Category Archives: Blog

Blog business Learning Recruitments

3 Ways To Simplify Hiring for Your Small Business

3 Ways To Simplify Hiring for Your Small Business

The success of a business ultimately depends on the people who work for it. Nothing can compensate for poor employees. However, good employees can be the difference between your business succeeding or failing. It’s sensible for businesses to put a lot of effort into their hiring decisions, but they often spend more time searching for the right employee rather than screening and researching the applicants.

Fortunately, there are a few ways that businesses can simplify the hiring process.

1. Use Software

As with every other aspect of modern business, there is software that can help with the hiring process. Recruitment software can be used in several different ways, from tracking applicants to posting job details in areas that are likely to attract those applicants.
In many cases, they can also help to sort and manage the applications as they come in. Some programs are even designed to work with other programs that hiring managers tend to use during the selection process. The vast majority of these programs offer a degree of customization to their users, so they can automate some parts of the process while handling others on their own.

The precise tasks that the programs can handle for their users will also vary from one program to the next, so smart managers will look through all of their options to see which one can cover the largest portion of their needs.

2. Use Video Interviews

There is no substitute for a good job interview, but it can be difficult and expensive to arrange one for applicants who need to travel a long distance to do it in person. Video interviews allow hiring managers to conduct the interview over the Internet, which saves a great deal of time and money while also making it easier to schedule the interview in the first place. That makes them a valuable tool, especially for early interviews before the pool of applicants has been narrowed down to the top few options.

That having been said, it is vital to conduct these interviews properly. One-sided interviews, which have the applicant answering questions that are asked by a computer, are both common and largely useless. They’re frustrating for the applicant, and they rarely provide anything that isn’t available from a written application. Instead, it’s best to use video interviews exactly like traditional interviews. It makes a better impression on the applicant and provides more useful information, so it is certainly worth the effort for most managers.

3. Leverage on Social Media

A large part of the population use social media in some way, and many businesses do use it during the hiring process to find new applicants. At the simplest level, recruiters can use it to publicize new job openings in a way that ensures that many people will see them. This is a great way to find younger employees with technical skills since that demographic tends to have more experience with the Internet than with traditional recruiting techniques.

Some businesses also use social media to conduct background checks on potential hires. That can be valuable, since social media holds a great deal of information, but businesses do need to be careful with it. All of the rules that govern applications and interviews still apply, which can complicate the process. As with every other type of background checking, social media investigations can be a powerful tool for businesses, but they do need to be conducted with care and awareness of all legal requirements.

Final Word

Even a single employee can have a big impact on a growing business, so it makes sense to take the time to make good choices. It’s also an expensive and complicated process, so it pays to find every advantage to make it easier. Using the right techniques will cut down on administrative work and make it easy to spend more time on the decisions that really matter.


Author: Sia Hasan


 


Blog business Experiences Learning

CAN A WOMAN HAVE IT ALL? A FAMILY AND A GREAT CAREER?

CAN A WOMAN HAVE IT ALL? A FAMILY AND A GREAT CAREER?

Purity Gicheru a mother of two and a wife one day decided to make invitation cards for her niece’s birthday and that turned out to be the birth of her entrepreneurship journey. “When my sister in law saw the cards I had created she was convinced I had to do it as a business, and though I had been thinking about it I had never really thought to act on it.”

Purity is the founder of a Party-cular World, a company that designs cards ranging from birthday and wedding party invitations to greeting cards. She adds that her plan was to start a party design and planning business, but because she was short on capital, she had to start somewhere and designing party cards was the most affordable way to get into the business. With a little financial support from her husband and motivation from her sister in law, she was ready to get a Party-Cular world off the ground.

Her major marketing strategy is online through her social media platforms but this is also one of her greatest challenges because Kenyans are skeptical of online business. However, she has partnered with other businesses that have made a name for themselves and this creates some level of trust among her potential clients.

Asked what she enjoys about being self-employed, Purity said,

“I love that I get to do what I love and I also have flexible timings so I get to spend more time with my family.”

