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How to Scale Your Small Business for Greater Profit

Inversk Review

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It is the dream of every startup to grow. As your business continues to make profits, it gets to a point where you have to scale it. This is because your customers will continue to   increase and you will have no option but meet the growing demand for your products. Scaling is all about capability and capacity. Scaling is meant to empower your business for the task ahead.

If your business is unable to meet the orders, lacks the infrastructure needed for production and sufficient stuff, you might have a hard time keeping the customers happy. Scaling your business will support the growth of your enterprise and help achieve higher profits.

Below are the ways through which you can scale your small business.

  1. Invest in technology

If you invest wisely in technology, scaling your business will be successful and less expensive. Automation of processes, for instance, will reduce manual work and consequently save on costs. Also, the integration of systems makes the management of your business seamless: which results in the improvement of the company as a whole.

Technology systems like CRM, inventory, sales management, accounting, and HR will enable your business to accommodate higher volume in all areas.

  1. Secure the sales

Scaling your business means you are preparing yourself to handle more sales. At this point, you should work with an online marketing agency and embrace digital marketing. You can empower your sales and marketing team by having them take a digital marketing course in Kenya. It will all be for the good of your business.

Online marketing takes a targeted approach leading to the generation of more and quality leads. More so, you can employ marketing systems to track and manage leads. Having such a structure will help you sell more.

  1. Identify your competitive edge

Every business has something that makes it stand out from the competition. For you to successfully scale your business, you need first to   identify your strengths.

Conducting a SWOT (Strengths, Weaknesses, Threats, and Opportunities) analysis, you will be able to identify the strengths of your business. By SO Doing, you will have a more focused growth by investing in your strengths.

  1. Avoid shortcuts

Cutting corners will do your business more harm than good. As you look to scale your business, you should be ready to put in the work. Not only will shortcuts compromise your ethics, but your customers will also pay the price. Note that scaling is meant to have long term results. Short cuts will not give you that.

  1. Be involved

As your business grows, there is a need to hire skilled and talented people to handle different operations.

However, this does not warrant you leave. You need to be there. Being tuned in to your business will help you adjust together with your business. Also, it will be easier for you to identify the areas and processes that need to be changed for successful scaling.

As you do the climb, you need to be familiar and aware of every loose stone and foothold to make it to the top.

When scaling your business, you need to know that time is a precious commodity. You need to put it into good use. What that means is that proper time management should be prioritized.

While there are so many things to do, you need to distinguish what is more important and give it the          priority. Setting daily goals will help you plan better and keep you moving to the bigger goal. For your business succeed, you need to not only focus on growing but also scaling.

Article by Antonio Amos

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Startup

Lean Startup Strategy and How It Works For StartUps

Kimani Patrick

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Most startups fail. But many of those failures are preventable. The Lean Startup is a new approach being adopted across the globe, changing the way companies are built and new products are launched.

Lean startup is a method for developing businesses and products proposed by Eric Ries in 2008 at Silicon Valley.

The method helps startups to shorten their product development cycles by adopting a combination of business-hypothesis-driven experimentation, iterative product releases and validated learning.  

Below are 4 ways Lean Startup can help your start up.

1. Minimum viable product

This is the version of a new product which allows a team to collect the maximum amount of validated learning about customers with the least effort.

MVP tests your fundamental business processes and helps you to learn as quickly as possible to identify whether customers need your product or not.

Through the Lean Startup method, your startup will also utilize an investigative development method called the “Five Whys”-asking simple questions to study and solve problems along the way.

When this process of measuring and learning is done correctly, it will be clear that a company is either moving the   drivers of the business model or not. If not, it is a sign that it is time to pivot or make a structural course correction to test a new fundamental hypothesis about the product, strategy and engine of growth.

2. Validated Learning

Progress in manufacturing is measured by the production of high quality goods. The unit of progress for Lean Startups is validated learning-a rigorous method for demonstrating progress when one is embedded in the soil of extreme uncertainty.

Once entrepreneurs embrace validated learning, the development process can shrink substantially.

