Starting a business is probably something that many of us – if not all have thought about at one point. However, very few manage to start and run a successful business. According to research conducted by the Kenya Bureau of Statistics, more than 2.2 million small businesses were closed in the last five years.
While some businesses fail due to unavoidable circumstances, others fail because of some of the avoidable mistakes listed in this article. Let’s take a look, shall we?
Reasons Why Startups Fail In Kenya
1. Going at it alone
You have heard of the old adage that ‘no man is an island.’ This applies very well to entrepreneurship. If you do a little research, you will find that most successful businesses that exist today were started by more than one person.
You probably have that million dollar idea already but this does not mean that you should handle things on your own. Get like-minded individuals to help you launch your business in the right way.
People like Danson Muchemi, CEO of JamboPay had to learn the hard way when he had to act as CEO, sales manager, secretary, accountant and engineer for his two IT firms. Venturing into a business alone is not all rosy and exciting as most of assume.
2. Poor choice of location and scope
The choice of location for your small businesses is a make or break kind of thing. When starting a new venture always think about the ideal location for your customers.
Never limit yourself to a certain region, like for instance say you are targeting people from Nairobi only. Instead, think about that other person who will see an opportunity to target customers nationwide.
3. Improper bookkeeping
The mistake most people make when venturing into a new business is overlooking the importance of bookkeeping. I know the business has just started, is picking up and the figures as you presume are manageable at this stage, no need for bookkeeping.
However, ask most people who have had failed startups and they will tell you that this is the biggest mistake you can ever make. Whether your small business is bringing in 200 in a day in profit, you still need to book keep.
4. Lack of / poor branding
When starting up a business most people focus on getting a profit and forget that they need to brand themselves if they are to get ahead.
If you have planned on starting your own business, it makes sense that you should also invest in marketing yourself to create a unique brand.
Remember that there are other people who have ventured into a similar business. How are you going to compete and ensure that your brand survives if you don’t do a little marketing?
5. Inability to pivot
Pivoting basically means the ability to re-invent yourself so that you can remain relevant in the market. The business world is dynamic and so you have to adapt to the changes as they come.
It’s not a guarantee that your business will stand the test of time, so ask yourself, “If this fails, what else can I do?”
You are not limited to remaining in that particular business just because it was your first venture. Erick Kinoti for instance, is one of the entrepreneurs I look up to who started with a cleaning business that has transpired into other major ventures because he did not limit himself.
Starting a business takes a lot of guts and gets exciting especially when money starts coming in. However, if you don’t make the right decision, your venture is likely to fail like the 2.2 million that have failed in the past five years. Avoid these mistakes and that’s the only time you can grow a lucrative business.