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30% of Businesses in Kenya Don’t Have a Plan Says Report

Aug 9, 2021
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WYLDE International, an innovative management consulting firm specialising in strategy development for SMEs has released its 2021 Strategy Pulse: An Analytical Report on Business Strategy Impact on SMEs 2020-2021. 

Aiming to drive a culture of data driven decision making, WYLDE International conducted a baseline customized mobile-based survey to find out the role that strategy plays in building resilience and unlocking growth for SMEs.

The survey was carried out on 126 SMEs across 15 sectors whose business life cycles ranged from below a year to over 10 years; a combined 34% of SMEs surveyed were below two years while 13% were more than 10 years. The majority of the businesses, i.e. 65% were in the below Ksh.2 million revenue bracket. 

Businesses with higher annual revenues had a business strategy plan, with 67% of high revenue businesses relying a great deal on their strategic plans for the daily decision making. 

Based on the results of the survey, Director of Strategy at WYLDE, Mr Kiriinya Kithinji gave recommendations to the SME sector stating that, “The lack of strategy is itself a strategy. Is your strategy working for you? asks Kithinji. Lack of clarity will cost you and drag you down. Take advantage of external strategy experts who have experience and objectivity to help you develop and effectively execute your strategy,” says Kithinji.

L-R Director of Strategy at WYLDE International, Mr Kiriinya Kithinji, Sharon Mbugua, Director at Amethyst Consulting and Business Coach Ian Dennis during the release of WYLDE International survey titled, The Strategy Pulse: An analytical report on Business Strategy Impact on SMEs 2020-2021 

The survey findings showed that organisations with a turn-over of 100 million and above carry out regular Strategy reviews. Due to the changing dynamics in the market, SMEs are being encouraged to review their strategies much more frequently and to use strategy to affect their day- to-day decision making.  

According to one panelist at the event, Mr. Mike Muthengi, Country Manager at Business Partners International, “Running a business without strategy is like driving a car without a dashboard.

You have no signals; it can go off any moment and you won’t know what is wrong. Therefore, write down a one- page strategy that you can refer to often, not just when your business gets into trouble. Having a good business strategy is not a threat to your finances but a growth plan that is a must have when seeking for funding.” Loading…

Another panelist and Business owner, Ms. Grace Mbugua of Jeilo Collections, a Kenyan brand that manufactures handcrafted leather & textile bags, gift items and accessories said; “Our business experienced low sales in 2020 during lock down as schools and offices were closed meaning people did not need bags.”

However, they adapted their business strategy to stay afloat, she adds, “Developing a comprehensive strategy is a cost that every business needs to plan for, because it gives you clarity and helps you understand your industry. 

Strategy is your guide in aiding and sustaining your business because it offers you oversight into the future and ensures that your business does not go down,” says Grace.

To complete the panel discussion on strategy, Ken Ochimo, Director at Tayari Foods said “strategy is your go to partner to help you not lose your investments. Embrace strategy; it is your key to success.”

Sharon Mbugua, Founding Director at Amethyst Consulting who conducted the survey explained, “The report results revealed that over 30% of businesses do not have a strategic plan, and for those that do, over 70% involve team members in their strategic planning process.”

Achieving business and sales growth remained a key area of focus during and before the Covid-19 pandemic at a prevalence of 11% of all respondents surveyed.

“The biggest takeout from the study, however, was that most businesses that had an existing strategic plan reported that their plans were very useful in helping them to remain resilient in the face of the Covid-19 pandemic.” 

This confirms the fact that having a properly crafted strategic plans not only provides clear roadmaps for SMEs to achieve business growth, but also helps SMEs that apply their strategic plans to guide their day-to-day decisions to remain resilient during times of crises.

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