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Benefits of registering as a taxpayer if you’re a small business operator in Kenya

Benefits of registering as a taxpayer if you’re a small business operator in Kenya

In his Eighth State of the Nation Address on 30th Nov this year, President Uhuru Kenyatta submitted a report to the parliament recognizing Micro, Small, and Medium Enterprises (MSMEs) as the lifeblood of Kenya’s economy yet a huge number of them are unlicensed.

According to the 2017 Economic Survey, there are about 1.56 million licensed MSMEs and 5.85 million unlicensed similar businesses in Kenya.

This means that less than 27 percent of all businesses in Kenya are registered. Out of these, 92.2 percent are micro-enterprises while only 7.1 percent and 0.7 percent are small and medium enterprises respectively.

The reason some of the MSME operators give for not registering their businesses is that they fear being subjected to high taxation that may end up eating on their profit.

However, as you will soon discover, there are many benefits that await unregistered MSME operators as taxpayers that including loans and government services. 

Bid for government contracts

Bid for government contracts

As a registered small business operator as a taxpayer, you will be putting yourself in the best position to bid and win government tenders and trade with the government and non-government institutions.

If your business is not registered, you cannot bid for government contracts or even partner with other businesses to take advantage of communal benefits including crucial networks, especially with larger companies with who they could even enter into sub-contracts.

Therefore, you will continuously be locked out of useful business associations. Simply put, if an enterprise is not a taxpayer it cannot grow!

Personalized tax and customs advisory services

Personalized tax and customs advisory services

These are services offered by the Kenya Revenue Authority (KRA) through its vast network, social media, and telephony among others to hell MSMEs operators understand the tax and customs environment especially if they intend to get into import and export business.

This is in addition to market and networking opportunities through its taxpayers’ roundtables that the taxman organizes to bring together businesses for purposes of sharing issues affecting them and receiving business advice in line with the core business of the authority.

It is during these meetings that the Authority avails opportunities for entrepreneurs to network and even establish new markets.

Import and export incentives

Import and export incentives

As a small business operator, your goal is to grow from serving the local people to doing business globally. No business operator would their venture remain stagnant hence the need for registration.

MSMEs registered with the taxman stand the chance of receiving import incentives that include reduced import tariffs on inputs such as machinery and raw materials to spur manufacturing of goods for export where the authority offers free VAT for its members.

The taxman also has a provision for capital allowances on installed machinery and a possible 20 percent export compensation arrangement.

Numerous business opportunities

Numerous business opportunities

Did you know? In line with the government directive on public procurement, 30 percent of all procurement at KRA goes to enterprises run by the youth, women, and people with disabilities which are mainly MSMEs. Another reason why you need to register as a small business operator.

Unregistered enterprises should register as taxpayers in order to open doors to business opportunities that can only be accessed once the business acquires the all-important PIN number.


Blog business Entrepreneurial Stories

How technology is creating a new force of youth entrepreneurs in Kenya

How technology is creating a new force of youth entrepreneurs in Kenya

Unemployment has been one of the main problems of Kenyan youth for many years. Add this to the dire effects of COVID-19 to the country’s economy worsening the situation for job seekers as many companies have been downsizing their workforce to stay afloat.

However, there seem to be a crop of resilient youth trying to find their way into business to enable them earn something thanks to the new technology that enables them use internet to market and connect with their customers. 

This is creating a large number of youth-run businesses mushrooming in different sectors and disrupting current modes of business, bringing in new opportunities, and creating more employment.

Some of these business lines include fashion, cosmetics, entertainment, clothing and food distribution among others.

Due to high cost of operations and renting spaces, the businesses start from home then expand with time by leveraging on the power of online platforms such as Instagram, Facebook, Tiktok, WhatsApp and Twitter and such.

Take, for instance, Bevalyne Kwamboka, a chips vendor in Kware, Embakasi South whose story has become viral just because of a tweet of her fries business which gain much traction among online users.  The roadside chips vendor is now poised to some better future in her business after some well-wishers came through to give her a push to enable her improve her stock, tools and equipment, and get a good operation base. If all go well for Kwamboka, customers will increase translating to more demand, increased production, and good income that can bring the need for other services alongside and more employees. That is how powerful the internet can be.

2NU Boutique which was started at home after the owner noticed that many started inquiring about her style of dressing then soon found her self selling clothes.  She then started travelling and bringing selected pieces for sale.  Now, she is designing and creating her own brand which receives orders from as far as the United States and Europe. Today, many of Kenya’s glitterati are her clients.

