One of the characteristics of a business owners is to continue to learn on a daily basis by Stephen Mugabe – Kampala, Uganda, Africa #000246
By Stephen Mugabe
Hello, my name is Stephen Mugabe, I am the founder and CEO of Code Clinic. Code Clinic is a dental practice in Kampala, and CODE stands for Center of Dental Excellence. I’ve been running this business for five years, and when I started I had been working for five years for another dentist.
I found myself hanging out with dentists who owned practices and I was the only one who didn’t have a practice. So, that started something in me to dream bigger. I had completed a courses with these people, and they all had practices, and I was the junior in the group so they used to give me tasks to do, and they just kept asking me, “What about you, Stephen?” I said “Okay,now I think I need to do about moving to the next level.” I had been so comfortable being just a dental associate. So, the dream was started in me in 2010, but I started at the end of 2012. After gathering resources, talking to relatives to lend me some money, and by faith I just said “You know what? I am going to start this and whether it works or not, I’ll get there” because I believe that God had given me that dream and he was going to help me. I was very naive about business, very very naive. So I started off with a rough landing and I had to learn from the ground. I had the skill as a dentist, but I didn’t have a skill as a business manager. I started learning on the job. I had to deal with Human Resource, recruitment, suppliers, equipment ect. It was very interesting, stressful, but I think what kept me going those days was because I believed that God Had led me into this venture. Sometimes I think that’s the only thing that kept me moving forward.
I stayed in there, and slowly I learned some new business skills from different groups that I belonged to. I go to a church called Worship Harvest Ministries and they used to bring business owners to share their stories. I got encouraged to get out there and practice whatever they told. One thing that was really beneficial was networking.
People do business with people they know and trust, so I belonged to Rotary. Soon I noticed that I was treating people from Rotary clubs, I was treating people from church, and so I decided that I would keep getting out and start, interacting more with people so they can know what I do,
and then they can trust me enough to come and trust me with their teeth.
I decided that whoever came to Code Clinic was going to get that wow experience, so that they can tell their friends and family about it. Your current business customers are going to be my best referral source. And so, we have grown by word of mouth, happy,satisfied Code Clinic clients go and tell other people within their networks, and they come searching for our service. And so, I would advise anyone going into business to get out and talk to people, how will people know what you do, if they don’t hear from you what you do? Then when you’re giving your treatment or service, give 100% so that those people can share what they have experienced. Give them a talking points, so when they share with their networks, it’s you that gains. So, that’s how we’ve grown, we used to have just two employees and myself, now we have
five,Now I have the flexibility of leaving without closing the practice. Sure I make some mistakes, but I’m still learning because every day is an opportunity to learn,you never stop learning, if you arrive you stop growing. So, one has to keep learning and yeah, I am looking forward to the future, it’s going to be bright. Thank you.
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