Starting Without Capital

From the wake of the covid-19 pandemic there has been continuous disruptions in the economy. Consequentially, many have lost their jobs and others have been forced to adopt new business models. Those whose jobs are lost must find a way out of the broke puzzle while those whose businesses have reduced income must seek to survive in hope of normalcy after this pandemic. Imagine you have been employed for more than half a decade or even two, Imagine the salary you have been earning, the knowledge you have gained from industry, the skills you have sharpened, the networks you have built and the potential you hold to do something similar to what you have been doing but now as a boss of your own. The most likely reason why you are not starting is lack of seed capital. Yes, you need money to start your own business however small it maybe. You need money to purchase internet data bundles and open a social media account to market yourself. You need money to be licensed and to open a Lipa Na M-PESA account. There are many more reasons why you need seed capital from one growth level to the next, but it is possible to start anyway. Inasmuch as money is essential, there are factors that make you more ready to open your business than money. The skills, knowledge, experience, networks of goodwill and reputation portrayed by your personal brand are super-essentials. All these, you must have accumulated as an employee if you worked well. What therefore are your next steps? If you have been an hotelier you must have learnt hospitable etiquette and by this time you understand the value chain. You know when and where purchases are made, how stock is managed in the store, how the kitchen takes orders, how quality of food is controlled, the licenses required, convenient modes of receiving payments, digital marketing and customer service. It is also likely that you have half knowledge of how some departments were run and you may need to refer with your colleagues for assistance. This means you have all it takes to start a similar enterprise except money.

It is less risky to start small but very important that you try an industry that you understand so well. Starting small makes it possible for you to bank on your limited credit worthiness to buy hotel furniture. It allows you freedom to carry some of your unused equipment at home to the premises. Such equipment could be the extra gas cylinder that your daughter returned home when she graduated or basically the largest sufuria that is often not used in your house. The point is, starting small is doable to the very extent of asking your children to manage your hotel’s social media accounts if not deejaying. I have used the hotel example to bring the point home. The modalities could be different to an accountant who has to start an accounting firm or to a laid-off flight attendant who wants to venture into travel agency but the principle is the same. It is easier to convince a credit institution to lend to you when you are operating well than when you are not operating. Your character will speak for you before financiers but people invest where returns on investment are predictable.

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