Becoming an entrepreneur in Kenya, especially a female entrepreneur in Kenya is never an easy decision to make. When one makes the decision however, it’s important not to rush into a business without taking a few steps in preparation. Business plans don’t always work as planned, but they are a great guideline to follow. Make sure to take these six steps when starting your small business in Kenya.
1. Research the industry well
Whatever industry you’re in, you should ensure to research it thoroughly. This is so that you find out who your future competitors are and what they are doing specifically, in terms of marketing and what products or services they are offering. You should find out how the market is doing whether it’s profitable or declining; is it a fad that has run its course? It’s also good to find out if it’s too saturated a market; if everyone is doing it. Before starting my bakery, I read many bakery blogs for recipes to try our for my menu, I researched what cake and bread products were being sold at the time, the bakeries that were popular in Nairobi and what they were selling in their menus as well. I checked the price lists of about ten bakeries and their websites to see the kind of online marketing they were utilizing.
2. Decide what your niche in the industry will be for your business
Every successful business in Kenya has a certain need it addresses in its industry. Finding a niche in an industry is important since it helps a business focus on solving that particular problem. An example; Citizen TV in Kenya focuses on regional shows and audiences. Therefore their shows are mainly African show such as Afrosinema and many other Kenyan shows that local Kenyans relate to. Another example is my baking business; one service we’re offering is teaching people how to bake with a charcoal oven. Many people offer baking classes; but since more individuals who want to start small baking businesses are baking with charcoal ovens because they are economical, our focus is on those who want to learn how to bake with it. Choose a niche in which you are certain you will solve a specific problem and that will set you apart from your competition.
3. Find out the necessary requirements to run your business legally in your location
After you’ve decided what your business will be, you need to find out all the legal requirements to run that kind of business in Kenya. Whether it’s registering the business name or a company; to city council permits and certificates for the business premise. Find out all the necessary documents and start working towards getting them before starting the business. When I started my bakery, I first started by registering a business name for the business, then I went to the nearest city council office in my location and inquired on the necessary permits and health certificates needed to get started. If you’re able to, you can approach a person who has a business in your industry and inquire about the requirements. Get started on it.
4. Find out the equipment required in your business
It’s necessary to know the basic resources required in your business to get started with. For example if you’re starting a cyber cafe business; you should know the least number of computers you’ll need to get started, printers, chairs and tables and any shelves required. You should also have money for expenses for at least three months; however if you can get money to cover expenses for six months – it’s preferred. If you’ll need to hire anyone to help you run your business, decide the kind of skills you require them to have and then start looking for someone to hire. Find out what all your operational requirements will be and plan accordingly.
5. Write a business plan
This is a must for any entrepreneur in Kenya who wants to start a business. Make sure you write a business plan; this will not only help set down your plan in paper in an organized manner; it will give you a guideline for the direction of your business in the future. I will be writing a post soon on how to write a business plan for you to use. To get a free business plan template, sign up via email by clicking on this link.
6. Get the capital required to start up your business
After you have written down a business plan, you will be able to know the exact amount you require to start your business. You need to get that capital; maybe start with the amount you have saved, then find out how much you need to fund-raise to get started.
if you follow the above steps to getting your business started in Kenya, you will be more prepared as an entrepreneur.
If you have any other suggestions on steps to take before starting a business, please feel free to comment below.
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