October 23, 2018

Four common mistakes made by upcoming Kenyan entrepreneurs

By Lindah Leonah

Kenyans are without a doubt smart people. They are tenacious, creative and quite aggressive. They know how to make the most out of scarce resources in the most creative yet basic ways.

They capitalise on one thing, ‘need’. Once an individual figures out a solution to a certain common problem, it only becomes a matter of strategy and execution.

However, there are common mistakes people make that prevent them from taking their businesses from upcoming to thriving.

Here are some of them:


The get rich quick mentality

Most Kenyans venture into businesses hoping and thinking that money will automatically fall like manna from heaven.

Getting rich is every man’s dream but it’s the wrong motivation to have when getting into any business venture. This is the kind of motivation that has many Kenyan women looking up to socialites and wanting to be like them and thinking that all one has to do is pose for naked pictures and post them online for money and fame.

This kind of lifestyle lacks honour and is unsustainable. It is important to identify the value your prospective or upcoming business will add to society. Do not wait for experience to prove this to you, you only need to listen and borrow a leaf or two from those who have been there before you.

Choosing the wrong team

No man is an island, but for sure choosing a bad team will automatically lead to making bad decisions. Your team has to share the same vision you do for them to work passionately as that is what will maintain their focus.

A great idea with the support and input of a great team is a sure ticket to success otherwise, like the titanic, the ship will sink.


Lack of focus and not being sure of what it is you really want. It doesn’t matter how great your credentials are or how stellar your record is, if you do not have the required focus, you will not succeed.

Knowing your target market/audience is a sign of assertion. It points to the direction of your focus. Know your exact market and work towards getting them satisfied and keeping them glued. This takes a ‘can’t stop won’t stop attitude’ and it comes with assured results.

Overlooking customer feedback and response

It is natural for one to acquire a little pride after business takes off and pockets fill. However, it is important to value feedback from customers. They are after all the people you owe part of your success to.

Their feedback is just as important as your team’s feedback. Wherever they suggest improvement or correction should be looked into. If something cannot be done instantly, it is prudent to communicate this to them and let them know that their suggestions have been taken into account.

A know-it-all mentality is dangerous. Ignoring customer feedback sends a negative message and it only takes a while before the public realises that the company is one that is not quick to look into customer concerns.

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