All businesses (failed or successful) stem from a simple idea. The idea might range from outrageous to simple solutions and there is no guarantee your idea will be the next big thing the market had been waiting for. For one to benefit from a business idea you have to take action and bring it to the market despite all the possibilities that it might fail. For you to take on a business idea the element of risk has to be involved, you have to consider how much you can cushion if it goes bad , a cost benefit analysis of the whole project. Take for example at the start of mobile money transfers, Safaricom was looking for principal agents to recruit for the new Mpesa service but many people were skeptical about the whole idea. The few people who invested in the business at the time are now reeking hundreds of thousands of commissions from their sublet agent lines all across Kenya .At that time, Safaricom was also risking on ideas that had cost millions to develop which might have as well gone down the drain. On the other hand bad business ideas can be because of wrong timing, poor research and a variety of factors usually beyond one‘s control. There is no clear cut way of ensuring that your idea will be viable in the market. I have listed some viable business ideas that are viable in Kenya:
Farming-moving away from the traditional modes of farming mainly subsistence farming is essential. The need for sustainable agribusiness has never been more emphasized. New technologies, partnerships-private public sector partnerships are enabling agriculture in Kenya in ways never seen before using innovative solutions e.g. iCow for dairy farmers etc and one needs to take full advantage of this. Second, dealing in agricultural products that are on high demand but supply is low e.g some crops or plants that come from specific regions in Kenya e.g. water melons, rabbit meat, game meat (ostrich and the rest), sea food (white meat) .Many organizations have also launched value addition services for most farmers to ensure the your produce does not go to waste or underpriced due to lack of demand.
Using Leased land for Farming-getting land for farming is no doubt a very expensive affair if you are not financially well strapped. Land being a key component in your farming business there is an alternative solution that any way has been around for years but is gaining more traction recently. You can be leased massive parcels of land at discounted rates greatly reducing your cost of farming unlike purchasing pieces of land for the same.
Electronic Waste Disposal-we are having an upsurge in waste electronic components in our homes and offices e.g. chargers, broken down devices. Most of these devices might not be completely useless because they have multiple elements in them that might still be useful for other applications.
ICT Based Commerce– another undisputable frontier in Kenyan business. Most businesses are getting very involved in ICT and ecommerce technologies and it’s giving businesses new ways of reaching and expanding their markets at very low costs compared to traditional means. Use of websites and social networks is highly encouraged especially for starters who are limited in start up capital. Services like Kenyan Businesses Online enable you to set up websites absolutely free that can even send you free text messages when someone orders on your website. Google Social network e.g. Google Business Plus enables you to set up business pages similar to Facebook. Twitter and Pinterest are also other social networks that one can use to reach clients. One can also look for likeminded business professionals via LinkedIn website.
Boda Boda Business-the use of boda has become a common way of transport in most towns in Kenya. Many young people are turning to it for a source of income. What about tailor made solutions for this growing niche the same way in happened in the matatu industry? If you look around; suppliers of motorcycle accessories and spare parts are still very few. Fancy fittings e.g. umbrellas, radio systems, lighting etc are quite popular with the largely young motorcycle riders.
Mobile Money Transfer services-Truth is mobile money transfer is here to stay and it’s not slowing down any time soon. More and more services are being integrated with mobile payment solutions, so there is going to be a gradual increase in its use for financial transactions and business. You can as well as invest in any level of the mobile money transfer chain.
Target the Middle Class-this group of consumers is on a steady rise in Kenya. They usually have a higher disposable income and good spenders .What they consume tend to be closely similar to upper class only advantage with targeting them is that they are quite a number unlike the upper-class.
Ideas are just not only about something entirely new, you can also innovate and improve on existing businesses for them to be more effective and profitable. Keeping your eyes and ears on the ground is very crucial; some opportunities are once in a lifetime. Avoid copycatting ideas for business, it only brings unhealthy competition unless it’s a new idea with very few players and the market is immense. Be on the lookout for lifestyle changes or mainstream social economics, with these changes tends to come with them new business opportunities e.g. for example with concerns on health most Kenyan urban based citizens have moved to herbal based products. In conclusion , most Kenyan economy sectors are showing continual growth and are likely not to slow down soon and it’s up to one to be on the lookout for new business ideas and opportunities.
Do you have a business idea but finding it hard to get it off the ground, lack of partners, lack of finances, or other hindrances. Send us an email and we will be glad to connect you .This is an open forum you can post an idea with your contact details using the form below and potentials partners or investors can reach you. Any queries can be sent to our email email@example.com
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