Peter Nyaga is the chief executive officer of Mahiga Homes Ltd, a real estate firm that deals with construction and sale of houses. His company currently has real estate projects on Kenyatta Road, Ruiru, Kamulu, Joska and Kitengela. He has been in business for two years, within which he has been able to house over 1000 Kenyans.
My biggest milestone: Completing an estate within six months is my biggest milestone. In February 2018, my team and I started the construction of an estate comprising of 3 bedroom bungalows master ensuite along Kenyatta Road off Thika Superhighway. We completed the houses within six months and the owners moved in. We achieved this milestone within the first year of our business. This taught me that having a team that is coordinated, has unity of purpose, is highly focused and has a common goal is very crucial in the development of a business and the attainment of business goals.
How to succeed in business: Research extensively before you start a business. Find out who your target customers are and whether they need the solutions you want to sell. Know who your competitors are and how the market is performing. Be unique. Don’t launch a copy paste. Be patient as well for the business to develop. I have had to practice a lot of discipline, resilience and develop a go-getting attitude. Goals are part of every aspect of business and provide a sense of direction, motivation, a clear focus, and clarify importance. Write your goals in a big font.
Biggest money mistake: I made my first million at the age of 22. I was still in real estate, selling plots and land. At the same time, I was in campus. Instead of reinvesting the money into business, I bought a car. Having a car at such an age could be a blessing or a curse; a blessing when you use it to grow a business or a curse if you use it to party. The car turned out to be a curse for me. Within one year, I went bankrupt and sold it to pay debts.
My biggest career loss: This was in 2017 when I ventured into politics. I contested for the MCA seat in Magumoni Ward, Tharaka Nithi County. Running a campaign is time consuming and requires a lot of money. I diverted money meant to run the business into my political campaigns. I drained cash flow out of my business. This was a wrong and costly move since I didn’t have a clear plan or roadmap to juggle between politics and business.
If I could start all over again: I don’t regret the way my life has panned out. I have learnt the greatest life changing lessons through my failures. At the same time, I have gained the greatest pleasure from overcoming problems. Perhaps the only thing I would do if I were to start all over again is venture into real estate earlier than I did.
My saving method: I only save through an emergency fund. Any other money that I get goes to my real estate venture. I believe that real estate has some of the best returns on investment, especially once you identify which segment in the sector to put your money on. Previously, I saved money in a fixed account. This never gave me the returns I now get from reinvesting money in my business.
My parting shot: If you want to be a high performer and succeed in whatever you undertake to do, be willing to do what others are not willing to do. Do not limit yourself because of lack of money whenever you want to venture into business. If your idea is convincing enough that it will generate income, cash flow and return on investment when implemented, then be sure that you will get funding.
This story was first published in the Saturday Magazine edition of Saturday, May 2. Saturday Magazine is a product of Nation Media Group. More info email: [email protected]