Starting a Business isn’t only about Money

So it was early this year when I decided to Google some thing I can do with less capital of not exceeding, 100,000 UGX and thanks to Allah, I landed on your article about home production stuff. Being a Muslim helped me so much because we are told to act upon what you have heard or read.

After reading I selected things I can do and thought of how I would start this, a week passed, another one passed because I was so shy. After realising that shame will do nothing for me, I just woke up in the morning and went to Naalya housing estate and started knocking people’s gates looking for jobs which included laundry stuffs trimming flowers and car wash as you stated in the article.

Lucky enough, for the first time, I got a chance to wash some one’s car in the apartment and there happened to be five houses each with a car. At first I washed that of house number three, remember I didn’t have Omo [Soap] I only had a sponge and a brush as you said. I asked her to help me with something which can provide foam and she provided me with liquid soap and I did a job that I think was great.

So this lady asked for my contact. After two days, she called and told me that I did a very great job for her and she gave me the car to wash it very after one day.”

That is the story of a young man who is an ardent reader of my blog. I had a chance to delve further into his experience and while all can’t be shared here, I can authoritatively say that he is now comfortably earning a decent income from his car washing after realising that he could do it as a business. From one apartment, he now washes cars for all the apartments in that complex on a daily.

Higenyi is a school drop out who failed to complete studies due to lack of school fees. After migrating from the village to the city, he begun scavenging around for survival and despite the hard times he has faced, Higenyi never loses focus of his ultimate ambition, to become a journalist. Now that his earnings have taken a turn for the better, this young man is planning to return to school and complete the Journalism course he dropped out from.

Are you out there struggling with not only identifying that something you can do but also getting started? Reading through his message, I noticed the following attributes that are very key for anyone who has an intention of improving their lives especially through business;

  • No amount of money is too small to start business. We have always paraded money as the pre-condition for business success. While it is important, it isn’t everything. Depending on the opportunity being pursued, there are numerous non financial approaches one can used to get where they want. Higenyi begun his car washing career armed with a mere brush and sponge.

  • Seek knowledge always. Learning never ceases. There is always this mentality that after school, one dumps all books away and starts a new chapter of working. This is a total lie since there are always new opportunities and challenges that we keep getting exposed hence the need to ensure that we arm ourselves with the knowledge to address them. Through online research, this young man was able to address his challenge of joblessness and lack of adequate academic papers for the average office job.

  • Beliefs. We all have beliefs whether religious or non religious. The beauty of some of these beliefs is that they arm us with foundational mindsets needed to survive in life. Do not separate your beliefs from your endeavour to pursue success in life. To quote Higenyi, “Being a Muslim helped me so much because we are told to act upon what you have heard or read.” I have occasionally had to battle with my set of beliefs when presented with seemingly lucrative opportunities.

  • Identify what you can/want to do. Everyone has that thing that they can do well or at least better than others. It is always crucial to go through a self discovery assessment to match your abilities with the identified opportunities. This young man upon reading the article online decided to establish which of the listed opportunities he could pursue. You too need to be honest with yourself.

  • Procrastination. We all suffer from this at one time or another. What we do not know though is that procrastination is the little devil that always tries to ensure we cannot accomplish what is likely the most obvious opportunity for us to pursue. I once heard of this guy who had a stellar idea to organise some Social Media awards. He discussed the idea months without end with his buddies in bars and wherever they met. Unfortunately, due to procrastination, he always gave one reason or another for delayed execution. One day, he was shocked when he woke up only to find the media filled with a starkly similar awards event. Much as he cried out to whoever cared to listen about his idea being stolen, I didn’t sympathise with him.

  • Shame blocks progress. How many times have you feared to pursue an opportunity due to fear of what others will think? Shame is one thing that tends to enslave us hence keeping us from achieving our goals. A young man who was making a living as a taxi tout once had to scamper for safety after seeing his University girlfriend approach the taxi he was helping get passengers. Am told he never surfaced at his workplace again. I know of a gentleman who had been retired by his employer after a high flying professional career and when his wife proposed that they set up a wholesale goods shop, he frowned upon her idea claiming, “How will people see me?” Higenyi too had his moment of shamefully looking at the opportunities but gladly, he overcame it.

  • Take action. For any opportunity to materialise, you need to move from talk to action. It doesn’t matter what the challenges are ahead. The most crucial thing is to move from point A to B. There is never a perfect timing for any opportunity and preparation can never be full. Often times, you learn along the way. This young man decided to walk to a residential neighborhood in Naalya and begin soliciting for work. You too need to start walking NOW !!!!

  • Luck. This has occasionally been defined as “When Opportunity meets preparation.” Luck usually manifests itself for the prepared. Now that you have been able to overcome fear, identified your abilities and zeroed in on an opportunity, chances are high that once you start moving, lady luck will smile upon you. To his credit, Higenyi got lucky upon approaching the very first apartment he went to. Sometimes the luck may take a while to manifest but it always does.

  • You’re never fully ready to start a business. It is highly unlikely that you will be fully ready to start a business. There is always something that you feel you need to do before opening those doors for business. However, do not be tempted to cave in to such expectations. Just kickstart your venture. Am sure that day when Higebyi woke up with a resolve, he looked at what he had (a sponge and brush), and without hesitation begun looking for cars to wash even when he didn’t have the soap.

  • Good Work speaks for itself. When you get a chance to do a job for a customer, do it to your level best. The best business is one that is repeat or comes through a client recommendation. Having started off washing for one apartment, this young man now washes all the cars of the other apartments in the same complex on a daily.

  • Happy customers mean more business. This does not need explanation. It is as obvious as it gets. Higenyi made his first client happy and that was the secret towards getting other customers.

You might be in a similar situation like Higenyi and while the circumstances are kind of different, I do believe that we can learn a thing or two from this young man. His decision to take charge of his future is very encouraging and shows that today’s youth are not all out there waiting to be baby sat.

Follow @wirejames on Twitter

5 responses to “Starting a Business isn’t only about Money

  1. James, am really impressed with your site. I have learnt alot on how i can become a boss of my own even without having money in my pocket. Thanks alot for your blogs.


  2. Words of wisdom every Ugandan upcoming entrepreneur needs to ponder about.
    Well done


  3. Pingback: HOW TO – Start a Snacks Business | The Wire Perspective

  4. Pingback: HOW TO – Start a Supermarket | The Wire Perspective

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