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UNIVERSITY STUDENT MAKING A FORTUNE FROM MAKING AND SELLING WIGS FROM HOME

Rachael

A wig is a protective style that is versatile and saves time. Putting it on is as easy as taking it off , So if you want to change your hair do , all you have to do is take the wig off. Ladies have had to embrace this trend since it saves time and money, with a little maintenance a wig can be used several times before being discarded.

It is from this knowledge that Rachael Sangara, an International Business Administration student at USIU saw an opportunity and decided to explore it.

“I have always been passionate about beauty, hair, make up and fashion ever since I was young. I realized that the human hair industry in Africa is a 7 billion dollar industry and I saw the need, there was a market so I decided to try it out,” Rachel shared.

Getting capital for the business was her greatest hurdle so she took a big risk and used her school fees to secure her first merchandise, made the wigs, sold them and managed to get back her school fees after a month plus a little profit that she used for capital. Looking back she is so happy that it all worked out.

“I have a dream of having my own clothing line but as an entrepreneur, it’s not easy to get funding so I believe in starting small. Hair was one of the easiest ways for me to get into the beauty industry so I wanted to use that to build capital for myself so that I eventually start my own fashion line and my own company,” she said

At an age where most of her peers are thinking of lectures and assignments Racheal is a step ahead trying to create a niche in the beauty industry. She makes wigs by customizing them according to a client’s needs, a skill she learnt by watching tutorials on the internet.

“I order hair from my supplier in China and it gets here after a week and a half. I take the hair bundles, put them on a mannequin head and sew the hair. It takes me about 4-5 hours to sew one wig. In a day when am not too busy, I can make up to 3 wigs,” she said

Rachael
Rachel sewing one of her wigs

 

One of the initial challenges Rachael faced was finding market for her wigs,

“When I first started out I was glad I was a student because I thought I had a ready market within my fellow students but unfortunately they couldn’t afford my wigs! They love fashion and keeping up with the fashion trends but they don’t have that much money!”

She finally decided to target the working upper and middle class women. This is a group that is constantly busy and still needs to look good. Her wigs offer just that. They are made out of human hair meaning that they can be exposed to high temperatures without getting damaged. A client can style the hair by use of flat iron, blow dry or sit in a hair dryer with the wig on.

What makes Rachael unique is that she does not only sell the wigs but also offers extra after sales services,

“I make sure to advice my clients on what looks best on them depending on the shape of their face. I also teach them on how to maintain the wigs. I have recently opened a youtube channel where I will be teaching them on how to style the wigs and anything else they might want to know”

Kuza Biashara aims to help micro entrepreneurs like Rachael to grow and connect with their target market through trainings on personal branding, marketing, soft skills and so much more.

“The business is doing well and for anyone out there who has interest in starting a business just do it. You may fail sometimes but those times will serve as great lessons so don’t give up,” she concluded.

Rachel’s contacts

Facebook: Icchi Luxury

Instagram: Icchi_Luxury

Mobile: 0703 87 17 70


Blog business Experiences Learning

HOW I CAME UP WITH AN INNOVATIVE REAL ESTATE SOLUTION FOR YOUTH AND MIDDLE INCOME EARNERS – GRACE WANJIRU

HOW I CAME UP WITH AN INNOVATIVE REAL ESTATE SOLUTION FOR YOUTH AND MIDDLE INCOME EARNERS – GRACE WANJIRU

It has been said that when it rains it pours, Ciru knows this too well having lived through the toughest of times and still came out shinning. Grace Wanjiru also known as Ciru is the founder of KODIKODI a real estate company that lets you rent with the intent of eventually owning the property. It all began as an idea that was conceived during one of the lowest points of her life when she was down and feeling defeated.

How It All Started

Most people graduate and are so enthusiastic to go out in the world and find a job. Ciru was not any different. She completed college having studied Interior Design and embarked on the strenuous job search. For her first job, she worked at an architectural company in Westlands before pursuing a career as a flight attendant for Kenya Airways.

“I am a curious being and everyone especially us women feel like being part of a cabin crew is an awesome job because you get to travel the world. I loved the travelling but I still had so much passion for interior design so I quit my job as a flight attendant and pursued my passion which was starting an interior design company,” Ciru said.

Things Fall Apart

The business did well for some time but then Ciru got pregnant and that is when things started falling apart. The company fully depended on her and she wasn’t able to go out to get jobs and contracts due to the complications that came with the pregnancy.

