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The online world has made it possible for businesses to reach a much wider customer base. Today, businesses can use e-commerce platforms to increase the convenience that customers enjoy when buying and paying for their products. However, online threats continue to present a huge challenge to such businesses. With these threats, it has become increasingly important for businesses to ensure that customer information is secured and protected from unauthorized access. The first step in keeping customers safe from online threats is to protect your network and systems.

1. Keep a clean machine

Protecting your customers from online threats starts with you thus you should ensure that all your machines are clean. This means installing the latest operating system, web browser, and security software. You will also have to make sure that the software is updated regularly in order to prevent vulnerabilities and provide the last line of defense against malware, spyware, viruses and a host of other online threats. By regularly patching the systems, you will be in a better position to detect threats to your network that could compromise customer data.

2. Data classification

With the important role that data plays in the business world, businesses handle a lot of sensitive data. In order to be sure that your customers are protected, you should adopt formal data classification policies. Through such a policy, data will be categorized as confidential, sensitive data, data that is to be used within the company and that which is to be released to the public. By classifying data in this manner and educating employees on the classification system, they will handle the data that they access in a way that ensures customers are safe.

3. Secure payment methods

If you have an eCommerce website, one of the responsibilities you will have towards your customers is to ensure secure payment methods. In a world where hackers do not sleep and keep coming up with new ways of gaining unauthorized access to data, customer information should be secured. A secure payment method should protect personal information such as credit card information, addresses, and personal identification information. Failure to protect such data may result in identity theft and credit card fraud.

4. Require strong passwords

Depending on the nature of your business, protecting your customers from online threats will involve requiring them to create complex and unique passwords. In addition to strong passwords, you should also enable two-factor authentication. This will provide an additional layer of security that will keep customer information safe online. Such measures will make it difficult for hackers and unauthorized persons to access customer information without permission.

5. Secure mobile applications

Today, an increasingly high number of people are using their handheld devices to access the internet and shop online. As much as the devices offer great convenience to customers, there is no doubt that threats will always follow. Any business that is keen on protecting customers from online threats should build and secure all mobile applications. Regardless of the applications your customers use, you should ensure that potential vulnerabilities are detected and prevented to avoid compromise or loss of customer information.

6. Protect from insider threats

Even as you use tools to protect your customers from online threats, it is important to remember that employees will also present a significant threat when it comes to data security. Since some of your employees will have access to sensitive data, you should consider using data loss prevention software. Apart from relying on the software to prevent malicious data breaches, you should also train employees on how to minimize the risks of accidental exposure of data.

In addition to taking these steps, proper IT staffing will also help to protect your customers from a host of online threats. By hiring qualified and experienced IT experts, you will reduce the chances of data breaches, a factor that will go a long way in helping to avoid related lawsuits and earning the trust of customers.


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Making the transition from employee to entrepreneur is one of the most exciting but also very difficult decisions you can make. Becoming an entrepreneur is not as easy as quitting your job today and starting a company tomorrow. While some have done it successfully, it’s a lot more complicated than it seems.

To help you prepare for your big day of starting life as a full time entrepreneur, here are 5 things you should make sure you do;

  1. Leave your job on a good note

As obvious as this sounds, you should avoid burning bridges as much as you can when you leave your job to start a business. No matter how much you hate your boss or believe that your business venture will be an ultimate success and you can’t wait to leave, there is a wrong and right way to leave your job to venture. Make sure you do it the right way. Here are a few pointers on how to do it right;

  • Don’t steal your employer’s time – During the last months leading to your resigning, you will be busy setting up your business while also having to fulfill your work duties. Instead of using work hours to handle personal business, sacrifice your late nights and weekends to sort out your business or get someone to run errands for you during work hours.
  • Give at least a month’s notice before resigning – You’re almost going to be an employer, so put yourself in your employer’s shoes. They need enough time to hire someone new and adjust them to your position. Also ensure your resignation letter is brief and respectful.
  • Do not poach employer’s clients – For the sake of your good reputation and if you plan in running your business for the long term, start your business on a clean slate and find your own clients.
  • Do not poach your former workmates – It’s okay to inform your workmates of your new venture but by no means should you coarse them to come join you. Remember you do not want to burn bridges with your employer.
  • Do not bad mouth your employer – This is pretty self explanatory.
  • Make your last project the best – Ensure you complete all your work assignments and give them your best.
  1. Research, Research, Research

Starting a business is like buying a new car or a new phone. Before you buy one, you do your research and are specific about what you want. Here are some questions you should have answered before you get into full time entrepreneurship.

