Lessons To Looming Entrepreneurs

Young entrepreneurs are sometimes in a hurry to make it big quickly. Instead of focusing most attention on monetary returns, an entrepreneur should concentrate most of their energy in giving superior service to their customers. That’s the way their businesses will succeed.

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Here are 4 tips to looming entrepreneurs

Delegate:  You cannot do everything yourself. Learn to live with good enough from your team members.

Responsiveness is power: Get back to clients immediately. If you cannot meet their requirements, don’t waste their time; recommend someone else for the task.

Keep time: Don’t be late for meetings and strictly keep to delivery deadlines. This shows respect for other people. If it is unavoidable, do not give excuses; call early to alert your host.

Cushion yourself against difficult times: Have low margin consistent products that can provide cash flow during low seasons.

Take care of yourself: Eat well, drink lots of water, rest, build and sustain strong relationships over the long term.

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Joanne Mwangi engages Youth at the Entrepreneurship School

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Young people are being challenged to venture into entrepreneurship instead of waiting for employment. With the high rate of youth unemployment in Kenya, renowned Kenyan entrepreneurs believe that entrepreneurship is the only way for the age group.

Joanne Mwangi, the CEO of Professional Marketing Services Group (PMS GROUP), says entrepreneurship is the future for Kenya. Speaking during the “Think Young” Entrepreneurship School at Strathmore University, Mrs Mwangi is of the opinion that a time has come for young people to think beyond the office, and become self-employed, or stay jobless forever.

“The government is doing its part, but young people no longer have the luxury of waiting on the government to create jobs for them. They need to play a more proactive role and look for other alternatives,” she says.

Her sentiments have been echoed by Kenyan business tycoon Dr Manu Chandaria, who believes that Kenya’s youth can do anything they put their minds to. He says with their creativity, they have the ability to become successful entrepreneurs.

“Everything is possible, young people can create jobs for themselves. This however requires a lot of sacrifice, hard work and a burning passion,” he says. “If you don’t have a self-drive, then that’s the end for you.”

Dr Chandaria is also advising the youth to take failure as a stepping stone to the next level.

“Many people want to quit when they fail, but this shouldn’t be so. Failure is the first stage for getting to the next level.”

Mrs Mwangi on the other hand says young people should not be in a hurry to succeed. She says entrepreneurship requires a lot of patience and hard work.

“Young entrepreneurs seem to be in a hurry to make money quickly. They shouldn’t be, and their focus shouldn’t be on the money, but on giving superior service to their customers,” she says. “That’s the way their businesses will succeed.”

Kenya’s unemployment rate currently stands at 40 per cent. 70 per cent of those unemployed in the country are between the ages of 15 and 35.

Dr Chandaria and Mrs Mwangi however say Kenyan youth have the ability to turn this around with their creativity.

The first Entrepreneurship School took place from April 4th  to 8th April 2016 at iBiz Africa, Strathmore University Student Centre. The forum was organized by Think Young, a Brussels-based think tank that focuses on young entrepreneurs.

The Entrepreneurship School takes origins from the belief that the most effective teachers and inspirers of entrepreneurship are actual entrepreneurs.

Entrepreneurs from all around the around the world attended Entrepreneurship School 2016.

Original source:  kbctv

The Brilliant Mind Behind PMS Group

When she sells, people buy – meet Joanne Mwangi CEO Professional Marketing Services Group

By Fred Aminga @faminga [People Plus ]

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At 26, Joanne Mwangi left employment to start her own marketing company. Then, the concept was not well understood and few people believed she would achieve much. Not one to give up without trying, Mwangi drew her fighting spirit from one of the greatest innovators the world has ever known, Thomas Edison who was told by teachers that he was ‘too stupid to learn anything.’

The American innovator was fired from his first two jobs for being ‘non-productive’. As an inventor, Edison made 1,000 unsuccessful attempts at inventing the light bulb. When a reporter asked: “How does it feel to fail 1,000 times?” Edison replied: “I didn’t fail 1,000 times. The light bulb was an invention with 1,000 steps.”

She says Edison’s answer: “Therefore, no, I am not afraid of failing; failure provides the opportunity to begin again, more intelligently,” was what gave her a spring in her gait and 18 years later, she is running Professional Marketing Services (PMS), one of the best marketing groups in the country.

Prior to working at PMS Group, she served in leading multinationals and led Kenya’s most successful marketing programme through the Kenya Tourist Board and the European Union. Mwangi was nominated as ‘Business Woman of the year 2013 in the Johnnie Walker Blue Label CNBC Africa, All Africa Business Leaders Awards, (AABLA) for the East African round.

Last year, the alumnus of University of Nairobi and United States International University was awarded the highest marketing accolade possible – a Marketing Society of Kenya Fellow that recognises her contribution to raising the bar in marketing and management standards.

And although the award ceremonies may not have given Mwangi a chance to narrate her journey on the corporate ladder, she never forgets where she came from, a lesson she picked during her days at Alliance High School. “I started this business in 1996, straight out of Colgate Palmolive, when I identified a gap in the market.

I used my savings to buy basic necessities to start off the business. PMS’s first premises were in a single room. I would drive in every morning, mop the floor, clean the table and dust the furniture. I would work on proposals and drive to industrial area to deliver them myself,” says Mwangi.

Before her stint at Colgate, she worked as a sales executive at The East African Standard. Charged with ambition and driven by the urge to take care of her young family, Mwangi was willing to risk it all and lunge into the uncertainty of self-employment.

Fortunately, luck was also on her side because when she ventured into the business, most people did not know that professional marketing services could be paid for, so she faced little competition and in three years, her company thrived beyond her wildest dreams at a time when the economy was in turmoil. However, this did not last because she misused her money, forcing her to seek employment again.

In between work, she went enrolled at United States International University for a Masters in Strategic Business Management. She says that the glitter of the corporate world was tempting. It was a comfort zone. The glamorous lifestyles led by her friends who were holding various positions in multinational companies could easily have derailed her dreams.

“I thought I might have given myself the short end of the stick by going to start my own business. When I went back to employment, I was employed at the Kenya Tourism Board and I was one of the top managers,” she says. Mwangi says the re-employment taught her vital lessons.

“There, I learnt so much, I got a lot of international exposure and I met the best brains in the world while I represented Kenya externally,” she says. This gave her confidence and faith in her marketing skills and she quit to start a company.

The newfound vitality enabled Mwangi to get business with the government and corporates like Bidco, Reckit Benkiser, Del Monte, Uchumi and Doom. The business is now a respected brand seller and she recently bagged a contract from the government to offer public relations services for online procurement.

Mwangi who is a mother to three children, two boys and a girl always endeavours to be home at 6 o’clock at least three times a week to spend time with them. To unwind, she likes to walk, listen to music or party with friends. Once in a while a rigorous hike or run helps clear her mind.

[Joanne Mwangi is founder and CEO of Professional Marketing Services Group. She also sits on the boards of various associations, some of which she founded with other industry players.]