Karibu!

How Not To Run A Business (Location Specific)

I was reading an interesting article about “How Not To Run a Business” and it had some interesting suggestions on the list like:

  • DON’T PISS YOUR LIFE SAVINGS INTO OPENING A BUSINESS IF YOU’RE IN ANY DOUBT ABOUT ITS SUCCESS.
  • DON’T ASSUME YOU CAN RUN A BUSINESS JUST BECAUSE YOU’VE WORKED IN ONE.
  • DON’T IGNORE THE BASICS, ITS ALL ABOUT LOCATION, AND FOR WEB BASED BUSINESSES… NAVIGATION!!

And it’s a list of ten suggestions, which you can read above at the linked article.

However, I wanted to make this discussion more personal and more location specific by asking readers what advice (based on their own personal experiences of running a business would they give) — And also make your suggestions location specific.  For example, if you are based in Kenya, tell people what you would or would not do.  If your in Europe, you may have different suggestions (or wherever you’ve done business in the world – for example, I know a lot of Kenyans go to places like China, Dubai and even Southern Sudan) and I’d like to hear what the real world has taught you about trying to run businesses.

So, have at it.

22 comments for “How Not To Run A Business (Location Specific)

  1. Stan Winston
    July 12, 2012 at 11:56 pm

    If you want to run a business on the Internet, first consider a product or service that people on the Internet will need. Since the Internet itself is your location, then consider that ANYONE, ANYWHERE can possibly use your product or service.

    Visit http://www.ciergis.net and learn how to create an Internet-based business that will generate an ongoing income for you no matter the state of the economy.

  2. Ray
    April 2, 2012 at 3:43 am

    Selling a plot in Thika near the by pass 50*100 at 600,000 only, dealing with the owner and title deed is available….if interested email raynutrix@gmail.com

  3. Kennedy
    June 11, 2011 at 8:37 am

    Would want to get updates on business issues from your website

  4. G Watson
    April 16, 2010 at 7:10 pm

    I return to this blog every so often because I grew up in Kenya, and Kenya is part of my heart and soul.

    My wife and I pay a lot of attention to the politics because it is directly related to whether it is economically viable to start a business in Kenya.

    We first started watching the economic and political climate in 1997 and have continued to watch for an opportunity.

    Despite the many problems observed by honorable posters above, things continue to improve over time and I am optimistic about the “long-term” opportunities. Change and growth is never painless.

    GW

  5. Zurasu
    April 6, 2010 at 1:51 pm

    Mdomo, Thanks for the insight, as for Chris Kirubi….i was kiddingm just a business chit chat.

  6. mdomo baggy
    April 5, 2010 at 5:52 pm

    Zurasu,

    First of all …. Why would you want to get someone out of business. That does not sound like a cool idea. When you get to Nairobi you’ll realize that Chris Kirubi is a small fish in the sea. But he owns a couple of things here and there.

    Building and construction is a good opportunity if you have the capital needed. I have a place which would be a good start for you.

    http://www.investmentkenya.com.....;Itemid=36

    Good luck.

  7. Zurasu
    March 31, 2010 at 4:44 pm

    I’m an entrepreneur in building and construction industry here is America. , I’m interested in venturing this business in Kenya…..Nairobi, Nakuru, Mombasa any input on how this industry is doing? I work on residential and industrial clienteles… …working on getting Chris Kirubi out of business? Suggestions anyone……Thanks

  8. kenyanentrepreneur
    March 28, 2010 at 11:50 am

    Zurasu:

    What kind of business are you thinking of opening? Let’s start there.

    However, as I’ve said before, in third world or developing countries, it would be foolhardy to think that you can separate business from politics.

  9. mdomo baggy
    March 28, 2010 at 8:34 am

    @ke,

    I don’t know if you are aware they changed the way they calculate the inflation. They reduced the weights of the baskets. So inflation reduced as a result to single digit.

    I don’t think we’ll be seeing the effect of the printing immediately. There is usually a window period before effects are felt and cost of living shows this change.

    @Zarusa,

    Kenyans talk about politics all the time. Get used to it. If you haven’t noticed yet. Many of us live abroad and we Invest from outside. We need all the information that is out there that may affect our business. So depending on how you look at it, it can be healthy to speak politics. I have nothing against Ndun’gu as a person but his misguided actions can cost me value to my money. So for that matter I think you are the one introducing politics here, with your non issues.

    If you need consultation for your business. Am sure they’re ways you can get to open a business. What type of business are you looking @Zurasu ?

  10. Zurasu
    March 27, 2010 at 12:54 pm

    I’m about to open a business in Kenya in the near future. I was looking forward to getting insight from blogger; like marketing, business relations, cash flow etc. I don’t know if the people who left comments here didn’t read the blog attentively. Its mind boggling that Kenyans can’t stay away from politics even on a simple blog question…….hope to read something educative, and not bickering all the time.

  11. kenyanentrepreneur
    March 27, 2010 at 12:04 pm

    Mdomo Baggy:

    I didn’t say foreign aid subsidies devalue the currency. My point was, if the tax revenues are not enough to fund all these government programs, don’t foreign aid subsidies help in terms of bridging any revenue shortfalls, thus mitigating the need to print?

    Moving on…

    If Ndungu is printing then inflation (which is essentially the devaluation of the currency) — inflation should be rising. Is it?

  12. mdomo baggy
    March 26, 2010 at 1:53 am

    Saying that Foreign aid subsidies devalue currency is almost like saying the NRKenyan remitances devalue the Kenyan currency. Which is absurd.
    continued…..

    The only body which has the ability to devalue currency in Kenya is the cbk. And the main sign that they have done it is by just taking a look at the fluctuating currency.

    Whenever the currency fluctuates and the wiggly lines accumulate in one place with no major financial tremor it only means something is popping.

