“Never let a good crisis go to waste.” Beyond the current events lies significant opportunities. True to the statement, daring entrepreneurs have taken up new commercial strategy as a way to survive the pandemic. This is the story of Ole Marina store in Kitengela town that was once a night club now turned into a household name in the wholesale business. An opportunity the owner saw to do something far more impactful.
In March 2020, the Kenyan government issued a directive to close down bars in order to reduce the risk of local transmission of COVID-19. A move that adversely affected club owners. Some opted to totally shut down while others sought for more convenient financial sources. The owner of this particular night club opted out. Ole Marina leveraged on his departure to set up a wholesale shop. Like every good business person Ole Marina assessed the environment and it was clear that the most sustainable enterprise would be around wholesale. At the time, there was no wholesale around the location an area that is normally characterized by people who are always in need of household products in bulk.
Initially, the owner wanted a commercial venture that would grow with time. As time went by, the growth became impressive than what the proprietor had earlier imagined.
Within two months, Ole Marina has been able to attract a large number of customers a factor that is greatly attributed to its positioning. According to its proprietor, the idea of having a wholesale at the town center came in handy. Ole Marina not only attracts their initial target customers but also customers like retail shops and bulk purchasers.
The wholesale’s popularity and profitability depend exclusively on efficiency in that customers do not have to wait in frustration to be served. For them, hitting the 30,000 mark with only two months into business is a huge milestone.
“The business just started last month and the sales have been growing gradually, but right now we have hit the thirty thousand mark. I can say for a business that has just started we are doing fine,” asserted Janet Atuzo, a cashier at the store.
Moreover, even as the pandemic continues to ravage profits for businesses, Ole Marina knew they wanted to be relevant and stay in business. Apart from great customer service, Ole Marina resorted to providing a unique service to their seasoned customers; parking space. The ripple effect of the thoughtful ample parking space was a steady and constant traffic to the store.
“Someone would rather buy things from me not because my prices are the best, but because I offer parking,” says Janet a cashier at Ole Marina.
Although Ole Marina is constantly thriving in business, challenges like constant changing prices has affected them. In sync with the change, as prices rise so must they increase their product prices to amass profits. This has ended up impacting the business such that they have had to sell at a considerable high price.
Nevertheless, it is just a wake of dawn in business for them. The plan now is to entrench their tentacles to even neighboring area such as Sabaki and Mlolongo.