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How to Start an Online Business in Kenya

Vincent Nyoike
Vincent Nyoike E-Commerce

Technological advancement and the growth of the internet have created very many opportunities. Many Kenyans are making a living online through affiliate marketing, social media influencing, blogging and YouTube vlogs. Online working is the future of employment in Kenya. There are many other businesses you can set up online.

The Kenyan government has stepped up internet connectivity across the country. It is estimated that around 67% of the Kenyan population use and have access to the internet. In this era where every youth has a Smartphone, online businesses are doing well. This means that the market for online businesses is large.

Starting an online business is cheaper than starting a physical address business. Online businesses don’t require you to rent premises or store inventory. It is also convenient since you can manage your business remotely. You also get the chance to market the business online, eliminating the high costs that come with advertising physical businesses.

Read also: Best online shopping sites in Kenya. 

In this article, I will take you through how to start an online business in Kenya.

Decide the Products and Services to Sell Online 

The first step to starting an online business in Kenya is deciding the services and products you will be selling. You need to research thoroughly before venturing into the online business. Get to know if the service or product is in high demand. This will help you avail a product or service that customers want.

You also need to know the resources you need to start an online business in Kenya. Different online businesses require different resources like software, mobile apps, payment gateways and delivery channels. 

Register Your Online Business in Kenya

You need to ensure that your online business is operating legally in Kenya. If you want your business to grow, consider registering it. By registering your business, customers can trust your products and services both online and offline.

You will need business registration forms if you wish to open a business bank account. Also, if you will be receiving payments from clients using Lipa na Mpesa, you will need to present a business registration certificate to get a business pay bill number.

Read more: How to apply for Mpesa business till number. 

The Kenyan government requires businesses to register to ensure that they adhere to the set regulations. It also ensures that businesses pay taxes and contribute to the economic development of the country. You can register your online business through the eCitizen portal. The online business registration is fully automated and you can register your business in less than two days.

Read more: How to register a business in Kenya.

Get a Domain and Hosting for Your Online Business

You need to get an online address for your business which in this case is a domain name. For example, www.nexinstartups.com is our domain name. Make sure to choose an impressive and unique domain name that your customers can easily remember. Once you have a domain name, you can go ahead to set up your online business.

You can buy Bluehost domain hosting here at a cheaper price. I have been using Bluehost and it offers 100% uptime, SSL certificate and it is very fast and secure. Look for a domain hosting that guarantees you 100% uptime and one that is fast. Also, ensure that it offers an SSL certificate to ensure that your visitors are safe.

Create a Website or an Online Store

Since you are operating an online business, your website or online store is your business. It is where your customers will be visiting to make online purchases. You will be using the website to sell and market your business products and services. A good website should be impressive, fast and secure.

Look for an experienced web designer to design one for you. It is because you may also need to integrate your website with online payment gateways to enable your online business receive online payments from customers. Other features of an online business website you need to consider are a shopping cart, email marketing and customer registration.  

Read also: Best online payment gateways in Kenya. 

Market Your Online Business

Once you are through with setting up your online business, the next thing you need to do is to market it. You need to promote your online business products and services. You can create social media presence for your online business. You can drive customers to your online business through Search Engine Optimization (SEO), Pay Per Click (PPC) Ads and email marketing.

Final Word

Unlike a physical business, an online business is easy to start and run. It is also cheap since you don’t need to rent premises and store inventory. You can market your online business in Kenya through social media marketing, email marketing and content marketing through search engines. I hope after reading this article you can now easily start an online business in Kenya.