The day begun just like any other. Namusabi (name not real), headed straight to the chicken coop as is her routine each morning. As she went through her motions, she eagerly anticipated the upcoming delivery of birds to one of her large customers. With the anticipated income, she had plans to pay up the school fees dues for her three children.
As the day progressed, a call came through from a friend who proceeded to ask her if she had read the news about Bird Flu. Namusabi had no clue and asked for details, only to be told that the deadly disease had been detected in Uganda. The news hit her like a lightning bolt.
Within days, orders were cancelled and it dawned upon her that she was headed for a financial crash. Rearing chicken has been her sole job and indeed all she can boast of in life has come from that business. Today, she is faced with the prospect of losing what she has worked for all this time. Basic survival is being threatened and she seems to have no where to turn.
This lady’s experience is reflective of many. We usually have single income streams and for as long as they run smoothly, we bask in comfort. Often times this works out well until disaster strikes. In today’s business environment, survival can be so fickle that loss of customers can be stimulated by seemingly minute incidents. The spread of social media has only made matters worse in this regard.
Something else we have to deal with is the seasonality of business. Most opportunities have seasons when they flourish and this essentially means that off season periods bring forth lower income. This is covered well in this article I wrote a while back. Most people that make it through life have always ensured that they set up multiple streams of income from diverse sources.
Are you running a business? Do you have a job? Is that your only income source? Have you ever asked yourself what could happen if that opportunity fizzled away? Does the thought of such an occurrence send chills down your spine?
You’re not alone. Do not sit back and merely hope or pray that it doesn’t happen. You have to do something about it.
It’s usually advisable to consider pursuing a secondary or tertiary business opportunity once you have secured your primary business (income stream). By having a secure primary income stream, you guarantee that you have relatively enough to cater for your current daily needs. This gives you the impetus to take on new frontiers with ease.
Going back to Namusabi’s case, once she weathers this bird flu scare, she should consider investing in additional business opportunities like; a Mobile Money stand, a retail shop, raising pigs, vegetable growing among others. She could take advantage of opportunities that are comlementary to her primary chicken business. Vegetable growing for example can benefit a lot from chicken manure, a waste product of her primary business. With a steady supply of vegetables from her garden she can set up a vegetable stand in the market to sell her homegrown vegetables. More ideas on small scale easy to setup business opportunities can be found here.
In case you aren’t interested in the active income opportunities, consider investing in passive ones. The Stock Exchange is a good example. Buying shares of listed companies can go a long way in helping you achieve your goal. Another passive opportunity is dealing in the relatively safer government securities.
Essentially, do not put all your eggs in one basked if your aspiration is financial security. Spread out your risk and without doubt, the net effect will be improved financial stability.
What is your view?
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