Lewis Momanyi is the founder of Leminet Consulting Group, a management consulting company offering business advisory services.
We started this business 5 years ago. We started by offering consultancy services on business set up in Kenya to foreign companies that wanted to set up business in the country. We later started to link up cash trapped businesses to investors, out of which we’d earn service fees.
This helped us raise our operating capital. We are now building long term partnerships with various players in the African ecosystem which include funders, governments and other like-minded private sector players to support various businesses.
In my early business days, I was not keen on pricing my services. Sometimes I used prices as a benefit to lure clients since prices have a large influence on how service consumers make decisions. This caused me to under quote in a bid to win the service.
As this affected my turnover, I learnt to stop using price as the only selling strategy. People only respond to price reductions and special offers where there are no other differentiations in the market.
For instance, when you go to the supermarket, you normally check on the products you want first, then prices later, not the other way. This means that customers buy benefits. They first check on whether the products are satisfying their needs.
Every encounter always comes up with an experience. I have certain situations which I think I should have walked away from. I also have other situations I should have pursued further.
When it comes to money and business, I have found out that the song Gambler by Kenny Rogers has a primary lesson; ‘You’ve got to know when to hold them, know when to fold them, know when to walk away and when to run.”
I used to save money by reducing the luxurious things that I used to get daily. I realized it was not sustainable. I was depriving myself the joy of enjoying the things I love and this was tiring since I had to make decisions every day.
The experience I have received is that if you want to get money you have to use money. To enable one to save, invest in systems like cloud accounting which can support one with money management and taxation.
Starting my own company has brought me many lessons. At the helm of leadership, I have come across different managerial, operational and financial challenges that have worked to boost my experience in business development.
The most important of these lessons is on the importance of having a team that believes in your vision. Whether you’re in business or a lead in employment, your team must understand what you want to achieve.
Until they all do, some won’t row the boat with the same energy and passion as you.
There is nothing important for a business startup like having a high network of skilled personnel in the industry. This is one of the benefits of being employed before becoming an entrepreneur. Employment exposes you to a lot of networks, through business pitching, execution, partnerships and this can ultimately become part of your social networks.
Working for a good company will give you a lot of exposure to good networks in the market. Also, working in a company will make you know what you are good at and perhaps what you are not good at.
A version of this profile feature on Lewis Momanyi of Leminet Consulting was also published in the Saturday Magazine. The Saturday Magazine is a publication of the Nation Media Group.