Success comes in a way that nobody understands. I am one of few Kenyans who are fortunate to have touched Ksh 15 million, thanks to my mitumba business in Gikomba.
I graduated with a diploma in business administration from Nairobi Institute of Business Studies. I remember it was in 2007 when I got my first job at one of the law firms in Nairobi, and my salary was Ksh 12,000.
I worked at the law firm for 6 month, waking up at 5 am and arriving at the office at 8.It became a routine and very monotonous because I was subjected to sitting in a chair for 8 good hours, making no extra cash other than my meager salary.
My mitumba business was born when a friend of mine enquired whether I wanted to buy one of her clothes from her stalls in Gikomba.I actually visited the area to pick for myself the best dress.
I used to know my friend was working in town but didn’t exactly know she was a mitumba trader.Now, after arriving at her stall, I found over 10 women selecting clothes, just like me. Minute after minute, my friend was collecting money from a customer, and within 2 hours,I counted Ksh 4,000.That was the time reality hit me like a truck, that I am wasting time in the office.
I didn’t tell my friend what I was thinking about; instead I picked my favourite dress, gave her Ksh 250 and disappeared.
Two weeks later, I again visited her to enquire about the business. Though she was a bit hesitant to open up about the profit, she told me the business had managed to buy her a plot and built her mother a house-that’s in a span of one year.
I pleaded with her to guide me on the process of starting.Actually,one thing I learnt from the conversation is that business people are selfish with information,unless they are sure you make use of it.One question she asked “are you sure you want to quit employment”.I swore by the name if God I was ready.
Then she told me small mitumba business in Gikomba require Ksh 15,000-Ksh 35,000 while a stall can consume Ksh150, 000.
At that time I was having Ksh 70,000 in my pocket. I decided to look for a stall at the market with the help of my friend. But it took me three weeks to get one.
What I noticed was that she didn’t want me to have it near her stall. She even told me.
The following week I had a stall fully stocked,with the help of Irene (my friend).
Unlike many businesses, here in Gikomba,customers are plenty and as long as you have a good stock, profits are guaranteed. The first sale I made earned me Ksh50 as profit.The first day saw me selling 5 clothes, something that made me lose sleep due to excitement. Those five clothes generated Ksh 350.
The second day I sold again 5 clothes and went for a stock alone so that I could get acquainted to the supplier.
Within a week,I was used to the business. But what I realized was that in business every coin counted. I learnt that lesson when I took lunch of Ksh 500 one day and made a loss of Ksh 200.
Within one month I had Ksh 18,000 as profit. I used the money to increase my stock.
Second month after increasing the stock and getting some regular customers, I made Ksh 33,000.This was the time I realized that in business it doesn’t matter how big or small it is as long as you dedicate all your time to it.
After 3 months, my former employer thought it was wise to call me to resume duty after I left without resignation letter. But I told him off with a big NO. At this time I had grown enough horns to refuse any job offer.
One year elapsed and it was time to take stock. And from the sales I made that year, I counted Ksh 300,000 in my account and a stock of Ksh 200,000.
It is now 7 years since I started the business, and I can confidently say my account has over Ksh 15 million and still counting. I have a stock of over Ksh1.3 million and I have managed to buy land in Nakuru.
What I have learned from the business is that the business has good and bad times.during end month,I sell most of my stock but during the second week of every month,the flow of customers is low.
I have also learnt that in business if you don’t closely monitor every sale,your business will collapse.You either employ a very trustworthy person or you run it yourself.
Finally,education is useless if you can’t use it to create wealth. I learnt that all along I used to cheat myself with small salaries while opportunities were plenty. Many degree holders have huge potential,but since they believe money is in offices,they end up leaving opportunities pass them.
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