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Startup Guide

Ladies guide to starting successful business

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Many a time ladies shy away from some professional spaces because they consider themselves a misfit.

A few years back, most ladies wanted to be models or news anchors. The let’s-change-the-world perception was not ideal for ladies. Many a time ladies shy away from some professional spaces because they consider themselves a misfit.

For example in the tech space, few women have tech-related solutions and yet most companies are investing in initiatives that offer tech solutions.

So how do you start and sustain a successful business? One question that must be at the top of your head as young dreamer or a startup entrepreneur is; how well do you interact and work with others? This is an imagination kind of thing since imagination is more powerful than knowledge.

This is one factor that will help you work on your attitude towards others and your idea. With a positive attitude, you will be able to visualize and, in fact, actualise, your logical business prospects.

Here is a rundown of the steps and factors that you must consider:

Passion

If you love something and you have the courage to pursue it, just go for it. A friend of mine loves making artsy designs. She can make a beautiful necklace from leather and woolen material. The lady redesigns her shoes and clothes. She has a creative mind that has never been tapped, and she is passionate about making masterpieces and selling them. Every weekend she displays her art and the crowd she attracts, it’s massive.

SEE ALSO: Student shows how Sh200 helped him become a millionaire

Some ladies choose careers based on success stories they hear either on radio or from friends, “don’t choose a career solely based on the supposed success it will bring you. Instead, choose a career that makes you happy, and you will find it easy to maintain a balanced life while putting in the continued hard work and effort that bring success,” Oubria Tronshaw writes.

Come up with business goals and plan

Most ladies don’t have clear business goals and objectives. Before you even make a business decision, you need to come up with a plan that has clear objectives. Becoming a successful businesswoman requires thinking and acting strategically; your career is like a marathon race, not a sprint. Be willing to give it your all, and starts with a simple business plan.

READ: Secrets of a young Kenyan millionaire

Keep running through the walls

Disappointments and trials make a complete business trait. You must be able to pull yourself up every time you get knocked down. As an essential success scale; you’ll succeed as long as you keep trying. Difficult bosses, competitive co-workers and career setbacks happen to everyone…

“So many things go wrong when you are trying to start a company, and often people inquire the number of mistakes you should avoid making…as an advice, don’t avoid making mistakes because you will eventually make tones of mistakes,” Mark Zuckerberg said in a motivational talk.

Listen and learn

Have a good listening power because you gain knowledge from listening either from friends or role models. You should ask questions and review the answers you receive in order to come up with concrete ideas. Allow yourself to be taught by every person you encounter. Listen more than you speak, and suppress the impulse to say.

READ: The girl giving her billionaire father a run for his money

Business Today is the leading independent online business website in Kenya. Started in 2012 by a veteran business journalist, it has a huge following both in Kenya and abroad. It covers various business and related issues. Email editor at: [email protected]

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Startup Guide

Three things that make a startup fly

The most successful products in the market create the want, and then bring on board the remedy.It is not easy, and it doesn’t mean that you have to be malicious

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It’s not all about getting your dream business idea realised, it goes beyond sustainability. Any business idea/entity should go beyond the startup stage to growth and eventually success.

For one to realise such, planning and strategising should be prioritised. However, as much as the two determine to a larger extend the success of a business entity, the following three factors play the biggest role in the success of any business:

  1. The people

They are the consumers, and without them the business is dead on arrival. These are the number one target of any product. Regardless of the place of manufacture, the product should be brought where the people are, and if not so the people should feel the need/urge to go for it wherever it is.

However, getting the product to where the people/consumers are does not guarantee success. They should be made to know about it and most importantly the reason they should buy it. If you successfully convince them, then you are good to go, as long as you can win their loyalty in cases where competition is eminent.

  1. The product

It is the centre of any business entity. Some entrepreneurs struggle to make their business entities known. It is a big mistake. Instead, the consumer should know your product better more than the entity. It (entity) is not as important as the product. If they like the product, then they’ll find ways to know who the producer is.

READ: Lady who built a company using Sh6k salary

This way, your product will sell anywhere, even without your influence. This is how products like the Cocacola, Fanta, Sprite and Krest have been able to dominate the world beverage market. Very few people know the owners of the company or even the CEO. To them Cocacola is a brand, not a company.

  1. The potential

Every business entity has a potential for growth, but not all business entities have the potential for success. Potential for success has to be created through the product. Potential is identified/created through existing gaps in the market.

