Mr. Alberto Carlos, 28, is a budding new shoes dealer who sells his shoes exclusively online. He started his business three years ago 2016 with only 5000 Kenya shillings and since then, he has never looked back. According to him, the business has been growing steadily since then from the 5000k worth of assets to approximately 250000 worth of assets currently.
“I started from a humble background but I can say this business has really peaked up, and this has been my encouragement” says Mr. Carlos.
Alberto’s typical day entails waking up in the morning and going to the “office” which is actually not a typical office but a “store” where he keeps his business merchandize.
Mr. Carlos was motivated to try his luck in this world of business after staying without a job for almost five years since graduating from Daystar University in 2011. Rather than remaining idle or forever “tamacking” in the name of looking for employment, he opted to create one for himself, “the online shoe trade”
“I am now grateful for what this business offers to me. It is better than just sitting at home waiting for handouts from family and friends” he confesses adding that “I am able to get between 2000 to 5000 proceeds each day. On a good day, I can make up to 15000 profit”
Mr. Carlos admits to have started this business because according to him, this is the simplest business to start.
“To me, this is a great business because apart from being simple and easy, anyone do it whether as part time of full time basis. Moreover, it is better to do online business than struggle working somewhere in a terrible condition and get paid for say, 15K monthly”
How does he get clients?
Mr. Alberto claims that technology has widened the market and if one can understand how to use it, then you cannot have trouble to find market for your products. For him, he has created a network whereby; those with watts up groups or facebook pages can post the shoes and if they find buyers, they get commission for that. This has worked positively for the business as more and more people are willing to partner with Alberto in posting and selling the products to willing buyers for a commission.
However, despite the potential in this business, Mr. Alberto has to grapple with a number of challenges associated with this business among them intense competition from such companies as Jumia, Amazon, Alladin, Cheki, OlX, Pigiami, Kilimall, Rupu and Cheki among others.
Other challenges are those related to distrust among potential customers who are not sure about the status of the products, that is whether, they are fake or original or whether they will get their merchandize after paying for them. The problem is further proliferated by the high number of online conmen who swindle innocent customers.
“Apart from high competition in the online market, a lot of people don’t belief it or belief you. As much as they want to do business with you, they fear to lose. There are also those who believe that your products are not genuine, others have experiences of losing money through conmen. These challenges coupled with hard economic times in which we are currently in have curtailed the business to some extent” claims Mr. Alberto.
“However, he has managed to sail through these odds by remaining unique, being reliable, and trustful among clients. This is how I have been able to establish and maintain my customer base. If I tell you this shoes is made of pure leather and I will deliver to you in four hours time, you will surely get it within that timeline and quality” says Mr. Alberto adding that “to rescue myself, I have strived to be unique in the market and in quality and in whatever I do, thus there is no complaints from my clients”
At the moment, Mr. Alberto anticipates to change the lives of many youth as possible by initiating and training them on the online business sector.
“With better training, these boys and girls who are sitting idle with no job can make incredible sales online with zero capital. I hope to provide the platform where the youth can just look for market, share and sell products (which I have), and we share the profits”