Business is hard no matter the nature of it. Ask any entrepreneur, business can be brutal to your soul and pockets but this statement is not to scare you off, this is just to get your attention.
Marykenyablog for me and other projects close to my heart have been a testament to this fact. There is usually a lot of crying, disappointments, loses and self doubt but the key and secret, is to pass through it a better person with a better understanding of situations.
With all this in mind, this specific piece is here to give you bits of reality checks when it comes to running your own kind of business. NOTE that I’m not an expert, I’ll just give facts based on my own reality.
When I started off Marykenyablog officially at the beginning of the year, I had a vision of what I wanted it to be; a year down the line, five years down the line and ten years down the line.
My vision was not completely clear because in all honesty, I didn’t have much of an air tight plan but as time went by, I learned that air tight plans are good yes but not the best for growing a business. And with that said, I’ve learned to always leave room for improvement and always modify my plans as I go.
Remember that nothing is set in stone. Flexibility is key when it comes to business because it helps you adapt to the unexpected situations.
The birthing process as I like to call it is the most important step:
The main goal for every business is to start. A lot of people usually have great ideas and plans but they usually remain as that because these people don’t take that vital step. So my advice to you, start…start with whatever you have. Start small, create a strong foundation and build as you grow. Don’t expect things to grow overnight, don’t expect your company to break even immediately and don’t compare your first chapter with somebody’s else’s chapter ten.
Remember this is a personal journey. It’s your own race. Strive to be better than you were the previous day.
But before we dive more into the birthing process, let’s take a step back and go back to the drawing board. Planning and research are hella important . Whatever business idea you have in mind, you have to apply the two for you to find the best sense of direction. And this may include:
1. Get to know your customers; what do they need? Remember that you are getting into business because of them. They are the important ones because, for luck of better words, they are the ones who are going to pay the bills. So get to know what they need or go a step ahead and create a need for them. This is something Marykenyablog 💜 is still learning and trying to perfect.
The customer is key to every business. Remember to place him/her at the centre of every plan you have
2. Product or service: where do you plan to get it?? Is it of good quality?? Is it in constant supply?? Or is it a rare?? These are things that should be on lock to help you create back plans for your back up plans. Knowledge is power.
Note that Even with all the preparation in the world, one can never be 100% prepared. So once you start your business, always know how to adapt and improvise as you go a long.
BUDGETS: Are important because they give you an idea of what you are working with. It helps in the planning process because it completes the puzzle in the plan. Now today, budgets vary especially when you introduce the online community. Starting an online shop is much more cheaper than setting up a physical shop. So establish what you want, set it within your budget, and see how it goes. Remember that setting up a new business may lead you to dipping more into your pockets so don’t panick when it happens.
Today we have social media which has changed the business game entirely. Marketing strategies have been enhanced to help all kinds of businesses. Let’s just say social media has helped level the playing field and this has come as an advantage to a lot of start ups.
Also on that budgety note, there comes the dreaded word loans..!! Now, loans help business people get a leg up because they cover costs that were un-attainable with the normal budgets. The only precaution I give here is to know how to pay them. Set up a system that will help pay it off as you go. Don’t take a loan without a PLAN otherwise, you’ll tank your whole business plus yourself. So be the loan applicant with a plan..!!
Going back to the birthing process, appreciate the aspect of starting small. I can never stress this enough, because it helps you appreciate every win and growth you make. Today, people want to start big with millions that they don’t have and end up doing nothing just because they don’t believe in the aspect of small beginnings. This helps you manage everything within arms length. You learn as you grow and hopefully in the process, you can involve other moving parts like employees and suppliers. So take it from me, small beginnings are the best kind..
EMPLOYMENT VS ENTREPRENEURSHIP
People who decide to start businesses do it because of the need or just genuine passion for it. Both are very powerful forces. Guys who decide to join the business world are either already employed or not. For the guys employed and want to join the business world, I’d advise you not to leave until your business can stand on it’s own. Meaning it generates it’s own income without you having to use money from your pockets. Find time to do both since they’re both equally important.
Finally, I’d advise anyone who’s taking up business to take it up as your baby literally. Take care of it…love it…pay attention to it and most importantly create time for it. Remember that for it to give back, you also need to give and give. Appreciate the small wins, and learn from the failures that at times break our hearts. Learn to pick up the pieces and stand. Always be open to learning and create a strong network that will help you access potential customers, investors or business persons. But most importantly, learn to take one day at a time.
PS Feel free to add anything that Marykenyablog 💜 may have failed to address.