How to Start a Business with Less than Ksh.5,000

If you want to learn how to start a business, you need to have an entrepreneurial mind. If you can’t develop an entrepreneurial mind, then this article is not for you. It’s as straightforward as this.

No need going through this article if you will not implement everything as I point out. I took my time to research business ideas in Kenya that require little capital to start – to be specific, business ideas that require less than Ksh.5,000.

It’s unfortunate that while there are over 50,000 students graduating from university each year, the current unemployment rate in Kenya is still at 39.1 percent (2017). At this percentage, Kenya seems to have the highest unemployment rate in East Africa. This is a disaster! If you don’t want to be part of the statistics, I have prepared this article specially for you.

I’ll be honest with you mom, it’s tough starting a business. It’s tougher staying in the business and watching it grow. I’ve seen many people start out then going under. There are so many reasons why new businesses fail within the first five years of operation.

5 Profitable Business Ideas That Require Less than Ksh.5,000 to Start

I took some good hours within my schedule to research some of the best business ideas that require less than Ksh.5,000 to start. Let me assure you, mom, that these are by far the most profitable business opportunities if you want to become an independent mompreneur.

#1: Errand Girl

I don’t know about you but this business seems interesting and untapped. While there are many courier services, most of them rarely run small errands for busy people. This is where you come in as an errand girl.

You don’t have to start with a large enterprise using motorbikes or vehicles to run errands. You can start as an individual offering your services to friends and family for a small fee.

Services you can provide include paying bills, delivering gifts, renewing passports, bookings and anything in between. The idea is to help busy people handle their pending tasks. In a busy town like Nairobi, you can generate some good profit targeting people with tight schedules. 

#2: Refilling Perfumes

This is a very lucrative business in Kenya. You can either sell in wholesale or retail. The best part is you won’t spend more than Ksh.5,000 to start. The idea is to make trendy fragrances available to many people. Save the money you need to start up and buy a 125ml bottle then repackage it into small quantities say 5ml bottles and sell.

#3: Selling second-hand books

I didn’t do a lot of research on selling second-hand books. There is little data on this but just like others on the list, I managed to gather useful information from people who are running this business. Street book vendors fill the gap for many Kenyans who can’t access public libraries or buy expensive books from bookstores.

If this is a business idea you want to try out, make sure you know where to find second-hand books. You can get them for free from friends and family who don’t use them anymore.

While most vendors sell these books on the streets, a few of them choose to rent them out at a minimum fee of Ksh.50. What happens when someone takes off with the book? Easy, you only rent out to book-hungry Kenyans who have paid a one-off membership fee of say Ksh.250.

It’s easy to find the market for second-hand books but it may be tough getting the books so you can also think of doing trade-offs (exchange a book or two with customers who have the books you can resell). I have done this with a few street vendors when I was shopping for second-hand books for my younger sister.

#4: Making homemade peanut butter

It’s easy to earn some extra money by selling homemade peanut butter. You equally don’t need a lot of money to start out. You don’t have to worry about how to start a business if you enjoy playing around with ingredients. The procedure is quite simple and all you need is roasted peanuts as the main ingredient, sugar, salt, oil and a food processor.

You’ll want to research how to make peanut butter if you don’t know how to do it but it’s easy as ABC. Depending on your target market, you can either package the peanut butter into 500gm jars or 100gm jars.

Most low-income earners do not buy large peanut butter jars sold in supermarkets because of the high price tag. If they are your target market, you can sell them a 100gm jar of peanut butter for around Ksh.100.

#5: Selling Second Hand Clothes

I know, this is a common business but don’t overlook it. Most people in Kenya buy second-hand items like clothes, shoes, and handbags so the market is large. You, however, need to carry out thorough research before starting out.

You cannot target everyone and you cannot sell all types of clothes. Do you want to sell baby clothes or would you rather sell ladies trousers? Find the right location and give the best prices that can assure you great profits. Many people fail to grow in this business because of poor research.

The Fashion Parlour gives you all the information you need before starting a mitumba business in Kenya.

5 Creative and Easy Ways to Raise Capital for Your Business

Ksh.5,000 may seem like a small amount to some people but believe me, moms, it is hard to collect it if you don’t have any source of income.

If you don’t want to learn how to start a business because you don’t have the funds, here are some of the best ways to raise the capital you need.

1.      Family and Friends

Your family members and friends are more likely to believe in your vision than any person. Raising Ksh.5,000 from them will not take a lot of hassle. You can either get it as a loan or they may be willing to give it as a gift because they want to see your business grow.

2.      Savings

If you want to do it yourself, you can save an amount of money every week for at least one or two months to establish your business. You may not have enough saved but the best part about putting together the money is that it is easy to convince your family and friends about how much you need to top up. Open an Mshwari Lock Savings Account to save an amount whenever you have a few hundred shillings in your pocket.

3.      Small Business Loans

It’s okay to use your personal assets to take a bank loan. However, there are numerous options that require nothing more than your Smartphone and social media account. Think of options like Safaricom’s Mshwari, Branch International and Tala that give visionary Kenyans up to Ksh.50,000 to grow their business.

4.      Join a Chama

Form a group with friends (sharing a common interest) to save the amount you need to start your business. Chamas are great because you have the flexibility to save the amount you have. You can start with as little as Ksh.50 per week and increase it with time. I recently made a post on Facebook’s Kenya Single Mothers Club on how to start a chama that will give you the results you need after a few months.

5.      P2P Lending

Peer-to-peer lending is a great way to get the capital you need to start your business. Peer-to-peer lending networks bring savers and borrowers together thus eliminating the need for a bank. You can get cheap loans with flexible return dates. One thriving P2P lending network in Kenya is Zidisha.

