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Of late, Justine and I have been receiving lots of messages from our readers and the following 4 questions seem to dominate the list of inquiries.

“I have saved little capital, could you please give me a good business idea that I can invest in with quick returns?”

“What are some of the business ideas that you would recommend to a person who has no experience as an entrepreneur?”

“There are limited opportunities in the Kenyan rural areas, what type of business can I start over there?”

“I already have a job and I would like to start a part-time business (or side-hustle) so that I can boost my income. Can you help me?”

So what does it take to identify the right kind of idea?

*6 Clues That Will Give You a Business Idea*

*CLUE 1: Look at Which Problems Affect Your Society*

This is the first and easiest way to arrive at a viable business idea. Look at what problems face majority of people in your neighborhood and try to come up with a comprehensive solution and make it a business.

For example, if people in your area are having to travel for long distances to re-fill their cooking gas cylinders you can pick the idea of starting a shop that supplies gas cylinders.

If people are having problems accessing clean water, think of drilling a borehole and start selling them water for a small fee.

If people are struggling getting quality education, and you can help, why not start a coaching business?

If people are too busy in the office and have no time for lunch, why not start a food supply business?

As much as the society will never lack problems you will never lack a business idea.

*CLUE 2: Sell Your Expertise as a Service*

Everyone of us is an expert in one way or another. For example, while I am good at offering business advice, someone else is quite good at photography. You also have an area of expertise as well – may be you are a good cook or you are an excellent sportsman.

If you are good at playing the guitar why not think of starting a guitar school and start offering guitar lessons for a fee?

If you are good at social media why not start building your social media consultancy business today?

If you are good at offering fashion advice why not start a fashion blog?

The beauty of starting a business at an area you are an expert in is that you can easily beat the competition so long as you offer quality services to your clients. Of course, such a business might be difficult to start but with patience, dedication and quality services; there’s no room for failure.

*CLUE 3: Convert Your Passion or Talent into a Business*

We all have our unique passions and talents. You have your talent or special ability that you can transform into a business.

It doesn’t matter how strange your talent or passion is, provided you have the guts to market it out there you can rest assured of getting a customer or two.

For example, there is this young man who walks around Nairobi carrying a big drum on his shoulders. He calls himself “The One Man Band” because he plays all of his 12 instruments by himself. While that is a somewhat strange talent, he still makes a living from it.

So, how different is this man from you? The only difference is that he is bold enough and does not shy off from marketing his talent.

Stand up right now and market your talent or passion and customers will gradually come to you.

*CLUE 4: Create Your Own Product*

What makes Mark Zuckenberg (the man behind Facebook) and Bill Gates (the man behind Microsoft) so different from the rest of us? These two men created unique products that changed the world for good.

You can also create a product that will change the world for good – and you don’t need to be a scientist to do this.

For example, you could start making unique bracelets and jewelries. You can as well write a book and sell it. You can record a good video of yourself and sell it.

If you are a good fashion designer, you can create a unique shirt say with Kenyan colors and sell.

The only important thing you need to do to make a breakthrough here is to make sure that your product is helpful, unique, original and of high quality.

NOTE: No matter how strange your idea is, somebody out there is yearning to benefit from it and would even pay a premium to consult you for it.

*CLUE 5: Make a Cheaper Version of an Existing Product*

You can start a company that offers customers an existing product at a lower price. For instance, you can start a cheaper barbershop to compete with pricy ones in your estate. Or you could start offering cheaper courier services from Mombasa to Nairobi.

If you can bake cakes, you can price your products at a cheaper rate (without compromising on quality) and market aggressively.

What about you start a cheaper car wash offering the same quality services as your competitors?

People are always looking for ways to save and if you can offer your products even for Ksh.5/= cheaper than your competitors you can easily secure a place for your company in the market.

Note that, while giving products at a cheaper price might be a good idea, the same has to translate to profit for your business. So be careful not to sell your products at a loss all in the name of wooing new customers into your business.

*CLUE 6: Think About The Future*

Ask yourself, what is next? Think about trends and technologies on the horizon and how you might innovate something that makes the future better.

For example, you can think about innovating a solution that will help smartphone owners use their phones for long without worrying about battery life.

Think about creating a mobile phone application that makes it possible to search Google without the internet (oops! I hear somebody has already done that).

You only need to observe modern trends, then predict the needs of the future and then create a solution for those needs.

*What Lesson Can We Learn From This Long Article?*

√ There are many ideas out there and it is upon you to use the right method to identify the right ones for you

√ No one will ever give you a magical idea if you don’t go out there to research

√ Don’t sell your products at a loss all in the name of attracting new buyers

√ If you have little or no capital, it is best to start a service-based business

√Before you create a new product or sell a certain product ask yourself, “Would I need to buy this if I came across it in the market?”

Overall, the easiest ways to arrive at a good business idea is by thinking about solving a problem in your society.


Timothy Angwenyi
Business Consultant

Justine Nyachieo
Business Man & Mentor

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