The Complete Guide To Freemium Business Models

Freemium is a business model that works by offering core services or products for free, while charging a premium for advanced or special features.

Go here to learn all about The Freemium business model.

6 Secrets to Nairobi Outsourcing

In Kenya today, many organisations seem to have taken to Outsourcing. There are many different tasks, roles and responsibilities that you as the business owner can outsource. The greatest thing is that outsourcing in the long term actually makes savings for your business.

Some noticeable outsourcing services that have really been pushed into the Kenyan market to date are courier services, security services, office cleaning, IT support and other concierge services. I don’t think there are any cleaning ladies any more, even in government buildings you will notice that they have a company doing all the cleaning work. Perhaps smaller businesses are still hiring a cleaning lady for obvious reasons non the less.
I personally use courier services a lot. How simplified life has become especially in this age where fuel prices are on the rise every month. It saves you having to do the other mundane tasks such as queuing in the bank and in other offices, making deliveries, renewing driving licenses, making payments, collecting purchases, it’s phenomenal and its going to newer heights. The costs tied to the courier services are pretty low compared to the cost of you being stuck in traffic and you wasting time in a queue.

A cleaning service or IT support service will help you reduce costs such as wages and related human resource costs, supervision costs, costs of materials such as detergents and tools of the trade, office space etc .

Though there is so much good from outsourcing, what’s the flip side you need to pay attention to?

  1. Once again it comes down to the quality of the service being provided by the outsource. Whenever your business is not receiving the quality that you expect for a certain rate then something doesn’t add up.
  2. Just because you outsource a service for your organisation should not mean that you leave the outsource to run its own show, they should be able to blend into your business easily.
  3. You should be engaged in what they are doing and demand improvements when they are necessary. You as the client should be sure that the outsource is meeting all the needs that you have, if not perhaps reassess the situation.
  4. Outsource should be used where you see it will bring your business most benefit. It is important to do the mathematics of how much you will save by using an outsource vis a vis how much you are spending without the outsource. Get it down to the numbers.
  5. Don’t outsource just because everyone else is outsourcing because it could do you more harm than good do what fits for your company. Businesses are different.
  6. Be careful that your outsource is there to enhance the experience that your customers are receiving otherwise what’s the point?

Naomi Kinyanjui is an aspiring enterpreneur, a Procurement Specialist by profession with a passion for life, writing and making a difference. Follow her on Procurement Mentality 101 blog where the talk is all about supply chain and procurement and maintaining professionalism in such a controversial field.

Come Meet A Kenyan Business Warrior – Kamal Budhabatti

Kamal Budhabatti is a name you should probably register in your mind for posterity reasons. This is a man who is set to conquer the world. The unassuming Indian-Kenyan entrepreneur is working relentlessly towards putting African software on the global map, and he is succeeding. Kamal is the founder and Chief Executive Officer of Craft Silicon, a Kenya-based global software development and services company worth around Ksh 1.7 billion and with an annual income of over Ksh 500 million, sources more than 85% of its business from without Kenya offering software solutions in different languages including French, English, Arabic and Spanish across Africa, Asia, Europe and America.

The League of Young Professionals warmly invites you for an Entrepreneurship Forum:
Date – Thursday 25th of August, 2011.
Time – 6:00pm to 8:00pm.
Venue – Marble Arch Hotel (Behind Fire Station, Next to Akamba)
Charge – Kshs 500/-

Our Guest Speaker will be Kamal Budhabatti – Founder and CEO Craft Silicon. He will share with us his Entrepreneurial Journey and the Secrets of the Success of Craft Silicon.

Bad Customer Service

It seems like rocket science to many small businesses in Nairobi. Customer service is not always easy to get, though at the rate some businesses give it you would think it is in short supply.

Visiting a local franchise restaurant in town the other day, I sat for about 20minutes before my waitress even realised I was there. I knew right off the bat that there was going to be no tip and that keeping my cool would be an uphill task from there on out.

