Recent developments in many countries, Kenya included have seen a rise in the number of individuals joining or starting a club with their friends, relatives and/or workmates.
I have also seen individuals who are in more than one club. Reason being clubs are formed for different purposes, namely:
- To allow members pull their resources together in order to make meaningful investments
- For friends to bond and socialize
Whatever one’s reason for joining a club, people ought to put into consideration the fact that people within one group may have different expectations ,if not addressed could result into an unexpected fall out or breakdown of relationships.
Before starting a club……..
It is therefore necessary for individuals to critically evaluate the following before starting/joining a club:
- What are the motivations behind it is it for social or financial reasons?
- Who else will be part of the group?
- Do the proposed group members have some synergy in terms of ideas, work ethos etc?
- What are the key expectations for each person?
- How much money will each member contribute?
- How frequent will the group meet?
I will endeavor in this article to shed more light on the above
Starting a club for financial gains
Once individuals interested in joining a group come together and agree that their goal is to improve on their financial well being, I would advice that they put the following into consideration:
Starting a club: Size of the group must be determined upfront
Anyone who comes with an idea of setting up a group for financial purposes should always consider having a group that is manageable. A bigger group creates room for conflict due to differences in opinion and conflict in personalities.
In case it happens that those present who themselves in the initial groups meeting are more than 10, I would vouch for the group to be split into two.
However, this should be left to the members for them to decide what works for them.
Starting a club: Members should agree on their goal(s)
In order for the group to stay focused, members ought to come up with SMART objectives. These in my view should have a short, medium, and long term focus.
These goals should be put down in writing and every member held accountable for their achievements
These goals will also help establish what is the investment capital required from each member within a specified time frame. The more the members, the lower the amount they will be required to contribute towards the investment.
Groups that do not have investment policies governing them, end up becoming “gossip” clubs which adds no value to its membership.
- Starting a club: Member contributions should be discussed with caution
There is need for individual members of a club to give suggestions on how best they can arrive at the monthly contribution payable by individual members; and whether this amount can be paid up on a weekly ,quarterly or annual basis.
This subject should be discussed with great caution given the sensitivity attached to financial matters.
One of the approaches members can use is to first agree on the investments to be made. Based on the capital requirements of whatever investment option members agree on, the total amount should be divided against the total group membership.
Individuals who find it problematic to make the required contributions could at this point be allowed to leave the group or propose any other practical option.
Starting a club: Members ought to agree on frequency of the club meetings
This will greatly be informed by the group size.
Given that at the start of club, members will feel it necessary to have weekly or even monthly meetings to solidify their investment ideas and group norms, It will be quite unrealistic for the members to expect having meetings every month in the long run.
This is so because the frequency of the meetings will also result in high operating costs given that members will need to pay up for.
It is thus advisable for members to reduce on this start up costs by having meetings in members’ houses or in open spaces, to avoid paying up for venues. This gives more reason why the size of the club ought not to go beyond 10 members.
Where possible, group members should have a set calendar of events at the start of the year to avoid any form of burnout or sluggishness in attending meetings. Some groups are known to impose fines on members who miss out two meetings
In order to give the group a human face, monthly meetings are known to be preferred by most women as they get time out of their busy schedules as wives ,parents, employees and employers to bond with fellow women. I guess this also applies to men who form clubs. However with time the frequency of face to face meetings can be reduced to once every two months.
Starting a club: A Constitutional framework should be developed
Groups should engage the services of a lawyer to develop for them a constitutional framework within which they will operate.
The following should be well articulated in the constitution:
- Entry requirements
- Member contributions
- Code of ethics/regulatory framework for the group
- Termination of membership
- Member commitment forms
Finally, starting a club should not be taken lightly since a lot of planning and strategising is required before members start reaping rewards.