For a business to grow, it requires a steady workforce working together to drive it forward. Yes, the business owner is the first point of contact for business growth but it would be difficult to both work in the business and on the business at the same time.

What do we mean by that?

When a business owner is working in the business, they are the originator of ideas as well as the ones doing the implementation. It becomes an endless cycle of day-to-day work leaving no room to expand. On the other hand, working on the business provides an opportunity for business growth. The business owner and the team can work together to meet the business targets, meet growing demands and improve the quality of work the business puts out. A business is like a child, with a community around it, chances of well-rounded growth more than double.

Mercy Kyallo founded Yallo Leather with one artisan working with her and over time, she has grown her workforce steadily as she grows her business potential. We can learn a few things from the Yallo Leather growth trajectory.

  1. Be clear on your purpose

One thing Mercy was certain of when she started Yallo Leather was that she would start a authentically Kenyan brand. From the materials she would use to the hands that would make the bags. She wanted quality leather products by Kenyans for the Kenyan market and beyond. With a dream that big, it would take her quite a long time to achieve had she not surrounded herself with the right people for the job.

A clear purpose gives any business a chance to partner with the right people.

2. Map out the key roles important for your growth

Mercy understood right from the beginning that while she had the dream, she would require the expertise to bring her dream to life. She started in the shoe business and through her interaction wWhat do we mean by that?ith her artisans realized that the market, while not ready for shoes, was ready for bags. The artisans she partnered with steered her in the right direction. Advising on the materials to use as she worked on marketing the product.

That was the beginning. As the business progressed, she learnt that the needs of her business were bigger than one artisan and herself could handle. She was a HR professional and would need assistance from professionals in other fields to bring her dream to life, as she saw it. She identified the roles she needed to fill and began to seek out the talent.

3. Seek out the talent you need

Talent is everywhere but not every single talented individual is right for your business. This process has to be intentional. Seek out passion and drive. Driven individuals are always a great addition to your team, they drive your agenda forward, taking it as their own and seeking the best outcomes for business. It can be a gruelling experience but it is a necessary one. The talent you hire has to play a specific role that gets you to where you’re going.

For Yallo Leather, leather artisans, designers, accountants and delivery persons were at the centre of business growth but it did not end at hiring the team.

4. Train your workforce

Your business needs and practices are different from the next. Your team should be equipped with the knowledge to run your business efficiently and effectively. Continuous training will not only grow them as individuals but also build your business. When you train your employees, their first practical sessions will be in your business. Together, you can map out what works for you and what doesn’t and fill the gap with skills that help your business grow.

Training also gives you the confidence to delegate and allows you to spend more time developing the business rather than working in the business. You also get to acquire additional skills as your team acquires theirs. It’s a win-win.

Watch the Yallo Leather story here: (