Tell a salaried guy to follow his passion – he will confidently answer you that his only passion is drinking and partying hard all weekend long at one of those shady clubs along Thika Road.
Tell them to research about the latest business trends – they will tell you they have no time because they are busy most of the day working for their bosses.
End result: they live a superfluous life, devoid of self-awareness and facts. And because they spend most of their time typing “Amen” on Facebook, the only way they know to invest is through half-baked methods.
Others start hardwares because word on the street has it that there is a “construction boom” in the country only to be shocked about the reality on the ground.
Some buy thousands of broiler chicken and keep them without learning the best practices of such business only to lose the entire brood due to an unfamiliar disease.
You see, there is this great misconception by people who are just planning to be business owners or who are new in the business world.
They tend to see business as if some businesses are gold while others are stones. They tend to think, “If only I can get the gold, I will be rich in a short time”, that is, if I can discover that lucrative business idea, I will make it fast.
This is ignorance!
No business is gold and no business is stone, at least to a good extent.
Selling cars in Kenya, we could assume is a very lucrative business, right? Yet, many people who are in water bottling business in Kenya are richer than car sellers.
If my above analogy didn’t seem to make much sense, think about this one;
I was with a business partner of mine who is into poultry business and as we were talking he told me about some of his middlemen (or you call them middlewomen because they are women) who usually buy like 50 trays of eggs from him and other poultry farmers every day.
According to him, these women make as much as Ksh.5,000 every day just by being eggs distributors. Ksh.5,000 in 25 working days (not to talk about some of them who work every day) means Ksh.125,000.
My friend confessed to me, “Even we who are working tirelessly on the poultry farm are not making as much as they are making”.
Get me right!
This is not to say that poultry business is not profitable. This is to show you that business profitability is not really what people think it is.
It pains my heart sometimes when I look at some great business ignorance in our day, but I know the cause.
The reason why so many people assume that there are certain magical business ideas that are so much profitable and could make them millions in a short time is because so many people never for once consider or prepare to be an entrepreneur.
Entrepreneurship, for most people, is just a burden being placed on them by the lack of jobs.
No business is naturally profitable. It’s smart business owners that make their businesses profitable.
Take some time to look at any industry and you will see rich businesses and very poor businesses, in the same industry.
Start from the richest industries in Kenya. Think about banking industries.
There are very rich banks in Kenya and there are struggling banks too (don’t let me mention names), in the same industry, doing the same business.
You think about petroleum industry in Kenya.
Is every company and business there rich and successful? No.
There are very rich players and there are very poor, bankrupt businesses, in the Kenyan petroleum industry.
Which other industry can I use as an example in Kenya?
Remind me please. Okay, telecommunication industry. By far, the telecom industry is one of the richest industries in the world. But is this a very profitable industry?
Is telecom business lucrative?
Yes and no.
It could be profitable for smart business owners and it can never be for the weak or ignorant entrepreneurs.
Think of failed telecom businesses who had millions, invested it and lost it in the Kenyan telecommunication business.
If you think about the great success of Google and the fact that Google has virtually become the king of the internet with their more than 100 products (Gmail, Youtube, and many complex ones you may not understand), you will be tempted to think that search engine is a very lucrative business.
But that will be a very wrong conclusion because there are hundreds of people who ventured into search engine business and failed.
In fact, I have a friend who started a search engine business and probably never made a shilling from his venture. Why?
Because business is NOT naturally profitable. Businesses only become profitable when the owner (you) are smart and got “business education” required to run a successful business.
Yes, stop looking for a profitable business in Kenya! Start learning how to make a business profitable.
Business is a very complex profession and that is the reason why so many people prefer to work for someone else than to run their own business. But now that every sane person already knows that job security is a myth, everyone wants to start a business.
I salute your courage. But I challenge you to really take the bull by the horn. Be willing to do all it takes to really succeed in the business world.
By taking some time out to study some good business books about how to start, run and make money from a business.
These books will teach you business strategies, tactics and techniques to win competitors, sell many products and win the market.
You can argue with me if you have talent for argument but I will tell you the truth… business is NOT what most people think it is.
It’s deeper, tougher and contains so many things than most people ever know.
If business is easy, why do people love jobs? The truth is, people love jobs mainly because it’s very difficult to make a business profitable.
When it comes to business, the money is in the knowledge.