What entrepreneurs are looking forward to in 2022
After a year of ups and downs, business people say they are hopeful for a better 2022 as they strategise on discipline, expansion and entrepreneurial skils.
For many entrepreneurs, the past year-and-a-half has brought mixed fortunes, thanks to the pandemic.
Yet even with new variants and the drive to have more Kenyans vaccinated, they are looking forward to a great and exciting 2022 with hopes that it is going to be a successful year
For Ruth Mwihaki, a businesswoman and a mother of two, her passion in making beautiful homes landed her into her business.
“I sell carpets, curtains and furniture. I am currently nurturing a new baby—selling second hand clothes (bales) in Gikomba market,” says Ruth.
She says 2021 was great, though it had its share of low and high moments.
“But I can’t complain. Lockdown and movement restrictions affected a lot of people.
It’s the year I have seen businesses go down and closing doors, which is the saddest part for any business person out there.
It means people losing jobs since we feed a lot of people indirectly. If I close down today, my delivery guy and fundis lose their job,” she explains.
Just like on the personal front, Ruth says business people also start the year with a list of what we want to achieve.
“For 2021, I have achieved what I wanted and that is something to be grateful for. It wasn’t easy and it took a lot of hard work, time, sacrifice and patience. I thank God for everything.
With only a few days into 2022 my goals are set. I am looking forward to expanding my small business, create more employment opportunities and grow from one level to another.
This means making more money. As entrepreneurs, we have the power within us,” she says.
Victor Khamadi Murila, a private chef dealing in a wide range of cuisines, but with a great bias to African, French and English as well as dealing in a variety of kitchen and household appliances, says the past year has been challenging, but offered him new lessons.
“In as much as business was low, I got to learn new business approaches, especially in terms of marketing and customer reach,” says Murila, who is also a philanthropist running a newly registered non-governmental organisation, Embrace New Beginnings Organisation that provides a platform for the vulnerable members of the community exposed to mental health challenges and poverty.
“I also learnt about business expansion in regards to coming up with new recipes, cooking items and appliances limited to healthy living and understanding customers better.
In my philanthropy work, it was a little bit tough to handle situations as a lot of people sunk into depression, stress, anxiety and other mental health challenges,” he explains.
He adds that balancing delicate business times and helping people overcome mental health issues strengthened him both emotionally and psychologically.
“I am looking forward to a great year in 2022. I know it won’t be any easy, but that’s the beauty about it all.
I am laying down a number of strategies that will go a long way in sharpening my entrepreneurial skills and understanding people’s welfare better, thus growing in the NGO world and place myself at a better position in the business world,” he says.
Actions and context
Morine Aringo, founder of Hando Afrikan Designs, a fashion house making African clothes, says the pandemic set her back on a few targets.
“I had set some targets to recover the much we had not done last year when the pandemic hit the country, but unfortunately, I wasn’t able to finish everything that I wanted to do,” says Aringo.
“My hope and prayer is that the New Year will be better for entrepreneurs. I hope to make more money, expand and grow my business to much greater levels,” she says.
Sheila Mmboga, a financial literacy expert has some words of advice for entrepreneurs.
“Setting financial goals for your business is like a company’s road map, always providing a frame of reference for where the business is and appears to be going.
It enables business owners to put each day’s actions into context and make decisions in accordance with a broad vision,” says Mmboga.
“In this regard, you need to set smart goals. Your goals should be specific, measurable, attainable, realistic and timely.
A smart goal in practice might be something like “double our sales by the start of the third quarter using weekly split-testing of ad copy and improvement of our follow-up sequence”, also review your numbers.
Smart goal setting demands that your actual numbers be used as the starting point. You must accept the current reality of your small business as portrayed by your cash flow, the income statement and balance sheet.
If you are new to the business world (or have been neglecting company finances up until now), these documents may be unfamiliar.
Nevertheless, they are critically important and foundational to small business goal setting,” she explains.
Time to reflect
Mmboga says it is also important to compare yourself financially to competitors.
“While it may be impossible to know exactly how competitors are doing financially, it is generally common knowledge what the profit margins, labour and production costs in most businesses are.
Do not look at your company as though it exists in a vacuum. It can be disheartening to learn that competitors are currently more profitable, but it is also an opportunity to reflect on why and how they got to that point-and how you can, too,” she says.
It is also important for entrepreneurs to create specific detailed action plans for how all goals will be reached and document all progress made in implementing it.
“Task spreadsheets often work well in this regard. Simply create a shared spreadsheet in Google docs or a similar service with the following headers: task, date posted, responsibility, date due and comments.
Insist that anyone with a role to play in carrying out company financial plans use this spreadsheet to record what they are doing.
This way, everyone can get a read on progress by looking in one set place,” explains Mmboga.