Have you ever gone to work but deep down wished you had your own business? That is the story of many Kenyan employees, they are employed but most of them hope to be their own boss someday. It takes more work obviously but knowing that all the efforts you put in are towards your own growth and not anyone else’s makes it all worth it.
Sammy Macharia, the 31 year old founder of Soroti Auto Spares, an automobile repair shop, is one such Kenyan. Sammy was previously employed at an insurance company but realized he could be more than just an insurance agent. He had worked closely with mechanics, especially when their clients’ vehicles had been involved in accidents. The insurance company would work hand in hand with the garage of their choice to ensure their client’s vehicles were fixed. Because of this interactions he learnt the ins and outs of operating a garage and figured he could open a garage and do the fixing himself.
“After watching the company oversee vehicles being fixed when I was employed as an insurance agent I fell in love with the art of fixing a car and decided I should open a garage where I fix damaged vehicles among other services such as spray painting, panel beating, normal vehicle servicing among other things.”
Having worked as an insurance agent had its advantages as most of his clients are people he met while on the job while he gets the rest of the clients through referrals which also happens to be his most successful form of marketing.
“Most of my clients are people who have been referred to us by our other clients, meaning you have to do a good job and it will speak for itself,” Sammy said.
Through his garage business, Sammy has not only been able to sustain himself financially but has also employed 16 others at Soroti Auto Care. He urges young people to embrace the blue collar jobs because white collar jobs are flooded and at the end of the day what matters is your ability to take care of yourself as well as your responsibilities. He also challenges them to create their own opportunities instead of waiting and crying out to the government for help when they have the ability to control their own fate.
Sammy adds that the business has impacted him in so many ways. He is able to pay the bills and run the business efficiently and the most important benefit is networking. He has met people who have inspired him and given him a new perspective in life which helps him to push on and want to get better with each passing day.