Kenya Small Business

A Resource Center for Kenya Entrepreneurs. Get the information, step-by-step guides and essential tools that you need to start and build a successful small business in Kenya.


Dear Future Kenya Entrepreneur

If you are one of those Kenyans who is looking for a great business idea, you might one to think of this.... The business of selling information. This is one of the most exciting businesses in the world. Think about this, there are thousands of magazines and newspapers, millions of book titles, billions of websites and online-databases, not to mention hundreds of TV channels and radio stations. We are drowning in information.

But, time is our most valuable asset. Since all of us are already on information overload, with too little time to absorb it, we all are looking for information that’s "time friendly." Nobody wants to waste time reading, analyzing and reorganizing general data to fit every unique circumstance and problem. We all want information that’s simple, easy to use and provides fast results....

Action: you have a great future if you can find a way organize, simplify, personalize and package information... over the next few weeks we are going to explore more on this stay tuned..


Superstar Marketing

You may have heard of the expression “Stars are made, not born.” There is lot of truth to that. Beyonce Knowles (left) may have a killer voice or David Beckham may have a superb foot , but talent alone doesn’t make thousands or even millions of people buy CDs or fill stadium seats.

Successful entertainment events don’t just happen. People plan them. Whether a concert or football game, the application of sound marketing principals helps to ensure that funs will continue to support activity and buy tickets.

Many of the famous people that you pay to see became famous with the help of shrewd marketing: they and their managers developed a “product” that appeals to some segment of the population. Indeed, some of the same principals that go into creating a celebrity apply to you. An entertainer–whether P.Diddy or Pavoratti–must “package” his talent, identify a target market that is likely to be interested, and work hard to gain exposure to these potential customers by appearing in the right music venues.

In the same way, people “package” themselves by summing up their accomplishments on resumes and distributing it to potential buyers “employers”. All I am trying to say is that marketing not only applies to products and services, but also to people. Sure, there are differences in how we go about marketing each of these, but in general, the idea remains the same: Marketing is a fundamental part of our lives both as consumers and as players in the business world. - Marketing the Road Success


Proven Secrets to Making More Money

Imagine you are in the tutoring business-(one of the hottest Small Business Opportunity’s in Kenya Today) and you turn your ‘know-how’ savvy into guidebooks to help your students and other wannabe tutors. Now imagine selling 100 copies of your ‘guidebook’ for Sh200.

“Wow, Sh20,000 in extra sales! This is great!” you say!

However, when you take out marketing costs, overhead, and printing…you soon realize… You’re not left with a whole lot are you?

Now imagine selling the same 100 ‘guidebooks’ at Sh200 and you wake up seven days later, and actually make 10 extra sales of your Sh5,000 advanced home study course from those same 100 guidebook customers.

Now you’ve got Sh50,000 + Sh20,000 = Sh70,000 in extra sales!

That extra “back-end-sale” makes all the difference, right?

So why then are so many small business owners selling only their services night & day, but neglecting the REAL money?

I don’t know about you, but I think it’s insane.

Seriously. Having you own business is great, and the concept of “back-end-sales” is the most important part of the whole process.

This concept works for any business even yours, try it today and you will have successfully created an extra stream of income. This can make a big difference between struggling and living the dream life.

We will talk more about this great concept, (back-end-sales) in our next KSB Newsletter.


The customer service myth is wrong and misleading

We need to address the single most popular false idea about customer service. Probably you’ve heard the phrase, “the customer is always right.” It’s a great slogan, credited to H. Gordon Selfridge, who passed away in 1947. Unfortunately, it’s wrong and misleading.

Clearly the customer is not always right. Customers make unreasonable requests and sometimes have unreasonable expectations. Sometimes customers play fast and loose with the truth. Take for example the story of a Southwest customer below.

One woman, who frequently flew on Southwest Airlines, was constantly disappointed with every aspect of the company’s operation. In fact, she became known as the “Pen Pal” because after every flight she wrote in with a complaint.

