I started my tour business on social media and got clients from as far as USA
What you need to know:
Samson Ole Parosei is the managing director of Walk-With Maa Tours. He also works at the Maasai Mara as a tour guide operator, nature guide, and travel agent
I began my business and career in the tourism sector in 2015. The largest portion of the business grew through social media, in particular Facebook and Instagram. Looking back at my journey over the last eight years, I can say that anyone who is serious about making it in business must digitise and use free digital tools such as social media as their advertising and marketing platform. The world has become a global village; I meet most of my customers through social media.
There are risks and challenges in this industry that can cost you money, especially when you’re a rookie. For instance, I once paid accommodation for some clients upfront at a certain hotel. Hours later, they called to say that they had changed their mind and would no longer be staying at the hotel. I lost a significant amount of money and business since the hotel refused to refund me what I had deposited. This experience taught me the importance of contractual agreements and obligations when making business transactions.
It is incredible how a social media post can convert into a very lucrative business venture. Sometime back, I posted an advert on Facebook and Instagram for a tours and travel package at the Maasai Mara. The advert reached clients in the United States who made contact. After brief negotiations, I ended up booking a group of 47 clients from the USA for seven nights at the Maasai Mara, Samburu, Nakuru, Naivasha and Nairobi as well. It was an awesome experience that entrenched my confidence in the career I had chosen to earn a living from.
I save my money by investing in livestock. This includes cows, sheep and goats. As this approach suggests, I am big into livestock farming. This is not only a means to save my cash but also acts as a business on the side of my tours and travel ventures.
I have found entrepreneurship to be very fulfilling. There is a very unique satisfaction in creating a business, translating it from an idea on paper to an actual revenue-generating entity at your own pace and within your own budget. Whereas it is possible to fail in business, the pleasure of running an enterprise is really not comparable to the same effort you would put to make someone else money, especially if they don’t appreciate or respect your contribution.
You will never be perfect when starting out on a new job or business. But there is no obstacle you won’t overcome if you get started with the right mindset. This is something I have learned from my journey in the tourism industry. Be ready to learn and be teachable and you will find many people willing to pass their knowledge and wisdom to you. And the bonus is; you will not only improve on your weaknesses but will also be exposed to potential business referrals or career opportunities.