However, life will always seem perfect, that there is no gap, the reason you have to create it for your product in order to gain a bigger potential. The most successful products in the market create the want, and then bring on board the remedy. It is not easy, and it doesn’t mean that you have to be malicious.

For instance, a toothpaste brand will show you how you might lose your teeth if you don’t use the right toothpaste. This alone creates the need for the right toothpaste, despite there being existing products. The entrepreneur should bring on board his/her toothpaste which fits the description of the right toothpaste.

In this context, even if a new/existing brand poses competition for your product, they’ll always be number two. This is because your product is the measure of the right product.

READ: Where startups blossom in the name of God

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Startup Guide

Nine under Sh103,000 jobs you can do from anywhere

Being comfortable with technology is incredibly important to making a digital business successful, as well as letting customers know that you are traveling

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Looking to start a business and refuse to be tied down to an office? Turns out you can start a company from the comfort of your own home — or better yet, from an exotic far-flung beach — for under Ksh 103,550 (US$1,000).

How is that possible you might ask? Technology. Maria Dykstra, co-founder of TreDigital, a digital growth agency based in Washington D.C., has built her company around technology and allows her employees to work remotely.

“A lot of how we work is online,” she says. “We use Google Docs, a lot. File sharing, video sharing, conferencing, emailing.”

Being comfortable with technology is incredibly important to making a digital business successful, as well as letting customers know that you are traveling.

And despite what most people think, travel can be relatively inexpensive. According to Nomad List, a website that ranks cities for digital nomad friendliness and cost, you can travel and live in some of the best cities for digital nomads at relatively low cost. For example, Bangkok for Ksh 111,730 (US$1,079) a month, Prague for Ksh 93,099 (US$899) and Budapest for Ksh 104, 585 (US$1,010).

Technology exists to make remote working convenient, so if you want the digital-nomad lifestyle and don’t have a lot of startup cash, here are 9 low-cost business ideas you can start from anywhere.

1. Web designer

 web-design-1024x576 Nine under Sh103,000 jobs you can do from anywhereTo be a web designer, you just need a laptop, a hard drive and WiFi. It’s no secret that having a well-put together website is a crucial element for running a successful company, which means that being a web designer is a skill you can cash in on from anywhere.

“Your website is your first impression,” Michael White, president and owner of White Media, says.

Don’t freak out if you don’t have all the coding skills required. White says that creativity is more important. Coding and SEO knowledge can be acquired through classes, self-taught study or mentorship, so if you have an eye for art and design, this business is possible for you.

“This industry comes down to how creative someone can be,” White says.

A web design company has low startup costs, according to the founder of the web development business Lounge Lizard, Ken Braun, who founded his company with only $50 a month by buying a small text link ad to promote his services on other websites.

“That $50 a month investment netted clients around the world and turned Lounge Lizard into a seven-figure company within 10 months,” Braun says.

Both Lounge Lizard and White Media focus on unique designs and customer service to differentiate them from other companies. The key to standing out in this competitive market is to find a style that shows personality and attention-to-detail for each customer. And stay away from cookie-cutter templates.

“Focus on the quality of work. It’s all about customer service and custom designs,” White advises.

2. Accountant

web-design-1024x576 Nine under Sh103,000 jobs you can do from anywhereBelieve it or not, you aren’t the only one who doesn’t want to spend long hours in an office or at meetings. If you like numbers, but aren’t into putting a suit and tie on every morning, think about being an online accountant. All you need is a laptop, accounting certfication and a phone.

“Entrepreneurs don’t want to be tasked with driving to hour long in-person meetings to take care of the mundane tasks that go hand-in-hand with running a business anymore,” says Ian Crosby, cofounder and CEO of Bench, an online bookkeeping company.

Crosby notes that to be a successful online company, customer service through communication is incredibly important.

“What we’ve found is that tech-friendly entrepreneurs aren’t looking for [in-depth conversations] anymore,” Crosby says. “They’re looking for fast, convenient and delightful communication. None of which can be achieved in an hour-long meeting in a tube-lit office space.”

3. Match making services

web-design-1024x576 Nine under Sh103,000 jobs you can do from anywhereWe aren’t just talking about talking about Tinder or eHarmony. A matchmaking service can be any form of technology that matches businesses or individuals with the services they require. This business can be run from anywhere, because it can all be done online.