She didn’t like the fact that the company didn’t assign seats; she didn’t like the absence of a first-class section; she didn’t like not having a meal in flight; she didn’t like Southwest’s boarding procedure; she didn’t like the flight attendants’ sporty uniforms and the casual atmosphere.

Her last letter, reciting a litany of complaints, momentarily stumped Southwest’s customer relations people. They bumped it up to Herb’s (Kelleher, CEO of Southwest) desk, with a note: ‘This one’s yours.’

In sixty seconds, Kelleher wrote back and said, ‘Dear Mrs. Crabapple, We will miss you. Love, Herb.’

Practically speaking, as a small business owner, you can’t operate under assumptions that the customer is always right. You can’t give each customer what he or she asks for.

So, since the “customer is always right” slogan is wrong, here are three realistic descriptions of how we should treat our customers:

1. The customer always deserves to be treated as if he or she is important, because they are. Simply put, you won’t be in business without customers.

2. The customer deserves to receive maximum effort on part of those serving him or her, even when the customer’s expectations, wants and needs may be impractical. Even in situation where you can’t do what the customer wants you can contribute to the customer’s development of how he or she is treated.

3. “WOW!” your customers with positive surprises – positive surprises are things you may do that go above and beyond their expectation. This may include offering unexpected discounts or providing benefits that normally are not available to them.

Truth be told, the bar for customer service in Kenya is not very high, so for the coming weeks and months we’re going to be sharing some of the most effective customer service tools and techniques that we've learned over the years. Stay tune



How Passionate are you?
Passion is considered one of the most important traits of an entrepreneur. Doing what you love is extremely important in personal satisfaction and success. There was a time in my own life when passion wasn’t present with my work. I decided to leave a good job and seek what truly made me happy and caused me to wake up each morning with an anticipation of the day. I found it. It was to work for myself. I told myself then “I will never do a job I am not passionate about, which includes working for someone else or working for myself.” Life is too exciting to have to drag yourself out of bed each morning. Find something that gets you jumping out of bed. You will be happier, healthier and have more passion in your life. With more passion you will be more successful as well.

If your passion is to start a business, I recomend that you get your free membership to Kenya Small Business Resource Center you will get the information, step-by-step guides and essential tools that you need to start and build a successful business in Kenya.



Secrets To Raising More Capital

Raising capital to launch new businesses has always been a challenge to entrepreneurs. But by following these 7 tips you will catapult your capital hunting process:

1.Choosing the right sources of capital for a business can be just as important as choosing the right form of ownership or the right location. It is the decision that will influence a company for a lifetime; so, entrepreneurs must weigh their options carefully before committing to a particular funding source. “It is important that companies in need of capital align themselves with the sources that best fit their needs,” says one financial consultant. “The success of a company often depends on the success of that relationship.

2.The money is out there: The key is just knowing where to look. Entrepreneurs must do their homework before they set out to raise money for their ventures. Understanding which sources of funding are best suited for the various stages of a company’s growth and then taking the time to learn how those sources work, are essential to success.

3.Raising money takes time and effort. Sometimes entrepreneurs are surprised at the amount of energy and time that is required to raise the capital needed to feed their cash-hungry, growing businesses. The process usually includes lots of promising leads; most of which turn out to be dead ends. Meetings with and presentations to lots of potential investors and lenders can crowd out the time needed to manage a growing company. Entrepreneurs also discover that raising capital is an ongoing job. “The fund-raising job is a marathon, not a spirit,” says Jerusha Stewart, founder of iSpiritus Soul Spa, a store selling personal growth and well-being products.

4.Creativity counts. Although some traditional sources of funds now play a lesser role in small business financing then in the past; other sources - from large corporations and customers, to international venture capitalists and state or local programs - are picking up the slack. To find the financing their businesses demand, entrepreneurs must use as much creativity in attracting financing as they did in generating the ideas for their products and services. For instance, after striking out with traditional sources of funding, EZConserve, a company that makes software that provides energy management tools for large PC Networks, turned to the nonprofit group Northwest Energy Efficiency Alliance and received a sizable grant as well as marketing assistance that fueled its growth.