When you focus on figuring the right thing to build-the thing customers want and will pay for-you need not spend months waiting for a product beta launch to change the company’s direction. Instead, entrepreneurs can adapt their plans incrementally, inch by inch, minute by minute.

3. Work smarter not harder

The Lean Startup methodology has as a premise that every startup is a grand experiment that attempts to answer a question.

The question is not “Can this product be built?” Instead, the questions are “Should this product be built?” and “Can we build a sustainable business around this set of products and services?”

This experiment is more than just theoretical inquiry; it is a first product. If it is successful, it allows you to get started with your campaign: enlisting early adopters, adding employees to each further experiment or iteration, and eventually starting to build a product.

By the time that product is ready to be distributed widely, it will already have established customers. It will have solved real problems and offer detailed specifications for what needs to be build.

4. Split Testing

A split or A/B test is an experiment in which “different versions of a product are offered to customers at the same time.”

The goal of a split test is to observe differences in behavior between the two groups and to measure the impact of each version on an actionable metric.

A/B testing can also be performed in serial fashion where a group of users one week may see one version of the product while the next week users see another.

This can be criticized in circumstances where external events may influence user behavior one time period but not the other.

For example, a split test of two ice cream flavors performed in serial during the summer and winter would see a marked decrease in demand during the winter where that decrease is mostly related to the weather and not to the flavor offer.

Winding Up

Lean startup method involves ways in which startups invest their time into alliteratively building products or services to meet the needs of early customers.

This helps them to reduce the market risks and sidestep the need for large amounts of initial project funding and expensive product launches and failures.

Published on 1st Issue of Inversk Magazine.

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Ideas

Bees and Business: What you need to Know about Bees keeping

Inversk Review

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Bees? Oh yes. I am pretty sure this is a term most of us have heard of in the last couple of weeks. And yes, I am here to bring bees back to us, but this time, to show us the importance of bees and how one can make money from bees. Follow suit as we all learn how to make money from these insects.

Bees are the most interesting insects to keep. Apart from honey, they give other products like wax, propolis and royal jelly, besides pollinating crops. Beekeeping is a fantastic way to keep earning and at the same time seek some extra money elsewhere as the insects are easier to maintain.

Beekeeping is an advantageous venture, because you do not need a large parcel of land. The venture requires a small piece of land that does not have to be fertile. The capital required to start is actually low compared to other farm enterprises. Now, good thing is that it only requires minimal labor that only comes in when harvesting and during inspection.

What you need to start off include: the bees themselves of course. And this is where you will need bee-human relationship. It is important to understand that bee stings are an integral part of beekeeping and a bee keeper has to deal with such. There is also a set of hive tools needed, gumboots and gloves of course.

You can actually construct a beehive using locally available materials to cut on costs.  Holding racks and poles are also very vital. Typically, one bee hive provides enough bees to pollinate one acre. You can start by applying the juice of fruits like pineapples, mangoes or oranges. This kind of juice attracts bees to your hive and they eventually colonize.  Bees love wild flowers, berries, flowering herbs and a variety of flowering fruits and vegetables.

A fertilized queen moves from one cell to another laying eggs. The warmth generated by a cluster of worker bees enable eggs to hatch after three days. A bee suit is also a must-have. This should include the head veil to offer maximum protection from bee stings.

The place to keep the bees should be well-drained and far from noise. Avoid fields frequently sprayed with chemical pesticides to reduce bee poisoning and honey contamination, so if it is a must, use bee friendly pesticides.

Place all your hives at a height that will be comfortable for you to work from. If you decide to place them on wooden stands and wire suspensions, paint the stands and wires using oil to drive away crawling ants. If resources allow you, paint your beehive to protect it from vandals and predators like honey badgers, monkeys and humans.

Bees produce honey which is used to apply on bread, used as an alternative for sugar and can also be used to clean wounds.