  • Who is your target audience? How can you effectively reach them?
  • Who is your competition? How can you do things differently?
  • Is there adequate demand for your business?
  • What start up costs and expenses will you incur?
  • Where will your business be located?
  1. Build a Safety Net

Being a full time entrepreneur is one of the best decisions you’ll ever make. However, the bitter truth according to statistics is that only a few of startups launched will be operational after the first 5 years.

We aren’t trying to be negative but as a new entrepreneur, you should accept that not everything may work out as planned. Either way it’s always better to be safe. Before resigning, ensure you have saved up at least 6 months’ worth of expenses. This should be separate from your capital and should only be used for your personal expenses and in case of an emergency.

Remember, your new business may not bring in profit for the first 6 months and you are likely to experience a number of financial setbacks. Having that emergency fund will definitely come in handy.

  1. Capital – Loan, Savings or Angel Investor?

So many people have great business ideas but one challenge that stands out for most entrepreneurs is lack of capital. To take the leap into entrepreneurship means pushing yourself to make your ideas your ideas a reality.

There are quite a number of capital sources for startups but these 3 stand out: Business Loans, Personal savings and angel investors.

  • Business loans – Before you apply for a business loan and actually get it approved, there is a long process you have to go through and a number of things to consider. With a well prepared business plan with a clear value proposition and outlined return on investment, most banks will be willing to give you a business loan. Most bank loans however are secured loans meaning that is you fail to repay them, your assets might be taken away by the bank. If you are taking a loan from a SACCO however, you will need a guarantor.
  • Angel Investors – The secret of getting an angel investor is being able to make a good pitch that will convince them that your idea is profitable and will give them a huge return on investment. However, you should note that involving an angel investor will mean that they have a share of your business and will be involved in decision making.
  • Personal Savings – Whether you decide to get capital from loans or an investor, it is more likely that you’ll have to put at least some of the money yourself. The easiest way to do this is to use your personal savings. This gives you a huge advantage because you know exactly how much money you intend to put it and can save in advance. You also have more control and full ownership. This sacrifice also helps you value your business more and avoid excess spending.
  1. Legal Requirements

This is probably the most boring and stressful seasons of starting a business. You may have capital, a location ready and you are ready to hit the ground running but did you know that failing to acquire one license can lead you back to square one and get you in some serious legal drama?

Here are some legal red lights to look out for;

  • Have you picked out a business name? Are you sure you are legally permitted to use it or has it already been trademarked by someone else? You can easily prevent this by doing a business name search on ecitizen.
  • Do you have all the necessary licences and permits? Depending on your type of business and the county location of your business, you will require permits and licences some from the state and some from the county. Some of these licences include, certificate of incorporation, city council business permit, fire safety certificate and food and health related permits.
  • Are you familiar with KRA taxes? KRA has a list of penalties that you should avoid at all costs as a new entrepreneur.

Final Word

Do you have any more tips or comments for employed people looking to get into entrepreneurship? We would love to interact with you in the comment box below.

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Business needs customers in order to thrive, and allocating a budget for marketing is very important in order to achieve this. However, for new entrepreneurs who have been overwhelmed with all the expenses associated in putting up a business, a budget for marketing is something that is often overlooked and forgotten. Thankfully, there are free marketing tools that businessmen can take advantage of. Here’s a list of applications and tools that can help you call attention to your business for free.

