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How to Start a Profitable Bodaboda Business in Kenya

Vincent Nyoike
Vincent Nyoike Kenyan SMEs

The boda boda business is one of the most common and lucrative businesses in Kenya. It has employed thousands of people. If you wish to start the passenger ferrying business using motorbike in Kenya, there are many opportunities that have not been utilized yet. You need to understand how you can venture into the business, its challenges and how to start to succeed.  

Read also: How to start motorcycle spare parts business. 

Identify a Business Niche

The boda boda business comprises of motorcycles and tuk-tuks. Depending on your budget, you can decide the one you wish to venture into. Both the motorcycle and tuk-tuk business are profitable. The tuk tuk business is better since you can carry more passengers, unlike for motorcycle business. However, tuk-tuk business requires more startup capital.

Draft a Business Plan

You need to draft a business plan for your bodaboda business. Some of the things to include in the business plan include; niche to venture in, startup capital, sources of startup capital, area you will operating your business, opportunities in the market and projected cash flows from the business. 

Read more: How to write a business plan

Raise Startup Capital

The next thing you need to do is to raise startup capital. You can use your savings, borrow a loan, get funding from friends and relatives or from a micro-finance. To start a boda boda business, you need between Ksh 50,000 and Ksh 150,000. A new motorcycle goes for around Ksh 90,000, while you can also get a second hand or EX-UK at around Ksh 50,000.

Among the best motorcycle brands in Kenya suitable for a boda boda business include:

  • Boxer
  • TVS
  • Dayun
  • Honda
  • Yamaha
  • Suzuki
  • Ranger
  • Lion

Read also: How to start a car wash business. 

Get the Best Motorcycle Dealer

Identify a trusted motorcycle dealer. Before purchasing a motorcycle, ask from those in the boda boda business about the best motorcycle brands and their respective prices. It will help you to buy a long-lasting motorcycle for your business at a lower price.

Among the things to consider when buying a motorcycle include:

  • Price
  • Size
  • Fuel consumption
  • Engine size

Get the Necessary Licenses

You need to get a license to operate a boda boda business. It is risky to run any business in Kenya without a license. You must also get training from a reputable school and get a license. You need to learn the traffic rules and how you can stay safe on the road. This way, you can protect yourself and other road users.

Get Insurance

The comprehensive insurance is the best for motorcycles for business. It covers the rider, passenger, motorcycle and third parties in case of an accident. If you are involved in an accident, even if it is your fault, other parties will be compensated, thereby eliminating personal liabilities.

Read also: How to start welding business in Kenya. 

Select a Suitable Business Location

To get started with boda boda business, first, locate a suitable place where you can get many customers. Look for a place where there are many people. Some of the best places you can get many customers include near bus stops, outside institutions like colleges and hospitals.

Motorcycle Fleet Business in Kenya

If you have enough startup capital, you can buy several motorcycles and tuk-tuks to operate a fleet of bodabodas. You can employ riders and drivers for the motorcycles and tuk-tuks.

The next thing you need is to get a mobile hailing app for customers to book services online. Anytime a customer needs transport services, they can book using the app. You need to advertise your business on social media platforms like Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.

Is Boda Boda Business Profitable in Kenya?

Yes. In fact it is a source of livelihood for many families in Kenya. You can start small and grow your business over time. With a single motorcycle, you can make between Ksh 700 and Ksh 1,500 depending on your location and competition.

Read more: How Dorothy makes Ksh 3,000 daily from Boda Boda Business. 

Challenges Facing the Boda Boda Business in Kenya

  • Operators are considered hooligans due to  unruly conduct like bad language from a few of them. This makes many customers shy away from using motorcycle for transport.
  • The business has claimed many lives, while others have gotten severe injuries due accidents. It is because most riders do not adhere to traffic rules.
  • Theft of motorcycles. There has been a rise in the theft of motorcycles due to high demand for the business. Thieves use many tricks to steal motorcycles.

Final Thoughts

The boda boda business in Kenya is a broad sector with many opportunities. If you have enough capital and training, you can start it and grow your business over time.