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Home / Investments

7 Golden side hustle rules.

 Photo; Courtesy

An acquaintance who is a roads engineer decided to ‘make money like everyone else’ by going into a side business.

She picked horticulture. She talked to experts, rented a farm and set up green houses to grow French beans and tomatoes for export.

The investment gobbled about Sh5 million in the crops and structures while the farm manager, part time agronomist, labor, water and costs such as sprays and boosters took some more monthly.

Harvest time and the first sales was a big disappointment. When she started out, the professionals had painted a rosy picture of the investment versus returns, motivating her to invest heavily.

Being a full time employee, she had little time to supervise her investment and trusted that her workers would do a good job. But once workers know your schedule, they take advantage and immensely benefit from your sweat.

In Kenya, there are cartels at high levels and at the lowest. Your workers can comfortably gang up against you and come up with a perfect plan to steal from you.

Well, workers will always steal from the employer – that is how uncouth human beings are – but when you have a keen eye, you reduce the extent.

As you think of investment, which is mandatory for everyone, do not go to areas you do not understand or have little time to monitor. If you are living in Mombasa, for instance, do not plan to raise dairy cows in Sotik. If you do, you will be doing this for other people to enjoy your sweat and reap from your dream.

So how do you make your side-hustle a success?

1. Think:

 Before you invest, ask yourself some pertinent questions. Why am I going into this particular venture? How will I go about it? Who will help me achieve my vision? What will I lose or benefit by going this particular way? Where will I get the capital to start?

2. Deliberate:

 Start by assessing the time you will commit to the project. Being part and parcel of the whole process enables you understand the venture better and enjoy the progress.

With this knowledge, no worker will cunningly tell you that a certain expensive spray is needed when you know the last one applied will be effective for another four weeks. Your attention to your farm will cut your costs to amazing levels.

3. Calculate:

 As you calculate your profits at the end of the venture, factor in losses associated with climate change, theft by workers and oversupply in market. Work on these at your planning stage. For market, time the harvest of your crop to coincide with scarcity.

 It is noteworthy that in December through January green groceries are hardly in the market. That is time for you to sell yours at a good price.

4. Be shrewd:

To reduce theft among workers, you must be shrewd. Use the divide-and-rule approach of political leaders. Talk to two or three workers individually, make them feel special and give them goodies now and then. They will be indebted to you for life and will always have your back covered businesswise even if you are away for weeks.

5. Cut costs:

 The cost of transport is one thing that many investors forget to include in their master plan yet this is one expenditure that can create a huge dent in your profit margins if not controlled.

Work on ways to reduce it. You can also make one trip to the farm beneficial – you carry all farm implements needed for a duration and also pick foodstuff from the farm for home.

6. Be patient:

Like all businesses, do not expect profit in the first year. You will definitely start enjoying fruits of your labour after a while. Patience is the greatest value you need to add to your investment. Without it, you will easily give up and, as usual, do so when you are just about to make a breakthrough.

7. Love it:

Get into your new venture with enthusiasm and hope. If anything, give it your best shot.

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