Things I wish I knew before starting a business by Maureen Nalubega Walugembe.

In this week`s Things I wish I knew before starting a business, Maureen Nalubega Walugembe of CrystalMind Motivation Ltd shares her own experience. 

CrystalMind Motivation Ltd has been in existence for so many years but  I legally registered it two years ago. The company is a consultancy with a commitment to educating, motivating and transforming clients and the general public in the areas of personal growth and entrepreneurship as well as ensuring that everyone gets to learn about their inherent human rights. CrystalMind  further shares practical ways through which clients can move from “what is” to achieve  “what they wish it to be!”

The services offered include; motivation speaking, Business coaching, Human Rights training and research; Estate Management ( we manage various estates around the CBD, rent collection, tenancy search, support with legal compliance between landlords and tenants, buy and sell land) and Farming( coffee farming and horticulture)

Here is a list of things I wish I knew before starting a motivation service/business:

  • I wish I had known the importance of inviting God into my business for direction. As a Christian, I now know what it means to ask for direction and clarity from God.
  • I also wish I had ensured the legal existence and compliance of my business from the very start.  You don`t want to start a business and then have URA running after you to pay taxes. Get things right from the very beginning.
  • It is impossible to work alone. You need a team. I had trouble doing everything by myself. I was the boss, planner, implementer, finance team, etc. I would get tired and thus not enjoy my journey. I recommend you get get a team for support. 
  • I wish I had known how to separate my legal dealings from personal dealings(money, relationships etc). When it comes to money, I would advise that you don`t lend business money out to friends and family. This can cause havoc to the relationship/friendship when the people are dodging to pay back. Do not use business money to manage personal dealings.
  • Communication. I wish I had communicated clearly and with respect to all people I was dealing with however annoying. I struggled in silence as people treated me and my business with disrespect.
  • Integrity. I wish I had known the importance of integrity and time. I did not value time and neither did I keep my word. I struggled to work smart yet working hard and smart are valuable keys. Keeping time reveals that you value time, not just yours but even that of your clients. 

The main challenges I faced when building my business include: 

  • Limited capital. Anyone starting a business might have experienced this limitation. I, however, solved it by adjusting the company operations to make them more frugal. I operated with a priority list, only buying what was most urgent.
  • For the most part, I had limited manpower being the sole employer and employee. I knew I had to get help immediately if I wanted the company to function better. I, therefore, employed a good team and delegated work. Work delegation is a must for anyone running a business. No one can do everything on their own.
  • Uganda Revenue Authority (URA) compliance is complicated. I struggled with it but I managed to get a grasp of it. I suggest that people get training immediately or ask for help from others who have done it before. URA is a government revenue collection agency established by the Parliament of Uganda. Operating under the Ministry of Finance, Planning and Economic Development, the URA is responsible for enforcing, assessing, collecting, and accounting for the various taxes imposed in Uganda.
  • Lastly, I faced the challenge of pushing through the speaking business. I joined networks of speakers and mentors because networking with industry professionals is the best way to advance in your field of interest. I advertised myself and got a content developer to work with to position myself better in the industry.