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Sunday, June 26, 2011

Hidden Profits: How to squeeze more profits from your business

By Jeff Kumekucha

Times are pretty hard for entrepreneurs in the country and getting harder. With the drastic weakening of the Kenya shilling many have found that suddenly their profit margin has been eroded. But they can’t dare just increase prices because doing so will chase away your customers.

And yet if they do nothing they will end up making losses, in some cases huge losses.

So what to do?

The most viable option for you is to squeeze out more profits from your existing customers or from your existing business without increasing prices.

How do you do this exactly?

Let us deal with a specific example here so that the lesson sinks in deep.

A few years back Nation newspapers were faced with the same problem. Prices of fuel to transport their newspapers had risen dramatically at a time when the price of their imported newsprint had shot up because of the weakening of the Kenya shilling. A less creative business would have simply raised the prices of their newspapers and lost hoardes of customers in the process putting the business in a worse situation.

Instead what the company did was to find a very creative way to squeeze out more profits from their business. Now you need to understand that the Nation newspaper is the top seller in East and Cantral Africa because of their distribution system which takes the newspaper to every corner of the country and beyond. The big problem is that when the van that delivers newspapers to a certain place comes back, it returns empty and yet still costs the same it cost on the first trip. Now if only they could figure out a way to make the return trip profitable.

Nation courier services was created. The same can carrying the newspapers would now carry packages and letters and deliver them on the newspaper route. On the way back the same van would carry more packages and letters coming from the newspaper route and destined for the capital city where the newspapers head office is. Pure genius and it worked like magic.

Actually what happened in this case is that the company started a subsidiary business with zero capital. They simply used their existing infrastructure and vehicles for delivering newspapers daily to start a brand new business.

Can you apply the same trick to your business to squeeze out more profits from your existing infrastructure?

Here are a few examples to help you come up with that magical idea that will lift your business to the next level.

Read part 2 of this article.

Even before you read Part 2 you can read about many more specific examples from the Kenyan market and beyond that will help you find hidden profits in your business that you never thought existed. It does not matter what kind of business you are in, whether it is a website or small stall in the market or a high tech computer company, these ideas will impact on your profits and bottom line. Get my regular Free Hidden Profits report NOW.

15 comments:

MUSEBE said...

Hi Chris, as always you were spot on. I must say that i liked your views on "Hidden Profits: How to squeeze more profits from your business" thank you very much. Your readers may also benefit by reading something on CBK at www.theweeklyvision.blogspot.com
MUSEBE

Anonymous said...

If u really want to do business, Turkey is the best place to do it.
I just come back from there and there are so many opportunities there and surpringly the country is not expensive.
*please not tell anyone, only for KK readers*

And by the way I noticed Turkish language is so similar to Swahili

here are some of the words I noticed which has exact meaning as Swahili.

Sigara - Cigarrete
Dakika -Minutes
Nguvu - Strength

Well I also noticed "Mavi" is used very often there albeit with a very different meaning to Swahili... Lol

Anonymous said...

A few years back Nation newspaper were faced with the same problem.

Namely, profit maximization, but unfortunately for the management and fortunately for the Nation's drivers, route supervisors and 80% of distribution managers, 99.9% of the vehicles were always loaded to capacity when return to the big city on their back to the Nation newpaper's depot.

The employees had been doing a brisk business for decades, and many of them went on to become onwers of large properties and businesses around the country.

The same happened with the Akamaba, Coast, Mawingo, Malindi, Kungeria, a passenger coach liners (bus comapnies) that frequented the Nairobi-Mombasa, Nairobi-Kisumu, Nairobi-Kisii, Nairobi-Kakamega, Nairobi-Eldoret-Malaba, Nairobi-Busia, Nairobi-Nanyuki-Isiolo routes among others.

The drivers, co-drivers, their helpers ("turnboys") and loaders always made extra room or space for contraband (transportation of goods that were off the company's books).

Guess what? That's how a lot of fresh produce and other goods from upcountry found their way into the markets in Naukuru, Mombasa and Nairobi, as early as 3:00 am and 4:00 am.