Nywele Creative owner started by experimenting various brands in shops and when she could no find a perfect match, decided to start her own small company that sell hair extensions such as weaves and wigs made out of real human hair.To make the business move, she had from time to time promoted it on both mainstream and social media having started off as an online business, on Facebook in 2012.  By 2015 demand had grown so much that the company had five physical locations at Green House, Garden City, Westlands, Two Rivers and The Hub in Nairobi.Today, the company delivers products across Nairobi and outside of Kenya, with Tanzania and South Africa being its major markets.

There are number of companies, working with restaurants taking advantage of working-class people in Nairobi who are too tired to cook to organise home delivery. The list is long, however, many of them do not get the recognition they deserve.

Most of these companies are riding the Internet revolution and using Instagram, Facebook, Tiktok, WhatsApp and the phone to market and reach their customers.


Blog business

Multitasking skills you can adopt in your small business

Multitasking skills you can adopt in your small business

Most of the time when one starts up a business, they find themselves running almost every activity as everything becomes rolled up as one because their business is a one-man or one-woman show.

This can be quite challenging given on a daily basis, there is plenty of work to be done within a very limited time making multitasking a hugely important skill to possess as an entrepreneur.

Do not fret people have done it before and so can you. Not everybody is natural at this but the good news is that effective multitasking can be learned.

In fact, the secret to multitasking is not in trying to do everything at the same time, instead, it is about doing things effectively.

The following are some techniques and concepts you can utilize and master to enable you to get more tasks done and maximize your output.

Planning and setting your priorities well

Planning and setting your priorities well

Remember, in the beginning, your small business will need much of your attention to grow and if you do not multitask well, there is a high possibility that your productivity will drop.

You, therefore, need to do proper planning by listing your priorities down so that instead of attacking everything at once, you can take time first to write your tasks down. 

You can create broad goals and fill them with smaller, doable ones, then create a plan with realistic deadlines for each item on the list. 

This way, you can stay focused for longer, and you have a structured checklist of what has been done and what hasn’t. You can even mark your progress as you move along.

Careful time management

Careful time management

After having written down your plans and prioritize your activities accordingly, your next focus should be on time management and there are several ways to approach this.

This includes time-blocking which is deciding in advance what you will be doing for each part of the day, for instance, spelling out well what you want to achieve in the early hours of the morning, let’s say, 8-10 am. 

You can time-block your entire day to ensure you achieve all the activities you set for that particular day.

In this digital era, you do not need much paperwork to achieve this. Today, there are a number of time management apps that can help you get a hold of your schedule.

Create breaks

Create breaks

Yes, we are often told that their business should be a 24-hour obsession but you do not want to turn yourself into a robot or a machine. You are still a human being who gets tired.

Remember, multitasking requires large amounts of brain activity, and if you push things too far, you will focus less and perform your tasks inefficiently.

This is why you need a break and you need to find a method that suits you, and stick to it. However, this should not be an excuse to start postponing what you ought to do within a particular time.

Generally, you might feel as though you are wasting time when so many things need to be done, but taking breaks will always enable a better end result.

 

Avoid distractions

Avoid distractions

You have a timeline to achieve a specific task. Destructions will be the main problem that will lead you to procrastination which is particularly dangerous for entrepreneurs.

Constant distractions from phone calls, text messages, and emails will result in zero focus and frustrations hence do all you can to put off any forms of destruction.

Put similar tasks together

Put similar tasks together

When listing your daily activities according to their priorities, it is good to review them to group together tasks that are similar.

This will save you time and get the sense of having achieved more and will feel less shaken when switching between tasks.

Set realistic goals

Set realistic goals

Consider being realistic with what you want to achieve within a given time. 

Generally, when time runs out and you find yourself with nothing to tick off, then it means that you encountered many destructions but more often it is due to unrealistic tasks and deadlines.

To solve this, try to divide each large task into smaller portions and set yourself a more achievable timeframe. 

This way, you can get more done, and you will feel much better when you see your to-do list getting shorter.

 

Last word

Last word

Even though multitasking is good as it will help you get ahead of things and maximize your productivity, there are certain times juggling your focus is not recommended.

For instance, in case you are engaged in a task with a vast implication such as writing a proposal or a contract for a potential client or supplier, it is best to block out all distractions and focus your energy and concentration on that one task.


Blog

All you need to avoid untimely ‘death’ of your small enterprise

All you need to avoid untimely ‘death’ of your small enterprise

Proper information on how to run businesses can avert the death of over 75 percent of Kenyan SMEs which do not survive barely five years after their inception.

According to the Kenya National Bureau of Statistics (KNBS) figures, only 10 percent of SMEs are able to stay afloat after ten years of their start something which has been majorly attributed to lack of the know-how in the running of the enterprises.

“Most of these SMEs are started with unclear focus due to lack of training or mentorship on various issues such as how to identify markets and management of finances among others leading them to immature closure,” said Victor Otieno, managing director of Viffa Consult, a Kenyan based management consultancy with of developing SMEs in Africa.

