Author: Victor Nyorani
Many Kenyan entrepreneurs have a hard time getting capital to start or grow their businesses.
Even those who get capital face the risk of all that money going down the drain if the business fails, like hundreds of others that have closed shop in the past few months.
Therefore, the best way of going about it is to find a “safe” source of capital – not taking out a loan, which you’ll have to repay whether the business succeeds or not.
Here are several options to consider.
1. Offer cheap pre-payment plans
Pre-payment plans are an incredibly valuable strategy not only to get capital for your business but also paying customers.
Talk about killing two birds with one stone.
It’s such an effective technique that even established companies use it.
A simple example is concert tickets. Concert organizers typically offer lower prices for tickets purchased in advance, and higher prices for tickets purchased on the event day.
The lower-priced advance tickets can pull in huge crowds before the event starts. And the money generated can be enough to cater for all the costs of setting up the concert.
A New York business owner called Louis Rossmann applied a similar strategy when getting a retail store for his Mac repair services. By offering dirt-cheap pre-payment for his repair services, he got a whole bunch of customers who gave him enough money to pay for the rent for his new retail store.
With a bit of creativity, you can apply it to just about any other business.
2. Use a barter trade deal for an office
Perhaps, the capital you need will be used to pay rent for your business premises. If so, why not try to get the business premises without the money.
You can do this by offering some service to a business owner in exchange for using his/ her premises for your business. With such an arrangement, you’ll need to identify a business that’s compatible with yours.
Maybe you’re planning to start a movie selling shop, and you know of someone who needs an attendant for his/ her clothing retail shop. You can offer your services as an attendant in the shop in exchange for running your movie selling business in the shop.
As long as the deal is a win-win, it should work well for both parties involved.
After all, even in this case, established companies run similar partnership deals. That’s what’s happening when you buy a laptop manufactured by Hewlett Packard with the Windows operating system from Microsoft.
3. Get a supplier credit
Ever wondered how some of your friends managed to start big hardware shops, yet they didn’t seem to have so much money?
Well, they probably didn’t have that much money, but they had something even better…
They probably got a supplier credit.
Here, the supplier can stock your shop, and you repay the supplier as you sell your products. You’ll probably need to make an initial deposit.
With this strategy, you can start your business with a bang!
If you’re planning on doing online retail, you’re in an even better position.
You can start a MEGA online retail store with ZERO inventory. No loans. No supplier credit. All you’ll need is your online website and some funds for marketing the site.
And it gets even better.
When buyers order anything from your site, you’ll never handle the product yourself. You’ll just get the money in your account.
This is possible with drop-shipping.
With drop-shipping, you’re partnering with the supplier, whereby the supplier handles the order fulfilment. Through an online platform like Shopify, any order made through your site is directed to the supplier.
If there was ever an easy way to run a retail store, this is it.
It’s so easy that you can start and make tons of cash within days, as you can see in this video.
What’s more, such a business is not just limited to one country. You can reach clients in different regions.
With a bit of creativity, you can develop many other strategies to start your business without a loan. All you need to do is identify and take advantage of the existing opportunities around you.