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New M-Pesa for Business Feature is Making Me Rich
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|New M-Pesa for Business Feature is Making Me Rich by Kenyans247(1): Sat 11, July, 2020 01:29pm|
It has often been said that whatever you enjoy the most, you’ll do the most, this is how I ended up opening up my own supermarket in my neighbourhood - for factual purposes, it's actually a mini-mart, but in my head, it's super in so many ways.
If you live in one of the many estates across the capital, you probably have one of these 'supermarkets' with catchy names like WambuPrisca General Merchants - you have to hand it to us, you can never forget a name like that.
My proud establishment is dubbed Kinuthia & Sons General Store. I went for general coz I can proudly say that I deal in anything and everything under the sun.
Once open, my two metallic doors serve as backdrops for hanging some of my merchandise, from an ingeniously designed wheelbarrow to basins, to all sorts of brooms and those kaa moja cooking stoves -I'm an environmentalist at heart.I also have 3 mannequins out front dressed in the latest designs straight from the Kardashians catalogue.
Once you step into the actual ‘supermarket’, you'll notice me on the extreme right behind the cash counter, overlooking 3 neatly stacked aisles.
Despite installing the latest CCTV system, I chose my counter location as it offers a vantage point from which I can see all my wares, you can never be too careful and I dare you to find a businessman who can stomach avoidable losses.
I recently installed a fancy flashing sign right above my head that reads Lipa Na M-Pesa Accepted Here, Till Number XXXXXX and it proved to be a stroke of genius.
Mrs Kinuthia was the genius behind the move, we may often argue over her tendency to live every single light bulb on no matter what time of day, but there's no argument that she is the brains behind our dynamic duo.
Long before Covid-19 came into the picture and forced people to change their way of life, she cajoled me into applying for the M-Pesa till number.
As a Sole Proprietor, all I needed was the following
1. A duly filled and signed application form and Terms and conditions
2. A copy of Business Registration/or Business Permit
3. An individual or company KRA Pin
4. A Copy of Identification Documents of Persons Opening the account i.e. Copy of the National ID/ Military Service Number/Passport
5. A copy of Utility Bill or Business Photo to confirm the existence of the Business (which I took with a lot of pride)
6. A cancelled cheque or letter from Bank confirming Bank details
And just like that, Kinuthia & Sons had a neon-lit sign both outside the store and in it.
I was the first shop within a 20km radius to embrace this new way of doing business that has morphed into a way of life.
Customers started trickling in from other estates just because of the convenience of making their payments using the Lipa na M-PESA platform.
This was an eye-opener for me as one of the OGs, born in the '80s where cash in the literal sense was the in thing. There's something about the look, feel and even smell of a wad of cash that we found appealing.
But hey, change is like rest and the new cashless way of business offers convenience and security all rolled into one.
I remember the first time I got my M-PESA statements, I thought it was witchcraft, I kid you not.
All my transactions in one neat document sent to my phone! You should have seen Mrs Kinuthia's 'I told you so' face when I called her a genius.
She can leave all the lights on now.
I have since opened up two new supermarkets in the adjacent neighbourhoods and business is booming - that’s what most businessmen will tell you….but I’m not most so I’ll share the how.
Yes, Covid-19 has been a terrible disaster but it has also brought us closer together despite the social distancing.
I have a WhatsApp group where all my customers can place their orders, pay via the Lipa Na M-PESA platform and the 'Sons' in Kinuthia & Sons finally get to earn their stripes by making deliveries to their doorsteps - or 1.5 metres from their doorsteps, I should say.
Being the new tech-savvy genius in the family, I now do everything on the M-PESA platform, from paying my sons their allowances for deliveries, sort my suppliers and pay all my utility bills.
This has greatly helped me keep track of all my transactions and made planning so much easier. My sons still cry out for cash once in a while, the apple seldom falls far from the tree - they say.
I am now a proud essential service provider and thanks to the new way of life and business, I get to provide for my family and the community as well.
Just the other day, Safaricom launched a Lipa Na M-PESA Business smartphone app. Dubbed M-PESA for Business, this lates invention has empowered me since I can now access real-time statements, export statements, and track my store's performance on the go.
I can now also withdraw funds from Lipa Na M-PESA to my personal M-PESA account as well as my bank accounts. The new app offers additional management features such as an overview of different tills which has come in handy, as I now have multiple stores in my neighbourhood.
To complete my new tech-savvy look, every last Wednesday of the month, I join the #MPESAFORBUSINESS hashtag a chatroom where I get to interact with like-minded individuals and get to talk about business. It's good to get input from some industry leaders, but I'd be lying if I didn't point out that the chance to have Kinuthia & Sons General Store feature on Safaricom's various social media pages wasn't the ultimate target.
Businesses with interesting stories are to be featured on Safaricom's business spotlight segment every Wednesday on the company's Instagram stories, Facebook and LinkedIn channels. I can already see myself giving my thanksgiving speech. For as a man thinketh in his heart, so is he.
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