5 Best Ways to Market Your Small Business in Kenya

There’s no need to learn how to start a business if you won’t learn how to market it. Marketing is one of the most important aspects of any business that you cannot ignore.

There are many ways to market your business in Kenya including online marketing, posters, and through radio or TV.

I find online marketing to be the most effective way of getting your business out to the right audience. I’ll tell you why in a few.

Starting a business with less than Ksh.5,000 means that you don’t have enough funds to put on marketing. I will, therefore, show you some of the cheapest ways to market your business.

1.      Referrals

This is the best way to market your business. The best part is you won’t spend even a shilling to reach the right audience. You, however, need to provide the best services to your first few clients so that they can sell you to other potential customers. When I say the best, I mean providing nothing short of quality services.

2.      Social Media Marketing

If you want to reach more clients, you need to stay active on social media. Platforms like Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest and LinkedIn let you connect directly with your customers regardless of their location. Upload photos and videos detailing your business and what you do.

3.      Have a Website

In this digital age, having a website is mandatory in building your business. Aside from social media, a website is also an excellent way to have an online presence. Your website needs to be attractive and interactive to make it easy for your visitors to navigate and make inquiries. When choosing a web address, ensure it is easy to remember and talks about what you do.

4.      Email Marketing

I can also encourage this marketing strategy for small businesses. This strategy requires little to no capital provided you have a list of potential clients. I also love this marketing strategy because it is easy to personalize a client’s message. People like it when you speak directly to them. Besides, personalized emails help influence their buying decisions.

5.      Posters

Very few people will take you seriously when you market your small business through posters. This method works well for politicians but if you are ready to take the challenge, go for it.

I would equally not encourage marketing your small business on Television and Radio. This strategy is more suitable for established brands. It is also the most expensive way of marketing on this list.

Final Word

The list is endless; I cannot exhaust it. I touched on different work-at-home jobs you can start as a single mom in my previous posts. And even with this new article on how to start a business with less than Ksh.5,000 I have not touched on all the opportunities available for you to explore.

Instead of sitting there and complaining about the government, get up, get out and do something.

You are free to add your ideas in the comment section below.

An Open Letter to my Secret Crush

It feels so odd writing this to you, but it’s hard for me to say it aloud. I have so many things to tell you but am I allowed to? My mind vowed to write our story in my heart. Here I am scared to start because I don’t know if you want to play a part. You see, at times I wished fairy tales were real. Oh prince charming it would be easy to tell you how I feel. The fantasy of being swept off my feet would be so ideal. I have so much zeal in me so today is it! I want to tell you how I feel. 

I want you if only for one night, I do. Just to hold you tight. You see, you’re my light, you’re my knight. I spend my days thinking of you. Your face is imprinted on my mind too. When I close my eyes, I can feel your skin underneath mine. I can feel how you run your hands through my hair. I giggle as you move them down my back and over every part of my body. Yes, I want you to share my bed. 

I take in the way you talk, the way you laugh, the way you smile. I take in the way you smell whenever you’re next to me. I want something to hold on to. My eyes fall when you gaze upon me. My world spins my heart beats, and my throat closes when you speak. The tension is too much. But it’s this unspoken attraction that gives me too much satisfaction. 

I’m too shy to tell you how I feel. How can I when you don’t notice me? You don’t notice the way I look at you. I’m just a friend and nothing more you see. It feels safe watching you from afar. At least I don’t have to deal with any rejections. You’ve taken residence in my mind. I want you to tell me that you want me too, but you won’t. 

I lay in bed and dream of you holding me in your arms. Kissing me and running your hands all over me. I imagine you pressing me against your chest. Then I’d beg you to make love to me. I’d ask you to do it over and over. But as I sit here and watch the last candle die out, my heart dies with it. I’m scared. You would never be attracted to me. I have to let this dream go, for I am a single woman with kids and an unrequited crush.

Sorry I was Never Good Enough

Amid the choices and the voices in your heart, I chose to rest. It was a contest that gave me so much unrest, but I was ecstatic you passed the test. Your warm, bright eyes gave me so much zest, but it was our coalesced hearts that made me believe I was so blessed. Whether to Bucharest or Budapest, my heart truly had a place to call home, I guessed. 

I guessed I’d spend my life with you. That nothing mattered as long as I was with you. I was at peace until it took a sudden surcease. You had no choice but find a place to fix yourself. That it was time to seek a better you, you said. Oh, how I cried for you. Even though I shed a bucket of tears, it was not enough to make you stay, it appears. Sorry for letting you down was all I got after the years. 

I’ll pick my pieces and nurse my bruises despite the circumstances because I don’t want an appearance that sends the wrong messages. I’m strong enough never to go bananas so watch my pace. It’s not you; it’s me you confessed before you set out on your quest for the best. Sad you were too busy trying to find yourself, in between you let me lose myself. Pity I was not as important as I thought I’d be, because all I knew was how to be a better me for you. Please stay were my last words to you, oh how I loved you. 

So now I’m in a pursue to renew myself. I cannot tell when this will be due. I’ll pick my battle with the big guy himself. He had promised me a better you for myself. I believed He gave me the chance to be with you. It’s time to tell Him sorry I was never good enough. Take your time and seek the better you. I hope you find what you’re looking for too. I pray it won’t be too late for us. For now, I’ll pick my broken pieces and fix me too. I’m trying to tell my heart it’s all untrue, for I know it will take me time to pull through.

Low-Cost Business Ideas You Can Start from Home(PART 3)

#1. Day Care

Things were easier for working families in the past. Hiring a house-help was cheap, all you had to do was make a phone call, and a relative would send you a young house-help from the rural area. Such was the norm for many families, but things have changed today. If you’ve been following the news, house-helps have become very expensive because of the recently enacted law. Many parents are now shifting to daycare centers because of this. Don’t even get me started with rouge house-helps who abuse and even kidnap kids.

