Charles Kalale owns and runs CK Engineering Services which offers various forms of car body work repairs, fixing of radiators and other routine motor vehicle maintenance. Despite being in business for several years, Charles admitted “I didn’t have a growth plan for my business and keeping records was a challenge so…I didn’t know if I was making a profit so my business wasn’t growing”.
In late 2016 TechnoServe, supported by PEPZ and in partnership with AB Bank, engaged some of the bank’s clients who were struggling to grow their businesses to offer them basic business development training delivered through a series of workshops:
1. How I can grow my business
2. How to strengthen marketing and operations in my business
3. How to make projections
4. How to develop a comprehensive growth plan.
“The workshops opened my mind, broadened my thinking and taught me how to handle my customers. Previously I would just do any job even if I would make a loss but after training am now able to say no if I can’t break even”, Charles explains.
TechnoServe’s core objective is to work with enterprising men and women to build competitive businesses and lift themselves out of poverty. Through the workshops they conducted, participants learned record keeping, how to make projections, how to calculate variable costs and contribution margin, how to calculate break-even points etc. TechnoServe business advisers facilitated the workshops and followed up the participants with one-on-one mentorship sessions to make sure the content and materials presented during the workshops was tailored to suit each entrepreneur’s business needs.
In summing up his experience, Charles reflected that “It is too short a period to confidently say if my revenue has increased but what I can confirm is that my business will never be the same because of the knowledge and skills I have now acquired. I am very grateful to TechnoServe, PEPZ and AB Bank for giving me this opportunity”.
This project is demonstrating the value of banks and business advisers working together to raise the skills of small businesses and hence reduce the risk of lending.
Key success points
- Bank supporting growth of its business customers
- “My business will never be the same again”
- Tailor-made workshops and one-to-one mentorship