Mercy Mwangi, is a bubbly and charming entrepreneur, who runs a nail spa, Mercy’s Spa, in Lower Kabete, next to KwaMbao matatu stage, Kiambu County. She is among the few SMEs who are holding on despite the biting economy that is making most businesses sink.
When I first moved to Lower Kabete, I was looking for a nail salon to have my nails fixed and that is how I first met Mercy. I had on several occasions passed by her salon on my way to and from home and noticed how tons of women crowded in the small container-like shop to have their nails done.
Mercy is so friendly that we immediately sparked a close friendship immediately after my first visit to her salon. 30-year-old Mercy tells me that she has a degree in Bachelor in Commerce (BCOM) from the University of Nairobi.
“Even though I have a degree in BCOM from Nairobi University, I never pictured myself as a business person but my passion for beauty made me quit my job at the time and face my fears,” she tells me.
Mercy says she worked in the banking sector for almost five years before quitting and starting her entrepreneurial journey. She chose to take the road less taken.
The first thing you will notice when you enter her spa is the signage that says, “Lipa Na M-Pesa accepted here”
When she first started, Mercy says that her clients would pay for her services strictly by cash, which was a bit cumbersome in that she had to look for change, have trouble accounting for the income among other challenges.
Mercy says she decided to register for a Lipa Na M-Pesa till number when a sales lady approached her one day in her spa.
“I was a bit reluctant but after she explained to me the benefits of having a till number for my business, I decided to give it try,” she says.
For Mercy, Lipa Na M-Pesa has had the following benefits to her nail spa:
Reduced risk of theft
Mercy says that her spa is busiest from 5 pm onwards, especially since most of her customers are working throughout the day and get off work from 4 pm. Her spa, therefore, operates until late in the evening to around 9 pm.
With most of her customers paying through the till number, she admits that she feels so much safer now working late into the night and not having to carry large amounts of money with her after closing spa.
“Your money is more secure on the phone as compared to having it in cash. Lipa Na M-Pesa ensures that my cash is safe and I don’t have to worry about losing it,” she added.
Cases of people breaking into shops and making away with cash have been on the rise, especially in Nairobi and Mercy thinks, having a Lipa Na M-Pesa is like having your cash remitted to your bank directly where nobody can steal unless you give them access.
Reduced risk of fraud
Almost every business that deals with cash transactions has dealt with cases where a customer has paid using fake currencies, and this is no different for Mercy’s spa. She admits that cases of customers paying using fake currency to pay for services have gone down dramatically ever since she introduced the use of Lipa Na MPesa in her spa.
The Lipa Na M-Pesa eliminates the probability of a business getting fake currency by 100 percent. This is because there is no hard currency involved but just transaction via the mobile money platform; M-Pesa. This also increases profits as it eliminates losses that might arise when one accidentally admits fake currency paid in cash.
Enhanced business efficiency
“Before Lipa Na MPesa, I used to waste a lot of time looking for loose change to give customers after paying for the services. With Lipa Na MPesa, Mercy says that she has greatly reduced the time she used to waste looking for a change. This is because the customer is able to pay the exact amount for the service rendered.
“If I don’t have change for a certain amount, I ask my customers to consider paying using the till number, of which most oblige to,” she adds.
Before having a till number for her spa, Mercy says she used to waste a lot of time counting cash, keeping track and balancing her books.
With her till number, she is able to see her day’s or week’s income streams.
“Lipa Na MPesa is a key component in my business and I can’t thank Safaricom enough for transforming my entrepreneurial journey. Thank you, Safaricom,” Mercy concludes.
Do you have a story on how Lipa Na M-Pesa has transformed your business? Share with and we shall run your story.