“I think the difficulty in the start-up capital came because there is a belief that our generation is the lazy generation, the selfie type. It was difficult for people to take us seriously. I had to rely on my self confidence in many meetings.”
A young entrepreneur with established vision is taking his young company to new heights using planning, preparation and dedication to achieve his dreams. The man is Mark Kariahuua, one of the founders of Focus Cuts, which is a young start up employing ingenuity to make their name in business.
Mark explains that before he opened up his business, he “did the research first. We head hunted our barbers to make sure we recruit only the best. Long before we screened them, did background checks, researched. Some of them I stalked personally. It’s so insane when you’re starting a business. I became a mad man wanting to get everything perfect. But this meant that I did the research, I even sent people to go get a haircut and find out how these guys worked, how they talked to the customer, how they behaved. All this we did before we found the right people”
Talking about his in-depth research Mark explains, “I feel that you can’t start a business out of nowhere, you need to do the research first. You need to have a plan and know where you are going. Once we had this, we needed the right people and when we had the right people, we trained them. All before starting.”
When asked what his opinion is of his people Mark notes, “when my partner and I started out, we wanted to create a comfortable working environment but at the same time we are all expected to bring our A-game.”
When talking about how he got to be this young, motivated entrepreneur Mark says, “I started working when I was 17 years old. I did things like waiting at a restaurant and I worked in a bank. I don’t know it all and I am still learning. I’ve gotten here by discipline. I remember when I got my first job at 17 years old; it was insane to my friends at the time. They couldn’t understand why I would want to start working before I’d finished school, but I wanted that work ethic and work experience. I have realised that experience is such an important part of business and your career.”
Mark also adds, “My father is my business mentor. He is a business man and his work ethic is incredible. He was my mentor and he really taught me the ropes.”
“I remember when we first started and we didn’t have offices. We had our first office in my father’s garage and he did not want it have an office in his garage. I asked him to give me one year.”
Focus Cuts has now been open for more than a year and have their own offices as they’ve grown and expanded their business. The business runs as a mobile barber show where a barber will come to you wherever you are in Windhoek within 60 minutes of your calling them.
Mark says that they would not be where they are today without “a great support system.” He adds that to achieve your goals in business “you need to keep your goal in mind. It’s been tough as I am also presenting a breakfast show which means I wake up at 4am. Our business, Focus Cuts opens at 9am and closes at 10pm and after we close is when the admin needs to be done. It’s only by focusing on the goal that we can push to realise the dream.”
He notes that there have been obstacles, “there was a point where things were tough. But when starting a business, having an idea is just the beginning. For me, starting out was really discouraging. It took a while to build up trust in our business. Trust was also an issue with our start-up capital. I think the difficulty in the start-up capital came because there is a belief that our generation is the lazy generation, the selfie type. It was difficult for people to take us seriously. I had to rely on my self confidence in many meetings. I decided to walk into those meetings with my chest held high and just make it work.”
Marks points out that in business, everything is a learning curve. “Everything I learnt along the way helped me. For example, I learnt when I worked in the bank about how to present yourself and even this plays a role because the minute you walk into a room, a potential investor already makes their own conclusion.”
Mark talks about his business with pride, “Focus Cut’s is Namibia’s Number One Mobile Barber Show. In a nutshell the client calls us and we come to you wherever you are in Windhoek, although we have plans to expand. It’s the perfect cut and the perfect angle and I can guarantee that because I did the research, the planning and made sure we were ready long before we opened.”
Get in touch with Focus Cuts via their social media pages using the handle @Focuscuts or find them on Facebook by clicking here Focus Cuts on Facebook Or give them a call on 081 829 3269
Article written by Kirsty Watermeyer