(1) Hootsuite

Having consistent social media presence is one very effective and important way in order to market your business. By being available across several social media platforms such as Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter among many others, you will have the opportunity to grow your brand. However, managing several social media accounts can be daunting, and one might have the tendency to neglect other platforms. To make sure that your presence is consistent across all your social media accounts, using a social media manager such as Hootsuite will make things easier for you. You can easily plan your campaigns and schedule your posts, engage with customers and make your presence felt, analyze statistics to help you plan better for your campaigns, and gather feedback about your brand and your competition.

(2) Mailchimp

Maximize your chances at getting the word out about your business by employing a better email marketing strategy that can be developed by using Mailchimp. This tool will help you improve the way you write emails and present products while doing away with manual processes that can only eat up your time energy. Mailchimp has wonderful automation features that help you send the right email to the right people. Mailchimp also works seamlessly with other tools and applications such as Shopify, Facebook, Twitter and Salesforce.

(3) Canva

Grab the attention of potential customers by sending out awesome visual content designed with the help of Canva. The app gives you access to hundreds of templates, fonts, images and other artistic elements that could make posters, infographic, or social media posts pop out. You can preset your brand’s colors, logos, and fonts to make just about anything with just a few clicks: business cards, menus, brochures, flyers, letterheads, newsletters and media kits among a host of items that you might need to present a consistent and recognizable image of your brand.

(4) Shopify free logo maker

In the first few stages of building your brand, you have to decide and to establish your company’s identity. Once you already know exactly what your business stands for, it is time to make a logo that would symbolize and represent your business. Use Shopify’s logo maker, and with just a few clicks and tweaks you will be able to come up with a personalized logo despite having zero experience in this area.

(5) SurveyMonkey

Gather information, data and feedback helpful in assessing the status of your brand with the help of SurveyMonkey. This app will allow you to ask the right questions, gather relevant answers, examine the results and analyze its implications to your business in order to further streamline your marketing strategy. Now you can get to know your target audience better, and you will be able to find out how to improve your company and edge out the competition with the information that you can get using this tool.

(6) SumoMe

Want to gather a bigger audience for your brand? What do you do to get more people on to your mailing list? How do you effectively encourage your followers or blog readers to share your content? SumoMe has the answer to all these questions. Create straightforward and attractive calls to action that will encourage more people to take interest in your brand and provide you with more opportunities to engage them in.

Social media marketing is undeniably an essential part of your whole marketing strategy. But managing your social media function and presence takes a lot of energy and effort. Use these tools to make the job more manageable and to streamline your efforts. With the help of these free tools, you will be able to maximize your social media presence, and you can come up with a more focused effort that will definitely bring in the results that you need.

Author’s Bio:

Sarah Jacobs Sarah Jacobs is an experienced writer who loves creating articles that can benefit others. She has worked as a freelance writer in the past making informative articles and fascinating stories. She has extensive knowledge in a variety of fields such as technology, business, finance, marketing, personal development, and more.

Find out more about her company here:

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Is entrepreneurship a solution to the massive unemployment challenge in the country? Some would argue that young people should rely on their own hustles to make a living due to the huge gap between available jobs and the number of qualified people. However, other people are of the view that entrepreneurship is a tough game that has its own obstacles such as raising capital, acquiring licenses and the huge rate of entrepreneurship ventures that have failed.

This was an interesting conversation I had with Joyce Wagaki, an entrepreneur who started from scratch and is slowly building her brand in African inspired fashion.

If you had told her 5 years ago that she would be a successful entrepreneur, Joyce would have laughed that idea off as impossible. How could she be an entrepreneur yet she was a Journalism and Media Studies graduate, with an amazing voice and a ‘bright future’ in the media industry?

Crushed Dreams

“Before I graduated, I got a 3 month internship at a leading media house. We did a voice test and my voice set me apart from the other interns landing me reporting duties both on radio and on the lunch hour T.V bulletin. I knew then that my goal in life was to be a news reporter and eventually become a news anchor.” Joyce said.

