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What I learnt after spending business money to buy personal property

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Samuel Ng’ang’a is the MD at MasterFound Security Group Ltd, a firm that offers security installations and technologies, and guarding services.

In 2020, most businesses were hit hard by the Covid-19 pandemic. However, mine was resilient and managed to grow. We hired more employees in 2020 and managed to pay them promptly and in full. We also give our staff insurance covers for work related injuries and contractual liability in case of a loss to our clients. It is important to know why and who you are hiring. The faster you rope in the best brains, the faster your brand will grow.

In my business, we have made it a priority to hire the top candidates. These include persons who may have served in the military, police stations, prisons and the directorate of criminal investigations. Looking back, I can say that adopting resilient business models, being passionate about the job and honesty, have been my driving force. Most people are either too lazy or too ambitious, and they often fail to build resilience. This is why we have new businesses collapsing every other month despite them being founded on great ideas. I have also come to learn that as an entrepreneur, I must always stick to my vision. Yes, I can tweak it from time to time, but the original idea must stand.

I once spent office money to purchase personal property that was worth Sh7 million. It turned out to be a great liability. Just after acquiring the asset, I got an assignment and was unable to deliver. I had to source externally for funds. The experience taught me about the importance of measuring assets against liability while spending, and also the need to separate office expenses from personal expenditures. On yet another occasion, I allocated the marketing department a big share of the budget, and the move did not bear any fruits. I should have channeled that money into staff training, which has so far proven to be more fruitful. Well trained personnel are the best marketing tools.

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I used a large share of my initial capital on operational costs.  Leasing big office spaces and electronics which were not so necessary. I should have started small and then focused on growing the business. I have realised that entrepreneurship is a better way of creating wealth than formal employment. You get an intense thirst for success and wealth that those who are employed don’t experience.

I invest in money markets, insurance and in Saccos. I find it much easier to access a loan against my shares and savings than from the bank where collateral is needed, and where the process takes a lot of time.

Success is something you achieve through continuous learning. I have learned that you cannot exceed the expectations of your customers unless you first exceed the expectations of your employees. On money, I have learnt that kindness, humility and integrity are more important than money. The desire to make a difference in people’s lives should always come first.

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