By An Executive Editor
Sharon Nabwire, a graduate of Procurement and Supply Chain Management/Makerere University Business School runs a company, Shan Errands. Founded 4 years ago, Nabwire does shopping and pick & drop (deliver), among others at a fee. Her first client (then working in Gulu) contacted her through social media. She did shopping for the client’s children and put them on a bus. She earned Shs 20, 000 from it. Since then, she has never looked back.
Her story in the Q & A below:
Question: What do you deal in?
Answer: I run errands. When you are busy, I do work on your behalf. Send me anywhere to get anything you want. Whether to shop for you or you have shopped already. I pick and drop wherever. I also do events management especially in weddings, baby showers, introductions etc.
Question: About running errands. Is this a Jumia of sorts?
Question: How much are we talking about?
Answer: It depends on the urgency and where i’m delivering. Cost is not uniform. But 5, 000, 10, 000, 20, 000 or 30, 000 depending on which kind of errand.
Question: Does this money include transport?
Answer: Yes it does but like I said, it depends on the errand.
Question: Tell us about the choice of this kind of business. Why this in particular?
Answer: It’s something unique that I felt it will work out since the world is changing people want things done while they can concentrate elsewhere.
Question: Remind us. When did you start?
Answer: End of 2018.
Question: What did you need to start up this kind of business?
Answer: A smartphone, internet data, airtime and making sure my phone is on 24/7.
Question: So, how do people find you?
Answer: Through Social media, friends, family and referrals. I also have an active Facebook page “Shan Errands” and Twitter @ShanErrands.
Question: Your kind of business has a lot to do with trust. How do people you have never met get to trust you this much?
Answer: First of all, the business is fully registered. Meaning, it exists legally and can be traced. People have read a lot about me and that’s where i have got trust from.
Question: Do you these alone? What happens when it’s a really a busy day?
Answer: I’m not alone. I have part time people I work with. I haven’t employed them fully but I’m working on that.
Question: How many part timers are we talking about?
Answer: 2 part timers since I have 2 boda boda riders inclusive.
Question: Where did your first client come from, how much did they pay and what was it that you picked and delivered?
Answer: I met Prossy on social media by then she used to work upcountry. I bought her kids clothes and put them on a bus to Gulu. She paid me 20, 000. She was my first client.
Question: Have you ever met her?
Answer: Like a year later and the kids.
Question: How much impact did the Covid-19 have on your hustle?
Answer: I would say to a bigger extent. I didn’t have car. Bodas were not allowed to move at some point. I was affected coz I was just growing. During covid people needed bigger companies like Jumia. The deliveries I made during the time were to friends, family and a few that trusted me by then.
Question: Are you still in school or you are done?
Answer: I’m done with school.
Question: Which course did you do at the University?
Answer: I’m a degree holder in Procurement and Supply Chain Management from Makerere University Business School. I graduated in 2016.
Question: Have you ever been employed before?
Answer: Yes. During my 3rd year at campus. I worked with Energo Projeckt Uganda at George Street. Apart from that, i was into Marketing and Audit under Research World international outsourced by Coca cola. That’s where i left and started running errands
Question: Where do you want to see this business?
Answer: I want to see it big just like DHL and Jumia
Question: Pick and drop suffers from fakes. Fake gadgets, fake appliances etc. How do you handle these?
Answer: I have been so keen with where I buy from because most people know what I do. They don’t give me fake stuff. But just in case it happens, I always return for exchange.
Question: How many clients do you serve in a day or even a week?
Answer: In a week i can have like 6 to 10 clients, that’s if the days have been good. Sometimes can be tricky. I can get like 2 or 3 and other days none (of course it rarely happens) but that’s why I’m looking out for ways of marketing myself more.
Question: Young people want mainly office jobs even when some of these jobs seem not available. Yet, for you, you are instead creating one. What do you tell the young people?
Answer: They should not think of office jobs only. Even self-employment is good and pays off well just as office jobs. It’s always difficult or hard to start but as long as you are determined to try out something new, it will always workout.
Question: What makes you tick? Why should a client out there entrust you to do their work
Answer: I am so good at what I do. I love my job. I also have experience in what I do.
Question: How would you describe to your growth to date? Would you say it’s a good business?
Answer: There is a lot of growth. You get to learn every single day. It’s a good business. It’s unique. Not everyone is doing it.