Wrong reasons for starting a business

A good number of Kenyan entrepreneurs have wrong reasons or misplaced reasons as to why they want to start a business. The majority of them start with the primary goal of either to make a lot of money, not to answer to anyone apart from themselves not looking at the fact that these are benefits that come after a longer period of your business being successful. 

The best reason one would decide to start a business would be having passion, love, and a strong belief in the business venture you want to get into. And you have done a proper investigation that your product will fill a market gap.

You need to have determination, patience to be able to make it in the business world. Every time you get a challenge it should give you more motivation to grow.

Poor Management

Many businesses report business failures as a result of poor management as the main reason why their businesses fail. 

Many new business owners do not have the technical know-how to run a successful business. This ranges from getting the best market for the product at hand, knowledge to run a business this is because a big percentage of business owners just decide to start a business with no relevant experience or having someone to coach them through. 

To be able to have a long business lifespan it is advised that young or new upcoming entrepreneurs need to get basic training on how to run a business, one could either go for relevant classes or get professional consultants who will take you through the required steps to make your business successful.

Poor management is not just on the line of not having the required skills; it also encompasses a business owner neglecting his or her business. Every young business enterprise needs a lot of care, planning, and control of everyday activities. 

Insufficient Capital

Having constant cash flow is very important for a business.  Business owners need to ensure when they are making a projected cost of a business. 

Most new business owners mostly do not look at the operating costs of their business. This is because they work on the assumption that their businesses will pick up immediately and they will make big sales not thinking that the business will need some time before they make commendable sales. 

The Wrong Location

 Location is an important factor to consider when setting up your business. The wrong location would mean the death of your business no matter how good you run it. 

Some of the factors to consider when setting up your business is who are your customer, the location of your competitors, the security of the area, if your business really relies on human traffic it would be important to locate your business where you could maximum human traffic. 

One important thing to note is if your business does not have constant human traffic the ideal location for your business would be at home. This will help you reduce on the rent costs.

Overexpansion

Expansion of a business does not really translate to business success this is one thing many business owners get wrong. So many businesses go under as a result of expanding their enterprises too fast.

Having an established customer base and constant cash flow is one of the factors to consider before deciding to expand your business. 

You need to have careful review and research before you decide that you want to expand your enterprise. 

One really needs to consider if their business will continue to run smoothly before you decide to expand. It would be quite sad if you expand your business only for it to completely run down two-three months later.

Victor continues to add before one decides to take up any business venture he or she needs to be well informed and educated in the sector or get professional help so as to make sure your monetary investment does not go to waste.


Agripreneur Blog business

Ways to manage debts in your small business

Ways to manage debts in your small business

Do you run a small business that is constantly in debt? 

You are not alone, even the most skilful entrepreneurs, due to natural disasters and pandemics, have found themselves in a similar situation to a point of thinking to avoid all forms of debt altogether. 

However, debt itself is not a bad thing and it is necessary when you run a small business but how it is managed can eventually categorize it as either a bad or good debt.

Therefore, as an entrepreneur, you need to gain some skills on how to manage your debts and save your small venture from collapse due to bad debts.

In case you are experiencing a build-up of debts in your small business which can stifle your cash flow, it is time to think of a management plan and below are a few strategies you can apply either to control your debts or to get rid of them:

First remember that your situation is unique and therefore, not all debt management approaches will work for you.

Cost-cutting

If there is a sure way you can find some cash to settle your business debts is by reducing your expenditure and here, any unnecessary costs must go.

This can be done by, first, splitting costs with other businesses by sharing on transport, operation or office space, share resources like internet.

Second, you can consider downsizing by cutting the number of employees, or moving to a smaller office or operation base or to a residential area if possible (home office).

Third, cut on business supplies and sell any other equipment that you are not using instead of leaving them to gather dust.

Boost sales

This is another best way of managing debts in your business and here, you can consider a few things such as increasing prices of your goods or services which may sound weird as you may lose some of your customers to a competitor.

However, if you spice it with offers and discounts, especially for bulk buyers, your business can still remain competitive.

You can also engage your customers on social media when they make product inquiries or ask any questions related to services rendered.

Remember, when customers give good online views about your products or services can boost the trust that may translate to sales.

Then you can try rewarding your loyal customers which can increase customer satisfaction and can propel them to recommend your products or services to their family members and friends. 

Refinance all your high-cost debts

Here, you need to pay attention to any rise in interest rates of your loans as this will have an impact on your finances.

For instance, if you have a loan with M-Shawari whose interest rates were reviewed in the recent past, you have to check and compare with other loaning partners as this will help you know where to look for your loans next.

Rate hikes happen any time, hence you will need to consider refinancing any form of high-cost debt.

