One of the interesting men I have met in the academic indulgence is a lecturer in MBA classes, a gentleman who had guts enough to say that in the industry where my interests have always been, there is no money. That since 1984, cumulatively, that industry has made losses. He narrates that the same industry – I am tempted to mention but do not want to discourage my fellow investors with big dreams anchored here – is just a service that people have to consume but not meant for business. However that’s where my heart rests.
There is one question a lot people struggle with: which business ideas to put money into. What complicates matters is the fact that money being a very scarce resource, the room for trial and error is not available. It is not possible for example to put a million shillings into shoe importation business with the hope that should it succeeds, that’s where the entrepreneur will build a nest. Interestingly also, many business coaches and industrialists we talk to allude that its ideas that are not available, monetary and other resources are in plenty. This position has remained very controversial to me but since that is not my centre of interest, we will explore where and why one needs to put the limited resources.
It’s worth noting that many people are in a position to raise under a million shillings for initial capital from different sources ranging from friends, family or personal saving. The fear of losing hard earned savings or sweat trenching mobilised resources makes most people think deeply when choosing where to invest such funds. While calculated risk taking is highly encouraged, extreme risk averse mode could self-destruct. Here we are not referring only to people who have no option but to engage in business after retirement. The willingness to freely indulge in business is very critical in decision making.
In choosing an idea to invest in particularly for amounts around Kshs 1 million, one can consider the following:
Don’t try what you don’t like even if it is lucrative. It is said that passion moves men beyond themselves, beyond environmental shortcomings and failures. Nothing captures this than a natural business environment. It is littered with numerous challenges that demand persistence, patience and tigerous stamina, much which would easily ooze from passion.
A lot of people ignore the place of experience in that particular sector before investing in it. I have seen this a lot with young people who engage in PSV business with no prior industry interactions. Experience is the name operators give to mistakes, without which starting a new venture becomes costly.
Risk refers to uncertainties that may prevent a desired outcome. Risk averse people engage in relatively risk free ventures. However, no single business will miss out on a risk component. It is important to consider how risky an activity is before plunging into it. One would need to think of spoilage and cold storage issues before indulging into fish business. The same should be considered plus fluctuations in market prices for flower export and import operations. But these will not be factors to consider if one were to get into real estate, hence each business venture has its risks involved.
These and many other factors, one considers when investing into an idea. It is not possible to really declare that particular areas are the best to put money into, but based on such factors, one has the liberty to choose.