I imagine you run a successful business somewhere in Nairobi’s underbelly where the real money is made on Kirinyaga road or one of the many nameless streets and buildings in the CBD. There are good days and bad days as it is with anything in life.
Back to your business. Every day you have goods coming in and going out. If you are a retailer, then it’s just receiving goods from your distributor and selling it to your customers. I imagine you sell automobile spare parts or miscellaneous machines. Ideally, the biggest part of your job as a businessman or woman should be getting more customers. However, moving goods is almost a full-time job. It is not just you. This is a challenge most small businesses have to deal with as they grow. It is probably a normal part of your life by now.
It should not be that way.
It may seem like a strange thing to say at first but think about it. You get paid by your customers. It, therefore, follows that if you get many new customers, you earn more money. Therefore, it follows that recruiting new customers is where most of your energy should go. But that is probably not the case. Imagine yourself cruising up and down Nairobi in your Probox, making deliveries all day because your cargo is too precious and cannot be trusted to anyone else. It is hard work in service of your business but not the best use of your time. What if you spent that day talking to 10 prospective customers a day? What if you landed a deal during that time instead of competing with matatus for space on the road?
To do your own deliveries, you need to buy a car. Most likely you will save up for months or years to acquire that pickup or Probox. Alternatively, you can take a loan worth a few hundred thousand at least. But as a business person, you need to think about opportunity cost. What could a few hundred thousand do for your business? Perhaps you could get larger premises. Perhaps you can improve the quality of your product. Maybe you open a new outlet to better serve your customers. You should also consider that vehicles depreciate fast. They lose their value rapidly once you drive them off the yard. Why tie up precious capital when you have an alternative?
Perhaps you have an arrangement with you’re the local pickup guy and his crew. You stroll the corner of the street and haggle then he gets two random people to help him load your goods and offload them when he gets to where he’s supposed to go. You find yourself increasingly paranoid about his movements. Often you or your employee has to accompany those goods. If not, some items might disappear or the pickup guy might run a few errands on the way before actually delivering your goods. You have to keep calling and following up to make sure things go according to plan.
There are a number of logistics service providers out there that can serve your logistics needs effectively. The foremost of these is Sendy. Need a fleet of pickups? Think again. You have access to thousands of Pickups, Vans, Trucks and Motorcycles at the touch of a button. You think you cannot trust delivery guys? Well, goods are insured while in transit. You can track Drivers in real time on your phone. You do not need anyone to accompany those deliveries and you can rest easy. Your deliveries do not have to have drama.