In this, business credit card debt can either be consolidated or refinanced by doing a balance transfer to a new credit card.

Access and rework your budget

It is time to back to the drawing board and check on your budget plan whether you adhere to it or not.

Or, there could be something wrong with your budgeting that needs to be corrected. Here you are free to consult with experts to avoid making the same mistakes again.

Shorten client or customer payment terms

There are those customers who order goods or services to pay at a later date based on a specific agreement which can be after a month, two or three.

You can reduce the duration of payment by explaining to them why and even try to offer discounts for early payments.

Know how to deal with creditors

Generally, learn how to deal with creditors and lenders knowing that they are not against your business. So, be open and honest about your current situation and you can also apply for loan consolidation.

Make a debt inventory

It is good to list your debts and who you owe and what you owe them and you need to be thorough and sincere.

Make sure you include all the interest they charge you and what you have paid so far and what might have accrued over time.

Write down every bit of line of credit you have ever tapped into including your credit card debt.

You can do all these, on a spreadsheet aligning each debt by rates charged and monthly payments then you can move to prioritize which debt you should pay first.

  


Blog business

Lucrative small business ideas through 2022

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In Kenya, 2020 and 2021 have been challenging years that have witnessed a tremendous shift in businesses across all sectors. Some businesses have closed while others have been surviving the effects of COVID-19.

In addition, many who have lost their jobs or are unemployed are looking for different methods for making a living outside formal employment.

Jumping on new trends can sometimes be riskier than rewarding. However, here are some of the best emerging business ideas in Kenya through 2022 which are taking over the consumer market.

Shelf Space Rentals

Today, online vendors are increasing by day thanks to new technology and Covid-19 which is pushing many businesses to the internet space. 

These vendors may be in need of some space to get their customers to view some of the goods they are offering before buying. You can create one and start earning.

These places can also act as pick up and drop off points for business people and their customers.

So that instead of the vendors renting out a stall and probably paying for six months’ rent, they can only rent the space they need to display their items.

Renting shelf space is cost-effective for small businesses, and many are turning into this business model which has also begun taking shape in Nairobi. 

To start this business, you will need to get a good location in an easily accessible area, especially within the CBD of major towns. 

Once you get your space, you will need to create shelves that are large enough to accommodate a good number of items. 

A shelf can cost KSh2500-Ksh5000 a month and if you have shelves, you will make a cool Ksh5000 per month.

Hiring and skills identification services

You might be a human resource graduate or have an eye for talent or skills that you can identify in people looking for employment.

Individual employers and organisations are in need of a skilled workforce and you can be part of the team involved in talent acquisition assess and hiring candidates to fill open positions within an organization.

You can offer other services such as employer branding, future resource planning and the development of a robust candidate pipeline for potential employers.

Beginning this business is a viable idea, especially at this time when many people have lost their jobs or experiencing pay cuts and could be looking for other jobs.

The business will therefore enable you to connect job seekers with employers by identifying, targeting and attracting the most qualified candidates for a given role.

Career coaching

This is another lucrative idea for any entrepreneur out there looking to start something that will not only benefit themselves but also see many who have lost their employments bounce back with good job searching skills.

Indeed, when a person has been in employment for a long time, they lose touch with the job-hunting techniques, which keep changing and this is where you can fit in.

This will enable you help those seeking to increase their career trajectory or grow their personal brands and identify their goals as you earn some cash along.

To be successful in this line of business, you need to plan for it well so as to map out the specifics like cost, your target market, and charge to customers among others.

You can further define your brand to help you stand out from your competitors. Promote and market your career coach business through professional social media platforms like LinkedIn, or create a blog to reach the relevant people. 

A business website to increase your credibility and client reach is also needful.

Social media coaching

Many people are going online with their businesses and social media is proving to be the cheapest means.

However, not all are acquitted to proper social media use to help them reach the needed attention online and start making sales.

As an experienced and knowledgeable social media coach, you can educate business owners or their clients on what is working on their current social media and what needs improvement, where.

In addition, you can help clients develop a solid social media strategy, help them on how to find and use their brand voice and teach them how to perform social media analytics and understand them among other services.

Starting this business requires a solid understanding of social media platforms and how they work. You can take online courses to sharpen your skills and services to gain experience.

Money Transfer Agent

Money transfer services are currently in high demand in Kenya. Some of these services include M-Pesa (the main money transfer service in Kenya), Equitel, KCB Bank, T-Kash and Airtel money transfer services among others. 

The costs involved in money transfer business in Kenya include business registration which is about Ksh10,000, shop or kiosk branding by Ksh5,000 and the rental fee which depends on the location. 

Your initial capital should be around Ksh50,000 and luckily enough, in most cases, the ETR machine is given to you by the money transfer service provider once you meet their minimum requirements.