After finally graduating from media school, Joyce was positive it wouldn’t be long before she got a job. She prepared her C.V and her Cover letter and started applying for reporting jobs in the media. She didn’t get any positive responses immediately but she kept applying, kept working on her C.V and following up on the jobs she had applied for.

About 3 years after her graduation with no success in getting employment, Joyce’s sister who was accommodating her in Nairobi got another opportunity in China leaving Joyce to fend for herself while sending her money from time to time for her upkeep.

Seeing her job applications for news reporter/news anchor were not bearing any fruits, she went an extra mile and sent her C.V with voice recordings of herself hoping this would set her apart. Unfortunately no station picked her and this left Joyce frustrated and disappointed.

“I knew I couldn’t go back home because I did not want to burden my parents. Even though my sister supported me, I still needed my independence.”

Entrepreneurship or Employment?

One day, Joyce’s sister saw some handbags in China which had unique prints. Amazingly, the bags were so cheap. She reached out to Joyce and asked her if she would be interested in selling the bags in Kenya.

“At first I was reluctant because I had never thought of being an entrepreneur. However, my sister convinced me to give it a try since one of my strengths was the ability to convince people.”

Joyce’s sister sent the first batch of 20 bags and 20 ear rings. True to her word, the bags had a unique design and print compared to the bags in the market then.

“I knew that my livelihood depended on the sale of those bags and ear rings so I did everything I could to sell them. I started by selling to my close friends and church mates. I also went to town daily with a backpack stashed with some bags and walked office by office selling the bags. Sometimes, I didn’t make any sales, I had to deal with some clients who were so rude but that did not deter me.”

However, this whole time, her mind was still set in the media. She sold bags during the day and in the evening, she did her recordings and kept applying for jobs.

“Impressively, I managed to sell all the 20 bags and ear rings and made a profit of Ksh. 30,000. My sister had bought and shipped the bags and ear rings at only Ksh. 10,000 in China. Since the bags were unique, I sold them at Ksh.800 – Ksh. 1000 per bag and the ear rings at Ksh. 250.”

The Birth of Gaki Collections

This experience made Joyce rethink her initial decision of being employed full time in the media to actually taking entrepreneurship more seriously. Her sister kept sending her bags from China and with time, she expanded her collection to leather bags which were more official compared to the printed ones. She even opened a face book page, Bags and Leather to take advantage of the online market.

Joyce sold the bags for a while and the returns were great, she was able to pay her bills but due to unavoidable circumstances, the bags business was not sustainable.

“I had to think on my feet since I couldn’t keep running an unsustainable business and I still had financial obligations. I thought of going back to applying for jobs but considering how far I had come, this wasn’t an option for me.” Joyce said.

One day Joyce had gone to Eastleigh to meet up a friend. However, as is the typical Kenyan style, her friend kept her waiting for over an hour.

“I was so frustrated when my friend eventually never showed up and called to cancel our meeting. Instead of wasting my day, I decided to take a walk around Eastleigh and window shop because Eastleigh was popular for getting quality items at affordable prices.”

As she was window shopping, Joyce met some ladies selling deras. At the time, she didn’t even know what deras were since it was 2014 and deras were still a new concept in Nairobi.

“I got curious and asked the lady to tell me more about deras, how much they cost, how they are made, e.t.c. She sold me a material for Ksh. 300 then directed me to a tailor who sew the dera for me at only 50 shillings and in a few minutes, the dera was ready.”

The Birth of Gaki Collections


Joyce was so impressed with the end result that she wore the dera to church the next Sunday. Being a lover of taking photos, she took a photo of herself wearing the dera and posted it on facebook that Sunday evening.

“When I woke up the next day, I was surprised to get a lot of requests from my comment section and inbox from people who loved the dera and wanted one for themselves. I was so shocked by the numerous requests but I also saw this as a great business opportunity. Also most people perceived Eastleigh to be unsafe and I took advantage of that by being the middle person between the traders and my clients.”

