Often times business minded people seem to miss out on a lucrative business idea due to the simplicity attributed to that business by the traditional ways of carrying out that business. While chasing complex ideas which in reality might have been exhausted in the entrepreneurial sphere, they tend to miss out on the simple natured businesses which can be transformed into these complex schemes, which they have been searching for their entire entrepreneurial lives. Who knew, twenty years ago that, cooking for someone could become a complex and attractive business everyone will want to venture into? They event gave fancy names to that business. Some of which are what we know as “restaurants, cafe, breakfast club, bars or an eatery”?As a result of this, we at Finde have come up with a brand new segment to discuss ways or methods which can be employed to transform the simplest and the “most looked down upon” businesses into sophisticated ventures that will catch the market eyes of customers and other entrepreneurs alike.Today we take a look at the Shoeshine business of which is a very basic venture but with a few strategies implemented can be made attractive or lucrative to earn you some good cash. This business obviously would require you just under a GHS 100 to start up by getting a shoe shine kit . This however is the traditional way of going about the business. It is worthy to note that the business could be run as a fully functional company with key partners, providing services to a regular list of clientele. This is made easier by using innovative and strategic methods to reach out to a large ready available market with GHS 100 or below as your start up business capital.However, we seek to look deeply into how we can make a business so basic into a very attractive and innovative one.To begin with, we all know the conventional nature in which this venture is executed, a cobbler goes around with his toolbox in hand, hitting it with a stick and shouting at the top of his voice to drive attention his way so as to mend and or shine shoes of customers in need of that service. Well, my friends, I’ll like to tell you that these days are almost over and a new dawn is upon us which is the age of technology and innovation. One may ask, how can I put money into this business and succeed? How can I even be associated with such a business because of my educational qualification? I am a woman, this is a man’s job, why should I get myself involved in this? Those are valid questions and will be addressed when we touch on the ways of making the cobbler or “shoeshine” business innovative.Imagine, two friends in the university, Kofi and Ama who live on monthly allowances from their parents. Kofi notices during his summer internship that most workers he meets at the road side waiting to board the trotro, have dusty shoes as a result of the terrible path they use every morning. Some, carry a rug with them to dust it off and others just settle for getting to work with dirty shoes. He thinks to himself, “if only there was a shoeshine at the road side where these dusty paths lead to, lots of people will not have to worry getting to work in dirty shoes.”
Meanwhile, Ama is on her way to her intern job at a prestigious bank, she doesn’t have her breakfast because she might have to join a long queue at the trotro station and be late to work. Just before she gets to the station her footwear gets worn out, stress! She is hungry, shoes are messed up and she doesn’t know what to do. She eventually finds a cobbler at the station to mend her shoes but she wasn’t comfortable because of how dirty the cobbler’s stand was, she was even scared that her beautifully ironed dress could get stained by the grotesque stool she was offered to sit on. Then she thinks to herself “Why can’t someone come up with a more comfortable stand with breakfast too because I am hungry. Life would have been easier that way. School reopens and the two friends share their experiences about the vacation and the ups and downs of their internship. Then Ama’s ordeal comes up for discussion, Kofi too shares his observation and after a few conversations, they decide to start a cobbler/shoeshine business together. They decide to set up a stand at some vantage points including Kofi’s bus stop of course, with Ama suggesting that they partner with a breakfast vendor to make those stands more attractive. They also write proposals to the bank Ama interned at and some other companies to offer to shine and mend the shoes of their employees. They also partner with a delivery guy to handle the pick ups and drop offs for clients after their proposal has been granted. They decide to take their business to the next level by getting their business on social media, branding their business with professional looking designs as well as expanding a network of friends and clients. Now they are doing weddings, engagements and other functions. Just last week, they secured a lucrative deal to pick up and shine as well as mend shoes of a rich family. Life is good mending and shining shoes after all. Ama, after their just ended workshop on shoe care and tips on picking the right shoes, said to Kofi ,“who knew students like ourselves could make a living out of the shoeshine business before our graduation? “They both smile as they head towards campus. The import of the story is the innovative ideas, methods and strategies that were implemented by these friends to solve a basic problem in society. The sheer will to make a difference and transform a traditional business like shoe shinning into a 21st century smart business is exemplary. Let’s make complex our simple.