Depending on where you locate your business, one money transfer service, for instance, M-Pesa, can earn you a minimum of Ksh5000 per month.

Final thoughts

Business opportunities are emerging every day in Kenya with many employing the use of the internet to widen their customer reach. To increase the chances of your business resilience through 2022 and beyond, you need to consider the direction of the business in terms of growth.


Agripreneur Blog

Rise in cooking oil prices in Kenya creates lucrative business for pork lard seller

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Since the beginning of this year, cooking oil has become a luxury for many broke and struggling Kenyans as the price of the commodity continues to go up as a result of a rally in edible oil cost globally.

Customers now opt for salad oil that comes in barrels and is sub-divided into smaller quantities in many shops. The customers carry their containers for the quarter, half, a full litre of cooking oil they wish to buy.

But even this is no longer affordable for many given most shops at the moment sell a litre of the salad oil at Sh200 averagely from Sh150 it used to be.

Most hit with the prices are those who run businesses that need much of this oil such as potato chips, fish frying, mandazi, bajia and samosa among others.

However, creating a fortune out of this hike and helping some of these businesses continue running at lower cost by giving an equal alternative is Michael Oketch, a pork lard seller along the busy Jogoo Road. 

“I started by opening a pork butchery early last year and selling meat to customers but with time, I began receiving inquiries for pork oil from some buyers something which triggered my thoughts into how this could also be some source of income,” said Michael.

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From there, he could go to his usual abattoir in the outskirts of Nairobi and after buying his usual pork meat, he would ask for oily parts which to his surprise were sold at very lower prices compared to the ordinary parts.

“I found that a kilo of the fatty parts was sold at Sh50 while a kilo of normal pork meat cost Sh300. So, for the first time I bought 10 kilos of the fatty parts at Sh500 which gave me about seven litres of oil selling at Sh130 per litre to earn Sh910,” said Michael.

From there he has never looked back. Today, he buys up to about 30kgs a day of the fatty parts which gives him around 26 litres of pork lard after extraction which he does by heating the parts.

In a day, he can sell up to 20 litres of the oil to wholesale buyers raking him Sh2,600 while if he sells to retailers he makes Sh3,000 selling at Sh150 a litre.

His main buyers are fish frying business people along Jogoo Road, in Burma Market while some in Gekomba Market. Others include samosa and bajia frying businesses along the busy Eastlands road.

“I did not know that this business will peak this fast because as it is, it is now outdoing pork meat selling and I believe that as long as cooking oil prices will continue to stay up, more customers will come,” said Michael.

He says many customers are now not only buying pork lard because of the high prices of cooking oil but also due to its nutritious value.

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Experts assert that oil is one of the best sources of vitamin D, a nutrient most people are deficient in today. 

Research conducted in 2011 by Weston A. Price Foundation, a global nutrition and health platform found that lard from pasture-raised pigs contains 1100 IU of vitamin D per tablespoon.

Lard is a good source of fats that support a healthy heart. In fact, after olive oil, which consists of 77 per cent monounsaturated fatty acids, lard has the most monounsaturated fats at 48 per cent.

These fats help to lower blood cholesterol levels and maintain healthy cells.

Also, unlike most vegetable oils, which shouldn’t be used for high-heat cooking, lard won’t oxidize at high temperatures hence it has a high smoke point.

Lard contains choline whose low levels is connected with everything from a greater risk of heart disease and Alzheimer’s to problems with the liver.

And finally, food cooked using lard have an amazing taste hence generally enhancing the flavour of roasted vegetables, grilled meats, and even baked goods.


Blog business Learning

Starting small in fast-moving products distribution business

Starting small in fast-moving products distribution business

They say you cannot start by becoming great but you can become great by starting. This is a mindset that has indeed built great business intrapreneurs the world over.

Let us take, for instance, the business of supplying fast-moving goods such as cakes, mandazis, soft drinks, and bread among others from manufacturers which requires small capital to start.

In fact, a product’s route to the market is one of the crucial factors every manufacturer considers in their quest to make sales by moving their goods closer to consumers. 

Here is where you come in as a distributor by either becoming a subcontracted distributor by the appointed agents or doing it solo by buying as a wholesaler.

In both approaches, you do not need to own a company under which you operate but a capital of Sh50,000 which you can easily get if you have been doing some savings with a Savings and Credit Cooperative Organizations (SACCO) or otherwise.

The benefit of being a member of a SACCO is the ease of accessing loans as they give up to five times the amount saved allowing you a very good capital base for the business and low interest.

With this money, you need to, first of all, identify some of the small shops or resellers and which products they sell as they would be your main target markets before setting up or renting a store where they will easily locate you.

In Nairobi’s central business district (CBD), for example, you can actually get a rental store of 50mat as low as Sh1,500 a month or Sh200 per square feet of rental space.

