How to start a successful smokies and eggs business

Smokies, eggs and sausages are some of the most loved snacks in Kenya because of their sumptuous nature, their ability to keep you full for long, their affordability and the fact that they are readily available.

The smokies and eggs venture is a viable venture as these are snacks that are in demand for they are consumed on impulse.

It is easy and inexpensive to start and requires no formal skills or training to run it.

Below are the steps of starting and running a successful smokie and egg business.

Register a business

To operate legally in Kenya, first register your business as a sole proprietorship. Login in to E-Citizen portal create an account and submit your company name for search. If the name is available, go ahead and register it.

Analyze Competition

To be successful ,you need to stand out from the crowd. You can do this by identifying your unique selling proposition (USP). Ask yourself, what will make customers buy from you and not the other vendor.

An idea to differentiate your self is to maintain a high level of hygiene. This type of venture is food oriented. Customers will determine in a split second whether they will purchase from you or not, based on your appearance and the way your merchandise is presented.

Ensure the cart is sparkling clean, wear a clean apron or overcoat and ensure the smokies are not oily, as this will repel customers.

Another way to outwit your competition is to offer value addition. You can do this by making ‘Kachumbari’ and serving it with the snacks. You can even go further and offer tomato and chili sauce depending on a customer preference.

A better way to beat your competition is to offer discounts to your customers. For example instead of selling two sausages for 60/=, you can sell at 50/=. This will help you move volumes as customers will flock to your business to get the 10/= discount. We all love freebies and this is no exception.

As for the eggs you can sell ’kienyeji’  eggs  which have more nutritive value for the same price as the normal ‘grade’ eggs. Most vendors sell the ‘kienyeji’eggs more expensively than the grade eggs.

Identify a suitable location

You need to identify the ideal location to run the business. Search for a location with high street traffic as this will have the most impact on your revenue.

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Consider setting it up near places like markets, bus stages, schools and colleges because of the presence of high foot traffic.

In identifying a suitable location, evaluate the dynamics of the location. Seek answers to the following questions.

  • Has it been designated by the local county government to be a business area or not?
  • Are there any restrictions in setting up your company there or you can just walk in and set up?
  • Are there any special licenses required?

Raise capital

This venture requires very little capital to start.Some of the items that you need to purchase are;

  • A trolley for selling the snacks.
  • Licenses
  • Packets of smokies.
  • Trays of eggs.

Below is a table that shows the estimate of the capital required to start a smokies and eggs business.

Type of productCapital (Ksh)
A  vending trolley7,000-15,000
County government license2,000
Individual medical certificate1,000
A Packet of smokies350
A tray of eggs300
Miscellaneous costs (oil, salt, charcoal, apron)1,300
Total Capital on the higher side20,000

The capital above will vary as it depends on the brand of the trolley and the type of sausages you wish to purchase.

Farmer’s choice carts are a bit expensive because they are of a better quality than ‘juakali’ carts.

The brand of the oil that you will use to fry the sausages also varies in price. Most low priced oils leave an after taste in the mouth. Therefore, take this in to account when determining the amount of capital required as superior oils are more expensive.

Determine your business model

There are two ways you can sell your smokies and eggs;

  • By selling the snacks yourself.
  • By employing people to sell the snacks at a commission.

If you are running your business as a side hustle, you can employ people to sell on your behalf and pay them a commission. This type of model requires more capital as you will have to purchase several vending trolleys for your hires.

If you are not committed elsewhere and prefer the hands on approach, you can personally sell the snacks. This is the most preferred model as more youths are embracing self-employment due to lack of jobs.

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Look for suppliers

There are several brands of smokies in the market. Some of these brands are Kenchic, Farmers choice, Quality meat packers and Choice meats

Farmer’s choice sausages are a favorite brand to many because of their great taste and quality. You can purchase them at a cheaper price from wholesale distributors as compared to supermarkets where they are a bit expensive.

As for the eggs, source them directly from farmers as they are better priced as opposed to wholesalers or retailers.

Purchase your stock and equipment

Depending on the brand of smokies you have decided to sell, visit any of the company’s distribution outlets and purchase your stock. If you have access to a refrigerator, it is advisable you purchase the sausages in volumes so as to get a great price.

As for the vending trolleys, purchase the famers choice carts if you are selling their sausages.

If you are selling  other types of brands, visit an artisan and purchase a cart from them. A normal cart cost between 5000-8000 while the famers choice one cost around 15,000/=


Find a way to identify yourself to customers. Position yourself in the mind of the customers by branding yourself either through your cart or your apron or both.

For example if you are offering discounts, you can indicate that on your trolley. i.e. ‘Buy two for 50/= and save 10/=’

You can place your business name and logo on your apron.

Farmers Choice carts come already branded to make them stand out from the crowd.

Determine profit margins and daily revenue

Once you purchase your stock and equipment, take a notebook and a calculator and determine the price you need to sell your merchandise to make a profit. It is also prudent you determine your daily revenue target so that you focus on achieving it.

Below is an example of how to calculate your profit margins;

  • From the capital table above, a packet of smokies costs 350/=
  • The number of sausages in a packet are 22/= .Therefore each smokie costs 15.90/=
  • Let’s say you sell each at 30/= your net profit per smokie is 14.09/=
  • If you sell 3 packets a day, your net profit will be 929/=  i.e 14.09*3*22

Let’s now calculate the profit made from eggs.

  • A tray of eggs costs 300/=
  • A tray has 30 eggs. Therefore, the cost of each egg is 10/=
  • If you sell each egg at 20/=, your net profit per egg will be 10/=
  • If you sell 2 trays a day, your eggs net profit will be  600/= i.e 10*30*2
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The total profit in a day will be 1529/=

In a month this translates to 1529*30 = 45,870/= .This is more than what an average employee makes in formal employment and the beauty about it, it is tax free.

Acquire the necessary licenses

There are two major licenses you ought to acquire before starting selling;

  • County government license

This is a trading license granted by your local authority. The price of the license varies from county to county and the nature of the business. It is essential to get this license so that you avoid run ins with the local enforcement askaris as you might end up parting with fines or bribes hence eating into your profits.

  • Individual Health Certificate

This is a mandatory requirement for those who are in the food industry. You can obtain a health certificate from a government hospital at a cost of Ksh 1,000.It is punishable by law if you don’t have this license and you are handling food.

Practice how to cook the snacks

Practice makes perfect. Practice cooking the sausages and the eggs just right. Customers are repelled by oily and cracked smokies as well as under cooked eggs.

The secret to making well done sausages is time. If you leave them to cook for long they will crack but if you remove them too early they will be under cooked.

Keep appropriate records

From the start, keep a record of all your purchases, sales, profits, loss and expenses. This will help you evaluate whether you are making profits or not and what adjustments you ought to make for it to be successful.

Scale up your business

Once you have set up the necessary structures and systems, carry out an audit to determine whether it is the right time to scale up.

Multiply your profits by purchasing more equipment, stock  and employing more people to sell the snacks.

As you expand your business, ensure you manage your growing team and cash flow effectively so as not to run into trouble in future.


With the right zeal and attitude, anyone looking to start and run a smokie and eggs business can be successful. Just follow the steps above and you will be on your way to making a decent income.

To your success!

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