However, Joyce still hadn’t figured out how she would run the dera business since she needed people’s sizes thus each dera needed to be custom made. So she asked people to send her their measurements and design preferences and she would ensure they get their deras delivered to them at a fee of Ksh. 500.”

That was when Joyce opened Gaki Collections, a face book page that she used to sell deras.

The Birth of Gaki Collections


“With time, one of my clients asked me if she could get African sandals to wear with her dera. At that time, I had no idea where I would get African sandals but one lesson entrepreneurship had taught me was, You do not tell a client No, Just say Yes and figure it out later.”

That is exactly how Joyce started the Gaki collection sandal line which consists of custom made sandals tailored to a client’s needs. All a client needs to do is send details of their shoe size, what color and design they would like their sandals to have and Joyce makes sure she gets the sandals made and delivered anywhere in the country.



Since my business was purely online, I knew there was more to social media and in order for my business and brand to grow, I needed to pick up social media and digital marketing skills.

“That is when the She Goes Digital program came along. Through the program, I learnt how to boost my page, make use of online ads and figure out details such as what time my audience is active online. I made use of the skills I gained through the program and by the end of 2017, I had shipped my goods to Ghana, Liberia and U.S.A and I got even more clients online.”

This year, Joyce plans to open a website for Gaki Collections and also open a shop in town.

Final Word

Our take-away from this interview is that we are all gifted in many ways. However, we need to have the heart to explore. You don’t need to close up your mind to employment as the only source of income, open up your mind to more possibilities.

So what’s your excuse? Get up, identify opportunities around you and make a difference.


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My Entrepreneurship Journey: Lessons from Gina Din Kariuki

My Entrepreneurship Journey: Lessons from Gina Din Kariuki
My Entrepreneurship Journey: Lessons from Gina Din Kariuki

Earlier this week, I was going through my YouTube feed and bumped into a Caroline Mutoko interview with Gina Din Kariuki titled Gina Din Kariuki – @20. Having drawn so much inspiration from Gina Din not only as an entrepreneur but also as a pioneer of Public Relations in Kenya, I knew the interview would come with a wealth of knowledge.

Here are some things that stood out for me from the interview about the different phases of entrepreneurship.


The denial phase signifies the early stages of entrepreneurship where you are transitioning from employment or whatever else you are doing to entrepreneurship.

It’s called the denial phase because as a new entrepreneur, you think you’ll have more freedom, more free time and more money. You enter this phase with high excitement, high expectations and high energy while being in denial about the harsh realities of entrepreneurship.

As a new entrepreneur in the denial phase, you have a clear idea and vision about what you want to do and you can see the potential of your business but you are also not sure how to execute everything at this stage.


During the wilderness phase, your business is gradually picking up and your main focus is bringing more clients on board.

You realize you have bills to pay, new staff to hire and salaries to pay. So what do you do? Be like the hyena, and grab every opportunity available, get as many clients as you can so that you maintain cash flow.

At this point, you rarely consider the quality of impact a client’s project will have. You believe you can do it all as long as it translates into more cash for your business.


So you’ve launched your business, gone through the denial phase where you had a fairy tale about how you envision your business to turn out, your business is just starting to pick up and you have already adjusted to life as an entrepreneur. This is where you transition to the boutique phase.

The boutique phase means you are getting work done, you have secured some clients and you can comfortably pay your staff salaries and cater to your bills.

However, you still hunger for more growth.


The desert phase is probably the trickiest part for most businesses and if you are not careful, this is the phase where you get stuck.

At this point, you have an adequate number of clients, however, you still want more clients. This means you hire more staff thinking it translates to more business. You also want to probably move your office to bigger better premises at a posher location.

However, this becomes a vicious cycle that doesn’t translate into more money for your business because the more money comes in, the more it goes out to other ‘non-essential’ expenses.

The desert phase is hypnotizing, you feel good about yourself about your business and you may end up staying at this phase for too long without any notable growth.


This is the phase where you get a harsh wake up call. The issue is no longer, Is there work? But Is the work I’m doing impactful?

