Don't sell what you wouldn't buy

Behind every entrepreneur is a story of resilience and boldness. John Muinde is no different.

At the age of 12, he lost his father, who was the sole breadwinner of the family. Life changed for the worse, but as good fortune would have it, he found sponsors along the way to see him through school.

John pursued PR and communications in university, with his eyes set on one day replicating the success of Gina Din, a pioneer of the public relations industry. However, after he got his degree, he didn’t dive straight into entrepreneurship, but took a detour into employment.

His plan was to learn the operational structures within a corporate business so he’d be better prepared to run his own company. He had already registered his business name, so while employed, he learned the ropes and networked extensively. When he felt the time was right, he left to focus on his PR firm, DannRoss Media Africa.

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Two years into the business, John’s entrepreneurship journey has been a mixed bag of experiences. On the one hand, he’s been able to bag listed companies as clients, but on the other, he’s had to go through a nasty ‘divorce’ with his initial business partner.

However, his eyes are still on the prize: success in the PR field. The Business Coach got John in touch with Mary Njoki, the CEO and founder of GlassHouse PR, for insights into manoeuvring in the PR industry for success. Here are some of the highlights of their conversation.

1. Don’t sell what you haven’t bought

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Digital is an integral offering in the PR industry, and aside from offering it to a client, your business needs to execute it in achieving its objective of reaching out to new clients. Never sell to a client what you, as a business, haven’t executed.

2. Capital doesn’t have to be monetary

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The biggest capital in business is the knowledge and skill possessed by the entrepreneur, and this is especially true in a service business. As an entrepreneur, strive to accumulate as much knowledge as you can in the industry you’re in, as well as keep tabs on emerging trends. This is the capital that will make a difference and help you succeed.

3. Have advisers and mentors to guide you

As an entrepreneur, avoid operating in isolation. Have a team of advisers and mentors to keep you accountable and to hold your hand as you navigate new terrain. The team of mentors should preferably be in a different business so that they can give you the benefit of an outsider’s view of the business.

4. Network extensively

An entrepreneur should always be looking out for networking opportunities. Through networking, you get information on business you can bid for or opportunities you can exploit that lead to more sales and greater visibility.

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The Business CoachDannRoss Media AfricaGina DinGlassHouse PR