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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.


Blog business Learning

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.

Blog business Experiences

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.

Blog business Experiences Learning

Inspirational: 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.

Blog business



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 upwork.com, guru.com and freelancerkenya.com.

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.

Blog business

10 Businesses You can start tomorrow

Practical Tips to Grow your Small Business without making major changes

Are you tired of that 9-5 job you’ve had for the past few years? Or you probably have too much time in your hands that you feel it’s time to venture out and start your own business.

The truth is, 9 to 5 jobs can get monotonous and you are limited when it comes to how much money you make and the amount of control and flexibility you have.

For some reason though, most people shy away from entrepreneurship since It seems so complicated and too risky. When we think about where we’ll get capital, how we’ll find clients, it gets overwhelming so you are always procrastinating and using the excuse that you are not ready.

However, it doesn’t have to be that hard. Here are 10 businesses that don’t require too much capital and that you can actually start working on tomorrow;


1. Photography

Professional photography is one lucrative business that fortunately does not require too much capital. You only need to invest in a good quality camera. To start with you can get a good professional digital camera for anything between Ksh.15, 000 to Ksh.20, 000. With good contacts and top notch photography skills, you can get a lot business from weddings, birthdays, graduations, funerals and any events.



2. Boda Boda

The boda boda business is one of the most popular businesses in Kenya especially in the informal sector. In a day, most boda boda operators take home between Ksh. 2,000 – Ksh. 3,000 or more depending on their location of operation and how good business was that day. Boda Boda operators in urban areas tend to make more money due to the high cost of living and more demand. You can hire someone to operate the bike daily on an arranged agreement, as long as you get your cut at the end of the day.

Boda Boda
Boda Boda


3. Online Courses

Are you an expert on something? Do you have knowledge or a skill that is highly sought after? Do you have a great personality? Then you should consider starting an online platform where you offer courses on your area of expertise. The truth is that people will be willing to pay for something that will add value to their careers and lives. All you need is a website, great content packaged in a way that is easy to consume and a great digital marketing strategy.

Online Courses
Online Courses


4. Farming

Farming is one of the easiest, most popular ways to make extra money. With a small piece of land, you can invest in farm products that attract a lot of market and profit. Vegetables such as onions, tomatoes, cabbage, sukuma wiki and carrots have a ready market and they don’t need to be planted on large scale. Some of the areas with the best soils for farming are Kiambu, Kakamega, Rift Valley and Kisii.



5. Selling Breakfast and Lunch in offices

Who says you need a restaurant or stall to make it in the food industry? Most people who work in offices located in urban areas don’t like going too far to get food, so why not bring food to them? The good thing about this business is you can cook from home and deliver the food to various offices. All you need to do is foster great relationships with senior management of the offices near you so that they allow you to sell food to their staff. For this business, you need a capital of Ksh. 1000 to Ksh. 5000.

Selling Breakfast and Lunch in offices
Selling Breakfast and Lunch in offices


6. Web Designer

Online marketing is hotter than ever with every small business needing web presence. Creating websites is a skill that you can learn online and if you have an IT background, you are better placed. To start, you can start freelancing by offering to create a website for close friends and family as you grow your networks and establish yourself.

Web Designer
Web Designer


7. Wedding Planner

Are you a hopeless romantic? Do weddings excite you? Are you a regular on all your friend’s wedding committees? Then it might be time to take that to the next level and make money of it. Getting into wedding planning however requires a lot of networks from florists, photographers, caterers, fashion designers just to mention a few. Once you have your contacts, start off by planning a wedding for someone in your inner circle, get a mentor and grow from there.

Wedding Planner
Wedding Planner


8. Baking Cakes

Unlike the past when cakes were reserved for special occasions, cakes are the signature delicacy for all events today. From small office celebrations, launches, birthdays, graduations and weddings, the cake business is booming. This business does best in urban areas such as Nairobi, Mombasa, Eldoret and Kisumu where there is high demand.