For the business-minded Stay-at-home mommy, this is a potential investment you can’t overlook if you live in an estate where there are many working parents with little ones. Why is it on my list? Well, unlike other business opportunities that require huge capital, starting a child daycare business costs next to nothing. Besides, all you need is a special liking for children and basic knowledge on early childhood development.

So I recently purchased a child daycare business plan prepared by Crack a Business Kenya because I wanted to understand more before I put my first foot forward. I must say there’s a lot to keep in mind before moving forward. Most families within Nairobi and its environs are desperately looking for the best daycare centers to take their children. Don’t trust my word? Go to Google and start typing ‘Daycare Centres.’ Look at the alternative keywords that people use to search the same information, and you’ll be amazed at how people are searching for daycare centers near them.

Starting out

Fortunately, you don’t have to lease a house to start out. You can operate a daycare business from your home, but you need to get legal approval on whether or not your home is suitable for operating as a daycare facility.

Registration

You need to think about getting the necessary licenses and insurance. Important licenses that you need to look for include:

  • Single business permit – from Sh4,000 to Sh15,000
  • Public health license – Sh3,000
  • Individual health certificate – Sh1,500
  • Education license (optional) – Sh9,000

Visit your county office to get all the information on licensing. You also need to think about purchasing a liability insurance cover to protect your house and the children.

Prepare your home and buy the right equipment

Hopefully, you have the phone number of an affordable carpenter and painter who can convert your house into a child-friendly environment. The carpenter can also help you make affordable equipment that you need to have.

Here is a list of commonly-used equipment in daycare facilities. Note that the prices depend on size and quality, so you don’t have to stick to my budget.

  • Mattresses – Sh4,000
  • Tables – Sh1000
  • Chairs – Sh500
  • Toys – from Sh50
  • Potties – Sh200
  • Assorted items like drawing books, charts and stickers
  • TV
  • Fire extinguisher
  • Utensils

You can buy these items from supermarkets or shops along Biashara street. Other places to consider are Kamukunji for plastic items and toys or Second-hand dealers in Gikomba.

Marketing

You need trust from parents so that they can entrust you with their kids. The best way to build a clientele base is through referrals. Network with parents and invest in business cards. Social media is also another great way to market your business, but you can always do this later on as you grow.

Additional staff

Your workload as you begin may not be a lot, but with time, you’ll need to hire additional staff to help you with the growing number of children. Make sure you do thorough background checks on applicants and let them produce relevant identification documents including a certificate of good conduct. The smaller the team, the better for your business, but make sure you compensate them well. You may need to hire:

  • ECD tutors
  • Cooks
  • Security personnel
  • Cleaners

Pricing

There is no clear formula for this. Before setting a price for your business though, check:

  • The competition
  • How much the parents are willing to pay per month
  • The quality of your facility and branding
  • The income level of residents in the area

Lower end daycares charge between Sh50 to Sh200 a day depending on the location. This is because most of these daycares are within low-mid level income estates and they tend to have basic facilities. There is less emphasis on aesthetics as long as the children feed and have someone to keep an eye on them.

Mid-level daycares charge between Sh200 to Sh500 while High-end daycares operating in places like Lavington and Nyari can charge up to a maximum of Sh2000 per day for their services. These daycares tend to provide extra services including insurance covers and on-call vehicles in case children fall sick.

Record keeping

Keep records of transactions and contacts of parents. You also need to have an exclusive business line where parents can call to check on their little ones.

#2. Hair Salon

A hair salon business can be a step in the right direction if you enjoy styling hair and performing manicures. It is the best home-based business to start on a low budget. You can start small with friends and family, build a clientele base and grow slowly as word about your excellent skills spreads.

A salon is a sensitive business venture because you will be dealing with products made from chemicals. You need formal training to be able to understand these products and how they react to different hair types.

Starting out

For a home salon, you need basic equipment like a blow dryer, combs, and styling products which can set you back approximately Sh21,000. If you are working on a tight budget, you may want to invest in services that are not equipment-intensive like plaiting.

Your equipment list can have things like:

  • Water heater – Sh3,000
  • Towels – Sh1,000
  • Flatiron – Sh3,000
  • Blow dryer – Sh2,000
  • Hair Dryer – 12,000

You can shop for these items in Supermarkets or Best Lady shops in town. Alternatively, you can shop online on sites like OLX if you want to reduce costs.

Do a good job and use the first few months to build a name for yourself. With time, you will be able to expand the business, rent a shop and hire more workers whom you can pay on commission.

Profit

A home-based salon can earn you around Sh.16,000 per month. This is enough income to help you budget and expand your business.

#3. Event Planning

Organizing events like weddings or corporate parties can be daunting. Instead of doing everything alone, many people hire event planners to help them. Event planning is a good income opportunity if you have the skills and passion. Event planning requires little capital to start, but you need to be comfortable in dealing with different people.

Start small

Most event planning businesses start from home enabling the mompreneur to save on overhead costs. When you start out, all you need is a laptop, internet connection, a mobile phone and a network of suppliers. With proper research, you can do so much with these tools. Eventually, you will be able to expand your business, but you need to be patient because this takes time.

Marketing

You can either choose to focus on the private market or the corporate market. The private market involves planning small weddings, reunion parties or family events. The Corporate market involves planning stakeholders’ meetings and trade shows.

Locate good suppliers

If you are working on a tight budget, you can negotiate with freelance suppliers who charge affordable prices for their services.

As an event  planner, you need to:

Possess good work ethics

Be flexible

Have great leadership skills

How do you start an event planning business with no clients?

