If you are considering venturing into a side hustle or are desiring to give a high-school leaver or other jobless citizen some dignity of work especially in the African setting, here is an idea worth considering.
Business Idea: Wi-Fi Enabled Study & Business Centre
Proposed Location: Residential Estate with high population
- the very vibrant society of professionals who have opted to increase the number of balls they are juggling by going back to school
- the many individuals who are now internet-based workers such as freelancers, marketers etc
The other day I got late in the city centre of Nairobi and was very impressed to see quite a number of students in suits, carrying handbags and folders, all coming from the general direction of where several colleges are located, including the university of Nairobi. It was then that I began to appreciate one of the local Ohangla songs where the singer says people have turned night into day and day into night as we are doing things meant for the day, at night.
This investment idea being touted here on the basis of this back-to-school phenomenon. If you live around a populated or such other estates in other large towns think about the following:
- how many of your neighbors are in night school trying to juggle books, family and the office?
- how many of these would highly appreciate a quiet study place where they can revise for exams, do assignments and even hold group discussions without being disrupted by playing children, loud TV, loud music, or a house help singing while washing dishes and ironing clothes?
- how many of these would appreciate a facility being a stone throw away from their houses such that they can easily walk there early in the morning or late at night without fear of being mugged?
- how many of these would further appreciate the ability to surf the internet to get through their assignments with good references?
- how many of these would gladly pay for the service?
- do you have a location in mind where you can easily set up a wi-fi enabled 24 hour study/ freelance centre?
If you have been getting positive answers to the questions above, then you may need to start putting together a business plan and may be establish this in one residential estates and lay a foundation for a chain of them.
Some aspects to consider would be:
1. License of operation
3. Ownership of premises
4. Size of premises
6. Internet Access
7. Equipment – computers and printers, scanners
8. Staff to man the centre
9. Electricity Charges
10. Water & Sanitation
Starting A Business That Will Succeed
1) Invest in and do what you love. A new business will demand a lot from you in every way – money, time and energy and so it’s really advisable to engage in that which you truly deeply enjoy doing
2) Start your business while you’re still employed (if you are). If you were to quit your job today, how long can you do without a guaranteed cash flow? Definitely not long; and it may be a long time before your new business actually makes a profit. If you a start your business while you are still employed, that means money in your pocket while you’re going through the business start up process.
3) Don’t do it alone. No man is an island, you NEED a support system while you’re starting a business (and afterwards). This can be comprised of a family member or friend that you can talk to and let them know what you are thinking, your ideas and they will provide a reliable support during the hard times. If possible and even better, find a mentor -experienced guidance is the best support system of all.
4) Write a business plan. A business plan is an objective look and future layout of your business. A good one will enable you see the business truly and it can help you avoid sinking your time and money into starting a business that will NOT succeed.
5) Get professional help. Do not lie to yourself that you know everything there is about the business you are doing. Seek professional help when you and your business need it e.g. A lawyer to draw up an agreement, an accountant to do your books, a furniture maker to make good furniture e.t.c. You will waste more time and possibly money in the long run trying to do things yourself that you’re not qualified to do.
6) Get the money lined up. Your savings are the best capital source you can ever have. Save up from your current source of income. Approach potential investors and lenders and at the same time figure out your financial fall-back plan. Traditional lenders don’t like new ideas and don’t like businesses without proven track records so don’t expect to start a business and then walk into a bank and get money.
7) Be professional from the start. Everything about you and the way you do business needs to let people know that you are a professional running a serious business. That means having professional business cards, a business phone and a business email address, professional online presence and treating people in a professional, courteous manner.
8) Get the legal and tax issues right the first time. It’s much more difficult and expensive to clean up a mess afterwards. Figure out which requirements you need to be compliant with to avoid being shut down, trouble with the government revenue authorities e.t.c. Remember – Give to Caesar what belongs to Caesar. Learn what your legal and tax responsibilities are before you start your business and operate accordingly
The publisher is not engaged in the business of rendering financial, legal or other professional advice. If such advice and or information is required in relation to the investment idea highlighted herein, the services of professionals should be sought. No responsibility for loss occasioned by any person acting or refraining from acting as a result of material in this publication can be accepted.