Baking Cakes
Baking Cakes


9. Tailoring

If you have a passion for fashion, creating fashion designs and some basic tailoring skills, you could consider taking some tailoring lessons and making it a full time business. A basic sewing machine will set you back Ksh. 15, 000 – Ksh. 20, 000 and to start, you can work from home before getting your own shop/stall.



10. Selling Ice-cream

The hot season is back, guess what that means, there is more demand for ice cream. To start a simple ice cream business, you need a fridge and basic ingredients and you’re good to go. You could start a simple ice cream joint in your estate or target specific places such as outside supermarkets, offices and colleges. However, expect a lot of competition. Like many small businesses in Kenya, once you are all set up and have a steady stream of customers, expect three, four people to come set up right next to you.

Selling Ice-cream
Selling Ice-cream


Final Word: Starting a business is not easy but it doesn’t have to be so complicated either, If you’re willing to put in the work, learn new skills and focus on turning your passion into a profitable business. Think big but start small.

Blog Internship Learning

The homecoming of the #SheGoesDigital Graduates

photo (1)

The #SheGoesDigital program celebrated the accomplishment of yet another milestone as the girls who graduated from the program successfully completed their internship period.  While a majority (around 60%) of them continued in their respective jobs, about 40% of them took bolder steps moving to new challenges, including setting up their own businesses or expanding their already existing small shops.

It was a great re-union for the young women, filled with fun, laughter, bonding and most importantly great experience share. The girls came together at the Kuza Innovation Centre to share their set of challenges, achievements, revelations and appreciations.  During all the three months of their internship, they had so many new assignments, new projects, exploration of skills that they did not know they possessed, changes both in roles & activities, but one thing stayed constant – their zeal to get through & create an impact in the organizations they were working for.  So naturally, when they came together their eyes were filled with excitement of seeing each other (since they bonded so well during the 45 day training period in March – May 2017).  It was great to witness those touching/ emotional moments.

A section of #SheGoesDigital graduates sharing their experiences during the re-union
A section of #SheGoesDigital graduates sharing their experiences during the re-union

The team from Kuza were joined by Ms. Caroline, Resident Co-ordinator of the SITA Program.  It was interesting to understand how the program impacted the young women & their careers, from picking new & relevant skills that they are able to apply to their growing confidence in their ability to do much beyond what they could have ever imagined. The three months at companies from diverse fields gave them so much to learn that most of them were amazed at how much they could implement what they have learnt and on the day of re-union, they learnt so much more from the collective wisdom they brought to the table.

The young women were heard saying how great it feels for them to be able to share tips & tricks that they learnt  about Social Media & Digital Marketing, especially being in the helm of affairs in their respective job positions, given that most of them are working directly with the business owners or the management teams.  We, along with the young women wished the day had not ended as there was so much more to talk about, so much more to learn from each other about the exciting journey thus far and moving on. But as they say, all good things must come to end, so did the day come to an end, with all of them promising each other to stay curious and try new roles, while they remain patient watching their project “seeds” grow into amazing initiatives.

Until we meet the next time, #SheGoesDigitalRocks!!


Related Article


business Experiences

6 Mistakes New Entrepreneurs make and how to avoid them

photo courtesy of www.freepik.com

Everyone has a business idea that if provided with adequate capital, and everything else they require, they will be well on their path to entrepreneurship. However, there is a big difference between having an idea and executing the idea.
A business idea may sound easy and straightforward but most new entrepreneurs are hit with a rude shock of how tough it is to get a business up and running.

Here are six common mistakes new entrepreneurs make and tips on how to avoid them.
1. The ‘I can do it all attitude’
A new business idea is like a baby, you want to cuddle it, stroke it and protect it from anyone who shows up to critic your idea, give you a list of reasons why your idea won’t work or even explain vividly how it will be impossible for you to implement the idea. These often makes new entrepreneurs shy away from sharing their ideas and involving other people in the potential business.
The feeling of, “Since I came up with the idea, I am best placed to implement it and have it come out exactly how I want it,” takes over more often due to pride or fear that bringing in and listening to others will corrupt your original idea. However, instead of helping, this might slow down your implementation or result in you getting stuck along the way.

