How to start and manage a small business: A review

Business management

Author: Ngoni Crispen Chisikarambwe


SELF-TAUGHT teacher and entrepreneur Ngoni Chrispen Chisikarambwe shares entrepreneurial nuggets in his book, How to start and manage a small business in Zimbabwe —  a guide meant to assist the would-be entrepreneur in identifying the kind of business to embark on, how to manage on a day to day basis, how to grow and safeguard small enterprises from collapsing.

In the book, Chisikarambwe taps into the Zimbabwean economy and gives ideas on how to become a successful entrepreneur and manage a small emerging business effectively.

An entrepreneur and preacher in the Methodist Church in Zimbabwe, Chisikarambwe built his narrative through being self-taught from high school up to tertiary training.

With the country’s deepening economic and social woes which have seen many people losing their jobs over the years coupled with the closure of traditional multinationals — small businesses have emerged as the pinnacle to economic growth and play an essential role in rebuilding our shattered economy through proffering home-grown solutions.

The book seeks to equip the reader with various techniques on how to contribute to the nation from creating employment to wealth creation.

The book is an eye-opener for those who dare to explore the entrepreneurial terrain through demonstrating to them how development starts with the locals and investing in each other.

The author argues that reliance on foreign investors is what has kept Zimbabwe in a stagnant position in terms of the economy’s development. 

The author used experiences from his past to show that anything is possible and how starting a business isn’t always necessarily based on academic qualifications.

 “In my teens I worked as a domestic worker. My duties included house cleaning, laundry and gardening. Later in life, I used this experience plus some business imagination to start a cleaning company, Tapdan Cleaning Services,” he said.

Chisikarambwe says that there is a greater need for youths to be empowered with life-oriented skills such as how to start and manage a small business, coupled with practical lessons on how one can navigate life outside of the corporate world.

“There is a need for current and future generations to learn a few lessons about life. I decided to put my life experience on paper for the world to read and digest,” he said.

The book further explores business ideas based on talent, passion, and professional experience

An often misunderstood and underestimated factor of keeping a business afloat is customer care and Chisikarambwe emphasises on its importance heavily. Customers are the stakeholders of a business and without them, a business cannot survive. The proper treatment of customers is of paramount importance.

The book is also endowed with simple accounting ideas for a small business. The accounting techniques employed are a simple way to manage the business and they ensure that management is accountable in cases of theft and other problems. The book also offers practical examples of these accounts and hence assisting amateur entrepreneurs with the basics.

Chisikarambwe adds that his book is meant to provide solutions to the unemployment problems in Zimbabwe.

“I am also concerned with high unemployment in the country, especially among the youths, women and men in general which prompted me to put pen to paper to write about identification of the business,” he said.

The book is also meant to create a new mindset where people are inclined to becoming entrepreneurs than employees. The education system in Zimbabwe does not adequately prepare students to be entrepreneurs but to become subordinates and this has contributed to the high unemployment in Zimbabwe because everyone wants to be hired. Chisikarambwe urges the readers to take part in crafting business plans rather than the employment mindset.

“It may help to change our mindsets. Instead of the majority of our school leavers being engrossed in flowery and beautiful curriculum vitae writing, our students must be seized with the crafting of business plans.”he said.

An articulate author, Chisikarambwe’s book could however do better with professional typesetting.

Chisikarambwe has authored two other books namely The Will determines the Way as well as Life is not fair.

His latest book, How to start and manage a small business has been approved by the Ministry of Primary and Secondary Education as a reference book for use in schools.

This article was coordinated by Atrishya Gondo.

Fungayi Antony Sox works at TisuMazwi — a public relations and communication-centered social enterprise specialising in research,books, education, IELTS, and storytelling projects. He writes in his personal capacity. For feedback contact him on 0776 030 949, connect with him on LinkedIn on Fungayi Antony Sox, or follow him on Twitter @AntonySox.

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