Start using your contacts and email people you know. Your first job, no matter how small, is likely to be someone you know. If you do a good job, your skills will undoubtedly sell themselves, and the word will spread. Ask your contacts to recommend you.

#4. Laundry business

Many Kenyans are busy with their daily hassles that they don’t have enough time to clean dirty clothes at home. As a stay-at-home mom, you can start a laundry business and earn some good cash. This is a very lucrative business that is very profitable especially in mid-class estates and the leafy suburbs of Nairobi.

Starting out

You can wash your clients’ clothes manually or use a washing machine. This depends on whether you have enough capital to start out or not.

To start a laundry service business as a small home-based venture, you need a basic front-loading machine will get the job done. Buying a brand new machine that can handle 7kgs laundry load costs approximately Sh50,000. Aside from this machine, you need:

  • An iron box
  • A dryer
  • An ironing board
  • folding board
  • Detergents

You can buy these items at your local supermarket.

Standing out

As a home-based business, you need to stand out from the competition to penetrate the already growing market. You can offer door-to-door pickups for your busy clients or any other strategy you have up your sleeve to draw in and maintain customers. You can capitalize on social media to market your business or use word of mouth to get the word out.

As you grow, think about renting a room so you can have a small reception office and a large work area. Don’t forget to register as a single business entity.

#5. Cleaning Services

Yes, moms, there is money in this business – good money. Just like laundry, many people barely have enough time to clean their houses. They prefer outsourcing work to professional cleaners who can do an excellent job within the stipulated time. Aside from households, organizations like hotels, offices, and schools are willing to pay for professional work provided the job is done as per expectation. I love the cleaning business because it is very flexible. You can run it right at your home, but once you have a large client base, you may want to set up a commercial office in a suitable and accessible place.

What’s your area of specialization?

You can either choose to specialize in residential cleaning or commercial cleaning. Commercial cleaning is quite lucrative, but if you land a lot of household deals, that’s great!

Services

If you are sure this is the type of business you want to start, here is a list of what your clients expect you to do:

  • Washing floors
  • Cleaning the washrooms
  • Cleaning windows and doors
  • Emptying the trash cans
  • Arranging the office

Depending on the clients’ needs, you can render these services at least twice a week, over the weekend or in the evening.

Here is a list of items you need to have when starting out

  • Carpet cleaner
  • Vacuum cleaner
  • Bucket
  • Mop
  • Toilet brush
  • Spray bottle
  • Cleaning agents
  • Squeegees
  • Gloves and masks

Becuase you are starting out, you can rent some of the expensive equipment like the carpet cleaner and vacuum cleaner.

Marketing

There is demand for these basic services, no wonder I put it under the ‘Necessary Services’ category. However, you need to be patient and honest to thrive in the cleaning business. Ask your friends or family members for referrals. Facebook Ads are powerful and very affordable.

Pricing

Pricing depends on several factors including the market prices, the type of service you offer and the nature of the work. Before setting a standard rate, you need to make sure that the price you charge can cover your expenses while still giving you a good profit in the end.

Low-Cost Business Ideas You Can Start from Home(PART 2)

#1. Freelance Writing

If you love writing as I do, there is a way to turn your words into income. Writing is the best job for stay-at-home moms or anyone who wants flexibility. The flexibility coupled with low-startup cost makes freelance writing an excellent option for moms. You only need a good computer, stable internet connection and a word processing software. If you enjoy writing and you want a stay-at-home job, then here are some things you need to know before you begin.

Skills required to be a freelance writer

You don’t need a degree in English to become a successful freelance writing. I advise you start with training first before you begin. You don’t need a lot of experience, but you need to write well and deliver quality work. There is nothing different about working online as a writer except for a few basic writing rules even-more-web-content-writing-tips/ that you need to stick to when writing for clients. Analyze your writing skills to know if you can make money online with writing. A few questions to ask yourself are:

Do I love writing?

How was my composition and literature skills in high school?

Have I received compliments from people about my writing skills?

Do I enjoy putting words on paper?

If you feel that your skills are wanting, check out this free English Grammar and Style course. For online writing, you need to understand Search Engine Optimization and have experience marketing using social media. If you, however, need guidance, you can always signup for online writing courses to polish your skills.

Join freelancing websites

There are numerous freelancing websites today. The list is endless but if you want legitimate freelancing websites that also accept Kenyan writers, here is a list that you should definitely check out. It can be a challenge to get your first writing assignments as a new writer.  

Here are a few tips I can give to help you start out:

  • Define whether you want to create marketing materials or write articles online. The latter is the most common type of writing in Kenya.
  • Work on topics you are familiar with.
  • Check your writing skills and determine your price for each work.
  • Have a few sample pieces related to the topic you want to do.
  • Consider having a website to send potential clients if they want to know more about you.

How much do freelance writers earn?

Well, it’s hard to give you an exact amount when it comes to this. There are a lot of factors that come into play when it comes to what writers take home. Writing is a competitive business, and the market is full. Because of this, payments have dropped for many types of writing especially online writing. Factors like the type of writing and length of the work affect what you get paid. Some clients offer regrettably low pay that is not worth your time at all. According to Payscale however, an entry-level content writer can take home an average of $40k per year in median compensation.

Copywriting is the most lucrative paying job thus the most competitive. If you have a unique skill set, however, you can market yourself well and earn some good amount. You need to determine your rate per hour before you pick writing jobs. As a beginner, it is okay to settle for lower paying jobs, but once you have experience, you can increase your rate or look for higher-paying clients. Sites like iWriter define the amount you get as you start because they categorize their writers according to experience.

