Thursday, February 29, 2024

I quit my banking job to start a business that has made only 200. Please help!

By Benson Bundi Narrated by Henry Ayieko, a former banker.

I quit my banking job to start a business: Since 2016, I worked as a banker in one of the top Kenyan banks. However, I had been having issues at my workplace for the past year, and things were not going well.

My boss wasn’t appreciating my efforts at all, and when I reached the climax of being patient, I wrote a resignation letter which was approved on 3rd March.

I had savings of about Ksh 150,000, which I decided to invest in housekeeping services. I opened a company that trains house girls and later releases them to employers. I even developed its website called “Hire Best Kenyan Maids”. I launched the company to the market on 1st April.

Starting a business was a huge excitement for me. I invested all my savings in the platform, ensuring everything was fine. However, things started going wrong.

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The first and second days went by without a customer. After around a week without landing any client, I decided to carry out a paid advertisement on Google and Facebook.

That week, I got four clients who booked for maids but did not pay. So far, I have only completed one transaction of Ksh 200. My target customers are employers seeking househelps. Customers log into the site, choose a maid, and pay Ksh 200.

Recently, I designed around 200 posters pinned around Nairobi, Thika and other parts of Kenya, such as Eldoret, Kitale, Kisumu and Nakuru. I am yet to get a client.

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My site has over 50 qualified maids, some of whom have diplomas. However, I feel like giving up. I have done everything and invested all my savings into the business, yet I have made only Ksh 200 for the past month.

I have bills to clear and workers to pay yet the only revenue the business has generated is Ksh 200. I don’t know what to do, and I think I made a mistake quitting my job.

Bizna Advice

Your first mistake was quitting your job to start a business without doing proper research on the business of choice and without a solid business plan. these tools help you understand your target market, and guide you in crafting your product, delivering it to the market and getting matching remuneration. Ultimately, you need to have a backup plan in case your business fails since in business and life, there are no guarantees.

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Secondly, your expectations were unrealistic.

It takes at least 3 to 6 months for most startups to get their first paying client, sometimes even longer. A 1–3-month period is too short to determine if a venture will succeed.

That said, your business name needs an upgrade. “Hire Kenyan Maids” sounds boring, archaic, annoying and basic. Consider using the words nanny or house help in your business name.

Also, your price is too low and can cause customers to be suspicious. At Ksh 200, you are likely to attract the wrong audience which makes it difficult for your business to gain momentum and become sustainable. Low prices are also likely to make potential clients suspicious and wonder whether your services meet their quality standards.

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Nanny services are a part of the larger talent-sourcing concept. Nanny companies charge between Ksh 1,500–15,000 for their services. Therefore, you might consider Increasing your price to attract the right clients. You might also consider transferring your business to another branch with a larger client base, which you can find out by conducting proper market research.

Your current priority should be to look for an immediate source of income before your business picks. Consider looking for employment opportunities or evaluate what other abilities you may have that could be exploited to bring forth some income as you nurture your business.

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