One of the reasons why there is a perception that a proper entrepreneurial culture lacks in Kenya is the inability to identify business opportunities.
In some quarters, this has been attributed to our faulty education system. But that is not something we want to get into at the moment. It will have its day. Now, this inability to properly identify business opportunities contributes to, the two phenomenons of, high mortality rate of new businesses and slow growth of the survivors (if there’s any growth at all).
A popular means Kenyans use to recognize opportunities is going by their family’s, friends or relatives suggestion. Or buying into stories of people who claim to make millions in a bad month. Yeah, right. Even if these stories were true, it is almost always revenues they are talking about and not take-home profits. Please start following our accounting basics articles and never be lied to again, fam.
This article will show you the only 3 types of business opportunities that exist and how to know, among your business ideas, which is which:
1. Under-served market segments
These are the most popular type of businesses opened not only in Kenya but everywhere in the World. In this case, you simply bring products or services to where they did not exist before. The best examples in Kenya are retail outlets. Never mind the problems that currently plague the sector. An even better example is Keroche Breweries who availed a product to a previously ignored market segment.
I want this kind of business – you must be able to recognize bottlenecks around you. For instance, with retail, you always here people complain about long lines at the supermarket. Yes, that can be due to slow service but also it reveals that there are few choke points for all that spending. Have you noticed, on weekdays, people always shop close to home?
2. Improved products and services
Let me start by saying that, no, middlemen do not do any of what is on the title.You have to actually make things better for everyone and not just yourself. An easy example is the unga business. We once had to go to posho mills but now all you got to do is pick a packet or two of unga in the idyllic supermarket setting, to enjoy another night of ugali.
I want this kind of business – problem is haters will tell you that “you should not think about improvements YOU want. Instead think of improvements the market wants.” If people telling you how to live your life is how you want it then you must conduct a market research on what it is you want to do business. Find out, what are Kenyans complaining about?
3. New products and services
These are the greatest people on earth. Think about this, just 10 years ago you did not give a hoot about Facebook likes, Twitter retweets, turning Whatsapp into Facebook with status updates or taking pro photos for instagram (we had actually killed that business, lol). Look at you now. That is the gist of coming up with entirely new things.
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I want this kind of business – consider whether you have unhinged creativity. How you dress can tell us how creative you actually are (e.g, can you look fabulous on a budget?). If you pass that hurdle you should either possess or have access to a talent pool of technical skills. This kind of business has the biggest risk but holds the biggest rewards.
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