Dr Mejury Chipato, a Zimbabwean medical doctor and entrepreneur building multiple businesses — Lionesses of Africa

What gives you the most satisfaction being an entrepreneur?

I enjoy sharing about my business journey and teaching people about business and helping them to start their own businesses. l love to see people make it and flourish in their businesses. l love to network with different people from different classes, social backgrounds, etc. This helps me with building my social capital, strengthening business connections, getting fresh ideas and a new perspective, gaining more knowledge regarding different areas, raising my profile, getting new opportunities, building long lasting personal relationships and the like. I also enjoy the clients satisfaction feedback about how they love their shoes and how beautiful and comfortable the shoes are, etc. The fact that we use some of the profits generated from the business to give back to the less privileged makes this entrepreneurial journey rewarding and worthwhile.

What’s the biggest piece of advice you can give to other women looking to start-up?

Before you start a business, you need to do a research on the type of business that you want to venture into. For instance, the kind of product that you want to sell. Research about its availability, and easy accessibility.

Check about the quality of the product, for example if you want to do fashion business, most customers prefer good quality. Think about the pricing of the product, compare between the buying price and the selling; keeping in mind the profit that you will make. It is very important, to do a background check on the suppliers where you want to buy your products from. Are they reliable, genuine, trustworthy and do they produce and deliver the products on time? Think about where will you do this business, be it your home, renting a shop, at the flea markets or the streets, even online.

Try to look for somewhere where it is legal to avoid issues like your business being shut down by the City Council (Town Authority). It is also important to think of who will sell your products; will it be you or someone else? If it is someone else, are they reliable, honest and good to customers?

Then you should also look into the audience or clientele that you want to target. Can they afford the things that you want to sell? I want to encourage you to start a business for the purpose of significance and not just for survival or success.

When you start your business, Don’t give in to competition. There is no traffic when you are in your own lane! Remember you are running your own race. Prepare in advance for losses because they are bound to come one way or the other. Be ready when they do. When you get profit, use it to invest back into your business. Don’t eat your profits! The importance of this cannot be overstated. Consider each dollar that you receive as an investment soldier whose mission is to bring more finances into the business. Learn about financial management; you can do that by watching videos on YouTube.

Find mentors who are doing well in the line of business you are venturing into. And it’s equally important to celebrate other businesses which are doing well! You want your business to be successful; celebrate those who have successful businesses. You can never be/become what you despise!

And finally, doing business is not for the faint hearted. It’s not easy to start and maintain a business. Start small, and move on to the next level, one step at a time. Don’t give up! Make a vision board about your business; concerning what you want to achieve in a certain duration of time. For instance, over 3 months, 6 months, 1 year, 2 years, 5 years, 10 years, etc. And make a list of your short and long term goals in your business and start executing them one goal at a time.

Contact or follow ProMJ

FACEBOOK | EMAIL drmejurychipato@gmail.com

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