Wax is another product from bees and it has a couple of functions. It is used to manufacture creams, ointments, candles, shoes and floor polish. It is also used in dentistry, to make tooth impressions for filling and replacement.  In laboratories as well, it is used in the dissection of small insects. In pharmaceuticals, it is used to make pill coatings. You can sell this wax to make an income.

A kilo of honey, normally sells at around Ksh. 150. You can sell say like 32 kilos and make Ksh. 3300, from honey alone. You can also sell honey combs.

When you find a good market, you can always export. And this in return, gives you better profits.

Harvesting is usually done between 10 to 12 months after setup. The second harvest takes place eight months later. Afterwards, harvesting can be carried out every four months.

When handling bees, it is important to remember, that the bees should not be frightened as doing so makes them wild and sting. Beehives should also not be operated from the front. Movement towards the hives should be made quietly as this may alert the bees.

If stung, a bee sting should not be rubbed. A sharp nail or razor blade should be used to scrap it off. Pressing causes the poison of the sting to release more poison.

Good luck as you go into this venture. It is a wonderful experience.

 

 

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Business

50 Lucrative But Low Cost Business Ideas To Start In Kenya Today

Inversk Review

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Starting a business is not a luxury but a necessity for anyone whose aim is to transform the world, make some good money and become a millionaire someday. The ground is so fertile and there are loads of people to patronize you. Even though entrepreneurs complain of heavy taxes they pay, sometimes this cannot be compared to the profit that one will make.

Below are our top 50 lucrative business ideas you can work on;

  1. Child care centers commonly known as day care.

With increasing cases of insecurity from house helps who abuse or sell babies, many parents are now opting to take their non-school going children to child care centers. Many middle class parents leave home as early as 5:30am and they get back home as late as 7:00pm, thanks to the perennial traffic holdups in our roads especially in Nairobi and Mombasa.

Day care centers allow parents to leave their children in a secure and educational environment while at work. However, if you want to open one, the requirements are not as much as you may think.

  1. E-commerce stores.

You can come up with an idea to provide a platform for the people to sell their items, by doing this you can make good money. One can tend to come up with an online store such jumia, OLX, pigiame, rupu etc.

Ask people to place their items for sale at a small fee and market this platform vigorously. Your platform should have categories like furniture, cars, utensils, clothes, gift items, books, jewelry, food, services. Be specific with your intentions. Complete it with beautiful pictures for easy navigations.

  1. Event and party planning.

Every day, week, month and year, people are parting. Corporate, religious, entertainment events, weddings and birthdays and many other events are taking place everywhere and every time. Planning and holding parties can be so stressful and most people who are throwing these events and parties are busy and may desperately need others to plan and execute for them. This work goes for a flat fee, depending on the size of the party. By targeting 2 or 3 parties or events in a week, just imagine how much you can make in a year.

  1. Consulting

Are good at solving problems or issues? If people always come to you for help on certain areas, may be it could be the prime time to give it a try and offer services to people with a fee. Business need consultants who can help them realize their missions and visions. Individuals also want help with the problems in their lives. People are always willing to pay if you can help them stay focused in their work and their ways towards achieving their goals.

If you are good at a particular area or subject, you can also teach it to others at a fee. These people could be students, business people or employees. You stand a good chance of making money with this business idea. You can choose to do it face to face or online.

  1. Janitorial services.

Residential and commercial buildings must be regularly cleaned. With many companies and county governments now outsourcing their cleaning needs, for the business premises and buildings, the opportunity is in offering cleaning services. With only a few cleaning tools and shampoos, you can negotiate with the owners of the buildings and businesses to clean their premises at a monthly fee. You can charge a fee of sh100, 000 to Ksh 500,000 depending on the size of the building.

  1. Garbage collection.

Garbage collection services by local authorities in Kenya collapsed decades ago. These services are now provided by private entities and individuals. For residential areas, the major opportunity is in the garbage collection and the disposal of garbage generated in the houses. Walk around and sign homes to collect garbage from at a fee, maybe sh500 per month. With thousands of people having built their homes in the urban areas, this business opportunity is limitless.

