Category Archives: Startups

Learning New Rules – Well Some Are Old!

I have always had the entrepreneur bone in me, sadly I am not what you would call an entrepreneur – well not yet anyway! I have started and been part of a number of ventures, learnt a lot of lessons, some REALLY costly and yet I still have more to learn.

This year I am crossing a MAJOR milestone in my life but before I get to the crossing line, i fugured I would as well start now making some of the changes I wanted to make in my life, try to achieve some of the things that I had planned to have achieved by the time I get to the milestone. I do not have a lot of time but I am hopeful that I can achieve a lot.

Well as far as that task goes, here is a long list of additional rules that I shall try to master in the meantime. I stumbled on this list awhile ago and have tried to follow them whenever I can, and here I am going to share them. I did not come up with these rules, James Altucher did, here!

Here is my summary;

  1. Its not fun – Yap, it hasn’t been fun at all. There have been times I have been sad and cried too and questioned myself why I chose to live this life. I have given more times that I would have ever wanted to, I am hoping to learn to accept this rule and accept that quitting or starting something else is not always the solution.
  2. Try not to hire people – I am not sure I agree with this entirely. I know that one has to know what they are good at and what they suck at, then you work with people that supplement you. But then again I tend to be a micro-manager so I have trouble getting the right people to hire. Ya, I am still confused about this rule.
  3. Get a customer – This I live by! Whatever it is that you start or are doing, it is useless unless there are people willing to pay for it. I still remember my first Item sold on Meka – I am still bummed I killed that project, I am not going to get into it now.
  4. Its ok to fail – I used to fear failing but after starting a number of ventures and most of them failing, I have learnt to embrace failing, my fear is to get to causal about failure – I still need it to scare the shit outta me.
  5. Try to be profitable from the word go! – There is always the urge to make the first sale, even if it happens at your cost but that is wrong.
  6. Love competition – it switches your beastmode on! It is also an indication that what you are working on has potential.
  7. Communicate with everyone. Employees. Customers. Investors. All the time. Every day. Employees want to know what to do, they want to know you are thinking of their overall career. At the moment I still suck at this, but I taking lessons from my girlfriend – she is friends with everyone. She keeps her connections, communicates with everyone easily.. I need that!
  8. Do everything for your customers.  – I am learnt a few pointers from Colin Asiimwe on this. He is one chap that always happy to make connections – Introductions. Ok back to doing everything for your customer… Get them girlfriends or boyfriends. Help them find other companies to meet their needs. Even introduce them to your competitors if you think a competitor can help them or if you think you are about to be fired. Always think first, “What’s going to make my customer happy?”Note: EVEN if that means introduce them to a competitor. If you are the SOURCE, then everybody comes back to the source. — thanks James
  9. Lastly but not least, reward and appreciate your customers, buy them gifts – movie tickets, dinners, you name it.
  10.  Get the whole list here – trick to rock them all is to start off with a few at the time and perfect them.

Well, go ahead and kick butt. While at it, do not forget to connect with me 😉
Follow me on twitter here @cmugume

Is Neophobia such a big problem in Uganda?

Everyone hates Kampala traffic (at least all the people that I know) and mostly during the Christmas season but for some reason we still crowd up on the roads every passing day. One would say there are way too many cars in Kampala than the roads can handle but then, you wonder where were all these cars at the beginning of the month? Or is that many people buy cars in December?

Image credit -  Shelby Elizabeth

Image credit – Shelby Elizabeth

There is no need to wonder, Its non of that!

The reason for the crazy traffic is the number of people that are rushing to do last minute shopping for Christmas things that they did not buy early enough. – Which further confirms the claim that most Ugandans are unorganized and do not plan ahead enough!

That is why the human traffic in all the leading Supermarkets in Kampala is unbelievable. Have you been to Shoprite or Capital Shoppers this week? Better be prepared to spend at least 30 minutes in the queue waiting to pay for your purchases.

Knowing all this, why do you have to go through all this when there are options, solutions that would take all this away! Online shopping!

The online stores in Uganda have even gone further and offered payment on delivery, something that is actually unique to Africa. A while ago, the issue with many Ugandan’s buying online was the fear of fraud, the fear of new technology when it comes to money and the issue of online payments with our banks but that payment on delivery solves all this!

Why are we spending hours in queues, in traffic to buy something that we could easily order from the comfort of our homes or offices? If you are one of these people, why are you doing this?

The other day, Kaymu actually had a Pop Up shop at Lugogo Mall where they were connecting with people that have made purchases from their website and those that are yet to make purchases. I found this pop-up shop rather interesting. I mean, I thought an online campaign to reach these people would have worked much better but a chat with a member of their team got me to appreciate their efforts even more. This was actually the second time that Kaymu had a pop-up shop, their idea is to have a personal connection with their buyers and potential buyers!

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“If you get to talk to them offline, then they will be more comfortable to buy online”  he said!

This got me wondering, do Ugandans have trust issues?! Or is neophobia such a big problem in Uganda? But then again we have had the same Government for almost 30 years now! Hmm..

If you are like me and hate traffic and queues as much as I do, make us of this website, you wont regret it! They have a simple collection of items that they have put together for Christmas, take a look