She owes her success to her support system which is her family friends and mentors,

“My family is the best. My mother being an entrepreneur herself understands me and is constantly checking up on me just to know how the business is doing. My clients have also been amazing, I have two types of clients those who know what they want down to the smallest of details and those who leave everything up to me because they believe in my expertise. I appreciate them all equally.”

The young entrepreneur points out that there is no formula for being successful; there is no one size fits all when it comes to entrepreneurship. One needs discipline, passion and to ensure customers are always satisfied.

Purity is hopeful that with all the effort she continues to put into a Party-cular World she is going to get to where she eventually wants to be which is being a party designer and planner.


Blog business Learning

Do You Want to Buy a Business? Here Are the Top 5 Crucial Factors to Look Out For

Image Courtesy: Freepik

Some people prefer buying businesses because they want to avoid the hassle involved in creating one. Starting a business is pretty hard compared to buying a profitable business. Besides this, starting a business is risky and time-consuming. An entrepreneur has to look for capital, employees, and all resources required to enable the business start operating.

Therefore, people buy businesses because they enjoy the fact that everything is in place and they enjoy having the business bring in profit from day one.

If you don’t have the energy and time for starting a business, you can still own a business by buying one. However, you must consider these 5 factors before buying any business.

1. Competition

Before buying a business, evaluate and analyze the intensity of the competition that it faces. Do not buy a business if you realize that the competition is so intense for you to handle.

All industries always have at least one or two companies that have the larger share of the target market. Buying a business in that same industry that does not show potential of living up to existing competition may be a decision you end up regretting later on.

2. Know and Learn the founder’s skills

When taking over a fairly successful business, there are definitely factors that went into making the business successful. One such factor is the organization culture set by the founder. You are definitely your own person and have your skills and experience that you bring to the table. However, you can blend these into the existing culture.
Therefore, always find out what worked and what didn’t work so that you are more aware of what changes to make.

3. Political stability

Always ensure that the region or country in which you are buying the business is politically stable. Sometimes people sell their business enterprises after sensing political instability in their regions.

Always know the reasons for selling the business. Sometimes some entrepreneurs sell their businesses after noticing a big problem that the business might encounter in future.

4. Profitability

Lastly, always check the profitability of the business because profitability greatly determines the price at which you will buy the business. For instance, if you discover that the business is not profitable, you have the right to buy it at a low price. On the other hand, the business owner is justified to sell the business at a high price if it’s a profitable business.

Final Word

Purchasing a business enterprise is better than starting one. However, it might be a risky decision if you don’t check the above factors before buying one. Lastly, I believe there are several other factors to check before purchasing a business. You are therefore free to add some of them in the comment box below.

Good luck with buying your business.

Author’s Bio
Isaac Wechuli is a Kenyan entrepreneur, professional research writer, and founder of www.unboundedwisdom.com. He loves enlightening people on the factors that could help them live a happy, and successful life.


Blog business Learning

Would You like to start a Butchery business? Here is All You Need to Know

Image courtesy: Freepik

If there is one thing Kenyans love, it’s having a great meal inclusive of meat. Whether it’s meat stew, nyama choma, wet fry, mshikaki, meat balls or even meat in delicacies such as shawarma and burgers.

This is what makes a butchery business both attractive and profitable. Operating a butchery is extremely easy but before you start up, it’s important to have these questions answered;

What operating licences will you need?

Where will I get a good supplier?

Which location is appropriate?

How much capital do you need?

Getting Started

One key thing to figure out before opening a butchery is where you’ll get your meat. If you are starting out, you don’t need to stock a wide variety of meat, focus on beef and chicken and grow to other varieties gradually.

The best places to get your meat supply is licensed slaughter houses in your area. For those within Nairobi, you can find a trusted meat supplier in Dagoretti, Kajiado and City Market. For those out of Nairobi, ensure you find a slaughter house or supplier that is safe and licensed.

Licences

To operate a butchery legally, ensure you have these three licences;

Single Business Permit – The cost varies from county to county. In Nairobi, a permit for a medium trader is Ksh.10,000 valid for a year.

Food Handling Certificate – It costs Ksh. 600 and is valid for 6 months.

