Take Charge of Your Finances; Small Business Ideas To Supplement Your Income

Are you employed and need to supplement your income? Are you out of job? Be creative; create employment for yourself. There are many good opportunities that you can take advantage of. Identify a need in your market and make money as you meet that need. Here are 15 business ideas to get you started.

1. Daycare Centres Kenyans have watched unfolding horror stories on TV as house helps and nannies abuse or even kidnap little children who are left in their care. Some toddlers have been sexually abused and in some isolated cases, some have lost their lives. 
Many middle class families in Kenya have working mothers and fathers who leave home as early as 5:30 am and get back home as late as 7:30 pm, thanks to endless traffic holdups on our roads, especially in major urban centres such as Nairobi and Mombasa. 
Are you a stay-at-home mom? Do you love spending time with kids? Create room in your house to turn into a play centre for little kids and toddlers. Invest in some toys, crayons, paper and small plastic chairs and a few small mattresses. Let the mothers in your neighbourhood know that you take care of little children (below school going age so preferably ages 5 and below). 
Start small and grow. Learn fun activities to keep the little ones entertained. As in any other business, satisfied clients are the key to your growth so go the extra mile to learn activities that would keep little ones happy and entertained such as painting, childhood games, songs and stories.
Invest in some simple story books that are appropriate for that age so that you can be reading them for the little ones. Hygiene and cleanliness are critical when it comes to taking care of children so never compromise on that. 
Many parents are afraid when they leave their little ones with house helps whom they do not know that well anyhow and you will be amazed how much daycare centres are in demand. 
Start small and plan to expand as word spreads and more and more parents entrust their little ones with you. Many schools and daycare centres actually begin in residential areas and move to more suitable premises as they grow.

2. Motor Cycle Taxi (Boda Boda) Motor cycle taxis (boda boda) are very popular all over Kenya. Most people do not inject creativity into running this business so they end up facing a lot of competition which keeps their profits low. 

If you can raise capital to enable you invest in a motor bike, it is a business venture worth investing in. Be creative. Go the extra mile. Cut out a niche for yourself and market your services. 
I have learned this in the course of operating the Trevo business. I usually organize delivery of the product to customers and having a reliable errands person comes in handy. Success is not given to anyone on a silver platter so you will need to do your homework to identify what niche to curve out for yourself. 
Be aggressive in marketing, using both online and offline strategies. Don’t shy away from approaching companies that offer delivery services to their customers. Some would appreciate a reliable errands person. 
3. Vending Machines Have you seen the long queues at milk dispensing machines in supermarkets? Many Kenyans are busy people and they appreciate anything that saves them time. 
Do your homework well and identify appropriate vending machines and locate them in strategic positions such as a busy residential area, near busy bus terminus, near a college or school etc. 
Besides milk, other items that are suitable for vending machines include: snacks, sweets, water, juice, soft drinks, cigarettes, condoms, etc.

4. Cleaning Services Many companies and building premises outsource for cleaning services. 

Unemployment is in an all time high in Kenya. Register a cleaning company then hire and train people to offer cleaning services. Invest is some cleaning tools and detergents then market your services. 
Again, satisfied customers are critical for business survival so ensure to train and supervise your staff well. Offering cleaning services is big business so you can get a share of that market. 
5. Cakes and Snacks Kenyans consume a lot of snacks on a daily basis, especially for young kids to carry to school and for busy people to catch a bite in between meals. 
You can invest in a good oven and baking tins then bake cakes to supply to small retail outlets such as kiosks and shops that are located in busy areas such as residential areas, bus terminus, near schools and colleges, etc. 
This is a business you can learn without necessarily going back to school. Invest in a few good cookery books and online resources and you are good to go. 
You can boost your sales by having make shift kiosks during events such as graduation or school events. 
There is a big market for snacks so be creative and tap into that market. If you scale up to provide snacks and cakes for special occasions such as weddings and birthdays, you will definitely be into big things.

6. Freelance Writing Most people have expertise in specific fields and with a little effort, they can produce content in those fields. It helps to have a good command of the English language and to also get some training in journalism or English. 