“It got to a point where I couldn’t pay my rent being a single mother of two babies then and I didn’t have anyone who could step in for me at that time.”

Two months later, Ciru’s landlady kicked her out of her apartment.

Pregnant and homeless Ciru had to think fast. People she thought would come through for her turned out to be a big disappointment. She had to send her kids back to her mother’s place and luckily, her close friend who turned out to be her business partner later offered to take her in until she got back on her feet again.

“I was in a position where I felt useless, I felt hopeless, I felt like I had failed my kids, myself and that is when I started reflecting about my problems at the time. There was a time when I was able to pay Ksh. 50,000 rent at ease. I’d actually done it for 8 years yet I had nothing to show for it. That’s when I asked myself, how many Kenyans out there are going through the same thing?”

The Birth of Kodi Kodi

That was the genesis of KODIKODI, which translates to ‘RENT RENT’ in Swahili. She approached her friend who also happened to be her host at the time with the idea and he got on board agreeing to help her bring the idea to life.

KODIKODI is tailored for the middle and low income earners as it allows one to own property at 0% interest and 0% deposit. Buyers are able to own the property after making monthly installments for a certain period.

For example, If a property goes for Ksh. 900,000, a Kodi Kodi client will acquire it at 0% deposit and 0% interest and they have the option of paying Ksh. 30,000 monthly for 30 months and at the end of the payment, you get to own the property. The same way you rent a house for Ksh. 30,000, the only difference is at the end of a certain period, you become a property owner and the value of the property has also gone up.

Why Invest with Kodi Kodi?

When asked how profitable the venture is seeing that it offers 0% interest Ciru says,                  “KODIKODI is not just about making money, it’s a movement out to change lives and disrupt the mortgage industry.”

The venture is guided by the acronym CAV which stands for;

Credibility, what this means is that their client is able to get all the necessary documents upon completion of payment at the stipulated time.

Affordability, the property is affordable in that if the value of the property appreciates within the time the client is still making payments the price of the property is not increased! The payment system is also very flexible.

Value addition, the property comes with other amenities such as swimming pool, kids playground, electric fence, borehole, basketball pitch, clubhouse etc.

Future Plans

KODIKODI is clearly going far as the CEO has plans to expand. They are finished with phase one and are now working on phase two both projects located in Nanyuki. In future they plan to spread the venture all over Kenya and to also come up with a package suitable for the youth as young as university students.

Take – Away

“If you have an idea just get started. Stop with the procrastination. You should also be willing to put in the work, you cannot plant the tree from the fruits!” that is the advice Ciru has for the upcoming entrepreneurs. She also agrees that she has made mistakes and learnt from them.

“As an entrepreneur you should not be afraid of taking risks and if you feel your idea or business is not picking up sit back and evaluate yourself, seek assistance from friends or even pray about it, there is always a way,” she concluded.

Kodi Kodi Founder, Grace 'Ciru' Wanjiru sharing a light moment with the Kuza Biashara team.

“Kodi Kodi Founder, Grace ‘Ciru’ Wanjiru sharing a light moment with the Kuza Biashara team.”

 


Blog business Experiences Learning

5 Remarkable Negotiation Tips You Must Embrace

Image Credit: Freepik

The success or failure of a business deal greatly depends on an individual’s ability to negotiate. Therefore, for you to strike as many business deals as possible, having the right negotiation skills is key. Negotiation is also essential for business success because good negotiation skills can help you climb the corporate ladder and acquire profitable contracts for your company.

It`s, therefore, necessary for you to know how to negotiate if you want to achieve success in business or in your career.
Here are 5 negotiation tips that you should embrace in your next business meeting.

1. Create a friendly atmosphere

It is important to create a friendly atmosphere during a negotiation process. It not only puts the other party at ease but also makes them share more information that you can use to your advantage.

2. Do not make the first offer

Making the first offer may work against you either when buying or selling something. When selling, you might set a lower price than what the buyer expected.

On the other hand, when buying you might set a price higher than what the seller was expecting. However, if you have to make the first offer, ensure that you set a very high price if you are a seller and a very low price if you are a buyer.

3. Act as if you are not desperate for the deal

The other party might set abnormal offers if they realize that you are desperate for the deal. Therefore, act as if there are many deals waiting for you somewhere else.