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

Total – Ksh. 13,600

Basic Equipment

When starting out a butchery, you will need some basic equipment to start with before expanding to more equipment with time;

Meat Cabinet – Ksh. 75,000

2 Butcher’s knives – Ksh. 2500 each

5 Butchery hooks – Ksh. 500 each

Cutting block/Wooden stump – Ksh. 5,000

Digital weighing scale – Ksh. 5,500

Wrapping materials – Ksh. 500

2 White lab coats – Ksh. 850 each

Cleaning materials – Ksh. 1000

Total – Ksh. 96,200

All prices are approximate.

Location

The most profitable location for your butchery should be a high traffic area preferably shopping centers within estates which are at a close proximity to households.

A decent space will cost between 20,000 – 40,000 monthly rent depending on the location.

Once you find a suitable space, you can renovate and brand according to your preference.

Investment vs. Profit

Considering all the expenses listed above from licenses to equipment and rent, the total approximate investment we are looking at is

Licenses – Ksh.13,600

Equipment – Ksh. 96,200

Rent – Ksh. 20,000

Total – Ksh. 129,800

Now let’s assume your butchery is at a busy neighborhood and you bring in 200kgs of meat that you bought at a whole sale price of Ksh.250 a kg. That comes to Ksh. 50,000.

If you have a good day and sell 150kgs at a retail price of Ksh. 400 per kg, you make a good Ksh.60,000 daily and make a Ksh. 10,000 profit. In a couple of months you’ll have your return on investment and can expand to better equipment and a variety of meat.

Final Word

Is a butchery a business venture you would consider? Let us know in the comment section below.

 

 

 

 

 

 


Blog business Experiences Learning

YOUNG C.E.O COMES UP WITH INNOVATIVE SOLUTION FOR ONLINE SHOPPERS

YOUNG C.E.O COMES UP WITH INNOVATIVE SOLUTION FOR ONLINE SHOPPERS

E-commerce has really picked up in Kenya since it brings the consumer a variety of online shops at their convenience and shopping is quite easy. All one needs is internet, a smartphone/laptop and the comfort of your home. After placing an order the products are delivered in a given address but if the products are for resale the challenge comes in when you don’t have a central place for your clients to pick up their products.

Njeri Wainaina identified this challenge and decided to come up with a solution for it. She is the founder of Wachia Agencies, a storage unit for e-commerce merchants as well as anyone who may need to store their luggage for a short while as they run errands in town.

“This idea came to me in 2014 out of a frustrating experience I had with online shopping. After placing my order, I had to wait in town for a couple of hours before the vendor arrived with my product. That’s when I thought of having a storage space in town where upon shopping online a client could go pick up their product at their own convenience without having to wait up on anyone”

The first thing Wachia Agencies does when they receive a client who needs their storage services is to verify their documents and also confirm that their goods are legal and wont pose any security threat to them and their other clients. Their charges depend on the size of the luggage and the duration of their stay at the storage unit. They currently have a variety of clients that use their storage services and they regard them all with the same importance.

“It’s such a fulfilling journey since I don’t just offer storage space but also have a relationship with my clients. I get to support them with marketing their products and dispatch services. We are in the journey together and it gives me a sense of pride to see each one of them grow with me.”

Located along Nairobi’s Koinange street Wachia Agencies initial challenge was convincing people that their property was safe at the storage unit. This is where referrals came in handy. The first people who took a chance on them were satisfied with their service and referred others. Apart from word of mouth they also use facebook and instagram to get in touch with potential clients.

Njeri is also a beneficiary of Kuza Biashara’s program dubbed She goes digital which was aimed at equipping young women with digital and social media marketing skills. She says the programme molded her in a great way since they were given a wide range of lessons not only in digital marketing but also in life skills and soft skills.

Through her entrepreneurship journey, Njeri has learnt that there is no wrong or right way to be an entrepreneur the most important thing is to believe in yourself. On top of that pray, persevere and be a problem solver.

 

 

 

 

 


Blog business Experiences Learning

How to tell if it’s time to Pivot Your Business

Image courtesy: Freepik

Part of being a good business owner is knowing when your original ideas for your company no longer work. If you want your business to survive for the long term, you have to be nimble. You need to be able to adapt to change and conform to the reality you are confronted with in the market as it actually exists.

