12 installments • 33%
I love solving everyday problems with technology. Since I am a computer programmer, the natural way for me to do this is to write software that makes people's daily routines easier and more productive. Here is how I came to start my business.
There is this one day i was swamped with stiff deadlines which I had to meet in such a short time. I had woken up late that morning because I had been working late the previous day. So I had to choose between fixing me a healthy breakfast and getting caught in the nasty Nairobi traffic, or foregoing it and saving me an extra hour to slave away and meet my deadlines. I ended up picking the lesser of the 2 evils, pushing my breakfast to lunch and saving an extra hour.
Keep in mind, I live on a disciplined budget and my work is in a high income area. This means most of the restaurants around are huge brands with enormous pricetags to their meals. Direct delivery from these resaurants is also available, but their costs are equal to the money I had set aside for my lunch, so not affordable for me. Lunch time comes, and I realize the only restaurant I can afford is close to a kilometre walk away. Plus, I have to get there, sit down, wait for my order and then take the next 10 - 15 mins eating as quickly as I can, then walk back to work. This was just time i just couldnt afford to lose. And I HAVE to eat. I wished I could just make the food order i wanted on my laptop, at my price, and have it delivered to my desk ASAP. An that was my aha! moment. Why can't I create a food marketplace where any restaurant can upload their menus and customers can pick foods, pay with mobile money and have it delivered to their workplaces at a marginal cost?
Eventually, I made the harrowing walk to the restaurant, ate my lunch and came back and finished my work. The food was quite good, and the restaurant was quite comfy too. I actually regretted why i hadn't carried my laptop and kicked off a few tasks on my todo list.
I immediately got to work on my new idea, spending the next 2 weeks building a prototype which I tested on my colleagues at the office. They loved it and offered some valuable feedback. This feedback got me busy for the next 4 weeks, building a food marketplace, payments gateway powered by M-PESA, and a delivery app built on top of Google Maps for delivering to workplaces. The result is LunchMagic 1.0 which is now available @ https://lunchmagic.co.ke.
MY BUSINESS DESCRIPTION
LunchMagic is a food marketplace. Our mission is to help young working class access healthy & delicious food at affordable prices around Nairobi City, and later expand to provide a more regional prescence across Africa. This is a solution i built based on a personal need but I believe I am not alone in this predicament. Many office workers want good food without the hassle of going where it is or paying through their nose for delivery.
We all want to have healthy food options while saving our precious time and money in the process. LunchMagic does exactly that. We provide each restaurant with a dedicated online space to showcase their cuisines and process orders and payments from customers. We also offer our customers a reliable delivery network that can reach them wherever they are, at a marginal cost.
We charge a 20% markup + delivery fees on each food posted on our platform. The delivery fee is a flat rate of Ksh 45 per kilometre. This fee is calculated according to current fuel prices and changes up or down marginally to match the fuel market. However, we try to keep this down by recommending restaurants close to the customer's location via Google Maps.
WHY DID I CHOOSE THIS BUSINESS?
I am a passionate about peope. I want to touch their lives in a positive way. I believe feeding people is the biggest way to show you love and care for them. That is why I am running LunchMagic.
I am currently re-investing all the profits I make into the business. Once I break even, I am looking to build and grow more aggresively, compose a team and educate stake holders to take better care of their world. I will be looking to get more involved as a business in CSR activities like feeding and educating homeless children from the proceeds, recycling the waste LunchMagic creates and enabling smaller businesses grow faster by providing them with access a wider customer network through our platform.
We are gearing for our launch in early September. We will need business cards, brochures and petty cash to pay for printouts. I will use these funds to design and print promotional materials for the business. This effort will increase our visibility to potential customers and drive traffic to our service
Sep 1, 2016