#2. Transcription

Transcribing is one of the best and most popular ways to make money online in Kenya. This online job involves typing out audio file – converting audio to written form. Just like freelance writing, it is easy to start transcription work from home. All you need to break into transcription is:

A laptop

If you prefer a desktop, then go for it. I, however, recommend that you get a good laptop because it is flexible. You can move around and work anywhere you want. You don’t need a top-class laptop to start out. Go for a basic computer with great features and buy a better brand as you grow.

Headphones

You need to invest in a good set of headphones. When a say good I mean top-quality. This is a must if you want to start out well in transcription work. The audio needs to be crisp and clear if you want to deliver quality work so your regular earphones will not cut it. A good set of headphones should also be comfortable because you will wear them for long hours.

Software

Transcribing audio is tedious work especially when you have to handle long audio files. As a newbie, you can take longer working on the files. Fortunately, there is a software that can help increase your productivity. Express Scribe is a popular software used for transcription. You can either use the free version or the paid version. Here’s how it works, you upload an audio file and use hotkeys like F4 and F7 to transcribe the file. As opposed to listening via Windows Media Player, Express Scribe lets you transcribe faster and stay productive.

Stable internet connection

Stable internet connection is a must if you want to work online faster. A client can send you large files to transcribe, and this is why I stress on a good internet connection of at least 300Mbps.

Good listening skills

You need to have exceptional listening skills if you want to do transcription work. You need to hear and type every word correctly. Your good listening skills come in handy when you get inaudible audio or when you have to work on audios where there is background noise.

Good typing speed

You may consider starting transcription if you have a comfortable speed of at least 40 words per minute. Anything below may not give you good result in your online work. But don’t worry because the internet is full of resources that can help you test and increase your typing speed like Typing Master

Where to find Transcription Work

There is a market for transcription work for legal, medical or business purposes. The market is large you only need to know where to find the right jobs. Get some training and sign up with freelancing sites. Here is a list of top transcription companies to work for as a Kenyan Work-at-home Mom.

#3. Start a Mom Blog

Starting a mom blog is fun and easy. You don’t have to be a tech guru to know how to start a blog. Blogging is a broad topic, and I can go on and on. Fortunately, there is a lot of content on how to start a mom blog online. Suzi Whitford’s Site, Start a Mom Blog gives you a step-by-step process of building your mom blog. To set you on the right track though, here are a few things you need to know about starting a mom blog.

What are you passionate about?

What do you love doing in your free time or when the kids are asleep? Your passion should drive your decision on a blog topic. The best part is, you don’t have to be an expert on the topic. Start the blog, learn and you’ll become better.

Find a niche

Think about what you plan to write about. This is a very challenging step for a lot of people. Whether you want to talk about parenting or travel, you need to make sure you can monetize. Of course, you can blog for fun but if you truly want to be a Work-at-home mom, make sure you find a way to monetize your niche.

Your domain name should relate to your overall brand. I advise you have your niche somewhere in the blog name but don’t let this take too much of your time. Choosing a domain name is fun and exciting. Make sure the name is short, simple and easy to remember. Have a couple of names in case the first option is already taken. I had a fun time thinking of my blog’s name – The Kenyan Mompreneur. Before I settled on the name though, I had more than 5 options to compare. Some creative mom blog names are:

More Than a Mom

Mommy on a Budget

Tidbits from a WAHM

Frugal Mom

My Kids and I

Kids and Chaos

Mommy Needs a Break

If you need inspiration, here is an article you will love: The Psychology Behind Choosing a Killer Domain Name

#4. Write an Ebook

The internet has changed so many things today. Email replaced snail mail, Skype replaced expensive long-distance phone calls, and Amazon has reduced our hassle of dealing with long queues at the shopping mall. On the bright side, internet entrepreneurs have enjoyed all the benefits of these changes.

One of the disrupted industries that give you a solid make-money-online venture is book publishing. I know there is one thing you are passionate about.I know you have an area of expertise whether it’s writing, nutrition, business coaching or digital art. Some people value your knowledge and are willing to pay for it – you have to know where to look. Aside from starting a mom blog, another simple way to turn your passion into a business is by selling an Ebook.

Make sure your Ebook solves a problem

The good news is, you don’t need a 200-page to make a sweet profit. People will only pay for your Ebook if the pages give them a solution to their problem regardless of the number of pages.

Before you begin to write:

Identify a potentially profitable topic

Discover buyers’ hot-button issues

Understand the problem and how prospects frame it in their mind

An excellent way to find out what your target audience responds to is to look at blog posts or social media updates with the most comments and shares.

Once you are sure that there is demand for your information, it is time to create your Ebook. The best Ebook shares a personal story because it is engaging and builds authority.

Where to sell your Ebook

You have a few great options for selling your Ebook. You can set up a website and sell your book directly online. The process is simple, and the benefit of this is that you can always promote other products directly to your clients in the future. You can also sell your Ebook through third-party sites like Amazon.

#5. Offer an Online Course

When it comes to research, marketing, and selling, the procedure is nearly similar to Ebooks except that this time you are creating interactive lessons with take-away assignments. The market for online courses is big – this is no secret. If you have a special skill, you can share the knowledge to those who are willing to learn. The internet is full of courses about anything you can imagine from copywriting to content creation and dating.

What will you teach?

Maybe you already have an answer to this, but if you don’t make sure that you choose a course idea that you are passionate about and that you can make money teaching it. Here’s how t find a profitable course idea:

Look for things that people ask questions about or want advice on.

If you have a blog, take note of the things your clients ask questions about all the time.

Identify the pain and eliminate it.

Just like Ebooks, people are willing to pay for courses that solve their problem.

Test your course idea

You don’t want to spend a lot of time creating an online course that people will not buy. To test your idea:

Strategy 1: Create a free mini-course and deliver it to readers by Email. The best part about this strategy is, aside from validating your idea, you are also building an email list for your paid course.