Few businessmen would want to delay a deal. Therefore, they will offer you a good deal if they realize you might cancel it anytime because you have other deals.

4. Display extensive knowledge on the subject matter

Knowledge shows the other party that they cannot deceive you by providing false information about the product or service on sale. Also, extensive knowledge proves that you are serious about the deal to the extent that you researched about it.

5. Lastly, you can pretend to walk out of the deal

You can pretend to walk out of the negotiation if all the other negotiation tips backfire. Walking out might force the other party to state his final offer especially if they are desperate to close the deal.

Conclusion

These tips cannot fail you if you embrace them when negotiating. However, these are not the only tips for successful negotiation.

Therefore, if you know other tips necessary for a successful negotiation, feel free to add them in the comment box below.

Bio: The author is Isaac Wechuli, 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

HOW TO START A SMALL MOVIE SHOP IN KENYA: A STEP BY STEP GUIDE

Image credit: medium.com

A number of Kenyans own a DVD player or laptop thus they find it easy to entertain themselves at home. Movies and T.V series are a great option for most Kenyans to unwind in the evening or during the weekends and with the current digital T.V content, it is quite expensive to access the latest movies and series unless you pay for the premium subscription through your decoder.

That is the gap that movie shops fill. Most Kenyans love being on top of popular movies and T.V shows and are willing to pay at least Ksh.50 for a disc.

Movie shops started out as a small business but currently, they are one of the most lucrative businesses to venture into right now especially for young people. If you are a movie junkie and have been thinking of running a profitable movie shop, here are a couple of things you need to know;

1. Getting Started

Before getting into the movie shop business, you need to be clear about how the business works and have answers to specific questions;

  1. How will I get the movies?
  2. What equipment will I use?
  3. Which customers am I targeting?
  4. What licences do I need?
  5. Where is the best location?
  6. How much do I need to get started?

2. Licenses

To legally operate a movie shop, you need to have a license from MCSK and a single business permit from your county government. Lack of these two licenses will lead to your equipment being confiscated for lack of compliance.

Single Business Permit: The cost of it will depend on the size of your business and from an analysis from your area ward rep. A small shop will cost Ksh5,000 – Ksh15,000 per year to license depending on your county.

MCSK: A MCSK license will cost you Ksh. 3000 and you’ll also pay Ksh. 1000 to the Kenya Film Censorship Board (KFCB). You’ll then be given a license to put in your business premises.

3. Location

All businesses need to factor in where they intend to locate their business but for a movie shop, location is particularly important. You need a location that is close to your target market and where the demand is high.

Some suggestions for a good location are

  1. Near a campus/school
  2. Next to a student’s hostel
  3. Town centers
  4. Near bus stations
  5. Shopping centers in your estate

One advantage of opening a movie shop is that they generally don’t use up too much space. However, the amount of rent depends on the location. A front stall that is just in front of the pavement in town will cost you approximately Ksh.25K in downtown. However, within the CBD, you may part with anywhere between Ksh. 40K – 60K. Renting a shop in your local estate is much cheaper.

4. Basic Equipment

If you are new in the movie shop business, here are the basic equipment you should invest in;

EQUIPMENT APPROXIMATE COST
1 Good Quality Computer Ksh. 40,000
1 LED T.V Ksh. 18,000
Woofers Ksh. 10,000
DVD Duplicator Ksh. 35,000
50 Blank DVDs Ksh. 500
2 Felt Pens Ksh. 100
Movie Posters (Papers + Printing cost) Ksh. 350
Furniture (Chairs, Counter, Bench etc) Ksh. 30,000
Envelopes for packing movies Ksh.500
TOTAL Ksh. 134,450

5. How to Get the Movies

There are two ways to get movies;

  1. Buy movies online and pay through online payment systems like PayPal from Ksh. 800 – Ksh. 1,500 per movie. You’ll then be sent a download link to the movie. You can also download T.V shows through certain sites.
  2. The cheapest way to get movies and shows is to wait for others to buy from other people for Ksh. 50 and burn as many copies as possible for yourself

6. Investment vs. Profit

To start small, a movie shop will set you back any amount between Ksh. 150,000 – Ksh. 200,000. Here is the break down;

Equipment – Ksh. 134, 450
MCSK License – Ksh. 4000
Single Business Permit – Ksh. 7000
Rent – Ksh. 25,000
TOTAL – Ksh. 170, 450

If you get 100 people buying one disc a day, that is Ksh. 5000 a day and Ksh. 150,000 a month. That guarantees a return of investment in 3 months latest.

