2018 is off to a very strong start for Karibu Loo, largely due to several significant long-term rentals and having the right people in place. We are optimistic 2018 will be the year the business starts to earn profits and will pay a dividend to Ngong Road Children’s Foundation (our sister organization in Kenya). Here are the highlights:
- $2,000 in profit in January: The portable sanitation business in the U.S. is primarily based upon long-term rentals. It is virtually impossible to build a successful portable sanitation business by only supplying to events. However, events have constituted most of our business to date in Kenya. Long-term rentals are an essential ingredient to profits as they ensure a steady stream of revenue to cover costs.
In January, Karibu Loo rented out 66 of 89 units for about 15 days to a unit of the British Army that is training the Kenyan Army and another 10 units to a Chinese construction firm for the entire month. In addition, we have weekend long-term rentals at several churches. Together, these long-term contracts plus normal event business generated just over $2,000 of profit in January.
- Issues. As always, there are issues to be overcome. The biggest challenge faced by the business today is that our truck has become very unreliable. The truck has served us very well on treacherous roads since 2014 but is increasingly prone to breakdowns. We have had to outsource movement of loos and cleaning services when the truck was not functional, which cuts into our margins. We are building a new trailer that will be pulled by our pickup truck and can carry six loos.
A second challenge faced by the business is receivables. We have worked hard to reduce receivables, but getting customers to pay on a timely basis in Kenya is a recurring problem. We have the right staff and board in place to improve upon this issue in 2018 and beyond.
- Growing the business. We are preparing to order a new truck, as frequent breakdowns has become a real impediment to the business. Meanwhile, we are evaluating the long-term potential for the British Army business and will decide whether to order more cabins and an additional exhauster in April. Our sales leader is young, energetic and is getting results, so we must have loos available for him to sell. We are confident the business will contribute to our charitable mission of educating children in 2018 and that we will also be able to invest in growth.
If you are interested in supporting Karibu Loo with a donation to purchase the new truck and support business growth, please contact Development Director, Lacey Kraft, at [email protected] or 612-568-4211.
Founder and President