#3. Get A Website or A Social Media Account
As of June 2015 Kenya was leading in internet connectivity in Sub-Saharan Africa. On social media, Kenya comes third to South Africa and Nigeria. People born from 1980s are known as digital natives, because they spend a good chunk of their time online. Everybody is on the internet these days, a huge chunk of your target market is online, therefore, it is up to you to tap into this in order to give your business the publicity it needs to grow. The second best way to do that is to have a website. The first is to be on social media.
It doesn’t cost too much to create a website and in the long run, you will get value for your money since it is the easiest way to reach your clients without having to move about, all you need to do is post the link to your Facebook, Twitter and Instagram pages and people will start flocking in. At the start up stage, you really don’t have the cash to run an ad on a newspaper or TV, having a website is your most practical option. Also there are many free online platforms like OLX, and Pigiame, where you can post your products. Take a little time to spread the word about your products everywhere. Personally I am in the habit of looking up for stuff online when I need a particular service, imagine the lost opportunity you would incur if you didn’t have a website and no one knows about the services you are offering. Get a website and link it to your other social media pages
#2. Follow Your Heart; Do What You Are Good At
In business, like in love, you should always follow your heart. At the time I was getting into the photography business, there were more photographers than people who needed to be photographed, the situation hasn’t changed. Everyone who doesn’t have any other skill buys a camera. That however didn’t deter me from going ahead with my plans. Once you have passion for something, then everything else ceases to matter, it doesn’t matter how many people are in your line of business, If you love what you are doing, you will easily stand out.
Passion gives birth to creativity and that is what will make you stand tall over all the others. Creativity will allow you to innovate, to bring something new to the table, something that will make people prefer you over the rest. The biggest mistake people make when getting into an already saturated market is they get in for the money, because they heard someone made it big doing that business. Don’t follow the crowd. That is how the quail farming business went bust. Eventually, you will just be frustrated and lose your money. If your passion is in painting, then by god do it, don’t go to selling phones because your friend who does that is doing well.
#1. Don’t’ Overestimate Your Abilities; Don’t Despise Small Deals
Have you ever done something that went according to the plan you made at the beginning? Stop thinking about it, nothing ever goes according to plan. It’s science. Running a business is a tough and unpredictable undertaking, you will on many occasions be a victim of false progress where some little money will make you think you have made it. Don’t let that happen. Take everything one step at a time, If you happen to be lucky enough to land a windfall, don’t be too over excited thinking you have become the next Bill Gates, it could be a false sign that will later plunge you into depression when times suddenly get tough. Don’t be in a rush to expand, let the business grow at it’s own pace.
After landing my first contract I was so excited, all I wanted was to get all the expensive equipment I had been drooling over, but I was lucky enough to have good advisers around me who warned me against rushing in like that, and I am glad I listened to them. Also, don’t expect that all deals will give you big profits. Especially at the beginning when you are trying to penetrate the market, take even those deals that give you small profits; even if its a profit Ksh.500 per day, you are better off. You could look out for many small deals that when combined will give you a big pay off. Many people who come from being employed or even those who start business for the first time come with expectations of making millions within months. It could be that for the first few years, you will survive on small deals. Patience is key.
If you loved this story, you can read more interesting stories written by the same guy like 5 Petty Behaviors That Ruin Kenyan Weddings, 5 Things That Tell You She is NOT the One or 5 Things an African Man Should Never Do or 5 Unmistakable Signs That You Are Mpango Wa Kando
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Eugene Kaana is a resident contributor at Rasqoh.com. He also runs Sky Lens Media, a professional photography company. You can pay him a visit here at his Facebook to see some of the cool pics