You realize that you don’t need to have a million clients but only a few whose work is impactful. The performance phase is where you scale down on your employees based on their professionalism, performance and stick to projects you can deliver with impact.

This phase also means you have figured out how to make more money for your business while still cost cutting and maximizing on your profit to help you be more flexible financially.

FINAL WORD: Are you an entrepreneur? Can you relate to these 5 phases?

Watch the full video below.

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Beauty standards in the 21st Century have really changed compared to past years. Nowadays beauty treatments are not only limited to women, men too enjoy getting a professional manicure and pedicure done. This makes starting up a nail parlour a viable business idea especially if you have a passion for making people look beautiful.

This article will help you learn how to set up a nail salon business by answering these key questions;

  1. How much money do I need to get started?
  2. What licences do I need?
  3. What are the basic equipment and items will I need and what is their approximate cost?
  4. How do I get started?
  5. How much profit can I make?

Getting Started

Running a nail salon has its glamorous side but it’s also a lot of work. As the owner of your salon, you need to be conversant with all aspects of your business and also figure out how to make the business sustainable and maintain cash flow.

That said, before getting into the nail salon business, it is advisable to learn by actually working in one. Take up a job at a fairly successful nail salon, learn the ins and outs of successfully managing the business, find out what it is you can do differently, know what are some of the latest nail art techniques and equipment and how much revenue you can expect to make as profit.

As with any other business, you need capital to get started. The least amount you need to open up a small nail salon is Ksh. 100,000 excluding licences and permits.


A good location is key to the success of a nail parlor. It is advisable to choose a location with high foot traffic for maximum visibility. This might set you back quite a generous amount due to high rent and a small outdoor advertisement board to help your business stand out. Rent prices vary from town to town. In Nairobi, depending on the street and proximity of your space from the road, prices vary from Ksh. 60,000 on the higher side to Ksh. 18,000 to Ksh. 10,000 on the lower side excluding goodwill.

You also need to set aside an extra Ksh. 20,000 to Ksh. Ksh. 30,000 to hire a carpenter and interior designer to revamp the space to fit a nail salon.

Basic Equipment and Items to Start-Up (approximate prices)

5 sets Acrylic Nail Tips – @Ksh. 2000 each

Acrylic Nail Kit – Ksh. 10,000

Nail File and Clippers kit – Ksh. 2,000

10 Nail Buffer blocks – @Ksh. 300 each

Nail Polish LED Light Dryer – Ksh. 4,500

Nail Polish (200 pieces) – @Ksh 100

10 Nail Cleansers bottles – @Ksh. 500 each

10 Nail Polish Removers – @Ksh 100 each

10 Nail Glue bottles – @Ksh. 300 each

10 Nail Moisturizers bottles – @Ksh. 500 each

5 Manicure Bowls – @Ksh. 700 each

5 Staff Aprons (depending on number of staff) – @Ksh. 500 each

Water Heater – Ksh. 1,200

Furniture (Seats, Tables, Décor) – Ksh. 7,000

TOTAL – Ksh. 77, 700

 Get Licenced

You will require a single business permit from your county government to operate the nail salon. The cost of it will depend on the size of your business and from an analysis from your area ward rep. A small salon will cost Ksh5,000 – Ksh15,000 per year to license.

Get Started

So you have already identified a suitable location for your nail parlor, gotten the relevant licenses, furnished your work space and bought basic equipment to start with and hired a few staff members to help you. So what’s next? It’s time to open shop.

The first thing you need to do is have an effective marketing strategy that will help you get clients. This can include opening a social media business page, passing out flyers in the neighborhood, having an outdoor advert sign, having a discount for your first customers and depending on your budget, you can organize a grand opening event.

Investment Vs. Profit

To start small, you can start with as little as Ksh100,000 and keep re-injecting your profit as the business grows.

Depending on your price list and the services you offer, a nail salon can make you between Ksh 10,000 to Ksh. 15,000 on a fairly busy day.

