So long! Greetings to you,
Am sharing this post out of the experience that I got last month when I decided to do a part time online job as it came with the need in my country. This is how it all started. Talk of entreprenuership and serving.
The Kenya Revenue Authority requires every citizen to file their tax returns of the previous year by the 30th June. In my country,most people have a tendency of waiting for last minute or the last month to file their taxes though it was open from January. One day I requested our company’s financial consultants to show me the process and be able to do for myself and get done with it before the site got jammed by million other users at the end of the month. She gladly agreed and it was very easy that someone would do it for themselves within 10-15minutes, hence, I did not understand why people would queue for hours at designated customer service centers to be assisted.
A thought came into my mind, “Since this filing is online,and I only need to have the person’s personal details, what if I offer my services, file returns for people at a small fee?” I thought of the people who did not have access to a computer, internet or time to do this and I knew right there and then that with this targer market, it was next side hustle.
I started to advertise myself in watsaap groups that I was in. I started with my clan’s group which has 48 members. In this group I got one response from my brother. He was my first client though he did not pay after I had completed the job. Well I took it as a learning experience because I encountered several challenges while working on it and this led to more research and consultations which made my skills better.
The next group I advertised to was my tribesmen watsapp group which has a total of 160 participants. In this group, I got my first two cinets thought their accounts had issues that were beyond my end and had to be forwarded to KRA officials. This made my heart sink! I had already promised them that I was going to be done with this but with these kind of problems it was going to take more time which would not be equivalent to what I was charging them. One particular one was quite stressfull indeed, when I went to the customer service center they told me she had to present her original Identification Card to activate her account. This meant I had wasted time on the queue only to bounce and adviced to bring the ID card. Next was a series of scheduling a meeting time after work on town to get it from her. This took three days. Finally when she did and her account was activated, I had to wait for her again to look for the right documents because the details she had given me were wrong. To be honest I was feeling frustrated as the other clients that came on board had almost similar problems and the ones that were different I could not get their accounts to balance. In summary,signs of success in my new career were starting to flame down.
I had to jump in.Here I needed self-motivation! I made countless calls to my sister who is a financial consultant, Esther our financial consultant and visited Itax centers too to get assistance. All this I chose to do because clients were streaming in and I did not want to disappoint them. I had to rise up to the task and now I was more aware of what I was doing and the tricks to complete my job as fast as possible.
At last I was the new self-made Itax guru in town and at the end of the each day I was sure of least 3 clients, and they would send me refferals the next day. They trusted me when I told them I was held up but assured them I would complete everything before the deadline and they they had no problem. As the demand rose I got clients who had bigger tasks and on completing their assignmemnts they paid me very very well. Two particular clients paid me five times more than what I was charging . Another one whom I had filed for his business multplied my cgarge seven times and sent me. I became more and more motivated to do this. I earned my transport and lunch from this side hustle everyday with no worries. The harvests were growing and as the deadlince grew closer the business got complex and better.
Until today my cients call me up for follow up on their accounts and some want extra services after I had good busunes relations with them.
Here are a few tips I learnt when you choose to serve than merely working:
- Communication with clients is the main tool. Keeping your clients in the know enables them to build trust in you.
- Time conciousness- When given a deadline make sure you hit it to avoid frustarting your client or handing over your jo to someone else.
- Satisfied clients will introduce others to your services
- Be sincere with your client – When you do not know how to do something be honest with them and give them a solution.
- Before sealing the business ensure that you have both agreed on terms of payments to avoid conflict after invoicing.
- Have passion for whatever tasks you choose to take. This will give you more energy when you are worn out or when you have more than you can take.
- Whatever the heart draws you to go for it, it could land you your netx job.
With this I would like to come to an end and thank all my clients for giving me a chance to learn and write this success story.
See you in the next post I will tell you about the other side hustle that I tried in that month and how it went down.