My Biggest Mistake Was Borrowing Money From Mobile Loan Apps: Gertrude Katula On Success Of Her Pet Business And Challenges

When Gertrude Katula realized that pet care could be a profitable venture, she closed down her business to fully focus on this venture. In a recent interview with a local daily, the entrepreneur said it is better to do one thing that you’re good at than 10 things that end up failing. Apart from providing veterinary care, she also grooms and beautifies dogs. 

Here is her story as told by WoK.

Starting out 

She ventured into pet care towards the end of 2022 and marketed her services on social media. It wasn’t until 2023 that she landed her first client. 

Her second client booked 10 dogs.  At the time, she had a soap chemicals business known as Super wash Chemicals. She closed down the business in April 2023 to focus on pets. 

The businesswoman said the business requires expertise. One needs to know how to interact with dogs and know when they are angry and need to be placated. 

Challenges and mistakes 

The job comes with its own challenges. She has had experiences with clients who think their dogs are well-mannered and can’t be aggressive yet the opposite is true. This is made difficult by the fact that the clients feel they know their pets more than she does. 

In the course of running her business ventures, she has made mistakes. One was failing to separate business and personal funds. Rather than give money to everyone in need or using her money, she could have just paid herself her salary. 

She told the Nation that her biggest mistake was borrowing money from mobile apps. Their high interest rates and short repayment periods put her in a circle of debt that was hard to break free off.

Gertrude Katula would find herself borrowing from one platform to repay to another. Then, there was the harassment from agents who threatened to contact people in her phone book.

At one point, one platform called her father-in-law yet there was still a day to the due date. Her stomach dropped when he called her thinking it was the fraudsters from Kamiti. 

The entrepreneur also got into many merry-go-rounds and at times it was hard to keep up. Nearly half the money she would get from the chamas would go towards debt. She has since learnt her lesson and educated herself on finances.

The Pet Care owner believes you shouldn’t do things for the sake of it. She has taken lessons and learnt not to conduct her business in a haphazard way. 

If she could have a do over, she would never undercharge her package as she has realized people will pay for a good product.