Doing so takes guts, but it’s often needed for your survival. If you don’t adapt, your business will surely fail. 96 percent of companies don’t make it to their tenth year. There are endless examples of companies that went out of business because they refused to change. With that in mind, below are five clear signs it’s time to pivot your business.

You’re in a Bad Location

Sometimes, pivoting as a company doesn’t mean changing your business model entirely. Sometimes, it’s as simple as changing locations. A certain location in a city may have provided you with steady business for years. However, things not under you control, like the economic health of the rest of that neighborhood, can dry that business up almost overnight.
Don’t be afraid to move to a different location with better economic prospects if you have to. If one location isn’t performing very well for you, you should consider hiring movers to allow you to move to a more up and coming location in the city.

Your Profits Are Steadily Declining

If you want clear evidence you need to pivot, you should examine your bookkeeping. You may find that revenues have been on a downward trend for quite some time. While you can make up some of those losses by slashing overhead, that may not solve the problem. It may be best to start considering adjustments such as introducing new products that can turn that trend around.

Your Target Market Has Changed

In other cases, your niche market may evolve. Many companies tend to hone in on one target market. However, what if that target market suddenly stops supplying your company with business? You could redouble your efforts to market to that demographic, but you may still come up short.

If that is the case, you need to consider adjustments. You may, for one, want to explore different demographics. The demographics of markets are continually changing in regards to age, sex, race and ethnic background. Making adjustments to better meet the needs of different communities could allow your company to get a foothold with these consumers.

The Tastes of Your Target Market Have Changed

If you start losing business, it may not be that your target demographic has disappeared. Instead, it may be the case that the tastes of those consumers have shifted away from what your company offers its products. If this is the case, you need to pivot so you can better cater to those particular tastes.

Your Fixed Costs Are Too High

In other cases, your product may not be the problem. However, what is really holding you back are the fixed costs and overhead expenses that eat too much into your profits. If that’s the case, you may want to rethink all your different business processes. You may find many different ways to bring those expenses down.

Final Word

Overall, you need to be able to adjust as a business owner. You can’t be stuck in your ways in regards to your products, your marketing or your business processes. Due to the fickle nature of the business world, being too resistant to change can be a death sentence.

Author: Sia Hasan


Blog business Learning

Basics of Starting an M-PESA shop business in Kenya

Image Credit:  nation.co.ke

If you have been thinking of starting a business in Kenya, an M-PESA shop has probably crossed your mind. M-PESA shops are quite profitable businesses and what makes them an attractive investment is that they are quite easy to start and you can operate both as a main or side hustle. Even if you already have an existing business, you can still incorporate an M-Pesa counter into the business.

Would you like to be an agent of the biggest mobile service provider in Kenya? Read on.

Step 1: What You Need to Get Started

To operate an M-PESA shop as an agent, you need to have a registered limited company in business for at least 6 months and have at least 3 outlets ready to offer MPESA services.

A minimum investment for an MPESA outlet is Ksh. 100,000 float.

You’ll need to provide Safaricom with business permits for each of the MPESA outlets, VAT & tax certificates, ID’s, banking license from a reputable financial institution and police clearance certificates.

Fill in the MPesa agent head office application form and the MPesa agent store application form.

Once you have submitted your forms and met all the requirements you’ll be given a till number that you will use.

Step 2: How to run the Day to Day business

You can run the MPesa outlet yourself or hire competent staff with at least KCSE qualification. You also need to brand your MPESA outlet with the Safaricom brand guidelines. The day to day operations include;

Depositing cash into accounts of registered MPESA customers.

Process cash withdrawal for registered MPESA customers.

Register new MPESA users.

Comply with Safaricom business practices.

Step 3: Choose your preferred MPESA outlet

You can run your M-PESA outlet in two ways;

Standard Outlet

This is the most recommended outlet since you have to go through the complete process above and be registered as an agent.

As a sub – dealer

Operating as a sub dealer is much more affordable than registering as an agent. However, you will need to work under a licensed agent by buying their MPESA line and paying them commission for using their lines. For sub dealers, you only need a float of Ksh.20,000 – Ksh. 40,000.

