January 29, 2021   by

Over the past few years, Investment groups (Chamas) have become the financial drivers for most individuals who are interested in saving and investing. These investment groups have become a financial phenomenon that plays a key role in the financial sector of many economies. Currently, there are over 300,000 Chamas in Kenya managing a total of approximately 3.4 billion USD. Moreover, everyday new Chamas are formed because more people are jumping into the fray. The main objective of these Chamas is to improve and empower the livelihood of their members. Although these investment groups are taking the financial industry by storm, they are slowly dying. Their life span is short, as they do not last for years after their establishment.

According to most researchers, numerous Chama members disintegrate their groups within 2 years. One of the main reasons these Chamas dissolve is because most of their members become disgruntled. This, among many other challenges cutting across the different Chamas, contributes to their downfall. To ensure the Chamas are stable and successful over a long period, it is important to improve their productivity. These are the different ways to increase your Chamas productivity.

1. Work towards attaining a clear objective

Work towards attaining a clear objective
An example of a goal review plan


Prior to the establishment of the Chama, all group members ought to have developed a business strategy clearly stating the Chama’s vision and mission. The members also need to state a clear investment plan. The Chama must then work towards achieving the stated goals, and this will guarantee its development and ensure that it is productive. Lacking a clear objective will lead to the failure of the Chama and a decrease in productivity. Moreover, if the Chama does not have any clear objectives each member will have a different priority and therefore the Chama will not be productive.

2. Encourage Proactivity


Secondly, proactivity refers to the self-initiated behavior that endeavors to solve an issue before it occurs. When employed, a Chama’s productivity increases rapidly as members are able to solve issues that may cause it to crumble. Additionally, the Chama may employ this before making investments. For instance, they should research and utilize due diligence before venturing into any investment.

This will ensure the they evade disappointment or frustration in case their investment goes south and they lose the money on a product they did not research about. Proactivity will also ensure the Chama has all the information it needs on the different types of investment opportunities, which will give them ample time to decide on a business or product that will benefit the Chama.

3. Encourage Time Investment


Every member of a Chama enrolls hoping to make the most out of their savings and investments. However, the truth of the matter is unlike businesses no one wants to spend time in investment groups or give them a lot of attention. This is one of the main reasons why the Chamas prove unproductive. Managing time in one’s schedule and creating more time to manage your Chama is one step in the right direction. The Chama member’s can include frequent Chama meetings. This is mostly because in this modern age, there are numerous tools that aid in online meetings. Implementing this will ensure that members spend enough time on the Chama and they put enough effort towards ensuring it functions properly and meets its goals.

4. Enforce group rules and regulations


The priority of any founding member when setting up an investment group or a Chama is to clearly state its rules, guidelines, and regulations. These rules should include the Inter alia minimum amount of investment for each member, the terms and conditions for onboarding new members, the deadline of contributions, and the exit plan for any member who intends to leave the group at any time. Chama officials need to state these among other issues clearly. They may also add a platform to air the guiding framework on how to approach these situations. Without the guidelines, different members may give contributions at different times and the disorder may wreak havoc in the Chama. However, if the Chama members follow the guidelines carefully, the group’s productivity is more likely to improve.


5. Team Work

Team Work
A Scrabble image of teamwork

Similar to any other investment group, Chamas mainly form as a by-product of teamwork. Initially, Chama members are often members that are social bound. More times than not, colleagues, friends, college mates, and school mates who have a similar goal come together to form Chamas. This means that the Chama may lack a pinch of professionalism as most people do not understand the business agenda, and it changes over time. To ensure that despite the social bond the Chama is still productive, teamwork is essential. Every member must take the initiative to play their part and during meetings, each member should update the team on measures they have taken to ensure the Chama is on the right track. Teamwork is also essential in making sure everyone makes their monetary contributions on time.


6. Leadership


For any Chama to be functional, there needs to be a sound leader. This ensures that every member of a Chama knows what the Chama expects from them. The main challenge in team leadership is that Chamas often appoint members that have little to no knowledge of Investment groups and Chamas. Other Chamas also lack leaders and this poses a challenge when communicating or giving instructions. For any Chama to maximize productiveness, members should appoint a capable leader who will direct the group and ensure everyone is on the same page. Moreover, leaders can easily track the progress of the tasks delegated to the members of the Chama.

7. Employ new technologies.


Creating a Chama might be easy, but ensuring it’s fully functional is the real challenge. The Chama not only requires members to make contributions, but they also need to keep track of all their loans. Moreover, the Chama’s officials have to keep tabs on all the new members, and keep track of their investments. The digital era has made all this easily doable by joining mobile apps. Companies such as ChamaSoft and WebSacco make Investment group management easy and simple. Through these apps, you can monitor all the transactions your Chama has made over time. Additionally, one can monitor members and their contributions. This will give the Chama more than enough time to concentrate on other pressing issues such as finding out which products they need to purchase or where to place their next investments.

8. Communication

Communication
Communication: Employees in an organization holding a meeting

Similar to any other investment group, communication creates a firm foundation for its success. It is critical for a Chama to have constant communication. Chama leaders need to have a clear flow of communication through coordination with members. Information should be made clearly and consciously in a manner that will ensure members easily understand the message. When a company incorporates proper communication, a Chama can elude miscommunication, misinformation, and frustration. Each member will understand what the Chama requires of them and consequently, the Chama will become more productive.

9. Assess the Chama’s Productivity.


The Chama should constantly look back at their progress since their foundation. The members need to evaluate their goals against their accomplishment and analyze the Chama’s investment outcome. Additionally , they should also recognize milestones. This will create enthusiasm and motivation to complete more goals. The members must also assess the functions that need improvement for future efficiency. Every member must be aware of the different changes and recommendations they need to implement for them to achieve more goals. This will ensure they are on their toes and thereafter increase the productivity of the Chama.

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This post was written by Martha Adhiambo

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