  1. Agribusiness value addition.

Kenya’s economy is essentially still agri-based and looking around almost every home in the rural and many urban homes, there is always some sort of agriculture going on. Food is and will always be a demand in the whole world. Agribusiness is one of the biggest business idea in Kenya or the whole world. You can’t go wrong if you choose to add value to agricultural produce and sell. For example, instead of selling milk alone, you can turn that milk into mala (sour milk) or cheese. You will fetch much better prices in the market.

  1. Poultry business.

Starting a poultry farm can appear easy but starting it as a business is something different. This means that you are not only a chicken farmer but also an entrepreneur. When starting this business, you will need to define your target market and the part of the chicken industry you intend to venture. The chicken industry has two parts; layers, where the chicken bred also lay or produce eggs, or Broilers, where chicken are bred mainly for meat.

  1. Freelance writing.

It is always very possible to become either a full-time freelance writer earning a living, or to be a part-time freelancer supplementing a regular paid income. You can also do it for fun or build another broader portfolio of skills. You will get the basics on what it takes to ease your way into freelance writing as a career or to be put properly, turn your writing hobby into a carrier that does not affect your day job.

  1. Pest control business.

If you always think of starting a business that can guarantee you steady income, then one of your opinions should be starting a pest control business. Pest control involves eradication of potentially harmful insects and rodents in residential properties. These days more and more people are conscious of eradicating things that might bring ill health. This can be a very good business to start.

  1. Disc jockey.

Employ your compilations of music from a variety of eras to please every generation in music. The wedding DJ can make or break the event. If you have a lot of energy, knack for detail, love for music and personality, this could be the perfect role for you. Some DJs also serve as the wedding planner. By learning both trades, you can make yourself good money.

  1. Car washing.

Cars get dirty and need regular wash but most people have no time to spare. Driving to the car wash to get your car professionally cleaned is much easier and faster than spending time washing it yourself.

Starting a car wash requires having a free space and some money to buy possible a bar soap or foam and sometimes a piece of cloth to wash with.

  1. Mobile device repair business.

People will always come with their mobile phones and that is why you can pick the pick the trade of a phone repairer up. First rule, before starting this business you will have to acquire some phone repair skills because you have to win the trust of your client and to be on top of the game to gain more clients.

  1. New and second hand clothes.

The clothing store industry comprises of small retail stores that sells a limited range of clothing and accessories. You can decide to start selling mitumbas by the street and get a shade that u sell your second hand clothes.

  1. Chemical merchant.

Demand for some chemical products is high. The homemade chemicals are always the best alternative for some people. Most of the local hotels use these homemade detergents for their clients to wash their hands before and after meals. This can grab you money as a business by just identifying which hotels to sell to.

  1. Soap making.

Soaps are part of the products that are made from the chemical products and they are used for washing and bathing. No doubt there is a large market for soap and the industry is still pretty much open as many people are ready to make soaps.

  1. Airtime selling

Sell recharge cards, the lower denominations to friends, colleagues and family and make some small cash for you, it does not anything to start at least with Ksh 5,000 or even less.

  1. Laundry services.

This business is good and cheap to start. There is a large market for this, many Kenyans are busy with work and how they can make money and sometimes doing laundry is a problem.  You can start a laundry business by giving out your contacts on how one can get you. Most people call them mama wash. Or you walk door to door to ask if you can get some task to do.

  1. Brick molding.

The real estate market in Kenya is growing. Demand for affordable homes is on the rise. Bricks are affordable to produce and thereby providing affordable building option. All you need is a brick making machine, enough sub soil, spades and labour.

  1. Appliance repair.

Fix your customer appliances and other electronic equipment. Many Kenyans have both electrical and electronic appliances that they want to fix; you can tap into this business and make good money.

  1. Computer repair.

With the increase in the sales of computer and laptop in the Kenyan market, scope of repairing services will automatically grow in Kenya. Computer repair and maintenance service is good business idea to start.

  1. E-book writing.

If you enjoy writing and you know the technique of making e-book, then e-book writing is one of the best business ideas for women. You can start selling these e-books from your website, blog or Amazon.

