Most successful small businesses in Kenya: My name is Mike Kubai. Despite being an IT expert, in 2012 I was extremely broke. I decided not to tether my hopes to my inner computer skills. I got two job opportunities. One, a supermarket attendant and another a car-wash boy. I learnt of the two opportunities from a lady, friend of mine. She is a teacher and she was based in Maua town then.
That’s where both the supermarket and the car-wash were based. The supermarket was paying 12k while the car-wash ni bidii yako. I thought to myself. In a supermarket, I have to wait until the end of the month. What will I be eating and drinking? No flexibility, personal time and also time to worship. I opted for the car wash, whereby I was getting paid kulingana na bidii yangu. The car wash was owned by two guys from Mwea and it was located in Maua town- Meru County.
I was welcomed by the then car wash manager called Andrew Munyi whom we became friends up-to-date. I met two class eight leavers, four form four leavers and three guys in their tertiary level. I joined them. The first day I made Ksh265. I used Kshs. 150 for food (i.e. 50 breakfast, 50 lunch and 50 supper).
The second day, Kshs. 320. I picked up slowly by slowly. I must say that car wash activity is not simple but was much willing to learn. In fact I was trained by a lady called Sally Mutevu whom I treasure up to date. I started getting my own customers. They couldn’t be served by somebody else in my presence.
Most of them would buy me ‘tea’ of like 20bob, 50bob and the likes. I was getting paid 65bob for the small cars like probox, caldina wing-road, pick-ups, corolla etc. We were charging 150bob for small cars so the owners of the car wash would get 85bob for every car, and I, 65bob. It reached to a point I would make to 10cars by 4PM in the evening.
That would amount to about 650. Plus tips from my loyal customers which totaled to about 1K in a day. Some customers comfortably paid me 200 bob. I would give the company/employer their 85b0b and pocket 115. Opening time was 6.00am and closing time was 9.00PM. I worked selflessly.
I was my own cheering squad. I knew what I wanted. I pursued it with all my heart, with all my soul, spirit and body! I would wake up earlier than anybody else to just come and meet that morning customer. You know a man who sleeps with an itchy anus wakes up with smelly fingers! Bed and sleep were not my friends.
Customers knew me and I knew them. Not only by names and looks but also their contacts. I would call a customer and tell them to bring their car for washing. (They ought to have known that I needed money. Ala!) I was a very faithful worker. In case a customer left their coins kwa dashboard, they’d get their money safe.
I never took advantage of their forgotten or displaced memory cards, flash disks and other valuables. I was highly disciplined (even now I am). For one year, I used 150bob every day for meals, 100bob every week for airtime, 200shs for Sunday Offering. No more.
I thank God for I never fell sick. At one point, the car wash watchman was sacked. I decided to take-up his job. The manager accepted since he really trusted me. He could not make any decision without getting my advice. No changes were implemented without my input.
No more employees without my consent. You know the more the employees, the less the work therefore less money to us. That means the earnings would go down. I became a watchman. I would break from washing cars at 7.00PM, sleep up to 9.00PM.
Wake up, take supper, then of to work. I’d spend my night on facebook until 6.00 in the morning. In 2012 is the most active year on facebook. Zukerburg ought to have awarded me… Then I would sleep up to 8.00am halafu.. Car washing business starts. I was getting an extra 8,000 Kshs every month for seven months that I was a watchman. It was a good deal by the way. I never strained and it never affected anything!
After all I had nothing to be affected. Now what? I worked while saving for one year. I had started in January 2012. By December, I had 230K in the account. I decided to quit washing cars in 2013 January. I had to add over my customers to others. That’s how I started my first Printing business. I fully applied my IT skills there.
I love Computers. It birthed my first company. In fact I registered my company in April 2013. The business is thriving so well today. Out of that, several others have been born. You can start from scratches to some place. You only need to be focused, determined and disciplined!
Above all, trust in the Lord, He who gives the power to make wealth! The saddest thing in this story is, there are people i met washing those cars, left them in the same place, and when I visited that place last year, I met them.
All the wealth, development, health and achievements are in the mind of a human being. I wish you God’s blessings. Shalom!
Most successful small businesses in Kenya. Most successful small businesses in Kenya.