Don't even bother mentioning the old time Kenya Railways, Kenya Postal Service and the "Kebra" (landcruisers) that used to transport miraa from Eastern province to North Eastern, Nairobi, Mombasa, Nakuru, Kisumu and elsewhere arround the country.

The underground transport business was only curtailed after some of the employees, former drivers, clerks and route supervisors were promoted to mangerial positions and started contributed some of their input, the so called original grassroots ideas on how to stimulate profit maximization to the core.

Giving rise to parcels services, overnight delivery services, express services, PPS ('person-to-person services'), BBS ('business-to-business services') and many more other services besides transporting passengers overland.

Sadly, there are some restaurants and cafes that usually start cutting corners to the point of exposing their clients to so many known and unknown risks in the name of profit maximization.

The hotels are no exception to the rule, some are known to be notrious in cutting corners when it comes to cleaning their laundry, other housekeeping services and inhouse security.

An bus companies as well as other transport firms, do end up compromising with regard to regular mainteenance of their vehicles and the quality of the mechanics that work at some of their depots.

There are so many pros and cons when it comes to profit mazimization, it's the consumers who end up getting shafted in both the short term and long run.

Anonymous said...

@6:38 AM
I hate to rain on your ongoing discovery parade. Wareno, Wafarizi, Wabulushi, Waomani, Waosmaniyye and (Waturiki) once ruled the East African coast from the Gulf of Eden all the way to Durban, South Africa.

Check the various inscriptions in Lamu, Malindi and Mombasa, the next time you happen to visit the region.

Anonymous said...

NB: Waosmaniyye ni sawa na Waturuki. Same old Empire that once had dominion over the whole region. We even still share similar cuisine.

Mwarang'ethe said...

Well written.

As concerns the DN's ability to remodell its business, no one can deny was a brilliant idea.

However, there is an limit to what a businessman can do when people have no purchasing power. This applies more so to the small and young companies which lack resources.

As this inflation drags on, we will be left with only BIG BUSINESS. And, when this happens, be prepared for FASCISM.

xxx

"Times are pretty hard for entrepreneurs in the country and getting harder. With the drastic weakening of the Kenya shilling many have found that suddenly their profit margin has been eroded. But they can’t dare just increase prices because doing so will chase away your customers."

xxx

When it comes to this, and the link provided by MESEBE, we take a different approach.

The idea of Kenyans running helter and skelter because of so called inflation is a non - starter. This is the DEVIL'S PHILOSOPHY.

Who is the CAUSE of all this misery? It is the man/men who call, or, called themselves CBK Governors. They are nothing, but, VIPERS and THIEVES.

All we need is a man like Andrew Jackson, the 7th USA President, who closed the central bank that existed those days.

Just sample his speech in 1836:

"Gentlemen, I have had men watching you for a long time and I am convinced that you have used the funds of the bank to SPECULATE in the breadstuffs of the country.

When you won, you divided the profits amongst you, and when you lost, you charged it to the bank.

You tell me that if I take the deposits from the bank and ANNUL its CHARTER, I shall ruin ten thousand families. That may be true, gentlemen, but that is your sin! Should I let you go on, you will ruin fifty thousand families, and that would be my sin!

You are a den of vipers and thieves."

xxx

It is time Kenyans understood that, the CBK is a DEN of VIPERS, and ROBBERS who steal food from the children, the weak and poor with their so called Monetary Policies which are nothing, but, the worst known TYRANNY like that of the ancient East.

You doubt? Sample this:

"Ndung’u said over the week June 9 to 16, the five banks EXPORTED over $260 million, while the volume of BORROWING from CBK went in a similar period, suggesting arbitrage opportunities."

You see, they get KES from Njuguna, and exchange it into $$$ and take the $$ out. In other words, PROFITS WITHOUT PRODUCTION.

When Kenyans are crying for INVESTMENT MONEY so as to create jobs, Njuguna is giving the BIG 5 to SPECULATE.

And, why not. Njuguna is "independent" to do whatever he wants with PUBLIC RESOURCES.

