Most people think that starting a business in Kenya requires you to have deep pockets, but this isn’t the case. The truth is that you can start any kind of business in Kenya even if you have very little capital – or no capital at all. However, there are many things to consider before starting any business, whether you have large capital or little capital to invest. Here are the most important things to consider when beginning your own small business in Kenya.
Do some research
Starting your own business is an exciting and challenging endeavor. As someone who was born and raised in the United States, it can be difficult to know what challenges you might face or what resources are available. One of the most popular ways people get started is by first finding an inspiration they want to run with. For example, if you want a children’s clothing store, that can give you some ideas about where and how much inventory will be needed as well as whether there is enough demand for such a business in your area.
Whatever you decide on, the next step would be doing research about how much it would cost for both startup and recurring costs. You’ll need software and supplies for whatever industry you choose, accounting software, bank account fees, etc. In addition, you’ll have to set up a website or marketing plan so customers can find out about your business. Remember: If you’re looking at opening up a retail store, there will also be space rental and leasing fees involved.
Depending on the type of business and where it’s located, taxes may be higher than normal because so many services are provided by local governments. If you’re opening up an eatery in downtown Chicago, taxes will probably be different than starting one up in Oregon since the climate may not require heating/cooling systems year-round. But don’t worry! The Internet has made researching international rates easier than ever before!
Find a Business Idea
I’ve started various businesses, from websites to digital marketing firms. Every business starts from the same place: an idea. If you are considering starting your own company or already have an idea for one, this is the guide for you. Here are five ways on how to start a business without breaking the bank.
1) Contact suppliers and verify prices – One of the first things I usually do when starting any new business is to identify potential suppliers and prices so that my costs don’t go out of control later down the line.
2) Set up an appointment – Once you have your list of potential suppliers for everything that you need, it’s time to set up an appointment. This will give you a chance to visit them and discuss their costs as well as finalize any other details that may be missing from your plan. Find out more about doing business in Kenya.
3) Find new clients – You may have already identified your target market, but if not, find out who you want to target. Once you know who they are and what their needs are, it’s time to start promoting your business. Create an online presence by setting up social media profiles or by buying advertising space on local websites and forums.
Think of every possible way that people might come across your business – whether they stumble upon it while searching Google or whether someone recommends it to them. Do as much as you can to ensure that when your audience is ready for your product, they’ll find you there ready and waiting for them.
4) Develop your product – Once you’ve found potential clients and have developed your promotional strategy, it’s time to start working on your product. Think about what people need and what kind of business you’re going to run – will it be e-commerce or will you sell products on-site? Make sure that everything is planned out clearly so that there are no questions left unanswered before you launch.
5) Launch – Once your product is finished and you’re ready to go, you’re almost there. All that’s left is putting your business plan into action. Tell everyone that you know about your new business and drum up interest by giving out discounts or freebies for those who take advantage of it. It might take time for people to start using your services, but once they do, don’t rest on your laurels – keep working hard so that your business stays on top!
Prepare your marketing strategy
Some of the best businesses have started out of the most humble beginnings. However, starting a business can still be challenging even when you’re just starting out. Here are three simple ways that you can get your new business up and running:
(1) Ask for assistance from experienced entrepreneurs – these seasoned businessmen and women will help guide you through your first steps as an entrepreneur. They know what pitfalls to avoid and how to avoid common mistakes that lead to failure, saving you time and resources.
(2) Invest in yourself – this may sound cliché, but investing in yourself is an investment that will only increase your chances of success exponentially over time. Educate yourself on the field or industry you’ve chosen to enter by reading books, taking courses, and attending seminars and workshops.
Utilize online platforms like Skillshare or Coursera to learn about things like accounting or marketing that may not be covered in-depth at your college or university. You never know where opportunities will present themselves so it’s important to stay educated and knowledgeable about your industry. Finally, invest in some professional headshots of yourself; it might seem frivolous now but they’ll come in handy later when hiring managers are looking for candidates who fit their company culture.
(3) Set up your business online – whether you’re running an online business or an offline one, having an online presence is now a necessity. Start by setting up your company’s website and social media pages (LinkedIn, Twitter, and Facebook are recommended for most businesses) so that potential customers can get in touch or find out more about what you do.
You might also want to look into purchasing web hosting and email services from providers like Hostinger, GoDaddy, and Google, which provide inexpensive entry-level packages for new businesses. Get creative with how you set yourself apart from other similar companies; something as simple as registering your .co domain name could make all of the difference when it comes to standing out from competitors!
Register your Business name
The name of your business needs to be different than the names of other companies. You can search online or consult a lawyer or company registry. It is also important that you register this name as your trademark and copyright in order to protect it.
Remember, once you register your trademark and copyright, you should start putting some money into marketing this brand so that people will know about it. If your product does not have much promotion, customers may not know about it and won’t purchase it. Your logo design is also very important because when people see the logo of a company they recognize, they feel more confident about purchasing from them.
Register for tax online
Registering for tax online is as easy as completing the form and paying your fees.
Get professional services when needed
Depending on the type of business, you may want to hire professionals for certain tasks. If you need legal help or accounting advice, this is something that should be discussed before starting your company. Additionally, if your product has any kind of patent-pending process, it is important that you work with experts in that field as well.
Regardless of whether or not you need professional services at this stage, having an idea of what your budget will be before your start-up will help you plan and make decisions later on down the line.
A startup has two broad types of expenses- fixed and variable.
Variable costs are the expense associated with running your business on an ongoing basis and include payroll, office supplies, transportation costs, and advertising among others.
Fixed costs cover the initial start-up expense and include rent, incorporation fees, legal fees, insurance premiums, and equipment purchases among others. The best way to save money is to identify which of these are worth cutting back on while still maintaining your goals.
At least 50% of your budget should be put aside for running costs while no more than 30% should be allocated towards fixed costs. If you’re able to plan your startup well, you’ll find that it doesn’t take much money or time at all. Focus on streamlining your business as much as possible and paying attention to cost-effectiveness right from day one.
The first step is getting your business license and permits.
Set up your accounting system
Accounting, or keeping records of your financial transactions, is one of the best ways for entrepreneurs to keep themselves organized. Ideally, you’ll want to set up an accounting system that works for your business. There are two main options: paper and computerized (though they can be combined).
The more traditional paper option involves utilizing accounting documents like journals and ledgers that help you keep track of where money is coming in and going out as well as enabling you to balance your accounts.
The computerized option involves setting up programs such as QuickBooks that automatically calculate transactions while allowing you the freedom of switching back and forth between financial documents more easily. Both options require at least basic knowledge about how financial statements work.
Learn how to market your Business effectively on social media platforms like Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn.
Business owners often think of social media as an easy way to connect with people and share your message without spending money. But, marketing on social media takes time, so you’ll need to have realistic expectations when it comes to the amount of time you should plan on devoting to this platform.
Once you’ve thought about the time commitment and other factors like whether or not you have staff who can take over posts for holidays, are available after hours, etc., it’s time to figure out how best to use each platform.
On Facebook, there is a great tool called Power Editor that lets you upload multiple images at once.
On Twitter, make sure to post tweets that are short and sweet. You might want to start with just 10 per day and see what type of response you get before moving up to 20-30 per day.
LinkedIn is great if you’re targeting more business-to-business prospects; they usually won’t engage with messages from brands they don’t know personally, so be prepared to introduce yourself first.