Expected Challenges

  • Running an MPESA shop doesn’t really make you an entrepreneur because technically you are employed by Safaricom. You have to share your profit with them and they determine the amount of profit that you earn.
  • It is also quite a flooded business. MPESA shops are everywhere, on every street corner and this makes it very competitive.
  • There are also strict guidelines that you should follow as an MPESA agent and failure to adhere can lead to your line being blocked.
  • Running an MPESA shop is also a security risk since people know that you handle a lot of cash and that makes you a target for thieves.

 Final Word: 

Would opening an M-PESA shop be a business you would get into?


Blog Experiences Learning

How Tufilamu Pictures Founder Robert Asimba is transforming the Kenyan Film Industry One Film at a Time

How Tufilamu Pictures Founder Robert Asimba is transforming the Kenyan Film Industry One Film at a Time

The journey of entrepreneurship does not have to be lonely. If you have an idea you are passionate about and feel that it needs more than just one person to actualize it you can always look for people who share your vision so that you embark on the journey together for better results.

Robert Asimba is a film director and producer who founded Tufilamu Pictures two years ago in collaboration with a group of likeminded people who invested their time, money and skills into the company. The Tufilamu team considers themselves investors whose shared vision is to leave a positive mark in the Kenyan film industry. They comprise of people with different skills such as producers, scriptwriters, editors, directors each handpicked as a result of work well done in previous projects before the formation of Tufilamu.

Some of the local short films they have produced are Clench: Life of a Creative which was nominated for the Zanzibar International Film Festival, What I love About You and Spensa. One notable project they have worked recently is the 1988 film showcasing the history of Kenya through the terrifying Nyayo torture era. However, besides film making, they also work with clients who need their photography, advertising and film services. Their most successful form of marketing has been referrals but they also use social media.

Asked what sets them apart from other film makers the young entrepreneur emphasizes that they are not in the industry to compete with anyone. “We are here to offer 100% of our skills and ensure quality output. We go out of our way to ensure that our production is at its best. We pride ourselves in taking our work seriously”

Asimba loves what he does and says capturing memories is so fulfilling. “If it was not for film makers history would not be as it is today. People are able to understand history better by use of film. Films have been able to change people’s lives, you will find a film that you can connect with and it helps you deal with your situation and for me to be able to do that for people is priceless.”

Robert Asimba in action
Robert Asimba in action

Just like any other entrepreneurship journey Asimba and his team have had their share of challenges, the major one being lack of enough funds which tends to limit their production output. They would like to tell more of Kenyan stories but they are limited by funds. Also there are clients they work for who take long to pay them which means their next projects have to stall as they wait for the money.

As for the status of the Film industry in Kenya Asimba says it is not where they would like it to be. It’s not in a place you can say you will comfortably invest a large amount of money and get it back in due time. The cost of production is higher than the returns that is why they decided to come together as film makers and share the cost so that they could consistently produce good quality film and boost the quality of Kenyan films. He is positive that with all the effort they are putting in, the industry is eventually going to get there.

Asimba advises the upcoming entrepreneurs to pick something that they are good at and go for it. “People will support you when they see the passion and effort that you put in your grind. Also don’t dwell on limitations but find a way to work around them. The Wright brothers were not limited by lack of a good work space they invented a plane in a bicycle workshop!” He also adds that there are three categories of people. Those who make things happen, those who watch things happen and people who ask what happened? He urges the Kenyan youth not to fall in the last two categories but rather be proactive in making their lives better.


Blog business Learning

How to tap into Influencer Marketing for Your Small Business

Image Credit: Freepik

Small businesses, startups included, are not known for having endless marketing budgets. Usually, their resources are allocated to more practical aspects, like day-to-day operations and maintenance, sales operations, and employee benefits. Marketing becomes part of their priority only when they are expanding, in order to reach more audience or try new markets.

However, with the help of the Internet, there are now new ways to make a name for your business even when you’re just starting up. Through tapping into social media and other platforms to connect with large numbers of people online, small businesses can start their own marketing campaigns and one way to do so is through influencer marketing.