Strategy 2: You can put a ‘Coming Soon’ page explaining to readers what the course will cover then track the number of people clicking on the ‘Apply to Buy’ button.

It’s tough creating an online course especially when you’re doing it for the first time. So to make the process smooth and easy:

Have a clear course outline

Start small with a few lessons. You don’t need to create a big in-depth course that covers everything.

Decide what to cover in each lesson.

Don’t pack too much in one lesson. Have bite-sized lessons that will not tune out your students.

Set a Price

Think of the outcome of the course and set the price accordingly. A simple way to do this is by comparing your online course to other courses.

There is a difference though:

A course that tells students what to do would cost less as opposed to a course that shows them how to do it or a course that also offers dedicated support.

A course that solves a big and serious problem would equally cost more than a course prepared to solve a small problem.

Low-Cost Business Ideas You Can Start from Home(PART 1)

The growth of working at home has paved the way for stay-at-home moms to provide something for the family while raising their little ones. While it may not be easy, starting your own business at home could be the key to achieving your personal and work dreams. If you are not sure of the type of business you want to start, I have compiled a list of 15 business ideas perfect for any stay-at-home moms. I have divided it into three categories of 5 business ideas.

#1. Baking

Starting a home-baking business in Kenya isn’t as easy as it sounds. There’s a lot of things you need to consider. Before taking this bold step, you need to have a few things in mind. But first;

Do you have a passion for baking and business?

If you want to start a home-baking business, make sure you have the passion for baking and business. Your passion will keep you going regardless of the pitfalls and the challenges you come across. Be ready to learn and equip yourself with the necessary skills whether through self-training or signing up for baking courses.

Do thorough market research

Choose a target market and the right location to sell your baked products. You need to have a list of the products that will be on your menu.

Do you have the capital?

Starting a home-baking business in Kenya requires approximately Sh100,000. This amount is for simple machinery and supplies. As opposed to bigger outlets that require a commercial oven alone selling at Sh400,000, this is an affordable price. Make a list of all the necessary equipment you need including pans and mixing equipment to have an estimate of the total amount.

Buy in bulk

When it comes to buying all the required raw materials like flour and sugar, make sure you buy in bulk. As opposed to stores, wholesale shops sell products at cheaper prices. If possible, ask your preferred wholesaler to give you a quotation so you know how much to budget for.

Registration and Licences

You don’t have to make this official immediately you begin. However, as you grow, think about registering and acquiring all the necessary licences. Make sure your business has a name and register it. Here is a simple way to do this:

Go to any Huduma Center near you and do a name search for your home business. This should cost you at least Sh100.

Register the name that passed and collect your certificate after one week. Registration should cost approximately Sh850.

You need a business permit from your county and a 6-month food handling certificate that costs Sh1000. Other documents you need to have include a 1-year food hygiene certificate at a cost of Sh300 and a Sh3,000 fire safety certificate. Visit your City Council Office to find out all the licences and permits your business requires.

Don’t strain too much because you don’t need a lot of space and commercial machinery to start a home-baking business. Shop for the simplest things to start and get everything else as you grow.

You don’t need unique recipes

There is competition and many SAHMs are embracing home-baking as a way to generate income while at home. This does not mean however that you need original products to have a unique recipe. Jazz up the basics and be creative with your ingredients to stand out from the competition. The secret is to maintain a consistent recipe. Try out the recipes, taste-test them and record the results once you have the desired results. Keep them standard if you want consistency throughout your menu.

You don’t need a client list but marketing is important

Sell your products to family and friends. Bake a cake for family functions or charitable events. These referrals will help you grow your business. Get a website and sell your services. You can also connect with potential customers via Facebook or Twitter. Keep your customers updated about new products and once in a while throw in special offers.

#2. Crochet Shaggy Mat

Making and selling shaggy mat is also a good way to earn some decent cash at home. The best thing about mat making is that you do not require a lot of money to start. You can start small and build a team with time when you start to handle bulk orders. To have a great final product, you need to acquire some practical skills. Find a mentor and get trained. Mat making training takes approximately 5 days and the charges can range anywhere from Sh1500 – Sh3000. If you can self-train, here is a video to guide you through the process.

Get all the materials you need

Buying your own materials reduces training charges. You need the right tools to startup so be sure to buy everything you need for your home-based mat making business. The good news is, you can get these materials locally at affordable prices. For a meter of a shaggy mat, you need:

  1. A crochet Sh.100
  2. Scissors Sh200
  3. Maker Pen Sh.200
  4. 25 Ball of Wool at Sh80 each
  5. Tapestry at Sh450 per meter.

If you are looking for the best rates, visit Biashara Street in Nairobi. Just like any other business, you need to have a good marketing plan to sell your mats. Have a few samples that you can show to potential buyers when you approach them. It takes at least 5 days to complete a 1-meter rag which you can sell at Sh7,000.

#3. Making Jewelry

Jewelry making is a competitive low-cost business that you can start from home. You don’t need connections or overhead costs to start this business. Even though the business is lucrative and competitive, it is very profitable if you know how to market your products.

You do not need any training to make jewelry but basic knowledge is important if you want to make great products that stand out. Stories from successful jewelry makers should be enough motivation to start out. With as low as Sh1000, you can buy all the necessary tools to make your first batch of jewelry to sell.

Making jewelry out of bones is the cheapest way to start out as a home-based jewelry maker. Collect bones from butcheries and train yourself how to carve necklaces and beautiful bracelets. Kenyan love art and trying new things especially when it’s about fashion.

#4. Photography

Photography pays and it pays very well. If you have a passion for it, then you need to start a photography business in Kenya. One of the best thing about photography is that is is always in high demand on holidays or during weekends.