  1. Selling snacks and drinks.

Snacks are everyone’s in between meals as they come in handy at the office, in school, on special occasions such as parties, meeting, conferences, and seminars and also along road sides. Soft drinks usually accompany them as well just think of selling egg rolls, sausage rolls, donuts and other tasty light snacks like cakes. These can be sold in schools and in busy places like bus stations and commercial areas along with milk, yoghurt and also water.

  1. Private tutor.

How about teaching children after school? Many parents are busy and cannot afford to pay home teachers, you can organize a small after school lesson from home and charge just a little less than the home teachers and make some cool money. You have to choose your subject(s) of expertise.

  1. A saloon or barber shop.

This kind of business is always underrated but the rewards are handsome. You can start the business by visiting clients in their homes and then later look for a physical location where your clients can trace you easily. The capital required to start a saloon always depend on the location and the size of your business. For example in Nairobi there are saloons that charge up to sh50, 000 but head but the normal rate ranges from Ksh 600 per head.

  1. Boiled eggs and sausages.

If you are a small entrepreneur or you have little capital which will not be enough to start a big business, this is where you can start. To start sausage, samosa and eggs business you need a capital of between Ksh 2, 000 to Ksh 10,000. What is surprising is that this kind of business is very profitable. With this type of business, you can make profits of up to Ksh 48,000 per month in Nairobi.

  1. Food truck and food cart.

If you have not noticed, food trucks and food carts are more than just hot dog and burger stands now. Many are in the cutting edge of the cities in which they operate in. if you can cook and drive and you don’t mind putting in some long hours, you can have a successful business in the portable restaurant space.

  1. Coffee Bar or tea saloon.

You do not have to go crazy here. We are not talking about a full-blown restaurant, which is likely to go beyond your budget. You can open a little space that has a nice selection of coffee and teas, and maybe some snacks. Keep it open from morning till lunch this is to catch the commuters and the office crowds. Of course the location of this business matters a lot and it is very important too. It can be as small as cart if you can find a way efficiently store your product and your equipment.

  1. Rare book dealer

This business is very easy to get into but somewhat harder to turn it into a full time gig. Just start buying rare books and try to sell them out, and you can be a dealer of rare books. The challenge can be selling enough rare books often enough to sustain a full time business, but for those who are up to it, the rare book game can be a lot of fun.

  1. Pet grooming.

People love their pets and regret not having time they’d like to take care of them. You can always help assuage their guilt and keep their precious furry friends clean and clipped with pet grooming business; this can only work best with you if you are a fun of pet too.

  1. Home based food business.

Can you cook for any reason? You might have your chance if you start a home based food business. Unlike a restaurant or even a food truck, with this business, you can prepare everything in your own home and then deliver it to a client or even have your clients order what they want and then they it up later.

  1. Commercial real estate broker.

There is no reason to sugar coat it; this is a tough business in deed. But if you can network and sell enough to make it in commercial real estate broker, your business venture could be staggeringly successful. This is not something you can just jump into, all states require real estate brokers to be licensed, and acquiring a license could require up to 90hours of course work.

  1. Firewood services.

If you are not a lumber jack, you are still okay to start a business running a food service. A blaze in the fireplace is wonderful on cold nights, but getting and storing firewood can be a real pain for a lot of people. You can make this easier by delivering wood to them.

  1. Hauling services.

Everybody has junks. People moving into or out of houses, people out houses and people who need to get rid natural debris such as tree limbs and piles of large weeds could all use someone with a truck to take that stuff away.

  1. Carpet installation.

Hardwood floors might not be the rage in homes now, but plenty of places still need carpet installed. Offices, for example, almost always have carpeted floors, as do hostels, many apartments and some restaurants. Whenever there is a commercial real estate, there is a need for carpet installation.

  1. Construction services.

In many states construction projects starts to bloom. And they are not just houses and commercial buildings, either. Garages, sheds and play houses are also in the works. With the right skills and tools, you can create a successful business doing local residential construction projects.

