Entrepreneur Diaries: resilience and consistency key to business success

By Soko Directory Team / October 19, 2017


I had it. I couldn’t remain in employment anymore – everything was mediocre and I was tired of living like everyone else, I decided to pursue my dream.

So I quit in a huff.

I handed in my resignation, cashed in my pension and opened up a restaurant. It wasn’t fancy it wasn’t big but it was mine and that’s all that mattered.

I was going to pursue my dream at all costs and this was going to be my big break. My restaurant would be a smashing success and I would be on prime time television telling the world how all you need to do is have faith to succeed!

The world was going to be my oyster!

Fast forward three years down the line and I haven’t yet made it to prime time – no one has ever come to my restaurant to ask me for an interview, including my own niece who got an internship at a renowned media firm. I get it, she needs to impress her boss and my restaurant is by no means impressive.

I’m a great chef – but like other creatives, I have good days and bad days. I’m always looking over my shoulder to make sure my staff members don’t steal from me and clients don’t take off without paying the bill. It’s exhausting. I love what I do that hasn’t changed and it probably never will.

But here’s a list of 5 things I would have done differently if I had the chance to start again:

 

  • Dream big, start small: I should have started food delivery from my home first and built up my clientele. The first few months were slow, even after marketing the restaurant – so my expenditure was high. I should have focused on quality and repeat sales, I would have made a profit faster if I did this.
  • Targeted customers: I sent flyers to just about everyone I knew friends, family, watchmen you name it. I should have identified who my most likely customers would be and where they would come from and focus on that target.
  • Stand out from the crowd: The truth is restaurants are a dime a dozen and you can find ugali – kuku almost anywhere, I wish I had differentiated myself from my competitors to give potential clients incentive to come to my restaurant.
  • Be consistent: I changed my menu as frequent as I did my hair. Bad idea. My clients got confused, I should have tried out a few dishes first and learnt what my clients liked and stuck to that.

 

  1. Partner if you can: I should have had a partner to manage staff and money – my administrative skills are terrible, I think I would have been further along in my business if I focused on my key strength and that’s making a killer meal.

I’m still not where I want to be – but the good news is that I’m getting there. One of the most valuable resources you will ever have as a business owner is a positive mind.

Successful entrepreneurs may even differ on what each thinks it takes to make it – but they will all agree that positivity, resilience, and consistency are key ingredients that one needs to cross the finish line.


Revuka Capital acts as a bridge between investors and investment opportunities in the East African region. Revuka specializes in market research, investment tours as well as advisory services pertaining to investing in the region.



About Soko Directory Team

Soko Directory is a Financial and Markets digital portal that tracks brands, listed firms on the NSE, SMEs and trend setters in the markets eco-system. Find us on Facebook: facebook.com/SokoDirectory and on Twitter: twitter.com/SokoDirectory

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