5.The World Wide Web puts at entrepreneurs’ fingertips vast resources of information that can lead to financing; use it. The web often offers entrepreneurs, especially those looking for relatively small amounts of money, the opportunity to discover sources of funds that they otherwise might miss. The web provides links to many useful sites related to raising both start-up and growth capital. The web also provides a low-cost, convenient way for entrepreneurs to get their business plans into potential investor’s hands anywhere and everywhere in the world. When searching for sources of capital, you must not overlook this valuable tool!

6.Be thoroughly prepared before approaching potential lenders and investors. In this hunt for capital, tracking down leads is tough enough; don’t blow a potential deal by failing to be ready to present your business idea to potential lenders and investors in a clear, concise, convincing way. That of course requires a solid business plan.

7.Entrepreneurs cannot overestimate the importance of making sure that the “chemistry” among themselves, their companies, and their funding sources is a good one. Too many entrepreneurs get into financial deals because they needed the money to keep their businesses growing only to discover that their plans do not match those of their financial partners.



Catch me if you can

I knew something was up when I couldn't think of a single movie released in the last couple of months. My wife asked me when I'd last watched a commercial as I switched between TV channels during commercial breaks. I couldn’t remember, though I'm sure an occasional “Ad” gets through. This fact caused additional realizations for me. It's been years since I listened to a radio commercial. My mail is sorted before it gets to me. I screen telephone solicitations and I route unwanted emails directly to my Junk Email Box. The truth is, I've become almost unreachable to marketers.

How do you market to someone like me? What do you do as this behavior becomes the norm?

If I’m your target market, how confident are you that your marketing messages are making it through to me? Marketing isn't about giving your message; it's about your potential customers receiving your message. So remember to start your marketing efforts by identifying your target market (the ideal customers for your business). Then find the best channels/methods for accessing these potential customers. Find a way to access these prospects in the best manner for them to hear your message, and then ensure your message moves them to action.

In addition to all this, I maintain that the best way to market is to create a remarkable business. No matter how much we use technology to shield us from the marketers’ messages, referral marketing will never go away.
Want to know how to employ the referral engine in your marketing system? Check out Kenya Small Business Resource Center.



Hottest Business Opportunities in Kenya

There are lots of low-cost small business opportunities in Kenya today. Let me wet your appetite a little with these tidbits from the Small Business Magazine. These are 10 of the one hundred hottest small business opportunities in Kenya today.

1. Computer Consulting:

This is one of the hottest in demand businesses that you can start. If you know computers, your biggest problem will be not having enough hours in the day to serve all the clients. Computer consultants take a broader view of an organization and its computer needs in an effort to help them solve information-management problems of all kinds. They combine hardware and software expertise to explore possibilities for how a computer can help them accomplish their goals. Computer consultants do different types of work: Business requirements analysis, technical support, management of the system, maintenance of the system, software analysis, hardware acquisition and installation, periodic evaluations/audits, etc.

2. Tutoring:
Tutoring is one of the cheapest, easiest and profitable businesses to start, with a few business cards, brochures and flyers you can be in business today.

The prospects for tutoring look good in the years to come. The growing dissatisfaction in the quality of classroom education propels the growth of scholastic tutoring, both in subject areas and in preparing students for qualifying examinations. A tutor has an advantage of being able to offer individual attention. And he/she can particularize and customize what he/she teaches to the level and needs of each student. Many people prefer such individual instruction because it allows them to learn at their own pace without the pressure of peers or authorities.

3. Advertising Agency:
If you ever dream of launching your own small business, you can’t find a better opportunity today than the advertising field! Why? Because advertising is a growth industry. And, Advertising agency—with its low cost of entry, high profit margins and huge potential earnings—provides arguably one of the greatest small business opportunities. Advertisers spend billions of shillings each year to get their messages and products to their potential customers.