Influencer marketing, from the term itself, is the approach that focuses on individual influencers, rather than your usual marketers. Influencers range from well-known celebrities to experts in niche topics of your industry. You could include knowledgeable bloggers with a sizable following, or social media personalities that tackle topics related to the industry you are in.

Maybe now you’re wondering if influencer marketing would work for your business. Take a minute to think about how well your brand is engaged online: how many followers do you have on your Facebook or Instagram account? How often do you update your accounts, or post something new for your followers? If your answers are leaning towards dismal numbers, then perhaps you should consider going with the influencer marketing route. And no, this is different from social media management.

You’re not getting another person to handle your accounts or post updates about your brand. What you’re doing is targeting influencers with thousands of followers to talk about your products or services and promote them to their followers. Their influence is what you’re after, and just like any other marketing campaigns, your aim is to attract and engage the right audience, only this time, these are the influencer’s audience too.

To have a simplified understanding of what influencer marketing is, refer to this 4-step process:

Step 1 – Identify the experts in your industry, specifically in your chosen niche/field. Learn how well-connected they are, to see if they are influential enough to be an influencer for your business. Come up with as many as you like, so that you’ll have an extensive list of potential influencers before proceeding to the next step.

Step 2 – From the compiled list from the previous step, make a shortlist of those who are closely related to your business. These people should be complementary to your business, meaning, they are targeting the same audience bracket, as well as their reach, and their tone. It would help if you could find some that have the same target audience as yours so that they won’t have a hard time selling whatever product or service it is you are offering.

Step 3 – Start building a connection with your influencers. First step is to follow whatever platform they have so that they’ll know that you are connected through the same industry. Formally introduce your business, and express how well their blog/page resonates with your brand. State that you are looking forward to working with them in the future and are open to discussing a partnership. Share their content on your end, so that they’ll know you’re positively considering them as an influencer.

Step 4 – Once you’ve formalized a connection or partnership, you can now start to create content with them. These could include videos, posts, info graphics, and other items that they could share with their followers. This would be something related to your brand and will be promoted by them in whatever platform they have.

Why is Influencer marketing effective?

This type of marketing works simply because it helps you go directly to your target audience. Unlike typical marketing, which is like casting a net in a wide ocean, you’re cutting through all the unnecessary noise of your usual advertising efforts. From the get-go, you’ve identified influencers whose audience are quite similar to yours, so running campaigns through them would assure you that the ones on the receiving end are at least interested in what you’re offering. This method would be like casting a net on a commercial fishing pond, wherein you are highly likely to catch something.

But of course, it still takes a lot of work for this kind of campaign to work. Going back to Step 4, you’ll need to coordinate with your influencer in order to create a content that will capture your audience. You can’t just go and ask your influencer to say something about your brand and tell your audience to buy from you. Just to give you an idea of what they can do, here are some of the tactics that influencers usually employ:

– Your influencer gives you precious blog space so that you can write a content that’s related to their blog theme, and find a way to mention your product. In a way, you’re projecting yourself as an expert, and it builds trust from influencers’ audience, drawing their attention to whatever your brand is offering.

– You create a content for your own platform, but this time, you’re using your influencer as a subject matter expert. By interviewing your influencer for your own content, their audience (fans, followers, etc.) will likely go visit your site to see the content. You can also ask the influencer to promote it by sharing the URL on his or her accounts.

– The influencer will create a content that includes your product, either as a part of a tutorial (how-tos, FAQs, etc.) This can just be a subtle mention of your product as an ingredient, or as a material to whatever they’re creating. The influencer can also allot a post especially for you, to review your product or service. If they’re pleased with your brand, their followers would know about it and most likely try it out, too.

Final Word

Going back to the original question, should I get an influencer for my small business? The answer is obviously, Yes. It’s a great way to make your presence felt in a jam packed industry, and hopefully, help you make a name even when you’re just starting out. You can couple influencer marketing with other marketing strategies like mobile marketing in order to achieve best results.

Author’s Bio

Francis Mansueto has been writing for more than a decade now, focusing on Digital Marketing in the last couple of years. He is currently in charge of writing web-optimized content for RingCentral, an industry-leading cloud phone systems provider. Francis is also a voracious reader, spending most of his free time immersed on fictional worlds. You can reach him through Twitter.


