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5 Avoidable Reasons Why Young People’s Business Ventures Fail

eugene kaana Pic: Eugene Kaana firing a shot

The thought of having your own successful hustle going on stimulates wet dreams for many young people. Being your own boss is is a satisfyingly liberating feelings.The freedom to make your own rules without having to answer to anyone is one thing that makes many people to switch from their day jobs to start their own businesses. But it is not a bed of feathers; its more like a walk in the park, on a path of hot charcoal. In early 2014, I decided to buy a camera for fun. A few months later, the fun started becoming serious when I realised I could make a few bucks out of my hobby, so i decided to make it official by registering my own photography company. I have been luckier than most startups since I landed my first contract within a month. Others are not as lucky, you could be there wondering why your business is not taking off as you had projected. For your business to have a chance of succeeding you need to take care of small matters even before you come to signing megadeals.

#5. Don’t Mix Business With Friendship and Family

don't mix business and friends

Butchers love these stickers

You have probably seen stickers saying, “Hakuna urafiki kwa biashara” in your hood kiosk, kinyozi or butchery. They know what they are talking about. This is the one pitfall that more often than not, ends up being the eventual murderer of start up business. Doing favours for friends and family is the surest way of strangling your business even before it takes off. The photography business that I have been running for a while now has experienced a lot of these situations. Neighbours will call asking for a favour. They will ask me to go cover an event for them for free, they assume just because we live near each other, they don’t have to pay. I always turn them down. Friends and family members are supposed to be the first group of people who support you by being your first clients, no compromise, once you get sucked into that spiral of doing favours for anyone just because they are close to you, you will fail miserably. Make it clear that this is a serious and legitimate enterprise you are running and they should treat it as such. Don’t Do Favours.

#4. In Partnership? Put Everything Down In Writing 

marriage certificate

Even marriage, the most intimate and trusting of all relationships is put on paper. What about a relationship based on greed for money?

Due to naivety, we make the mistake of trusting that all friendships will stay rosy, or trusting that all people we meet have good intentions. That’s why so many cons thriving all over Kenya. For the youth, starting your own hustle could be an uphill climb, considering a startup requires a lot of capital, which you do not have.  It could be a good idea to pool resources with other like minded individuals. This however can be a can of worms if you go about in an informal manner. Never make a verbal agreement with anyone, be it your friend, your brother, classmate, workmate, or BFF. Verbal agreements have no proof, and therefore cannot stand in a court, when things go wrong; and things have a tendency to go wrong in more ways than you can imagine.

Make it a habit to put everything down on paper, no matter how little it is, it saves you a lot of future pain. Drafting up a simple form of agreement is a very simple task, do this in the presence of an advocate.  You never know how big your business may grow and as you they say, the more the money the more the problems. Handle your business in its infancy. Having written agreements also prevents disputes since it will be clear who owns what, who has what role, and how to share profits, and losses. Especially losses.

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