TIP – As much as it is not advisable to listen to everyone’s opinion about your business, it is important to seek a mentor preferably one who is successful in the same business you want to venture into. Potential customers are also key as they are the ones who will make or break your business, reach them through a market research strategy such as questionnaires to find out how your product will be embraced in the market. All in all, listen selectively sieving out useful suggestions from those that won’t help the business.

2. Focusing more on the idea and not the execution
Every business startup starts with an idea. Now ideas are great, but your potential customers will not buy an idea neither will investors put their money in an idea that doesn’t have an executable solution. Most new entrepreneurs get stuck at the idea stage. They spend months talking about how great their ideas are, how it’s going to make them lots of money and change their lives forever but they never really take the first step of execution.

TIP – Do you have that genius business idea you have been sitting on? It’s time to begin drafting an execution plan. To start you off, ensure you have a business model with a clear value proposition based on current market dynamics, an innovation that does not necessarily have to be new but should have a unique solution compared to what is currently in the market and a growth model that guarantees a great profit margin in order to attract investors. When you have these, take your first step, whether it’s designing your new website or setting up that first pitch meeting with your first potential investor.

3. Being short sighted with your first profit
Depending on the amount of work and commitment you place in your start up in the initial stages, your business might reward you with a huge profit. However, the decisions you make at this stage are crucial for the long term success of your business. As much as you are justified to treat yourself as a business owner at this stage, making financial choices such as taking a fully paid vacation to Zanzibar or buying your dream car could prove costly for your business.

TIP – Growing a business requires setting short term and long term goals. Both goals should help you achieve your overall vision for your business. Some tips on how to use your first profit wisely are;
• Re-invest back into your business based on your strategies.
• Invest in marketing strategies both traditional methods and digital methods based on your target audience.
• Invest in a more qualified workforce in order to have a productive team.
• Investing in yourself by taking more business courses and learning new skills that will better your business

4. Dwelling too much on failure
When it comes to turning your business idea into a startup, it’s not a matter of if failure will happen but when. Failure is inevitable, whether it’s making a wrong business move that suddenly makes you bankrupt, hiring a rogue contractor that ends up damaging your systems or your business partner walking out on you. Whatever it is, it is bound to happen sooner or later and dwelling too much on it won’t make it any better.

TIP – Rather than having a fear of failure, it is important to prepare and plan for it so as to recover much faster. The good news is that once you overcome a failure in your business and pick up valuable lessons from it, you become stronger, your business benefits from it and you set strategies to prevent the same from happening in future.

5. Trying to maintain your normal lifestyle
Has your life always involved Friday evening dates with friends, watching and following up all Premier league matches or never missing out on all the latest parties and concerts in town? Well, if you have chosen the path of entrepreneurship, you should be ready to make major changes including working longer hours and focusing more energy on your business compared to your social life.

TIP – One thing entrepreneurship does is make you more focused since you now have this new responsibility, extra bills to pay, investors holding you accountable and people looking up to you every month for salaries. For your business to make it through the first years, you need a strong network of friends to support you. Despite the sacrifices you’ll need to make, always think long term.

6. Thinking you have no competitors
Due to the initial excitement of a new business idea, most new entrepreneurs get carried away by their idea and they think they have no direct competitors or their idea is way better than current solutions in the market.
However, the reality is no matter how innovative your idea is, someone else is most likely to come up with a better idea. The competitive business environment in the 21st Century also makes it quite challenging to monopolize a certain market because once people see how great you are doing, they will quickly pick out your weaknesses and come up with a better product/service.

TIP – To be on the safer side, do adequate research on competition before launching your business. Ensure your business has a better value proposition and your business model fills a gap in the market.