Blog business Experiences Learning

3 Ways to be Taken Seriously As a Young Entrepreneur

Image Courtesy: Freepik

With the current shocking rates of unemployment, more and more young people are turning into entrepreneurship as a full career with most youth even starting a business while still in university. However, despite all the challenges young entrepreneurs face such as raising capital, lack of experience, balancing personal and business life, and lacking mentors, one other major obstacle they face is struggling to be taken seriously in the first place.

Young entrepreneurs are often dismissed by doubtful investors and most times they have to prove their worth more than their older, more experienced counterparts.

Are you a young entrepreneur? Here are a couple of tips on how to be taken more seriously;

Surround Yourself with Successful People

You cannot expect to be taken seriously as a young entrepreneur when the crowd you hang around are ‘jokers’ and people with no vision or goals in life. The saying, “Show me your friend and I’ll tell you what you are” rings true in this situation.

Make sure you hang out with people who:

  • Push you to be a better person and not distract you from your goal.
  • Have a positive attitude towards life and cheer you on.
  • Challenge you by asking the tough questions and giving you a different perspective.
  • Listen and are genuinely interested in what you do.
  • Have their own vision and goals. Seeing them work has a direct impact on your mindset.
  • Are more experienced and can give you advice and direction.

Work on Your Personal Appearance

One of my most thought provoking quotes is, “You never get a second chance to make a great first impression.” Whether you like it or not, investors and influencers in the business world will always judge you based on your personal appearance, intelligence and the first impression you create.

When you are smartly dressed, it boosts your confidence and others treat you with respect even if you are just starting out as a young entrepreneur. Always strive to look your best regardless of the type of business you are in.

You can do this by making your appearance a priority and investing heavily in yourself; invest in a good wardrobe, a good hair stylist/barber and other self-care practices. It is also important to prioritize quality over quantity. You’d rather have 5 good quality handbags for example than have 20 cheap handbags that do not compliment/boost your appearance.

Focus on Building a Good Reputation

You might look at your age and the fact that you are starting out as a disadvantage but on the flip side, it is actually an opportunity to build a great brand from scratch and lay a good foundation for yourself and your business.

Here are some tips on how to do this;

  • Always keep your word – Be known for results from the beginning. In fact deliver beyond people’s expectations.
  • Know your industry inside out – Read, research, be up to date with current trends in your industry. This way you’ll be able to hold your own when having conversations with the who’s who in your industry.
  • Associate and keep close ties with the influencers in your industry, follow them on social media, attend their events. Basically, stay visible.
  • Be aunthetic – Present yourself as a serious, authentic entrepreneur who just happens to be young. Also don’t be afraid to be honest about the challenges you are facing.

Final Word

Do you have any more tips for young upcoming entrepreneurs? Feel free to share them in the comment section below.

 

 

 


Blog business Learning

I Sold Flavored Ice to Raise Capital for My Fashion Business – Mercy Salama

feature

The tailoring business relies heavily on creativity as well as having great sewing skills. A tailor needs to be able to come up with fashion designs that they can then recommend to their clients depending on the shape of their body and the type of fabric they want. Therefore training and passion are key if one is to succeed in this industry. It’s even better if one realizes that this is what they want to do from an early age so that they can nurture and improve their skill overtime.

This is the story of Mercy Salama a tailor in Nairobi who is passionate about what she does and is very happy that she is living her dream,

“Growing up I always knew that I wanted to be a tailor.  My aunt was kind enough to take me through a tailoring college where the journey to my dream began. My family was not well off so taking me to school was the best they could do for me and the rest I had to figure out on my own.”

Salama’s story is like something out of a Nigerian movie where she came from selling flavored ice to becoming a successful tailor, a business that currently sustains her and her family. Getting the starting capital was a challenge but that did not discourage her. She thought about her options and decided she would open a flavored ice business which did not need much money to start and from there she could save enough to buy what she would need to open a tailor shop,

“I sold the ice for a while until I had enough money to buy my own sewing machine and other things that I needed to start my tailoring business.”