    This is exactly How not to run a business.

  13. Mdomo Baggy
    March 25, 2010 at 10:44 pm

    ok,

    You know what since you don’t want to believe me. Ok let assume that Ndun’gu is not printing. The question still remains where is the cash coming from.

    Where is the cash coming from ?

    You answer: From Foreign Aid subsidies.

    My answer: Ndun’gu is printing money.

    My argument is very basic. The cbk acts autonomously in gauging how liquid the economy is.

    So they Ndun’gu has the powers to print money at will with acceptance of the BOD.

    My guess is the clandestine way the cbk is operating is very questionable. Look there is no way forein aid subsidies can devalue the Kenya currency.

    The only way a currency can be devalued in like in the past week is through printing money.

    recurrent expenditure means the money a government needs for the smooth running of its day to day activities aside from its development agenda.

  14. kenyanentrepreneur
    March 25, 2010 at 9:13 pm

    Mdomo Baggy:

    So, let me try and summarize what you are saying here:

    1)The tax revenues that the KRA is currently “collecting” are not enough to sustain all of the government’s social expenditures, especially given the fact that this coalition government is chewing up so much of the country’s tax base?

    So, define what social expenditures the government is spending money on that are causing Ndungu to print?

    2) My second question is that many governments in Africa either don’t do a good job of collecting taxes or misappropriate the few taxes that they collect. As a result of this, foreign aid subsidies have become the buffer for much of the social expenditures we see. So, why does Ndung’u have to print if foreign aid subsidies are still coming in?

    I await your answers.

  15. mdomo baggy
    March 24, 2010 at 11:41 pm

    @P,

    The government is devaluing the currency and yes ndun’gu is playing some fuzzy math.

    This is something very serious because it makes local businesses uncompetitive. The problem average Kenyans don’t have the tools to know when this happens and many have their head in the sand. They have eyes they don’t use them. They have brain they don’t make use of it. Why don’t you ask yourself why the currency lost 14 points to the dollar in the last two weeks ?

    Can you imagine some Mp posed the question to Hon.Oburu Odinga in parliament and all the Assistant minister of Finance could say is that America is recovering from the global slowdown. This may sound laughable but honestly he seems to have his head in the sand and cbk has managed to keep him off the loop of whats going on.

    Now of course if you don’t know anything about currency trading you will argue from an ignorant point of view. But consider this- I have been in and out of the currency speculation for 10yrs now. So I know the whole shebang and fuzzy math when they find themselves between a rock and a hard place.

  16. P
    March 24, 2010 at 10:27 pm

    I like where this is going…..as of course….”fuzzy math”

  17. Mdomo Baggy
    March 24, 2010 at 8:52 pm

    @KE,

    If you’re not aware the Chinese loans are only restricted to development projects which will one way or another be in their own interest.

    China cannot fund another country’s social expenditure. This appears to be the popular belief but its far from the truth. China and all the other nations interested in Kenya will only give small bits of cheese in gifts to the government to nimble and maintain a smiling relationship. The bilateral loans on the other other hand come with their own strings attached earmarked for development projects.

    But the question of printing money comes in when we are talk about the government recurrent social expenditure. To keep the government running smoothly all the social entitlements have to be paid and the money has to come from government revenues.

    The question is where is the money coming from ? Because we know the International sovereign bond has not be placed yet. We know that the the electoral commission has asked for 125 Billion which was not factored into the previous budget. We know revenue collections 2009/10 fiscal year fell below the expected amount to be collected. We also know the size of grand cabinet is biting the revenue.

    So am not the one pulling rabbits off the hat here buddy…. There got to be something popping !!

    Of course it goes without saying the FPE chews 40% of the budget just like that. Knowing this

  18. kenyanentrepreneur
    March 24, 2010 at 8:06 pm

    Mdomo Baggy:

    Isn’t the GOK being buffered by soft loans from China?

    I’m curious because where is the money to build all these roads coming from?

  19. mdomo baggy
    March 23, 2010 at 9:29 pm

    Yes,

    The GOK is printing money. This is no secret the are huge gaping holes in the budget plus the deficit and among other things the government is unable to sustain its development agenda with all the other mushrooming social expenditure.

    You heard me say it here first but just know am saying the truth. The top officials know that they government is bloated and the salaries are biting. If the don’t print money quickly the whole economy will come to a standstill.

    Why ?

    Because FPE has to go on, The referendum, Grand cabinet has to be paid, The TSC have issued a fresh notice to strike, Lecturers have issued a notice. The Kibaki regime has entered into numerous contracts with companies to provide services.

    Its ridiculous.

  20. kenyanentrepreneur
    March 23, 2010 at 1:48 pm

    Mdomo Baggy:

    You think the GOK is printing money?

    Currency valuations are directly tied to production because if you don’t produce anything, what will you export? You will be reduced to importing goods, which can become very expensive.

    Anyway, but I wanted to focus on this issue specifically because I know someone who took out a mortgage on their home to fund a business that is now failing. They should have bootstrapped it, but often times, bootstrapping means that you have to drop all airs about having a fancy office, driving a fancy car and you have to be willing to get down and dirty.

    These are the stories I want to hear. The lessons Kenyan entrepreneurs have learned from their experiences.

  21. mdomo baggy
    March 22, 2010 at 9:33 pm

    Mr. Production,

    The topic is too general. How about we talk about the demons that are causing our import income and export income to increase. And the increasing loss through fluctuating value of currency or devaluing.

    I know its better to be doing the exporting business at this period because goods within Kenya are cheaper compared to compared to outside.

    The currency value matters. I know of of many dudes that lose a grip of money through these currency deals of speculation.

    Things are tough especially with this unpredictable currency. Period.

    Is the government printing money to pay for debts or what ????

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