Final Word
Is a movie shop a business idea you would consider? We’d love to hear your opinion in the comment section below.


Blog business

6 Ways to Creatively Transform Your Office Space

feature image

As a working professional, you are going to spend countless hours in your office. As an entrepreneur, you’re going to want to make sure you’re creating a space in which you can thrive. It is important that you have a place where you can get in your creative zone and really produce the work it takes in order to bring your career to a whole new level. Decorating your office doesn’t have to be an overwhelming task. Here are six simple ways to create the best space for you.

1. Bring nature into your office

A great way to feel more relaxed in your office is to have better air circulation. When you bring plants into your office, you will not only get better air circulation but it also improves the general feel and aesthetic in the office.

Plants have also been shown to improve creativity and productivity at work and they are a creative way to make your office unique and original.

office plant

2. The right lighting is very important

When walking into an office, one of the first things you are going to notice is the lighting. This may be a subconscious realization, but you react to it. Harsh fluorescent lighting is not going to work very well in a music studio. However, a dimly lit doctor’s office won’t go over very well. It is important to understand what type of lighting you should use in your office. Simply upgrading to LED lights can make a big difference in your power bill and the overall feel of your office.

office-LED-lighting

3. Add color all around

If you don’t have at least some color in your office, it can be difficult to have energy during your workday. Adding some colorful accessories to your desk can be a great place to start. Even just a few nice pieces of brightly colored furniture can make all of the difference in your office.

colorful-office

4. Give your office a tech upgrade

Working on computers that are constantly crashing and taking forever to load websites is going to make work very difficult. You need to make sure that you have the latest technology in your office. This will be a great way to take your business to a whole new level. It is important that you do the proper research before buying new computers and devices. If you have a difficult time finding new technology, work with a professional who has a background in tech. They will be able to help you find the best new tech items for your office.

office tech upgrade

5. Use modern design elements in your office

There are many different modern design elements that can take your office to the next level. These modern types of furniture will impress your clients and help you get into the right mood for working. Custom floating shelves are a great way to add modern design to your office. These floating shelves will also help you save on space in your office.

modern design elements

6. Organization is key

Having an organized office is going to help you have a much more productive workspace. It may be difficult to get organized if you have a bunch of clutter. The tidier your office is, the easier it will be to organize it. If you feel overwhelmed and you don’t know where to start, there are organization professionals who can help you. These professionals will be able to help you with a plan of attack that will get your office organized.

organized office

Final Word
These are just a few of the many different tips that can help you decorate your office. When your office is properly decorated, it will be much easier to be productive and impress new clients. It will only take a small time and a little more money investment to really bring your office to a whole new level.

Author: Brett Clawson


Blog business Experiences Learning

5 Bad Money Habits that Will Always Leave You Broke

Blackman-depressed

With personal finance, the habits we have can either make us successful or cause us to stagnate. If you have been struggling with your finances, take a look at this list and make sure you are not bringing yourself down with any of these habits;

1. Procrastination

Are you one of those “I’ll start saving tomorrow” kind of people. We all procrastinate at times but there are people who are always telling themselves they will do something later or the next day. Procrastinating is one of those habits that may end up costing you not only time but money as well.

Here are a couple of ways that you procrastinating your financial freedom;

  1. Paying your bills and loans late causing you to have to pay more money as interest.
  2. Purchasing certain things late e.g event tickets, plane tickets thus you end up buying with the highest price.
  3. Never settling on a financial plan or taking a decision to save/invest when the stakes are good.
  4. Not preparing a monthly budget on time and by the time you get your income, you end up spending impulsively.

Do you know any other ways people procrastinate their financial freedom? Feel free to share them in the comment section below.

2. Impulse Buying

Giving in into impulse buying is not only hard on your wallet in the short term but it also prevents you from developing good financial practices in the long term. It is okay to treat yourself once in a while but it is important to be clear about what you want and what you need.

Here are some reasons why people impulse buy;

  1. Buying items on sale to ‘save money’ even if you do not really need them.
  2. You want to fit into trends so as to conform to your friends and the society.
  3. Doing too much window shopping both online and at physical stores.

