Waiting until retirement to start my business was a big mistake

Peter Nyakundi

Peter Nyakundi, founder and director of Ebony Resort in Nakuru.

Photo credit: Pool

What you need to know:

  • Peter Nyakundi is the founder and director of Ebony Resort, a hospitality business that is located along Lord Egerton Road in Nakuru.

I started this business with a capital of around Sh3 million in 2011. I have now been in this business for 11 years. Over this period, I had to learn and appreciate that the hospitality business is not an easy one.

Today, the business still has some debts that could not have been offset over the past few years, especially with the 2020 Covid-19 shutdown.

This business specialises in offering grounds for wedding parties and team building activities, spacious rooms for accommodation and conference facilities, and fun activities for children.

Competition can make or break your business in this sector. This is a sensitive sector and people will either or not spend their money based on the services you offer.

Today, the biggest challenge we face is competition. We are beating this through continuous improvement of our facilities and services by getting the right workers.  

I have not always been an entrepreneur. Prior to opening this business, I was a civil servant. However, I knew that I would venture out on my own and started researching businesses I would be best suited to start and manage successfully.

ettling on the idea of a restaurant and transferring the idea into an actual business were two very different things. I nearly shut down in my early days. This was the biggest financial project

I had ever embarked on. I underestimated the financial resources that were needed to power the idea. As a result, I embarked on a huge project without the financial muscle.

This led me to almost abandon the whole project. Some financial institutions that had pledged to support me with funding changed their mind resulting in a serious cash crisis.

Looking back at how I launched, I would say I made a mistake by launching the business as a whole. I started this business at the tail end of my tenure in the civil service.

Had I planned on implementing the project in phases while still working in the civil service, I would have had a smoother transition without debts.

Starting a business and getting some debts in the process has a downside. In my case, I am not very serious about savings. This is because my focus is on clearing the pending debts that the business owes.

I believe this is the best way to ease pressure on the operating capital as well as open surplus revenue for the business once the loans are cleared.

Having been in employment and now running my own business, I would rank entrepreneurship higher than employment in wealth creation. Despite the challenges, you stand a better chance of creating longer-lasting wealth with entrepreneurship.

Also, employment makes one complacent and lazy due to the assurance of a regular monthly income. With business, you must always be on your toes. You have to be ahead of the competition.