There are far too many unemployed people in Kenya who are rigid, holding on to their degrees and diplomas expecting to get jobs in their fields of training only. Be open to explore areas outside your profession. 
Identify a need in the market place and prepare to succeed in that field by investing in training. With media houses retrenching qualified staff from time to time, this is definitely a worthy venture for journalists who find themselves pushed out of the job market prematurely. The field for freelance writing is big and you can create a lucrative career for yourself as a writer.

7. Graphic Design This is another field that is in high demand. You do not have to be formally trained in graphic design, as long as you are hard working and creative. 

You will need to invest in learning how to design which you can do by downloading online tutorials and practicing. There is high demand for design work so it is worthwhile to invest in acquiring these skills. 
8. Network Marketing This is a field that is highly lucrative if you are willing to invest in acquiring the necessary skills and are a hard worker. 
Network marketing allows you to partner with a company that is marketing either goods or services, as an independent representative. The biggest advantage with network marketing is that you do not get paid on your efforts only but the biggest chunk of your income comes from people you introduce into your organization. 
You will need to invest in knowledge and expertise so that you are competent to train, coach and mentor those people to be successful. The more the people you introduce into your organization succeed, the more they earn you in commissions. It helps to get yourself a mentor. 
9. The Kitchen Garden The demand for fresh vegetables is always high in urban centres. Do you have some space in your compound, even on verandas and balconies? 
Be creative. Use sacks and pots to grow vegetables. If you do a good job, you can grow enough vegetables to meet the needs of your family and still leave you with surplus for selling. You will need to get top soil and manure to fill in the sacks before planting the vegetables.

10. Second Hand Clothes (Mutumba) Second hand clothes (mutumba) are very popular in Kenya and there is a wide market for this commodity. With the opportunity that the Internet provides, it is easier to grow this business if you combine both online and offline methods. 

Being mobile helps a lot because many people are tempted to buy on impulse when they see something they fancy. Having a shop or stall where you sell your wares is good since clients gradually get to identify your stall with a particular line of clothing. Second hand goods that are popular in Kenya range from clothes, handbags, shoes and so much more. You will be spoilt for choice.

11. Soap and Detergent Making Soaps and detergents are normally manufactured by industries but this is one area where an individual can venture and prosper. 

With just a few weeks of training, you can start this business on a small scale, working from home. This is a business that has potential for growth so you can start small and gradually scale up. 
12. Laundry Services This is a business you can run comfortably from home. Many Kenyans are busy and often need someone to do their laundry. You need to invest in a heavy duty washing machine, an iron box, detergents and some laundry baskets. 
It is much easier if you live in a highly populated area where you can easily get a market from your neighborhood. Learn how to be organized and efficient. Separate clothes well so that you don’t mix fabrics or colours. Test for colour fastness and also for the right ironing temperatures. 
The last thing you want is damaged garments. Label clothes carefully so that there is no risk of mixing up clothes for different clients. 
13. Insurance Independent insurance sales representatives are not new in the Kenyan market. They have been around for decades. This is a business that can be combined with an existing business or done on its own. If you put in the work and provide efficient services to your clients, this is a lucrative business. 
14. Help Busy People With Shopping You can sell items such as clothes, shoes, perfumes, jewelry, etc. to busy people who find themselves short on time to do shopping. You can also offer shopping service. 
With Mpesa platform, people don’t have to give you cash if you are to shop in supermarkets and established shops. They can give you their lists then pay through Mpesa and you collect the goods and deliver to them at a fee. 
Consider this especially around the festive season and when schools are about to open since those are some of the busiest times. 
15. Offering Private Lessons There has been a lot of discussions in the media about parents being stuck with their school going children for the long holidays. Many parents are working so they are unavailable to supervise their children. That leaves the children at risk of getting into bad company and messing around. 
You can offer solutions to parents by providing private lessons at a fee. There is a wide range of subjects that you can teach, ranging from playing a music instrument, a sport, art, writing, speaking a language and so much more. Many parents would gladly pay to have their kids kept busy creatively.

Do you have plans of venturing in business? Check out our business coaching program for startups. 

This article is written by: Susan Catherine Keter
Website: www.susancatherineketer.com
Facebook: http://financialindependenceafrica.blogspot.co.ke/2016/11/life-is-competitive-increase-your_17.html
Financial Independence Africa

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