  1. Fabric covering.

Old furniture can look like new with the right treatment. A re-upholstery job can extend the life of a sofa or chair by years. And furniture is expensive, so people are looking for ways to make their furnishing last. That’s where you come in, with a business that offers fabric coverings for furniture or just about anything else fabric can cover.

  1. Vacuum cleaner and repair.

Vacuums are supposed to suck and it is a problem when they do not. Vacuum cleaner repair businesses are becoming increasingly rare, but vacuums still breaks, meaning there is a huge opportunity for you to start a repair business yourself.

This is possibly one of the most lucrative fields to top into in the digital edge. Professional blogging require only a minimal startup cost. You only have to invest in a domain name and hosting space initially at least. This is best if you are into writing.

  1. Online fitness instructor.

The world is looking on how to get fit. While not everyone has the time or inclination to visit the gym or join any fitness classes, the idea of fitness instructor visiting their homes or houses and helping them get in shape is definitely more appealing to them.

Those looking to launch a business in online fitness should spend their money on maintaining a strong online presence through their website and social media pages, considering that they do not have to rent a studio space or equipment.

  1. Dance or a music school.

The only investment that those looking to run a dance or a music school is a rental space. Besides this, the business runs on their skill as an instructor as well as their active presence in respected circuits. As the business grows, they may need to set aside an amount for the salary of an assistant or associates as well, but in the initial stage, the trick is to make sure that enough people are recommending your school to its potential students.

  1. Translation services.

In the light of globalization, the influx of overseas business deals has risen fourfold, and in many cases it is difficult to have the meetings with the local considering the lack of a common language for communication. Thus translators are high in demand, and those looking to go into the business would be happy to know that the cost for setting it up is based at a bare minimum. The only real thing that they need is to attend classes on the particular foreign language to become fluent enough to practice it.

  1. eBay selling.

There are really some people who make a decent people living buying things at the garage sales and flea markets and selling them on eBay. Big secrets? Stick to products you know or you can learn before you start extremely well, package your goods carefully, and provide impeccable customer services. It helps to have a digital camera or a scanner, but it is not required. In Kenya here people call them mali mali.

  1. Shoe making.

These are the people that most do look down upon. You can start in an open space by making and repairing shoes it always have a market as there are so many people who wants to repair their shoes instead of buying a new one.

  1. Personal services- shopping and errands.

This is a great business idea especially heading into a holiday season. Believe or not, there are people who would not be caught dead going anywhere near a mall to do shopping, but they are not comfortable with buying certain items online, either. Alternatively signing up to run errands on an app like Task Rabbit or deliver food through services like postmates, can immediate provide a good client base.

  1. Selling baby diapers.

Unlike the past, diapers have become a norm in every household with a baby. You can try to take advantage of this new market by selling diapers. All you need to do is get a supplier who can sell them to you at a discount and then your work will be to distribute. You can start with where you live by targeting homes with babies.

You can start by door to door delivery. The good news is that you can start this business with less than Ksh 5,000 as long as babies are been born be assured that you will never lack a market for this commodity.

  1. Juice blending.

With so many terminal illnesses like cancer, most people opt to stay away from processed foods. This is always where the juice blending business comes in. You can require about Ksh 3,000 to buy a blender and other containers and you are off to go. With as little as Ksh 10,000 you can start this profitable business.

  1. Selling women handbags.

Women love fashion and looking good. You can start selling handbags that fetches a very good profit. People who are in to this business always have a constant supplier or get their products from Eastleigh. If you are an active user of social media, you can use your Facebook page and Instagram account to market your products.

  1. Cleaning service business.

This is one of the most profitable business. It took parapet, one of the biggest cleaning service provider only 10k to start. He started by hiring women who would clean houses in estates at a charge of 1000 shillings. He would pay these women 500 shillings. Before long, the business had grown and he had to register it as a company and now making up to 15 million in a month.

Winding up.

While most people will complain of lack of job, there are many opportunities available for anyone whose focus is earning a livelihood and making money. Any idea you will implement? Tell us in the comment box below.

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