You will then need some means of transport to move your goods around and because you want to start small, avoid a pick-up or a car, hire a tuk-tuk (three-wheeled vehicle) or motorcycle which can be charged Sh1,000 per day depending on the load weight given they are meant for short distances.

Load weight equivalent to that of three passengers is charged Sh50 depending on the distance.

When this is done, you can then approach the manufacturer producing the products that you want to trade in or their agents and buy the goods wholesale for distribution.

Baked mandazis like the famously known KDFs are always packed 60 per packet. This is the same as the small cakes which are always sold at Sh10-20 in small shops.

You can acquire these from bakers at Sh45 per packet then distribute to resellers at Sh50 earning Sh5 a packet.

Assuming you can carry not less than 200 such packets in crates on your motorcycle at a go, you will make Sh1,000 gross profit and Sh2,000 in a day if you have two trips in the morning and evening.

Alternatively, a piece of bread in wholesale will cost you Sh43. You can then distribute it to the small shops at Sh48 getting Sh5 per bread.

Now, a crate carries about 10 pieces of bread translating to Sh50 per create and assuming you can distribute up to 100 crates a day (on the lower side), you will be carrying home Sh5,000 gross income a day.

As you grow and you want to get more formal, it is good to note that of the various distribution channels, manufacturers often appoint a third-party distributor to undertake this function by entering into what is known as distribution agreements.

A distribution agreement sets out the contractual relationship between a manufacturer and a distributor detailing the terms under which the distributor may sell the manufacturer’s products in a given market.


Laws regarding products distribution

Do not trade blindly or else you will get yourself on the wrong side of the law. Like any other business, the distribution of products is also protected by law.

According to the Competition Act, No.12 of 2010 (the Act) restrictive or anti-competitive trade practices which may affect trade within Kenya is prohibited.

In this action under Kenyan law, distribution agreements are deemed to be vertical arrangements within the production or distribution chain.

Consequently, they are capable of involving negative trade practices that impact competition. Such practices in distributorship include the unreasonable increase in the cost of production or distribution of commodities resulting in higher market prices, price-fixing on the selling price, misleading or deceptive advertising or any other trading conditions and setting of minimum prices in form of retail price maintenance.

To be compliant with the competition law, parties must be keen to ensure that exclusivity provisions and terms restricting the minimum resale prices are adhered to.

This is because if you are found guilty, you will be liable to a fine of up to Sh10 million or imprisonment for a term of up to 5 years or to both. 

Though this normally applies to big players in the distribution chain, you should as well ensure you do not get involved in unfair trading as it can adversely affect the reputation and the entire business.


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Starting profitable private lending business in Kenya

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At the moment economy is bad almost for everyone following the dire effects of COVID-19 and the many loans that the country is servicing pushing up prices of most basic commodities.

All these and other factors have rendered Kenyan pockets dry in need of support to pay school fees, improve businesses, and hospital bills being some of the hard situations that many find themselves in and in need of some quick money to sort you.

However, banks that are the reliable chief lenders have their long processes that one must follow to acquire the money. And what if you have an outstanding loan that maybe you defaulted and you can no longer access credit facilities even the online money lenders?

Here is where a private lending partner comes in handy as they will be willing to lend you money without considering your credit history.

You can then use your items such as TV, fridge, or microwave and anything that has monetary value to get these loans creating a good opportunity for a private blending business that despite its shortcomings, has been thriving in Kenya.

Interested to begin this venture? This is how to start:

Location

The most pressing financial needs which may require the intervention of private lenders are not back at the rural areas but in urban areas. Your private lending business will thrive better in the city or an urban setting than the rural areas.

Identify the need for private lending 

Don not just start lending money to people who might as well not have needed your intervention. This is business and you need to first identify an exploitable gap. People will always have financial needs anyway.

Register your Business 

You will need to register your micro-lending company with the appropriate agency. You will also need to obtain all the necessary licenses and permits. And most importantly, you must meet legal obligations required the government to avoid falling into problems. 

Draft contract forms

Signed contracts are very recognizable by the law. You only need the person you are lending money to sign a contract form and you can sue them in a court of law in case of anything (which rarely happens if you have collateral) and you will still be safe, not unless it is found out that you forged a document for fraud. 

Do not forge signatures – let your clients sign the contract forms themselves. Contract forms are the only thing that makes the agreement between you and the borrower binding and legal.

Determine interest rates and the maximum amount you can lend

You need to determine how much you will charge on your borrowed money in terms of what duration. Most people doing private lending offer loans at 10-15% daily. Depending on your unique circumstances and the market conditions also, determine the rate at which you will charge interest. You also need to determine how much your limit is, depending on how much you have to offer.