But you can’t do everything

To grow as a photographer, you need to choose a specialization. Just like other fields, photography is very demanding and requires focus aside from the necessary skills and knowledge. You can shoot landscapes, weddings, nature or architecture. Professional photographers know they cannot be experts in all fields so generalization will not serve your clients well.

Buy the right equipment

Before rushing out to buy any model on the market, think about the camera and lenses that suits your area of specialization. A good model that delivers professional results;

  • Has the manual mode that lets you take total control over the exposure of an image
  • Offers ISO 1600+
  • Has a huge number of megapixels (not necessarily important though)
  • Is ergonomically designed so it feels comfortable in your hands

I love the Canon EOS 1300D because it is perfect for beginners working on a tight budget. It is easy to use, has eye-catching features and delivers solid image quality at an affordable cost. While it does not allow touchscreen control, this entry-level DSLR boasts high resolution screen, WiFi and NFC connectivity.

For convenience and the best experience, you will need:

  1. Computer
  2. Camera accessories like a tripod
  3. Different lenses
  4. Extra batteries
  5. Flash
  6. Latest photo editing software

Look at other photographers prices and fix up your rates to make them reasonable and competitive.

Have an attractive portfolio

Clients want to see proof of your talent and professionalism. Having a great portfolio will help you land new assignments especially if it is targeted to your particular audience. Have a website and create a social media profile to promote your services.

#5. Catering

It’s easy to put your cooking skills to good use if you are thinking of starting a small business. Catering is another business idea you can start from home will very little capital. It is all about providing food or cooking services at a strategic place like hotels, weddings and parties depending on the contract. It doesn’t mean that you have to provide lunch for 200 business people at a cooperate event. You can start small with parties for 30 or dinners for 10.

Kenyans have embraced the call-in caterers phenomenon. Unlike the normal practice where you have to cook for your guests, people now invite trained/self-taught caterers to cook at their homes for a small fee. Many people prefer professional cooking to having neighbors or relatives prepare meals for their small parties. If you believe in your cooking skills, then this is a work-at-home business that I highly recommend. If you’ve made up your mind about starting a catering business, then here are a few things you need to know.

Just like any other business, offering catering services to clients requires passion. You need to love what you do to reap the profits.

Have the necessary qualifications

One thing that sets you apart from other caterers in the industry is certification. Having a profitable catering bushiness means that you need to be an exceptional chef with strict hygienic standards. The best way to build up your knowledge is to attend a catering school. There is also the advantage of acquiring a certificate which adds a feather to your cap.

Develop entrepreneurial skills

If you truly want to succeed as a work-at-home caterer, you need to develop your entrepreneurial skills. Some skills that you’ll need to polish include:

  • Self-confidence
  • Persuasion and negotiation skills
  • Marketing skill
  • Sales skill
  • People management skill
  • Accounting e.t.c

What type of catering service do you want to offer? Find your niche

As usual, you cannot be an expert in everything. Think about the type of catering services you want to offer to best meet the needs of your customers. Do you want to be an indoor or outdoor caterer? Will you serve hotels, specific companies or fast foods? Your decision will either break or make your business. You may choose to cater for:

  • Special events
  • Social events
  • Community affairs
  • Cooperates

Find a niche that the competition has overlooked or settle with one that you feel you can excel at. As a small home-based caterer, you may not have the capacity to cater a large wedding of more that 100 guests, but you could cater wedding showers. You can also offer your services during engagement parties or bachelorette parties comfortably.

What will you cook?

Another important thing you must decide on before you start your business is the type of food you want to cook. Making this decision also helps you determine the course you will take in catering school or the clients to serve.You can specialize on:

  • Local dishes
  • African dishes
  • Continental dishes
  • Intercontinental dishes

Create a menu

Having a menu is important because it is one of the first things your clients will ask for before you begin the negotiations. Think about different items to match different tastes or demands even if you specialize in one type of meal. Your menu should have foods you are comfortable cooking with ingredients that you can source locally. You may want to consider offering vegan meals for clients who don’t eat meat. The bottom line is, base your menu on your specialties and what your target market wants.

Pricing

Pricing is always a challenge but make sure you price the items well so that you stay competitive while making a profit. You can determine your charges depending on:

Where you live

The cost of the ingredients

The time you take to prepare a dish

The profit margin you want to achieve

Research and find out how other caterers charge so that you don’t over-price or under-price.

Collect honest opinions

Now that you have a menu, organize a small scale party with a few friends and family and have them test-taste your dishes. Ask for honest feedback on the services and the food. If there are areas you need to improve, keep adjusting until you get positive feedback.

Establish the business

Create a business plan that covers all the extra investment you’ll need to get started and the first 3 months of both revenues and expenses. Collect all the required licences from the county you live including a business license, a food handler’s license and approval from the health department after inspecting your kitchen.

Buy the necessary equipment

The equipment you use depends on the service you offer and the size of your catering outfit. At a minimum though, you need serving utensils and platters. Have the right items to keep food hot or cold. You also need linens, napkins and table decorations. For outdoor events, you can also offer tent canopies. Invest in a means of transport like a van so it is easy and fast to transport food to different locations. Because you are working from home, you can rent catering equipment and a van as you start out.

Other items you need include:

  1. Food storage containers
  2. Blender
  3. Freezer
  4. Mixers
  5. Microwave
  6. Rolling carts
  7. Coolers
  8. Oven e.t.c

One last tip

Always dress professionally and don’t forget to carry and extra apron or shirt in case of messes.

21 Encouraging Bible Verses for Single Mothers

It’s tough being both a mother and a father. Hats off to single parents who make this possible. I’ve been reading my Bible looking for scriptures to see me through tough times. I need this encouragement especially on those days when I feel its too much. I found a few verses that spoke directly to me and my present situation as a single mom.