In other words, he is FREE to ENRICH a few while IMPOVERSISHING the MAJORITY. And, to do this, the NEW CONSTITUTION, protects him! You can't make these stuff.

Anyway, as Isaacs would say:

Slave master (Njuguna) comes around and spank I with his whip, the whip

But if I don't get my desire
Then I'll set the plantations in fire

My temperature is getting much higher

http://is.gd/OXq4Gk

Anonymous said...

who is the MP who killed a student in westlands? Names please

Anonymous said...

Anon 8:04AM
You are in the wrong forum here this is not KBC or Nation. stick to the post Hidden Profits: How to squeeze more profits from your business

Anonymous said...

Where is Mabel Mark?

Marble Marks & Joshua Kulei planned to buy an airline with stolen money


SHE was the boss of an asylum seeker housing firm which received £18 million in taxpayer funding before being forced into liquidation because of unpaid debts.Kulei was the African billionaire who had gone from prison warder to be a leading figure in the Kenyan Government.

Now the extraordinary links between Mabel Mark and Joshua Kulei can be revealed for the first time They include details of how Mrs Mark and her asylum firm, Kimberley Group Housing Group (KGHL), received £1 million from the wealthy Kenyan – to help buy an AIRLINE in Africa.

The money was transferred in a series of payments into her personal and company accounts, with £125,000 later used as the deposit on a Cessna.

But the airline, called Mabel Air, never got off the ground while Mrs Mark’s asylum housing company is now in liquidation.

She claims her £10 million-plus assets have also been frozen as part of an ongoing investigation by the UK Border Agency (UKBA).
‘‘I had met him a number of times in the last 10 years. He was interested in airlines but could not get an air licence.

‘‘He gave me £1 million. It went through the British banks and he transferred money from his bank in Nairobi.’’

When asked how much money was paid by Mr Kulei into the KGHL company account, she said: ‘‘£200,000. The other money he had given me earlier, sometimes it came into my personal account.

‘‘We agreed everything should be done here (in the UK) as I could not always be going to Africa for meetings.’’

Mrs Mark later paid £125,000 from her personal account for a deposit on the Cessna Caravan. She said: ‘‘Everything I ever did was clean and I always sought advice.

continue at http://www.semaniseme.com/node/254

Anonymous said...

who sends letters nowadays? Email, phone, skype, sms.

I agree that something else costly and profitable could be sent by Nation Transport System to Nbi: Please ask Mwau.

Anonymous said...

Who is it that once said Besides learning to see, there is another art to be learned - not to see what is not.

Let me be advocatus diaboli for a moment without throwing any devil's arrows at those who beg to differ or hold a different view.

'Hidden profits' and 'squeezing more profits'?

Are we forgoting the airline industry, where the art of squeezing every last dollar, euro and shilling from the powerless passengers has been perfected and elevated to new heights and slapping travellers with hidden fees is the modus operandi?

Lest we forget the pharmaceutical industry where drug companies continue to renew their patents so that they can continue to win the war of "hidden profits" while holding consumers hostage for as long as they remain the sole manufacturers of the essential drugs (medicines).

Squeezing more profits from your business is music to the ears if one is a proprietor, entrepreneur, middleman, agent, lender or profiteer of sorts.

On the other hand, it's one of the most excruciating wallet (checkbook) pain for consumers with no viable alternatives.

Then there are the rogue elements in the pharmaceutical industry, these are people who have perfected the art of 'rebranding medecines' whose prescribed time has already expired.

Only to turn around ship them overseas to unsuspecting governments, institutions, agencies and importers for 75% less or even at half the cost of the original price.

All done in the name of squeezing more profits from their businesses for as long as they last or manage to stay afloat.

Ever wonder why some diseases have become stubbornly drug resistance?

And what about some notorious abattoirs that substitute beef with horse, donkey, carmel, or buffalo meat, all done in the name of gunning for hidden profits?

You be the judge.

Anonymous said...

LOL! Emailing, phoning, skyping, texting, tweeting, facebooking etc maybe the order of the day.