You can avoid impulse buying by;

  1. Planning for big purchases
  2. Knowing your triggers, what makes you impulse buy?
  3. Finding ways to treat and reward yourself without spending money.
  4. Remembering the past losses that you made from impulse buying.
  5. Budgeting always.
  6. Carrying fixed cash and avoiding having too much cash in your MPESA or shopping using your bank card
  7. Setting financial goals and following through.

3. Ignorance

There is nothing worse than being ignorant or uneducated with your personal money matters. No one expects you can be an expert on finance but at least gain knowledge on the basics of investments, savings, mortgages, insurance, budget, interest rates, etc.

There is no excuse for ignorance, it is actually costly when you hit 50, you’ve had a great career but you have nothing to show for it. Take some time to educate yourself on things like banking, interests, unit trusts, shares and insurance. The internet is at your fingertips with all this information and we are also here to help.

Instead of watching too much T.V and talking about politics all day long, pick a book on finance and investment or take up a personal finance course. Your future self will thank you for it.

4. Not saving for retirement

When you are young, in your 20’s, through your 30’s, it is easy to think that you have your whole life ahead of you. We’ll, just ask someone who is 60 and they will tell you that if they could, they would save for their retirement from as early as their first salary.

Most jobs both in the public and private sector provide you with a retirement/pension scheme but that isn’t entirely enough. It limits you to what you can and cannot do in your old age because you have to wait for a fixed monthly deposit which isn’t much.

At that stage of your life, you want to be independent and have a fairly comfortable life. Please don’t keep living without a retirement plan. The earlier you start, the better. As you try to make ends meet and achieve your financial goals, put a retirement plan in the equation.

5. Ignoring Insurance

I know that insurance has a bad reputation in Kenya and love it or hate it, insurance is an important part of any financial plan. Basic insurance you shouldn’t ignore is health insurance and insuring valuable property such as your car or house.

We cannot control everything that happens and that is why insurance is important, to prepare you for the worst. One accident can totally wipe out your investments.

However, before settling on an insurance cover, do your research and ask people who have been insured before preferably close friends for their honest opinion on certain policies.

Final Word

Are you guilty of any of the above habits? If you know any other detrimental money habits, feel free to share them in the comment section below.


Blog business Learning

HOW TO USE LOCATION BASED MARKETING FOR YOUR BUSINESS

HOW TO USE LOCATION BASED MARKETING FOR YOUR BUSINESS

Location-based marketing is a direct marketing strategy that uses a mobile device’s location to alert the device’s owner about an offering from a near-by business. This type of marketing strategy helps to bridge the gap between online and physical customer’s experiences and promote impulse purchases.

Location-based marketing can benefit your organization in so many ways. Some of the benefits are;

  1. It is highly geographically targeted, you know that you are talking to people who are within walking distance of your product or service.
  2. Converts impulses to sales, once a customer is physically close to your store you have a far better chance to persuade them to purchase from you.
  3. Get to know your customers better, location based services are a way of finding out more about your existing customers.
  4. Improve your search engine ranking, many location based services rank very well in search engine. They appear high up the page of search results.
  5. Reward loyal customers, it is one of the best to convert foot traffic and online traffic into new customers.

In order to customize your location-based marketing campaign you need to ensure that:

  • Your organization has a mobile-compatible website.
  • The content on your website includes information about your local city, community or town.
  • Your keyword research tools are geared more toward your product, service or location.
  • Pay attention to Geo tags in your social media marketing

Thanks to mobile, advertisers can get real understanding of consumers based on the places they visit in real time. Location is the cookie of the real world, and companies can use mobile-location data to target consumers and measure success.

Author: Mogusu Sam

 


Blog business Learning

5 Ways to Make More Money from the comfort of Your Couch

6 Ways to Make More Money from the comfort of Your Couch

Are you employed/in entrepreneurship but still desire to make extra income?

You do not necessarily need to venture into a time consuming side hustle, there are other options you can consider that have the potential to make you extra money without you breaking a sweat. Through these options, your money brings you income without your day to day involvement.

This article explores 5 options that will provide you with ways to make extra income.

1. Fixed Deposit Savings Account

Opening a savings account might sound boring and even cliché but it is one of the safest and less risky ways to grow your money through interest.

Some local banks offer attractive interest rates of 6 – 8% and limit the number of withdrawals which keeps you discipline through your savings.

Saving is a great way to have your cash grow while still looking to settle on an investment option.