One way to run a successful matchmaking business is to make expertise available to companies when they need it fast like Zintro, a website that matches companies to experts for projects, phone consults and job offers to its customers.

Zintro’s cofounder Enrique Levin says that the way the business works is that customers will submit a project, and then experts will reply with a summary of their qualifications and a bid as to why they would be the best candidate for the job. This makes it easy for users to hire an expert without having to go to many places.

The best part? Zintro is run entirely online. Levin says most of his interactions with customers are through the phone or email.

4. Tech support

Not everyone is tech savvy, which means that technical support companies are a great way to make some money. This may require time spent in the field, showing up at businesses or homes to help troubleshoot issues, but you can still run this company from anywhere.

Daniel Gagnon, president and cofounder of TekHattan Holdings, a company that specializes in IT support in New York City, capitalized on that concept three years ago. Gagnon and cofounder, Alexander Hernandez, were working as a senior manager and IT Technician (respectively) for CityMD while doing IT support on the side.

However, their side business grew following customer referrals, so they quit their jobs at CityMD, and TekHattan was born.

“I had to make the decision to leave my day job in hopes of making the American dream,” Gagnon said. “It paid off.”

He emphasized that communication and customer service are two of the most important aspects of an online company.

“We’re on call 24/7/365 for all of our clients. If one of our clients has an IT emergency at two in the morning on a Saturday, we need to go out and make sure they are taken care of. And we do this with pride, every time.”

5. Editorial services

web-design-1024x576 Nine under Sh103,000 jobs you can do from anywhereDo you find typos in emails annoying? Think that misspellings in a newsletter are unprofessional? You’re not the only one. If you are well versed in grammar and love to read and write, online editorial services might be a good option for you.

There are several ways to approach this business — you could create software that auto edits content, you can edit the content yourself or you can do as Wordy, an online editorial service, does and act as a go-between for those who need content to be edited and freelance editors you hire.

What you can charge depends on the amount of material and difficulty in editing; however Anders Schepelerr, the CEO and founder of Wordy, says not to make your primary focus about pricing.

“Trust is so important for proofreading and copy-editing, so we believe in establishing long relationships,” he states.

6. Digital marketing and PR

If you have a background in marketing and publicity, consider taking those skills online.

While TreDigital has its headquarters in Seattle, CEO Dykstra often runs her company from Russia, where she has family. She also has team members all over the United States and across the world.

“But we operate as a team,” she says.

Dykstra notes that you can actually be more productive while traveling, like she experiences, due to the lack of local meetings that interrupt her greater focus on growing the business.

ALSO SEE: 24 self-development tips that will make you wealthy

Another thing to be aware of as digital nomad is the importance of maintaining strong relationships with clients, says Andrea Holland, chief executive and founder of DialedPR, a PR consultancy focused on B2C startups.

“It’s extremely important to make sure your client feels secure in the fact that you are not physically there,” she emphasizes, “Make sure you over communicate while traveling.”

7. Content curator

web-design-1024x576 Nine under Sh103,000 jobs you can do from anywhereFor companies that need newsletters written, emails drafted, general content for a website — or even podcasts — you can provide that material from a gorgeous location abroad.

Vernon Foster II, CEO and founder of Pod Parrott, a podcast production company, was hopeful that he would make it in the podcast business. Foster tried getting into podcast himself, but after one of his shows lasted only two months, he decided he would be more successful freelancing his podcast skills.

Pod Parrott’s services include coaching, equipment setup, sponsorship consulting and more, and Foster was able to provide these services to clients around the world while living in Antigua, Guatemala and backpacking through Costa Rica.

Related: Tips on getting a job straight from college

He admits there have been challenges. “Something as simple as having a solid internet connection becomes more important than food.” Also, time zone differences can interfere when trying to connect with customers.

Ultimately Foster says the key to success is to create a business that fits your lifestyle.

But it’s not just about wanting to have the digital nomad lifestyle that will lead to success, cautions Julie Ewald, CEO for Impressa Solutions.

“Digital nomads should be motivated, have proven themselves capable of working independently and be ready to learn.”

8. Life coach/consultant

web-design-1024x576 Nine under Sh103,000 jobs you can do from anywhereIf you love helping people and have expertise in valuable areas such as business relations or communications, being a life coach or consultant could be a good fit for you.