Here are 21 verses that truly reflected on my life as a single mom. When you feel sad and lonely, and things don’t happen the way you want them to, turn to your Bible and you will find motivation. Welcome the Holy Spirit in your life to hear your message from the Lord. Hopefully, these verses will also give you some encouragement as a single mother.

Isaiah 54:5-6

For your maker is your husband - the Lord Almighty is his name - the Holy One of Israel is your Redeemer; he is called the God of all the earth. The Lord will call you back as if you were a wife deserted and distressed in spirit - a wife who married young, only to be rejected, says your God.

Isaiah 62:5

He who formed you will marry you. As a groom is delighted with his bride, so your God will delight in you.

Isaiah 65:23, 24

The work they do will be successful, and their children will not meet with disaster. Even before they finish praying to me, I will answer their prayers.

Deuteronomy 23:14

For the Lord your God moves about to protect you and to deliver your enemies to you.Your camp must be holy, so that he will not see among you anything indecent and turn away from you.

Psalms 118:5-7

In my anguish I cried to the LORD, and he answered by setting me free. The Lord is with me; I will not be afraid. What can man do to me? The Lord is with me; he is my helper. I look in triumph on my enemies.

Isaiah 58:11

The Lord will guide you always; he will satisfy your needs in a sun-scorched land and will strengthen your frame. You will be like a well-watered garden, like a spring whose waters never fail.

Psalms 68:5

A father to the fatherless, a defender of widows, is God in his holy dwelling.

Philippians 4:6

Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God.

Hebrews 13:6

So we say with confidence, “The Lord is my helper; I will not be afraid. What can mere mortals do to me?” 

Isaiah 61:7

Your shame and disgrace are ended. You will live in your own land. And your wealth will be doubled; your joy will last forever. 

Proverbs 3:5-6

Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways submit to him, and he will make your paths straight.

Psalms 4:8

In peace I will lie down and sleep, for you alone, Lord, make me dwell in safety.

Isaiah 59:1 

Don't think that the Lord is too weak to save you or too deaf to hear your call for help!

Psalms 147:3

He heals the brokenhearted and binds up their wounds.

Philippians 4:19

And my God will meet all your needs according to the riches of his glory in Christ Jesus.

Isaiah 41:10

Do not be afraid - I am with you! I am your God - let nothing terrify you! I will make you strong and help you; I will protect you and save you.

Philippians 4:13

I can do all this through him who gives me strength.

Matthew 19:26

With man this is impossible, but with God all things are possible.

Isaiah 54:10

My unfailing love for you will not be shaken nor my covenant of peace be removed,” says the Lord, who has compassion on you.

Isaiah 30:19 

You will weep no more. How gracious he will be when you cry for help! As soon as he hears, he will answer you.

Isaiah 40:29, 31

He gives strength to the weary and increases the power of the weak. Those who hope in the Lord will renew their strength. They will soar on wings like eagles; they will run and not grow weary, they will walk and not be faint.

Talking to the Mirror

I think she’s trying too hard and it’s probably not working out. I know her to be strong and tough. At least that’s what her friends say about her. Sad that she does not see it. She thinks of herself as weak and lazy. She is not. I’ve known her all my life. At times I want to be her. She is this fierce and strong lady that when she smiles, she sends heads turning. I mean she is so beautiful at times I look at her just to figure out what I’d wear the next day. She’s tall, light skin. I don’t want to talk about her shape. She has it all.

What I love about her the most is her aggressive nature. There’s something about her that makes me admire her. I mean don’t get me wrong. If I were a man, I’d totally date her. There’s one problem, though. She does not see all that we see. To her, she thinks she is weak. She sees herself as a failure. She is scared to get out of that cocoon because she is scared. She thinks it’s a crime to step on someone’s toes. At times I want to tell her it’s okay to do it as long as you say sorry. She does not want to speak because she is scared of saying the wrong thing. She is afraid of standing in the frontline because everybody is watching.

I want to tell her it’s still okay, but this will be my 1001 time trying to convince her. I’m now out of words. I want to let her live her life. She thinks no one has her back. So sad because all I see around her is pure love. Everyone wants the best for her. She does not want what’s best for herself. That’s her biggest problem. I wish she sees what we see. I wish she looks at herself the way we do. We all love her. We want what’s best for her. We want her to be happy. She’s our only friend. Everyone around her surrounds her with love.

If there’s one thing I wish she did, was take time and understand herself. She only sees the bad things in her life. She forgets about the good ones. She thinks her life is dull. She convinces herself that she is a failure; that she will never find love. I wish she could see what we see — a strong, fierce woman who beat all odds to be where she is.

I wish she could see everyone watching her steps and following them closely. She is a big inspiration. She is all I want to be. She is all her friends want to be. Strong, confident, and successful. She believes success is all about getting there. No, it is all about making the most of all she has. It is all about appreciating what she has right now. She is a role model, a mother, a sister, and a best friend. Her life is enough story and motivation.

I wish she saw this. It will probably take time for her to understand and appreciate her current self. She needs to know that she is the one locking out the ones who love her. She is the only one blocking her success by not appreciating her present. All she has time to do is look at her past and feel sad about it. There’s a reason why it is called the past and why today is the present. It is beautiful, and every minute counts.

She needs to learn how to appreciate and understand herself. She is a vibrant and young lady, but she is trying to make things look like they are all against her. She needs to love herself the way we do. Her mistakes should not define her life. They should strengthen her. She needs to use them as lessons. Everyone’s watching, but she does not see it. One slight mistake and she makes a few people fall with her. I want to tell her all these things, but I’m just her conscience, and I love her in my world. She is our queen. In this world, she is the decision-maker, and we have to do what she says.