Starting a hardware business is not easy. It’s something you should be prepared for and have the time, money, skills, resources and dispositions needed before starting such a venture.
If you are about to set up your own company then this blog post will help you out with what steps you need to take to get started.
Start a Hardware in Kenya
Here are the 16 Steps to Start a Hardware Business in Kenya:
Register your business
To comply with the Kenyan Law, it is prudent you register your hardware either as a sole proprietorship or as a limited company.
When choosing a name for your business , its best to come up with something catchy that will set you apart from other hardware stores.
If you are the only store in town, then your company name could be anything. But if there is already a competing hardware store in the same location,it is best you have a unique name that customers can easily remember.
Identify the best location
You’ve probably noticed that most hardware stores are clustered in a particular area of town.
This is because when starting a new venture, it’s often advantageous to be near other services like construction sites and major towns.
You need a name and logo that represents who you are and what it is that you do.Branding helps you stand out from the crowd.
Obtain the necessary licenses
Business Permit-This is issued by the county government where the company is located.The cost varies from county to county.
Fire Certificate License-The county is responsible for conducting a fire audit in your premises and issue a fire certificate once you pass inspection.
Find Suppliers and Manufacturers for your Products
You now need to find suppliers and manufacturers for your stocks.This means that you will have to conduct a market analysis looking at the different types of products in the industry.Take into account the quality, the competition and price points.
Some questions you should ask are:
- What is my end goal?
- How much do I want to make?
- How much can I sell the product for?
- What are my resources and skill sets?
Once you have answered these questions, you should be in a better position to start looking at suppliers and manufacturers.
It is important that your supplier or manufacturer also has knowledge about electronics ,plumbing equipment as well as quality assurance to ensure that the product you are selling meets your buyers specifications.
Review your competition
Research your market competitors for more information on pricing, services , and how they treat their customers. This gives you a better understanding of what you need to offer your customers so that they will come back and buy from you.
You may have the best products in town, but if customers can find a similar one with more attractive features for less money at your competitor’s store, you’ll be hard-pressed to make sales.
Spending some time looking into how other companies are marketing their products is an important part of staying competitive.
Do market Research
It is important to have a good understanding of your market, for example:
- Do you need more than one type of product in order to be competitive?
- What are the best selling products and why do they sell well?
- How much would a product cost on average locally or would it be cheaper to import it?
Develop a business plan
Create a business plan for the next 18 months .
This is crucial because this helps you decide on how much money you need to invest in the company inorder to keep up with the market.
Find investors or raise capital
Source for venture capital either from banks or sacco’s or investors who could lend you the money in return for shares in the company.
The business plan should be able to guide you on how much money you require as capital.This should be calculated based on how much money is needed to cover expenses and how long it will take before you start seeing a profit.
Create your staff plan
This is important because you need to be prepared when the time comes to hire the necessary personnel.
You can also consider outsourcing some services such as book keeping and accounting.
Determine your pricing strategy
It is important to have a pricing strategy because if you don’t know what your products will cost,then how can you think of marketing strategies?
Plus, knowing the price beforehand means that buyers or customers are more likely to buy from you.
Create a strategic marketing plan
Now that you have your pricing strategy in place, it’s time to create a plan on how you will market and sell your product.
You need to know what methods of advertising are best suited for the type of customer that is going to be buying your products.
You may have great products, a solid location and an eye catching name for your store,but all of that will be wasted if you don’t market it to the right people.
This is often one of the most overlooked areas when starting out in business. We recommend opening up marketing channels on social media platforms like Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and Pinterest.
Identify your target audience
The more specific your target audience is, the better you’ll be able to market and sell your products. So take some time to identify who will buy from your company and what they are looking for in a particular product.
Know your profit margins
Understanding how your company’s profits are made ,will help you figure out what the most profitable products to sell in your hardware store.
The way a product is priced should be matched with its profit margin, so as not to sink below an amount that would make it not worth pursuing.
It’s important to stay organized for your business to run smoothly from day one. Keep a list of all the products that you need on hand so you can order them in advance before they sell out or get discontinued.
This also means keeping track of the inventory you have on hand and what you need to order more of.
It’s time to get your finances in check.
Keep an eye out for expenses that can be cut or trimmed back, such as lowering the cost of utilities , buy goods at a cheaper price by purchasing goods in bulk , cutting down on shipping costs by consolidating orders with other businesses , or negotiating a bulk rate with your suppliers.
Cost of starting a hardware in Kenya
The cost of starting a hardware business can vary depending on the type of hardware store you want to start but can be in the range of Ksh 200,000-1,00,000.
Some of the costs you should expect to incur are ;
- Cost of registering a company and obtaining the necessary licenses.
- Buying or renting office space to house both you and your team.
- Cost of purchasing inventory such as plumbing equipment and cement.
- Marketing and sales expenses .
- Administrative expenses such as office supplies and utilities.
Hardware is a booming business, and it’s only set to grow as more buildings are constructed.
If you’re looking for an opportunity, start by analyzing the different types of hardware businesses out there before deciding which one might be best-suited to your skillset and interests.