By James Njoroge
The thought of starting a business is a daunting one especially when it’s capital intensive. Accessing loans is not easier either-given the aversion banks and other lending institutions have for start-ups. But worry not. This is the dilemma I faced until-but through curiosity-I found myself in a business I only dreamt of owning one day. Here is my journey of starting an electronics store with no money and stock.
If you hang around the barbershop long enough, sooner or later, you are going to get a haircut.
A friend had his electronic store located in Kimathi House. Every so often I would visit his store whenever I was in town. He would send me on errands like picking phones from his suppliers and this was an eye opener indeed. Although he paid me for my troubles, my biggest win was knowing and striking a friendship with the suppliers. I started selling phones, television sets, Playstation and whatever else to family members-who told their networks- that I got directly from suppliers.
Established my presence on social media platforms and ecommerce platform
Social media platforms are very useful tools if properly utilized. After making acquaintances with suppliers and gaining their trust, I would post their products as mine and sell them at a profit. Ressellers always get a discounted price on products from suppliers. I also posted my products on Jiji-then known as Olx-but sales went down when that space was invaded by con-artists.
Always be careful with the clients you meet online. Be extra vigilant as you may end suffering big losses from fraudsters who pose as clients.
I went on to open my first shop in the CBD which had its fair share of challenges. The shop was to give me credibility from those clients who want to see a physical office. Here is what you have to know, you cannot stock everything in one shop.