4. Videotaping Service:
You may not win a producer-of-the-year award, but you'll win the appreciation of your clients when you capture their weddings, graduations, parties, reunions, bar mitzvahs, birthdays and more on your camcorder. Keep the film rolling at special events, and then edit a final version for clients' own special screenings.

5. Computer Repair
6. Public Relations Agency
7. Graphic design and custom printing
8.Real Estate Agency
9. Real Estate Marketing
10. Travel Agency

Get your FREE membership to Kenya Small Business Resource Center ( where you will find tools, information, expert advice and other valuable resources that you can use to start and build a successful business.



How to choose the right Small business opportunity in Kenya

Are you one of the thousands that are ready to take the entrepreneurial plunge and pursue the great entrepreneurial dream? Before rushing into something, there's a lot to consider. This is a major life decision, so take the time and effort to carefully consider your options and choose the right path.

Your Passion
First, choose a business that suits your passion and true skills. As a business, owner, you'll log more hours then you ever dreamed, so if you do something you love, you'll have a much better chance of success.

Lifestyle does matter. Do you want to work out of home? Consider an e-commerce business. Do you want flexibility in your hours? Consider "project-oriented" businesses where keeping specific hours is not critical. If you enjoy community activities and interacting with people, a retail operation might be for you.

Don't let your life plan get put on hold for a business plan, or your dream business could quickly become a nightmare. Many entrepreneurs end up with a business they are all too happy to exit from because they did not clearly think through the role of the business in their life.

There is more then one way to "start" a business. Options include starting a business from scratch, opening a franchise or buying an existing independent business or franchise.

Buy or Build Form Scratch
There is quite an upside argument for purchasing an existing business. It can be much less risky, and you may see a profit sooner than if you start a new company. Existing businesses generally have an established customer base, a name or brand, relationships with venders, experienced employees and proven systems.

Buying an existing business may or may not be for you. Purchasing a business is has some risks too. Your success depends on how well you analyze the business you ultimately buy. As you search for a business to buy, use multiple approaches in your search. Call a business broker, your attorney, your accountant, your banker, your friends and neighbors to come up with the perfect match.

The advantage of starting a new business is that most of the time you don't have the problems with reputation that an existing business may have developed. The disadvantage may be on financing.

Risk Tolerance
Be aware of your tolerance for risk. If you create a truly revolutionary concept, the upside of your business could be tremendous. But with the potential for success, the risk involved also goes up. There are usually fewer risks involved in replicating a business idea that's already in the marketplace and just needs a little tweaking for differentiation. When you purchase a franchise, the risk-reward scenario is perfectly illustrated. This is one of the lower risk approaches to sowing your entrepreneurial oats, but the potential reward also may be capped.

Carefully consider your business financing requirements. Some businesses are much less capital intensive to start than others. For example, with many consulting businesses, all you need is a business card and some basic marketing materials to support your qualifications. You're likely to need more funding up front if you're purchasing an existing company rather than starting up your own.

However, if you need outside financing, getting money for an existing business is generally easier than financing a start-up, due to the fact that the business has a proven track record. Starting businesses that offer the promise of accelerated upside potential, such as high-tech companies, are an option. But remember, these fast-growing companies also require significant amounts of outside capital in the early stages.

Before you even think about starting your business you must find out if there is market for your business idea. Because finding out if you have customers who are willing to pay for your products and services will lower your risks.

If you don't understand your market first, you can easily open the doors of your new business and have no customers. But if you know there is a market your less likely to run into this problem.

So let me wrap this up. In order to pick the right business for you, you should think of your passion; decide if you want to buy an existing business or if you want to start from scratch; determine your risk tolerance; your financial status; and lastly find out if there is a market for your product or service.

When all these five pieces fit together, it's like magic.



Starting a small business in Kenya

There has never been a better time to start a business in Kenya than today... From the government to Angel Investors and small business friendly banks. New sources of capital for aspiring entrepreneurs continue to open up.. ... Job security is a thing of the past — starting your own business may actually have more security... “Now” is always the best time to start that dream business...

This blog will mainly focus on starting and growing successful small business in Kenya. feel free to post your comments and ideas.