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How to Start a Retail Shop in Kenya

The retail business in Kenya employs thousands of people. We will give you tips on how to start a retail shop in Kenya. To succeed in the retail shop business, you need creativity and skills. Retail shops mostly sell general household items like sugar, rice, cooking oil, flour, snacks, etc. Retail shop businesses thrive in town and rural areas. Most retail shopkeepers in the villages have become famous for the success of their businesses.

A general retail shop

Also Read: How to start a movie shop in Kenya. 

A Guide to Starting a Retail Shop Business in Kenya

Starting shopkeeper business in Kenya requires one to have a good business plan. Before starting your business, do market research and find out items that most other retail shops are not selling. Find out where you can source those products at a lower price.

Also, seek to find out a market gap within your area. For instance, many people could be using cooking gas, but there isn't a shop selling. This would boost your business and get customers for the other items.

Develop a Good Retail Shop Business Plan

A good business plan should have startup costs, revenue projections, business location, strengths and weaknesses of the business. The startup cost for a retail shop will depend on the location of the business and its size.

If the business is based in a rural area, the startup capital will be significantly lower compared to a town. Also, list the startup items and how you will market your business in your business plan.

Find a Suitable Business Location

Finding a suitable place for your business is one step to succeeding in your retail shop business. Look for a business location near households and high numbers of on foot traffic. You can also set up your business in a market center or a shopping center. Since there might be other businesses surrounding you, ensure that your business is unique from them. Do not compete on price; instead, compete to offer quality customer service.

Secure Business Licenses and Permits

You need to register your business and get the necessary permits and licenses to operate a business legally. You will need a single business permit that goes for roughly Ksh 10,000 every year. You may also need advertisement and signage licenses if your business is in a town center. Other licenses you will need include trading licenses, fire clearance licenses and food hygiene certificates that cost Ksh 600 every six months.

Read more: Permits and licenses you need to operate a business

Identify Products to Sell in Your Retail Shop

The market needs will significantly determine the products and services you will be selling to your customers in your retail shop. Therefore, get to know what your customers require. However, you will realize that most retail shops sell household products. You can stock the following: rice, sugar, flour, cooking oil, snacks, sweets, tissue papers, salt, tea leaves, matchboxes, milk, bread etc.

Determine the Startup Capital

The items you will be selling and business location will determine how much you will need to start your retail shop. It is possible to start a small shop with capital less than Ksh 50,000. You can grow your business and stock it as your business grows. The most expensive part of a retail shop is to pay rent. If you can find a cheaper place to rent, it can significantly reduce your startup capital.

You will also need to set up selves where you will be keeping your stock. Get an experienced carpenter to do this for you.

How to Boost Your Retail Shop Business

You can boost your retail business by offering other complementary products and services. For instance, you can start an M-Pesa business if your customers may need to withdraw or deposit money into their mobile wallets.

Read more: How to start an M-Pesa business in Kenya

The best way to go about it is to find a market gap and seek how to address it. For instance, if people require cooking gas and many businesses are not offering the service or product, you can stock that item. 

Is a Retail Shop Business Profitable in Kenya?

Yes. With a good business location, you can make huge profits. Business revenue from your shop is enough to pay for your retail shop expenses and leave you with a 30% profit. Getting cheaper suppliers will help you maximize profits. When setting your product prices, ensure that they are not above those of your competitors.

Final Word

Starting a shop business in Kenya is a profitable venture. It is one of the startups in Kenya that employs the majority people. To succeed in the retail shop business, make sure that you offer quality customer service and have a unique business from your competitors.

Also Read: How to start a laundry business in Kenya