Life coach Erica McCurdy has combined her passion for helping people and for travel. McCurdy created her life coaching and strategy company McCurdy Life Coach while also being a proud digital nomad.

“I have returned emails to clients — then jumped into the Mediterranean,” she says.

Not surprising, technology is key to being a digital nomad, but McCurdy notes that it can sometimes dominate your life and diminish what makes your brand special.

“In my line of work, people are hiring me, not my technology, so I find it critical to find ways to be myself and not have technology make me begin to feel like everyone else,” she explains.

The key to making working remotely work is to remember you’re not on vacation even though you may be in a beautiful locale halfway across the world, says Christian Martin, CEO of ProfitFox, a program that teaches sales to coaches and consultants.

“It’s tempting to spend all day exploring and forget about your responsibilities,” he says. “Block out time for work.”

9. Travel expert

web-design-1024x576 Nine under Sh103,000 jobs you can do from anywhereIf you’re going to be traveling anyways, why not help others do the same for profit?

Matthew Kepnes embraced this idea, starting Nomadic Matt, a travel website that chronicles his extensive travels while offering helpful travel information such as cheap accommodation and airfare, information for solo and couples travelers and travel guide books (authored by Kepnes) — and more.

Kepnes writes helpful (and free) information on his travel blog and newsletters and monetizes his work through book sales, offering online classes for blogging and photography and through partnerships with businesses related to airline travel and accommodation.

However, to create a business that requires a lot of traveling to exotic locations, “you need to be very disciplined,” says Kepnes. It’s not partying all the time.

“The best way to travel and be an entrepreneur is to create a solid schedule,” he advises.

Kepnes, who has been to over 80 countries and territories, says he’s helped 16 million people with travel plans through his website while working remotely and building up his business through discipline.

Story credit: Grace Reader, Guest writer/Entrepreneur 

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Startup Guide

Butchery is profitable but you need to have these facts

This video is a case study of a successful butchery. Here are details on the butchery business to help you make a decision whether it will be profitable for you or not [SCROLL DOWN TO READ ARTICLE]

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You should determine your selling price depending on where you are located by visiting other butcheries around the area where you are interested in setting up and comparing prices.

Kenyans love meat and thus a butchery can be a lucrative business. Butchery business is often see to be done by people who did not make it in school, yet we have established that it is very profitable.

Only entrepreneurs with keen eye try this business but because most Kenyans love clean businesses they often miss out on opportunities which could earn them good money. Butchery business is extremely easy to operate.

The cost of starting a butchery in Kenya depends with location and size of the shop. It is advisable to have your butchery located in a place with high human traffic, e.g. near a bus terminus or a busy street.
  • Low Income Areas – Ksh100,000
  • Middle Income Areas – Ksh200,000 – Ksh500,000
  • High Income Areas – Ksh500,000 – Ksh1,000,000

Start a butchery business

Meat Supply: Butcheries within and around Nairobi area get their meat supply from Dagoretti, Njiru, Kajiado and other smaller slaughterhouses. Others in Nairobi get their meat supply from City Market. Those outside Nairobi depend on slaughterhouses near where they operate from.

A kilo of beef in these slaughterhouses ranges between Ksh250 and Ksh320. The price will depend on the location of slaughterhouse, type of meat and season. Goat meat will be supplied at about Ksh320.

On average, bigger butcheries which sell ready to eat meat such as boiled, roast or fried beef or goat meat with ugali, rice, matoke etc sell more meat than those who only sell raw meat. Such butcheries move as much as 300kgs of meat per day. Smaller ones which only sell raw meat take about 50–100Kgs.

READ: Less expensive ways to make your small business look BIG

Prices

You should determine your selling price depending on where you are located by visiting other butcheries around the area where you are interested in setting up and comparing prices. This will ensure that you set your prices within the market rate. In many areas of Nairobi, a kilo of beef sells for between Ksh400 and Ksh460 depending on type and location while goat may sell for up to Ksh500 per kilo.

If you decide to boil, choma or fry the meat, you have a chance of making more profit for every kilo of meat. You will sell ¼, ½ or any other portion with either ugali, rice, roast potatoes, matoke or any other accompaniments.

Waste

An interesting point to note as you budget for your first supply of meat from the slaughterhouse is that you should be ready for some waste from the meat which will reduce your net kilos that you can put up for sale. As you wash the meat to remove the waste, you may end up with several kilos of waste daily.