Determine valid collaterals

Any client you lend money is a potential defaulter, no matter how much you trust them. You will need collateral when they borrow money, which you will retain or sell if they default, or return to them after they pay back the loan and interest. 

You need to determine which collaterals you will take, which may as well be in line with your existing business such as electronics if you are running an electronics shop. The collateral you take must be of much more worth than the amount the client is seeking to borrow, to ensure you are protected in case they default.

Market your private lending business

You had already identified a market gap and knew that most people would need your private lending services. By word of mouth, social medial, or any other local means, send word that you are offering such services. Let potential clients know that they can come to you when they need the service.

When all this is done, you will need a starting capital which can be something starting from Sh3,000 to Sh0.5m and beyond.

Let us see the possible returns:

If you lend out your Sh250,000 to Sh500,000, that is in small quantities to various people for 30 days with 15% daily interest, then at the end of the month, you expect Sh1,125,000 to Sh2,250,000. 

Even if you do not lend out the whole amount, whatever amount you lend will grow by 450% at the end of the month but if you feel the interest rate is high, you can lower it and still make money.

The risks

Sometimes as a private lender, you will have to deal with stolen items and this makes you prone to being sued in case they are caught. Besides, they may be given faulty or obsolete items and end up losing money since you cannot resell them.


Blog Entrepreneurial Stories

Start an online car mechanic business, create your own space and cash

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Many Kenyans continue to buy cars and our roads are becoming congested by day increasing chances of vehicle breakdowns due to wear and tear and collisions among others that constantly need the attention of a mechanic.

It does not matter, car breakdowns can happen anywhere at any time and what if it happens at a place far away from a garage and during odd hours?

This is where there is a niche market for a skilled and experienced mechanic who does not have a job and has been relying on one-off tasks at some garage or some call-ups to fix owners cars at their homes.

In fact, if one was to take a walk in Nairobi’s Central District Business especially downtown along Kirinyaga Road where there are many vehicle spare part shops and garages, they will find mechanics in their number eagerly waiting strategically at some points for car owners driving along looking for repair or other services. 

These experts are but just a representative of a bigger number of mechanics in our major towns who find themselves crowding garages where they work many hours but with little pay.

If you are one, then starting an online car mechanic business can serve you better, create your own space of business and start earning some cool cash.

It is not difficult. You can start small by offering mobile car repair services with a few customers you have made contacts.

Make follow-ups and suggest to them if they are free if you visit them at home for minor car repairs like a tire change or by roadside should they encounter some minor breakdowns.

In such cases, you will need to go to where the car is hence factor in your transport. In this, you will be offering convenience in the business something which most businesses today capitalise on to make sales. This way, they can stick to your repair services and make some savings.

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To earn your customers’ loyalty, you can begin to give some services on offer an indication that you care and they will come back or always be willing to call you in case of a need.

Once you are sure you have enough capital you can improve on your tools and equipment before visiting the eCitizen portal for online business registration.

You will be charged Sh150 per name search, Sh800 for registration and Sh50 as a convenience fee.

Remember, the size of your business does not matter when it comes to getting your business online

Once this is done, you can move to create social media presences where you will have to engage customers.

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However, you should note that social media accounts like Facebook pages, Twitter or LinkedIn business profiles are not a replacement for a business website.

Luckily enough, today, there are website builder tools like the GoDaddy Website Builder that has made creating a basic website extremely simple hence you do not need to hire a web developer or designer to create a website that you can be proud of.

Using website building guides available, the process will be simple and painless and shouldn’t take you any longer than 2-3 hours to complete.

That simple your business shall have gone online where many potential customers are and you will become more accessible to them.


Blog

How to start and make around Sh40,000 a month with red earth worms business in Kenya

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The demand for organic foods in Kenya is on the rise amid the increasing health-conscious consumers who are keen to know the origin of what they are buying to eat.

This has caused a ripple effect in organic farming which is currently increasing very fast to meet the ever-growing organic markets in Kenya.

Now, one of the approaches in organic farming is the application of biological methods to protect and provide the much-needed nutrients to plants.

Some of these plant nutrients include vermicompost and vermiliquid which can only be found from red earthworms which ingest food scraps and other organic waste at a rapid pace.

Rearing these worms can create a lucrative business for anyone keen to make cool cash from less capital investment as it is not costly to establish and it is, at the moment, not crowded.

Requirements

It is good to always start small and increase investment as the business peaks. You will therefore need a raised structure built of polls and timber offcuts which are cheap and, in some cases, readily available especially in a rural setting.

Together with some nails, this structure can cost you not more than Sh5,000. You will also need some containers like old buckets or cans of 10-20 litre capacity where you will collect vermiliquid.

Redworms feed on organic wastes such as fruit peels and vegetables which you can find free of charge hence you will not need to buy feeds.

