media because it’s free and an effective marketing strategy to reach clients. However, not all business owners are familiar with the management of different social media platforms so opportunities for social media managers are limitless. If you are a creative soul and can write short intriguing posts with a bit of graphic design skills, you can as well make money off it.

3. Short Stories Writer

Everyone loves reading a good story whether it’s fiction or a journal of real life experiences. My personal favorites are Mwalimu Andrew and Lizzy’s World on Daily Nation. If you have been writing stories and probably just stashing them away in your drawer, it might be time to consider fine tuning and making extra cash out of it. Start off by pitching your content to local dailies and magazines and you might just be the next favorite columnist.

4. Marketing Consultant

Marketing is a major part of every business. Even the smallest businesses have basic marketing strategies which makes consultancy in marketing a viable business idea. You have to be extremely creative though and be in touch with what customers/clients want to see or hear. With skills in creating catchy content for different communication channels and ads for marketing campaigns, you are good to go.

5. Translator

Are you fluent in one or two international languages? If not, you could consider learning an extra language especially if you are quick at picking up new languages. Translating documents is an expensive business and you can make on average Ksh. 30, 000 per page depending on the document type and target language. It’s certainly an opportunity you should consider.

6. Affiliate Marketer

Affiliate marketing is one of the latest e-commerce trends and a quick way to make extra cash. If you have your own blog, affiliate marketing is something you should consider. All you need to do is add affiliate links within an article or anywhere in your blog and you can earn a commission once a customer is referred to an e-commerce website through your blog and they make a purchase. If this is a field you would like to explore, this article by our guest blogger has more details.

7. Researcher

Are you passionate about market research, surveys and analysis? As part of their growth strategies, most organizations conduct market research so as to know how exactly their products/services are doing in the market and which areas to improve on. With great research and writing skills especially in writing surveys, drafting questionnaires, gathering data and writing reports this is an opportunity you can tap into.

8. Song Writer

Song writing is a lucrative industry that pays quite well especially if you break through. The opportunities for song writing are not limited to writing for established singers, you can also write songs for adverts, T.V shows and movies. Song writers make money from royalties based on how well a song does.

9. Teach

Have you been writing for a while now? Do you have a number of published articles? Or you probably have authored a book or two. There are quite a number of upcoming writers out there seeking for opportunities to grow in their skills and you could be that inspiration for them. You can consider offering themed workshops on writing at a fee.

10. Grant Writer

Are you passionate about humanitarian work and social entrepreneurship? Many NGO’s and social enterprises are always looking out for funding through grants and proposals. If this is your area of interest, grant writing is a field you can consider.

11. Script Writer

Since the Communications Authority enforced the 40% rule on local content by all local T.V stations, the demand for script writing has also increased. With a background in film production, a passion for creating content and some connections in the film industry, you can try your hand at script writing. This is not just limited to local TV programs but also plays.

12. Speech Writer

Speech writing is a lucrative business especially if you break through to writing speeches for top corporate gurus and politicians. You can start small by writing speeches for your local politicians and your close friends in the corporate world then grow from there.

13. Ghost Writer

With ghost writing, writers are hired to produce content but the credit goes to the person who hired them. Most of the content produced by ghost writers are autobiographies, memoirs, magazine articles and scripts.

14. Business Plan Writer

There are quite a number of people out there with great business ideas but they need help putting their ideas into a working plan as their first step in implementing their ideas into action. If you have the skills, you can help such entrepreneurs draft a business plan at a fee.

15. E-Book Writer

If you are an expert at something or if there are topics you have wide experience and knowledge in, you can create an e-book on the topic and sell it online on platforms like Amazon Kindle Direct Publish, Lulu and Blurb.

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