As wetness and blood in the meat reduce, you will lose more weight during the day. As you cut to sell, the breaking of bones and falling pieces further reduce your net kilos that will be available for sale. Therefore, work with higher kilos because of these losses as the day goes by.

READ: Donkey meat used in making medicines

A supply of about 300kgs in a day may lose between 5–10Kg of waste from washing, breaking bones when cutting, loss of water and blood and falling pieces in a day. It is therefore important to handle the meat very carefully to control this wastage and minimize it as much as possible.

Profits

To look at the possible profit margins that you should expect, let us assume that your butchery is medium and you get a supply of about 200Kg from the slaughterhouse every day at an average price of Ksh300. Let us also assume that business is low and you are only able to sell 150Kgs out of the 200kg of the supply at a lower price of Ksh400 per kg.

Your net profit per kilo of meat sold will be Ksh400 – Ksh300 = Ksh100. By selling only 150Kg of meat, your total profit will now be Ksh100 X 150 = Ksh15,000.

If you sell the meat after cooking and with accompaniments, you are likely to sell many more kilos. That is a good profit in a day, even before factoring in other expenses such as charcoal, oil, water and labour.

Salaries

Always remember that you will need staff in your butchery to help you with cutting, cooking if you sell cooked meat and a cleaner to take care of the cleanliness inside and around the business. In a butchery business, cleanliness plays a very important role in your success.

On average, a number of butcheries around Nairobi area prefer to pay their workers daily. Daily wages for a cook is about Ksh700, cleaner Ksh500 and those who cut meat take home about Ksh350. You can budget for higher salaries depending on experience and location of your butchery.

Tips for Success

For you to succeed in your butchery business, start by keeping it clean, neat and organised. Provide all your workers with clean uniform, as clean as a doctor’s dust coat. Their uniforms don’t have to be dirty and stained because they work in a butchery.

READ ALSO:

Profitable businesses you can start with less than Sh20,000
How to start a consulting business

Always develop a good network and talk to people and other businesses such as hotels and restaurants around your butchery and ask if you can supply them with raw meat. You can also extend this network to those far away and open air markets and supply cooked meals to those in these markets. Such special orders can contribute a good portion of your daily profits if well managed.

Finally, to retain and keep your customers coming back, always get good quality meat, even if it means paying a little more for the supplies. Don’t just sell hard meat, especially to those buying raw to cook for themselves. Mix with some soft ones too. Competition is very stiff and if you give your customers a reason to go elsewhere, they will happily troop to your competitors without notice.

SEE: The 31-year-old who makes Sh20 million in  bad month

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Startup Guide

Kirubi’s formula for business success

It is important that you are ready to embrace the changes that come with time

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Chris Kirubi: It is important to scale higher and expand your market share once you know your business can handle it.

When starting a business, entrepreneurs does hope have a goal of growing that business and to be successful. Billionaire entrepreneur Chris Kirubi offers insights on how to make your business thrive:

1. Understand your environment
For success in whatever venture, you have to be aware of the environment you will be operating in.

“Understanding the environment in which your business operates will ensure that you provide the right goods and services for that market,” he says.

“Furthermore, knowing your customer’s needs, investors’ expectations and what your competitors are doing will also give you further insight on how to operate your business. Together with your employees, they play a critical role in determining whether your business will succeed or fail.”

2. Be dynamic
It is important that you are ready to embrace the changes that come with time. You have to be braced for changing trends and new ideas in the market.

“Many a times we forget that the world keeps changing and the needs of the people keep developing. This means that a business must continuously innovate and redevelop itself for its survival and to keep up with the ever changing market trends.”

3. Research
Investing in research and development will aid this as well ensure you are delivering the right products and services in the market.

ALSO SEE: Chris Kirubi: If you are poor, check your mind

Additionally, this will of course give you an edge over your competitors and holistically improve the general business climate since businesses are working towards improvement and innovation.

4. Think Globally
It is important to scale higher and expand your market share once you know your business can handle it. We are a global market with various investors wanting to partner and invest in Kenya. Think globally and make sure you invest in the right talent to help you take and maintain your business beyond borders.

5. Be a role model
As the leader of your business, transformation begins with you. Your employees will emulate what they see and what you teach them.

You drive the vision and success of the business. This means that you have to do things right.

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