2. Shares

Having shares at a company is basically acquiring ownership of a section of a public limited company and this gives you some shareholder rights including earning dividends.

However, to make the most of shares, you need to make wise choices on which shares to invest in. The best way to do this is by seeking advice from licensed brokers in Kenya who will guide you through how to invest in shares of companies in the Nairobi Stock Exchange.

Here are the basics of how shares work;

  1. The whole goal is to buy a share at a low price then sell them at a higher price and make a profit or wait to get dividends from companies.
  2. Open an account with any licensed brokers who will buy shares for you.
  3. The minimum shares you can buy is Ksh. 100 but you can build on this amount overtime
  4. After few years you may be shocked at how your money has grown.

3. Real Estate

One of the most profitable investment options in Kenya is real estate. Land is a very scarce and valuable resource and that makes it a worthy investment. All you have to do is buy land at various places especially in the outskirts of major towns then sell after a year or so and you may get 100% returns depending on how fast the neighboring town grows.

Better still, you can consider building rental houses especially if you are in the outskirts of a densely populated town. This assures you of a regular income whether you are in a job or not.

4. Affiliate Marketing

Do you have a blog/website? This is an area where you can make a lot of money while relaxing on your couch. The way affiliate marketing works is, you include affiliate links within an article or anywhere in your blog and you will earn a commission once a customer is referred to an e commerce site through your blog and makes a purchase.

The more purchases made through your website/blog, the more commission you get.

Most e commerce sites have an affiliate program that you can tap into. The most popular sites you should consider are Kilimall and Jumia.

5. Unit Trusts

A unit trust is an investment where unit holders/members invest through a pool of savings and put it under a fund manager who invests the funds on behalf of the unit holders.

Fund managers make daily decisions in regards to investments in line with the specific objectives of the fund so your only responsibility is to remit your funds and wait for your monthly report.

Interest rates of unit trust investments can range between 9% to 22% per month which is way above the interest rates from fixed savings deposit accounts.

There are different types of Unit Trusts that focus on different areas of investment;

  1. Money Market Fund – These funds provide access to money market securities such as bank deposits and treasury bills.
  2. Bond/Fixed income Funds – Provides access to bonds.
  3. Equity Funds – Provides access to the stock market.

In Kenya, Old Mutual, Britam and CIC are the best companies to purchase unit trusts from.

Final Word

If you do not have the time to set up and manage your business but still want to make extra cash, you can consider the five ideas above until you settle down on one investment option. However, remember to conduct your own personal research, analyzing the pros and cons of each investment option before making your decision. Start small and invest consistently until you become a pro.

 


Blog business Learning

HOW TO PROTECT YOUR CUSTOMERS/CLIENTS FROM ONLINE THREATS

HOW TO PROTECT YOUR CUSTOMERS/CLIENTS FROM ONLINE THREATS

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.

GUEST AUTHOR : Sia Hasan


Blog Learning

5 THINGS YOU SHOULD KNOW BEFORE QUITTING YOUR JOB FOR FULL TIME ENTREPRENEURSHIP

5 THINGS YOU SHOULD KNOW BEFORE QUITTING YOUR JOB FOR FULL TIME ENTREPRENEURSHIP

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.


Blog Learning

FREE MARKETING TOOLS EVERY SMALL BUSINESS OWNER SHOULD USE

FREE MARKETING TOOLS EVERY SMALL BUSINESS OWNER SHOULD USE

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: www.lea-p.com


Blog business Experiences Learning

HOW UNEMPLOYMENT PUSHED ME TO START AND RUN A SUCCESSFUL AFRICAN FASHION BUSINESS ONLINE

HOW UNEMPLOYMENT PUSHED ME TO START AND RUN A SUCCESSFUL AFRICAN FASHION BUSINESS ONLINE

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

HOW UNEMPLOYMENT PUSHED ME TO START AND RUN A SUCCESSFUL AFRICAN FASHION BUSINESS ONLINE

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

HOW UNEMPLOYMENT PUSHED ME TO START AND RUN A SUCCESSFUL AFRICAN FASHION BUSINESS ONLINE

“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.

HOW UNEMPLOYMENT PUSHED ME TO START AND RUN A SUCCESSFUL AFRICAN FASHION BUSINESS ONLINE

HOW UNEMPLOYMENT PUSHED ME TO START AND RUN A SUCCESSFUL AFRICAN FASHION BUSINESS ONLINE

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.