I had been unemployed for close to 10 years after finishing my secondary education. I did not enroll in tertiary education since I was getting a few jobs as a casual laborer to dig people's land. By then, my salary was more than enough since I did not have many needs. To till the land until 1 pm, I was paid Ksh 250 per day and I would work for six days a week. This translated to Ksh 1,500 per week and Ksh 6,000 per month. Therefore, I didn't see the need to enroll in tertiary education.
How I Started My Retail shop
Before starting my shop, I had been unemployed for some years. The gardening work that had made me not enroll in tertiary education was not forthcoming. Things changed and my life lost meaning. I started drinking a lot to beat stress and forget my situation. Most of the people we finished together in high school had finished their college education and some had good jobs. This made me hate myself and thought myself as a failure.
To stay busy and make a living, I thought of starting a retail shop. I wasn't sure if I wanted to start one, but it was just a way to keep myself busy. Luckily, my parents supported me with startup capital. They rented a shop in Huruma Estate in the outskirts of Eldoret town. They also bought stock for my business and paid business license. All along, my parents were not happy with my drinking and wanted to find a way to keep me busy. I didn't know that this would be my game changer.
After doors, my business started performing better than I expected in the first month. This was attributed to the fact that prices for products in my shop were relatively lower than those in other retail shops. I must have set lower prices since I hadn't spent a single coin to start the business. Although the prices were relatively lower, at least I was not selling products at a loss. This made many customers buy from my shop. The shop became too busy until I didn't have time for drinking.
How My Retail Shop Grew to a Wholesale Supplier
After eight months of operating a retail shop, my business had grown significantly, making Ksh 35,000 profit every month. One thing that attributed to high profits for my business was that I could source products from direct suppliers at low prices. My father had introduced me to the suppliers. I saw this as an opportunity to start a wholesale distribution business.
I borrowed a bank loan and bought a Toyota Hilux second hand for Ksh 1,200,000 for distributing goods. This is how I started my stock distribution business. However, I decided to retain my business. I decided to employ my sister in my business. She managed the business well and it kept on growing. I would supply stock to my shop, which increased our profits. The cost of operating my retail shop became cheaper, and I could pay my sister and still retain high profits.
Today, my retail shop and the wholesale distribution business generates over Ksh 70,000 a month. I am happy that my parents had seen potential in me and decided to help me open a shop. My encouragement to everyone is not to let their current situation deter them from achieving their dreams. Do not let your degree or lack of degree stop you from doing what you can do best. My businesses helped me to quit drinking and I have managed to build my life over the years. It is now three years in the business and exactly two years since I quit drinking.
Challenges I Face in My Retail Shop
The main challenge I was facing in my retail shop was the delayed delivery of stock by suppliers. This was a challenge when I started my retail shop, but it created an opportunity for me. I started supplying stock when I realized that other retailers were also facing a similar challenge. I now supply goods to my stock and my competitors’ shops.
Loss of revenues, before hiring my sister to work in my retail shop, I had hired another lady and money was disappearing. Every time I did calculations of items sold and the money at the end of the day, they were not balancing. This made me fire her and employ my sister. I no longer face the same challenge.