To do A, B, C or D, you need money. I have said in the past that CAPITAL is overrated where people tend to take up the monetary value as a limiting factor when it comes to making ideas happen, however, that statement doesn’t contradict with what I said earlier. To move from point A to B you can choose to walk, take a public service vehicle or drive. If you choose to walk you may save money but you will use up so much of your energy so you will need to eat well. If you choose to take a matatu, you will be expected to pay full fare to your destination and if you choose to drive you will need to fuel your card and maybe even pay for parking.
Given the fact that there is need for money and it is not readily available, a majority have chosen to take up (for lack of a better word) entrepreneurship. Others consider themselves ‘Hustlers’. To me, that is okay. However, my problem comes in when it comes to the manner business is conducted. The manner the so called entrepreneurs or hustlers do it will get them a few quick coins but it will not give the client a reason to come back. In addition to that it will also make it hard for the client to deal with other business people because of that nasty experience.
Back in school people are taught, to start a business, offer what is in demand and not readily available. People should look around them, identify gaps and find a way to bridge the gap. That mentality may also mean, create a business from the demand available. We have seen so many people start businesses based on demand and then did not survive for long. Perfect example is Simu Ya Jamii. There was a time you couldn’t round a corner without bumping into a Simu Ya Jamii ‘peddler’. Today, they are not as many thanks to the introduction of not only cheap mobile phones but also very affordable tariffs.
I think of concepts from a totally different angle. Expect the worst but hope for the best and I also do not work towards meeting demand but I work towards demand meeting my supply. For example, Wanadamu, the virtual blood bank that has in less than 2 years saved over 700 people backed by a database of over 15000 people, money can be put aside to build say banks in every corner, but if I was to decide how the money would be used, I would do activities and campaigns which will reduce the need e.g by making the roads safer.
What has inspired this post is in the last two or three weeks, I have tried to empower two different people who recently started businesses. Whenever I contacted them to make an order, they would not get me what I needed but what they had. I was not stupid asking for product x, and I may not know product y is better but there are better ways to communicate that instead of dismissing my need for product x just because you only have product y in stock.
I remember the first car I ever sold. The client was very specific that he wanted a black or white car. Where I sent him they said they had the car but they had a yellow one. The client was disappointed, I got him the car eventually but if someone was to ask him for contacts of people who sell cars, I am sure he would give out my number and not of the other people.
In short, how you carry yourself and communicate can determine if someone will do business with you or not. I have a problem with the term phrase ‘customer is king’ because some of them use that to oppress the provider however, that doesn’t mean they shouldn’t get what they want. Think about it.