Final Word

Nail parlor is a wise and timely business idea that doesn’t necessarily require too much capital and has a lot of potential. If fact, research by popular beauty magazine, NailsMag suggests that 82% of nail salon goers return to get their nails done.


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6 Tips from A Professional Cleaning Business Owner on How to Get Clients for Your Cleaning Business

6 Tips from A Professional Cleaning Business Owner on How to Get Clients for Your Cleaning Business
6 Tips from A Professional Cleaning Business Owner on How to Get Clients for Your Cleaning Business

Ever wanted to start a cleaning business? Does the idea of actually going out there into the world of business and gaining clients that are going to sustain your business scare you? It really doesn’t have to scare you anymore, well after this post it won’t! This post is going to go over 6 simple, yet highly effective and proven to work, tactics that you can start implementing into your cleaning business today.

1: Business Cards

Before you say to yourself, “business cards are old, they won’t work anymore!” I’d like you to reconsider. However, business cards are only effective when they have two essential elements to them:

i: They are well designed and easy for everyone to read.

ii: You are giving them out often, in the proper situations.

For business cards be effective for you, you need to be passing them out to any relevant person. For example; if someone shows interest in cleaning services, you’re first thought should be to hand out a business card they that they might decide to look at later when making some final decisions on who to go with.

To address the first point, you need well designed cards. Places like VistaPrint are excellent for business cards. They have extremely high quality cards, great prices, and overall amazing services.

2: Flyers and Handouts

Just like last time, I know this one sounds like an old tactic but it isn’t a bad idea! It’s all about where you are placing your flyers and who you are handing them out to. Here are some great ideas for your flyers/ handouts:

i: Hand them out at relevant events where potential clients might be.

ii: Put them on street poles especially in areas with high foot traffic.

iii: Place them indoors on boards open to advertising by local businesses.

As you can tell from the above list, it’s all about where you are placing and delivering your flyers. Although they do need to be well designed, that is only half of the process.

Make it a goal to hand out flyers and put them up around your servicing area once a week, and you’ll be sure to get some leads if you do it right.

3: Have a Website

If you aren’t on the web today, you are missing out on tons of potential customers. People search for cleaning services all of the time, and if you don’t have a website to capture those people you are missing out big time!

Building a website doesn’t have to be hard. Using free services and following guides on how to register domains, get web hosting, and get your website online is all relatively easy to do.

4: Get on Social Media

While having a business website is a must, social media is becoming more and more of a ‘must-have’ today as well.

Everyone is on it, and if you aren’t with the majority you are missing out on so many more potential customers! Be sure to target the right people that would be interested in hiring you for your cleaning services, and stay active!

Posting informative content is key to social media success. A great tip is this; don’t just advertise your services on social media, it won’t get you many (if any) leads.

Instead, post a mix of informative content and promotional offers to get some serious results with social media.

5: Use Targeted Ads

Notice I said targeted? If your ads aren’t targeted towards the right demographics in the proper location, you are going to waste a ton of money and probably get hardly (if any) leads from it.

When using ads you need to make sure you do the following:

i: Set the proper location of the ad (E.g Nairobi)
ii: Target your target market (E.g People aged 18-30)

Ensuring you do those two things will lead to much higher converting ads for your business. If you could learn one thing about ads, it’s to ensure you always use proper location targeting.

You don’t want your ads displaying to someone across the country because they will never buy your services!

6: Encourage Word of Mouth

Last and certainly not least on this list is word of mouth. Using current clients as part of your marketing strategy can be one of the most effective and powerful marketing strategy you will ever use.

Better yet, when you incentivize your clients to talk about and refer other people can be one of the most powerful ways to get referral business that keeps coming back.

You can incentivize people by offering discounts to them, offering free services or extras, or even a simple ‘small gift’ can do the trick.

Have any other ideas on how to promote a cleaning business? The list could go on and on forever, so please share what you’ve found to be highly effective in the comments down below. I’m sure everyone would highly appreciate everyone’s ideas, even me personally!

