Edna Gakii is the founder and Head Spa Therapist at eKiki Salon and Spa, a spa and beauty business based in Nairobi. This business focuses on services such as body toning, weight loss, and anti-aging skin care services.
I launched my spa and salon business in the middle of the pandemic in 2020. This was challenging, especially since the current business environment has not been very favourable to the majority of businesses. To get it right, I started by undertaking a business training course known as the SNBX ‘Startup SME Roadmap’.
This business training gave me clarity on the type of business I stood the best chance of succeeding in, the startup misconceptions I needed to avoid, and how I needed to muster my day to day operations and bookkeeping. I also learned that I needed to believe in myself first before customers could believe in me too.
There was a time I would invest in ventures that I knew little or nothing about. These investments left me with burnt fingers. One of these ventures was the forex trading market where the possibility of making losses is extremely high.
I ended up losing a significant amount of money. In the end, though, I learnt that I would never grow any wealth by putting my money in investment ideas and ventures I wasn’t knowledgeable about just because they seemed to work out for other people, or just because it was what everyone else was investing in.
Never invest in something simply because XYZ made a similar investment and earned money from it. Invest in what you know about, what you can defend, and whose market you can track. Research and due diligence should be your guiding principles when contemplating investing.
I have saved on both the bank account and the money market. I started with the bank account. The bank seemed like the safest option. It also gave me the joy of watching my money increase after every deposit.
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What I didn’t know was that my money wasn’t growing much. I decided to give the money market a try and have not looked back since. Not only is my money appreciating at a higher rate than inflation, but it is also a safe and accessible way of saving.
You live your best life by making time for what is important to you. Give yourself adequate time to see the changes you want in life actualize. Be patient with yourself, be it in lifestyle changes, or financial makeover.
Nothing good happens overnight. Mentorship is a powerful tool. Seek after mentoring relationships that will allow you to build new relationships, and be a haven where you can exchange ideas, advice, referrals and networks. In business, be careful not to put money ahead of solutions.
Money alone will not sustain you. You must flip the order of things and start with the provision of solutions to customers before money can follow.
One of the biggest mistakes budding entrepreneurs make is failing to pay attention to the type of problem their business idea is seeking to solve. Or providing solutions that are already in the market and charging higher rates than what is in the market. To be successful, your business idea, and goals must be well measured and realistic.
Know your numbers, what can be achieved and what isn’t realistic. The market trends and what they are calling on your product to do. It is also important for you to stay persistent and proactive. This is what has gotten me to where I am now.
A version of this profile feature on Edna Gakii was also published in the Saturday Magazine. The Saturday Magazine is a publication of the Nation Media Group.