A visit to stall number 460 at Nairobi Textiles which is where her shop is located gives one a feeling of how Salama’s sacrifices along the way have paid off.

 

Salama working on an outfit at her stallSalama working on an outfit at her stall.

The business has also had a big impact on her family. She’s been able to successfully take her three siblings through school and comfortably pay her bills. As a way of giving back to the community, she offers tailoring lessons to a couple of students at a small fee.

Despite all this benefits, Salama’s tailor shop business has not been without challenges,

“One of the challenges I face is that I’ll finish sewing an outfit and when the owner comes to pick it up they promise to pay later but then fail to do so. This is a setback that I have decided to address by being strict and not releasing clothes until the full payment is made.”

Salama is happy with how far she has come and regards her clients as family so she tries to be honest with them as much as possible,

“In this industry tailors are known to be liars. They tell you to come for your clothes on a certain day and when that day comes, they know they are not done yet and even worse, they lie about it and some even hide to avoid confrontation. It’s better to have a good reputation since a good name is better than wealth”

The young entrepreneur urges youth to use their brains, hands and feet to make a living since different people were meant to do different things in this world.

“Just because your neighbor is a lawyer, doctor, engineer doesn’t mean that you also need to be one!” she concluded.


Blog business Learning

What You Need to Know Before Creating a Website for Your Small Business

What You Need to Know Before Creating a Website for Your Small Business

Your website is also known as your virtual brand or online storefront, and it speaks to the world about your company. Before you get overwhelmed by the excitement of getting your business on the internet or redesigning your current website, you need to be aware of certain essential things that will ensure that your website gives you return on investment (ROI).

The primary goal of designing a website is to enable users to find your company’s information in a relevant and easy-to-read format. The question of what is front end web development is a common one for most companies when they are developing their websites. Front-end web development entails producing CSS, HTML, and JavaScript for sites to enable end users to see and directly interact with them. Its goals are to ensure performance and accessibility of websites.

If you are serious about getting financial returns from your site, then you should understand these fundamental aspects before you spend thousands of shillings on hiring a web developer to develop a website.

Understand that your website is a marketing tool

 

With the popularity of the internet, people find almost everything online. Therefore, you need to have a plan for your company’s website before you code it. You need to find out who you will attract to your websites, what you will tell them, and what you want the visitors to do once they visit your site.

You may want them to call you, find out where your company is located or find more information about your company. One of the most important things you have to do is set a goal for your website. For instance, if your goal is to get visitors to call you, you should ensure that the web developer makes your phone number visible on your website. You should ensure that all your top goals are reachable from your site’s homepage.

Define the audience for your website

You need to know who will visit your website. It could be your current clients, new people, or people who know about your brand. Also, you should define where you want your website’s visitors to come from so that you determine the appropriate way of presenting your content on the site.

For instance, if you want current customers to visit your site, you can use familiar terminologies such as marketing names of products or services. The existing customer already understands the vocabularies you use because they have heard it before, but a new visitor might not understand the terminologies unless you add extra words that expound on them.

Define the needs of your customers

You need to be clear on why people are visiting your website. You should understand what they want to get from your website. When you understand why visitors visit your website, you will be in a position to speak to them in the language of their needs. For instance, if you are a plumbing company and your visitors want to get tips on how to maintain their plumbing systems, you ought to have an appealing first introduction that asks them if they want to avoid plumbing emergencies.

Figure out the underlying architecture of your website

It sounds complicated, but it is a simple task. You need to lay out the menu structure of your website. Each page on the website needs to have a purpose and a hierarchical order. Notably, good website architecture is the foundation of proper search optimization (SEO). A good architecture design will enable your visitors to navigate through your site quickly. You should have the blueprint of the website in writing to allow the developer and graphic designer to comprehend your needs and ensure that the website meets the requirements.

Final Word

Designing or redoing websites is a massive investment that will pay off with time if carried out in the right way. You should make sure that you carry out detailed research so that you are a knowledgeable buyer to get the best ROI on your digital marketing strategy. Besides, the web developer and designer you hire to redesign or develop your website should be qualified and experienced.

Author: Sia Hasan