Starter worms can cost you Sh2,500 getting them from some established vermiculturist, a redworm farmer. This is also the time you may take, by observing, some simple tips of improving your redworm rearing venture.

With these, you will be better placed to start and have a system of collecting vermicompost and vermiliquid from time to time.

 

 

 

18Possible returns

You can harvest harvests 100-150 kilos of vermicompost and 80-100 litres of vermiliquid per month.

Sell a kilo of vermicompost at Sh70 and a litre of vermiliquid at Sh150 which will give you close to Sh25,500 a month.

With the food craps available, the worms can really multiply very fast and within a short time, you will also start selling them to other growers and make more cash.

Experts assert that a kilogram of earthworms (approx. 1500 worms) fed very well and given the right moisture and protection from predators at the beginning of January, can multiply and increase their number to approximately 4000 kilograms at the end of December.

And after a year of rearing, a farmer can produce up to three tonnes of organic fertiliser every day.

Currently, a kilo of redworms goes for Sh200 meaning if you can sell a minimum of 10 kilos a month, you will be earning Sh20,000. Add this to Sh25,500 from vermicompost and vermiliquid, you will be pocketing over Sh40,000 a month.

 

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Last word

Remember, as previously indicated, this is a business which is less crowded at the moment meaning you will possibly not get it hard to find customers.

These customers include organic farmers of those who need biological control measures for pests and diseases attacking their crops.

Adding vermicompost and vermiliquid to the soil reduces insect pests and plant diseases in a certain field and greenhouse crops including corn, wheat, pea, cucumber, and tomato, according to Dr Freddie Acosta, a Senior Lecturer of Technology and Innovation Management at Strathmore Business School.


Agripreneur Blog

Small scale businesses to start at home

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Today, technology continues to make our lives easier presenting a myriad of business opportunities to the current tech-savvy generation.

Some of these businesses do not need an office set up or a rental place in our busy cities and towns but can be operated from the comfort of home premises.

Among these small-scale businesses you can try out from home include:

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Buying products wholesale and selling them online

Many businesses import goods in bulk and sell them at a profit from a particular page online, you can also create some of your products or goods yourself, which is cheaper, and sell them online.

One of the best ways to do this is through WhatsApp by creating a group and starting adding people you know then they also help add others.

Explain the purpose of the group, which is to sell certain products. You can then team up with other importers to bring in goods that you want to sell.

During shipping and after the goods arrive, keep updating members to psyche them up and receive orders.

I tell you, there are so many individuals in Nairobi who are currently doing well using this approach. Their main focus is household and women products.

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Selling unwanted items

Have you heard of ‘mali mali’ guys? These guys normally work around residential areas carrying new household items such as lunch boxes, bathing troughs, that they give in exchange for unused clothes, shoes that they go and resell.

They bank on the fact that a lot of us either have so many clothes we rarely wear, clothes that don’t fit us anymore and we do not know the best way to make something out of them.

You can also try it out, so why not create an online thrift store and start getting clients who buy clothes and toys too. You will be making extra cash that can be placed in savings.

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Makeup

Makeup is a growing business right now, a lot of people are making a lot of money from selling makeup products online. 

In fact, the beauty industry in Kenya is valued at over 100 billion shillings. As of 2017, statistics show that Kenya’s colour cosmetics market was estimated to be worth 5.4 billion shillings

You can buy these products and start from your neighbourhood, creating an online marketplace on social media where you can reach more customers.

Do not worry about how you can reach them out. You can work with a delivery service to make it easier for you and your clients.

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Starting a print-on-demand business

A print-on-demand business doesn’t require you to hold any inventory or ship anything yourself. Print-on-demand even offers you more flexibility to customize white-label products with your own creative designs. 

If you have design skills, you can create your own designs. But if not, you can always hire the talent that you need.

The first thing you need to do is know a specific niche you want to get in, know your clients, are you printing designs for pets, clothes, mugs, and plates, or gamers, there are a lot of different people you can create designs for. Find the right one for you.

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Food business

Currently getting a space in a town or in a crowded marketplace to run your kibandaski business can be quite hard as you will have to face it out with town askaris from time to time.

But you cannot run out of opportunities. Start making your food from home then you can deliver to offices or Juakali work stations.

If you are a keen observer in Nairobi, you will be able to see some women carrying food from their homes to an industrial area in the morning and at noon.

You can also make your own food and sell it to people, it can even be just snacks such as cakes, sausages, kebabs, samosas, hotdogs. A lot of people are very interested in buying snacks for different occasions, growing your client base and your business grows from there.

Last word– Running a small-scale business from home can be quite interesting because you have the space, time and own equipment to run it. However, you need to remember to be disciplined as it comes with much freedom and you still have to make money.