Author Bio: Owner of, an authority source on starting and growing a cleaning business. CleaningZoom offers resources for all small business owners alike that are interested in the cleaning services industry.



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How to Start and Run Your Own Small Bakery

How to Start and Run Your Own Small Bakery
How to Start and Run Your Own Small Bakery

Getting into entrepreneurship is becoming a popular trend among youth in Kenya. Starting a small bakery business is a profitable business idea you can explore especially if you have a passion for cooking. That said, owning a bakery business needs a lot of commitment and capital but it’s a great way to earn extra income. A bakery is also a good business idea because baked goods are quite popular and move quite fast. Baking also requires little to no formal training but if you need to sharpen your skills, you could consider taking a few baking classes.

If a bakery is a business you would like to get into, here is what you need to know.

1. Getting Started

Register the bakery – If your plan is to run your bakery as a full fledged business, you will need to register your company name (cost – approx 1000Ksh.), register your limited company (cost – approx 30,000Ksh.), get a KEBS licence (cost – approx Ksh. 20,000) and a single business permit (cost varies from county to county)

Licences – To run a bakery business, you’ll also need these licences;

 Food handling Medical Certificate – This certificate makes sure people who handle your food are free from disease. It costs Ksh. 600 and is valid for 6 months.

Food Hygiene Certificate – Valid for a year and starts at Ksh. 300 depending on the size of the business.

Fire Safety Certificate – Valid for a year and costs Ksh. 3,000.

2. The Business

Get Your Recipes Ready – Create a list of all the baked goods you intend to sell. Start with a few items and diversify to more products with time. Prepare a Menu. Prepare a Price list that puts in consideration the cost of ingredients, labor and any other expenses.

Get Your Ingredients Ready – Purchase all the ingredients you need; flour, sugar etc. Also purchase packaging materials, labels, boxes and anything else you’ll need.

Marketing – Find out your target market. Baked products sell quite fast in offices, schools, canteens and local kiosks. Where exactly is your demand?

Figure out how to grab the attention of your target audience by using specific marketing strategies like using fliers, posters, social media, etc.

Network – Attend relevant events, workshops and meetups organized by bakers groups in order to grow your networks.

3. Investment

Starting a small bakery will set you back any amount between Ksh.100, 000 – Ksh. 150, 000 inclusive of licenses and required business permits. Here is a breakdown of the basic items that you’ll need to start out.

Basic Ingredients (prices are approximated)

Wheat Flour (1 bale)  Ksh. 1400
Sugar (50kg)  Ksh. 7,000
Margarine (carton)  Ksh. 2,000
Icing Sugar (5kgs)  Ksh. 850
Baking Powder (4kgs)  Ksh. 500
Eggs (Tray)  Ksh. 300
Milk (box)  Ksh. 500
TOTAL  Ksh. 12,550


Electric Hand Whisk Ksh. 3700
Cookswell Oven Ksh. 26,000
10 Baking Pans Ksh. 2,500
Icing spatula Ksh. 550
Noozle set Ksh. 1,500
Other utensils Ksh. 2,000
TOTAL Ksh. 36, 250


Charcoal – 1 bag Ksh. 1,500
Fliers, Brochures Ksh. 1,500
Cleaning agents Ksh. 1,000
Packaging Materials and labels Ksh. 2,000
Miscellaneous Ksh. 5,000
TOTAL Ksh 11,000

TOTAL INVESTMENT: 11,000 + 36,250 + 12,550 = KSH. 59,800

Depending on the quantity and demand of your baked products, you can make up to Ksh. 5000 a day.

Expected challenges

  • Price fluctuations of raw materials like sugar, flour.
  • Baked goods are perishable thus they need ready market when they are still fresh.

Final Word

Just like any other business, starting a small bakery is not a smooth sailing venture. However, as long as you have figured out your target audience,  get the required equipment, get the required ingredients, have your recipes in place, figure out your workspace, get all the required licenses & permits and a marketing plan, you are ready to go.


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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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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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