Starting a business? Here’s what you need to know
Starting a business can be thrilling, yet daunting. If you are considering starting one, here are some invaluable tips to help turn your business idea into reality.
Between April 2020 and November 2020, 65, 782 companies were registered in Kenya. This, was a total of 270 companies registered each day.
This is according to data from the Companies Registry which shows that this is a 58.5 percent increase from 41, 490 registered companies over the same period in the previous year.
Interestingly 10,551 businesses were registered in July alone, the highest number of companies registered so far.
The increase of registered businesses has mainly been attributed to the digitization of services at the Companies Registry.
Additionally, the pandemic has also pushed Kenyans to diversify and complement their income, with some opting to start businesses after losing their sources of revenue.
According to the Kenya National Bureau of Statistics (KNBS), more than one million people lost their jobs in 2020 because of the pandemic which severely impacted the economy. Many more are dealing with with salary cuts and unpaid leave.
But, people are slowly recovering from the pandemic turmoil as they seek to change their fortunes by venturing into small businesses.
From food delivery, grocery shopping, homemade beverages, thrift shops, homeschooling, baby care centers, and laundry, Kenyans are starting businesses that will sustain their livelihoods and offer employment to other job seekers.
According to Rina Hicks, the Operations Director, Faida Investment Bank, there’s never a right or appointed time to start a business. For her, it all boils down to providing solutions for the current challenges in the market and being consistent.
Identify your customers’ needs
“A business is about identifying customers’ needs and providing a solution.As a business person, you need to find a better solution and better quality that is cheaper and perhaps more innovative than what is available, but then meets that need adequately,” she says.
Remember that when you start a business, you have to continuously identify solutions that work for your customers.
Rina says, business owners should also adopt a constant learning cycle of their business and their sector to ensure they are on the right path.
“It’s an ongoing process; if something doesn’t work adjust your solution and try again. It’s about making sure that you don’t get discouraged when it doesn’t work,” says Rina
As you start your journey of owning a business, here are few more things to consider:
There’s no perfect time to start a business. Start actualizing your ideas with the little you have. This will give you a chance to learn as you grow the business.
Study trends in the industry
When the pandemic struck, the containment measures implemented to stop the spread of COVID-19 restricted movement. Restaurants, among other businesses, bore the brunt of the pandemic’s impact. For many who restaurants, this spelled doom for them. Rina however says instead of closing up shop and walking away, look at how you can ensure that your customers can still access your products through other channels.
Observe, and act
Running a business requires one to observe the environment, study the trends, customer preferences, and then act upon the observations. This will enable your business to quickly adjust to the changing seasons and trends in order to stay afloat when the business environment changes.
Do not get discouraged when things don’t work out as you had envisioned. When things don’t work out, Rina perceives this as a win because it lets you discover that probably, that service or product is not right for your target customers, hence find a better way to do things.