What’s challenging in getting staff to offer your customers good service? I mean I love the restaurant but now I know that I will most likely never return to that branch.

Bad customer service impacts negatively on your business, so it is time for you to make sure that you have staff who care about the level of service that they are offering your customers. It’s easy to do, it is not rocket science, and they just need to understand that customer is king, as the adage goes. The interaction your staff have on a daily basis with your customers means it is one of those things that should be non negotiable. Obviously you cannot be there to interact personally with every customer you have so the option is to simply train your employees on how to handle customers.

When you give customers good service, they will sing about it all they can, non stop, to everyone and above all they won’t shy away at recommending you to others. Word of mouth spreads like wild fire, negative word of mouth spreads even faster and kills your brand. Rather, kills the brand that you are trying to build.
Why should it take more than one day to respond to a customer query online? By the time some companies out there have responded to a customer email complaint or query, you as the customer have even forgotten what it is you were complaining about or why for that matter. Same case goes to returning a phone call, you will even be lucky to get called back so never hold your breath on that one.

It’s up to you to know where you want your organisation to go to, up and away or down to the dogs. Really, it is not rocket science, pay attention to your customer service.

Naomi Kinyanjui is an aspiring enterpreneur, a Procurement Specialist by profession with a passion for life, writing and making a difference. Follow her on Procurement Mentality 101 blog where the talk is all about supply chain and procurement and maintaining professionalism in such a controversial field.

Don’t Punish Everyone

Don’t punish everyone for one person’s mistake.

A systems approach to earning more

The following is an excerpt from an email I got from Ramit Sethi. Check our his program for more information.

After taking a much-needed vacation to Hawaii, I’m in San Francisco for a few days. So I open up my computer this morning and see this:

“What business could I help create for my mom?”

I love this guy’s question. His mom works for a travel agency and the future looks murky, so he’s trying to figure out a business she could do on her own.

But then the commenters have at it.

  • “Set up a ‘Deal of the Day’ site for travel”
  • “Go ask Mary of how she did it”
  • “Consider foreigners who come to the USA…”
  • “Gift baskets”
  • “How about blogging?”

Some of these are actually good ideas. But if there were one word to describe them…it would be RANDOM.

Do this! No, that. What about this?

If you’ve ever tried to think of an idea to start earning money, this is a familiar pattern. You simply jump from one idea to another, never sure if they’ll work, and you let others throw their 2 cents in, too.

Here’s the surprising insight about finding an idea: Your SYSTEM is more important than any individual idea.

In other words, the process you use to find ideas is more important than any one idea itself.

Let me give you an example:

When you write a paper, essay, or book, people often obsess over words (well, at least nerdy writers like me). But what’s more important: A random word on page 9, or your structure (i.e., the table of contents)?

The structure, of course. If your organization is strong, you can have mediocre language and still have a good paper.

That’s why I spent 8 MONTHS outlining, refining, tearing apart, and revising the table of contents for my book. The process — my system — was more important than any individual word in the book.

No more random ideas
When I look at those bullet-pointed ideas above, I see some good ideas. But I also see bad ones.

And that’s just what they are — untested, unproven ideas. You see how easy it is for anyone to throw “ideas” at you…but how do you know they’ll actually work?

I could give you 50 ideas today and they would be worthless. Want me to prove it? Go search for “how to earn money” and see for yourself.

There’s a better way. Follow these 3 steps.

Step 1. Generate ideas:
First, you’ll come up with a big list of business ideas, many of them from sources you might not have explored before. There are specific techniques to generate ideas, but in general, no idea is too far-fetched at this stage.


Step 2. Validate your ideas:
Once you get all your business ideas in one place, you need some sort of filter. Almost nobody does this, which is why they waste 9 months of their lives on futile ideas that will never pay.

In this step, you’ll weed out the bad ideas from the good until you’re left with the very best.

When you explain validating your idea before you invest significant time, you can hear the same reaction from people: “Yeah… that is interesting. Maybe I should do that.”