But so far parcels, court summons, adminstrative, search warrants, arrest warrants, subpoenas, affidavits, traffic citations, marriage certificates, birth certificates, death certificates, divorce papers, and many other legal documents are still being sent through the old fashioned way.

Imagine a time will come when schools and colleges begin to send diplomas to their students via the latest hand held devices.

Anonymous said...

Chris
Why are the police so overwhelmed by several consecutive unresolved criminal cases such as the staged gun attack on Mwau's car, the suicide of Sammy Wanjiru and now the mysterious death of a young university of nairobi girl linked to drug dealer Kabogo?

Its time for Commissioner Iteere to admit he is powerless to investigate or arrest anyone suspected of wrongdoing in Kenya because they are just too powerful to face justice

Now they are investigating a so called dark mercedes benz reportedly seen driving away from the scene of the murder of the young university girl. For crying out loud how many dark mercedez benz are there in nairobi? how sure are they that the anonymous tip about the mercedes benz was not relayed to them by the murderers themselves?

This is just another wild goose chase and the commissioner needs to be fired before the entire force is reconstituted and made independent and autonomous so they can do their job freely without obstruction. Otherwise this case for the girl will end up similar to Julie Ward the unresolved murder of the british woman killed by a highly connected government individuals

Anonymous said...

Why would anyone in their right mind resolve to fire the police commissioner over the deaths of individuals who were solely responsible for their own demise in the first place?

We should never speak ill of the dead for obvious reasons, however the fact of the matter is that the late Wanjiru would still be alive today and busy preparing for the 13th IAAF World Championships that will be held in Daegu, South Korea, from 27 August - 4 September, 2011.

If he had not left the training camp in Eldoret, and put himself in harm's way by heading out for the nightly escapades that cost him his life.
----------------------------------------------------------------------
One would have expected the death of the female university student to spark riots all over the city, given the nature of her death and some of the political personalities that were allegedly involved in some kind of alteraction hours prior to her death.

But thank goodness because the masterminds of the students'demonstrations and riots had other pressing matters to attend to.
----------------------------------------------------------------------

Did alcohol play a role or contribute to her death? Was it a vehicular homicide as a result of the victim wondering into night traffic after she had been kicked out of the party?

Or was she a victim of sexual assault, who was attacked, raped and later murdered by some people or an individual who had met her at the private party?
----------------------------------------------------------------------

The issue of the alleged mysterious black or navy blue or dark grayish blue mercedes benz seen leaving the scene of the crime after dumping off a lifeless body is just hearsay akin to an era when double impunity reigned and the dreded "mysterious white saloon vehicles" drove fear deep into the hearts and homes of many ordinary citizens.
----------------------------------------------------------------------
What do the deaths have in common? Victims were in the wrong place at the wrong time, and alcohol seems to have been a contributing factor.
----------------------------------------------------------------------
Mr. Matthew Iteere has no case to answer other than to let the investigating officers do their job as they continue to search for more evidence and better leads that will help solve the two murders.
----------------------------------------------------------------------
The murder of Julie Ward had nothing to do with highly connected government officials. She may have been a victim of a rogue tourist or a lone wolf.

A crime of opportunity as it were, that had nothing to with KWS, the government of Kenya, wondering poachers or ivory cartel as purported at the time.
----------------------------------------------------------------------
With all due respect, the father of the victim could have spent the two million pounds on establishing a fitting memorial or foundation for her daughter, instead of blowing it all in the wind in search of vegeance.
----------------------------------------------------------------------

FYI, over twenty-five park rangers and two park wardens have been killed in cold by poachers since the remains of a single British tourist named Julie Ward found.

So far non of the British newspapers and the so called BBC have bothered to speak on their behalf?

Why? Your guess is as good as mine. The life of one mzungu (european) is much more important and valuable than that of a hundred or a thousand Kenyan lives combined.

Anonymous said...

Anon 2:19pm,

Do you have any evidence to support your claim tha Mr. Kabogo wa Kabogo is a drug dealer?

Or any evidence to suggest that the Mr/ Kabogo wa Kabogo is known to associate with people who are involved in any drug dealings in Kenya and beyond?

Google
 
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