It’s like telling someone they should get in shape. They “know” they should… but they won’t.

4 Reasons People DON’T build a system
So…why would people SKIP this step and jump right to random ideas?

This is what we found through research:

  • They’re afraid of discovering their one idea will be proven to be unprofitable… and then what? (In reality, the idea is not your secret sauce, the validation process is.)
  • Not sure how to actually do customer research (so they avoid it entirely)
  • Worried about having to talk to people they don’t know (“What will I say?”)
  • Not sure if they’re serious enough about the project to do things like customer research

This is really important stuff. Re-read those bullet points again.

The biggest difference between those who succeed and those who pursue random idea after random idea? The ones who use a system can identify which ideas are good and which ones aren’t…BEFORE they pursue them.

Step 3. Get your first sale:
Once you have a solid, market-confirmed idea, it’s time to find real work. You’ll take your best idea and test it against the market by trying to find 3 paying clients.

A system…not random “ideas”
If your goal is to find a way to earn money on the side, you’ll want a method for finding, testing, and refining ideas — a SYSTEM.

Entrepreneurs back to basics

There are many reasons why people get into business. Some love the thrill and are actual entrepreneur junkies who are forever opening up one new business after another. Some are tired of having an 8 to 5 job requiring them to report to the boss who they happen to dislike or like. Though most jump into it because the want to be their own bosses and they have big dreams which they know they can achieve. The common factor here is that gone are their days of having too work for someone else, they are building their own businesses from the ground up.

Entrepreneurship is one of those things that you either have a passion for or you don’t. This explains why it is very easy for some people to risk everything they have for a business idea which they believe will work while others cannot risk it all in the same way perhaps due to various fears. That’s why you find that some inventors are not necessarily entrepreneurs. Similarly, just because you are good at coming up with business ideas doesn’t necessarily mean you are good at actual execution of the ideas.

Business is about sales. Entrepreneurs learn to sell their service or product and that success or failure is what brings them revenue. There are some salesmen you come across who immediately draw you in, they have you and next thing you know you are parting with money. Others, not so convincing, they try but their pitch simply doesn’t reel you in.

If you are not good at sales however does it mean you are lacking as an entrepreneur?

Here’s the thing, many people say they are bad at sales but most of the time they have never even tried it. Possibly out of fear of talking to strangers or they feel it is a demeaning role and sometimes they worry too much about what people think of them. They have convinced themselves that they cannot sell anything not even a toothbrush. Sales can be learnt, its not rocket science neither is it astro physics.

As an entrepreneur you are the mos timportant employee that you have. It is your idea and vision, you have the knowledge of how it will work and you have the most faith in your service or product. Without you, your start up enterprise does not exist. As long as you invest in yourself to learn what you need to learn then you will be investing in your business. A budding business is fragile and thats why its important to build the foundation on which it stands. Don’t be fooled into wondering where the foundation of your business is, because you are it.
I like to read a lot about entrepreneurs online, it inspires me to think big and to want to achieve greater depths than where I am at. One important thing I have learnt from all the reading is that there are really no new business ideas out there. I notice even amongst friends who are tired of the 8 to 5, they claim that they are looking out for that one perfect idea, and then…magic will happen. There are no new ideas. The minute you understand that the sooner you can get moving into your dream. The exception is only if you are an inventor of sorts, but in terms of business ideas you will keep searching to eternity. The key however is in uniquely providing/presenting your service or product to consumers. Instead of thinking of a business idea think of the differential factor that will make you stand out from others who are in the same work that you are interested in getting into.

In simple terms, what unique value will you add into your product or service that can have you be different and can have the customers prefer dealing with you instead of with your competitor. Yes you may be the new kid on the block in your industry but you have a brain and you have a uniqueness factor, what is it?

Naomi Kinyanjui is an aspiring enterpreneur, a Procurement Specialist by profession with a passion for life, writing and making a difference. Follow her on Procurement Mentality 101 blog where the talk is all about supply chain and procurement and maintaining professionalism in such a controversial field.