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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.


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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.


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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.


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.


Blog business

How to reduce cash flow problems in your small business

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Cash flow problems are always there in small businesses especially those that are not yet established something that may end up causing their collapse even before they enjoy their first birthdays.

Most researches that have been conducted around the issue among many small business owners indicate that one of the greatest bothers is how to manage cash flow in the businesses.

In fact, most small business owners have been found to be confusing profits of the business and other cash that flow within the business leading to bad debts and lack of cash to reinvest into the business.

According to Victor Agolla, managing director at Viffa Consult Limited, a Nairobi-based consultancy firm on business operations, late payments by customers who take goods or access services on credit is one key issue affecting smooth cash flow within a business.

“Late payments compound cash flow management problems and this can even cause the loan market becoming expensive and unsustainable and eventually poor decision making on the future of the business,” said Victor.

Another cause of poor cash flow management in a business is the appetite for taking goods on credit and defaulting by some customers and lying on their financial status then stay for a long time before paying.

Some of these customers, says Victor, are very repulsive when business owners start becoming strict and insisting on cash payments.

“This has been a common challenge across the board but a smart approach to it is what creates the difference.”

So how can business owners manage this problem and keep their operations on course? Some of the following insights may help:

Sell less on credit and employ a pay-on-cash policy. As a business operator, always ensure that goods or services you offer are on cash limiting credit chances only to VERY trustworthy customers.

This may not go well with some customers but for the sake of the business, some tough decisions have to be made at some point.

Open several business accounts. Depending on the size of your business, it is encouraged to try having several business accounts such as a revenue account for the money coming into the business, an account that deals in paying creditors, a savings account, recurring expenditure and reinvesting account.

These will ensure you do not spend business money wrongly.

Diversify your sources of income. As a business person, always find other means of earning by opening other businesses alongside to help increase your revenue streams.

This is important when one business is doing badly, the other may bail it out and keep operations running.

Strictly abide by the basic budget. This is important though you can always allocate an emergency fund to avoid any future complications as it is believed that the lack of proper planning represents a central problem that affects business growth, profitability and sustainability.

Insist on full or deposit payments. If you are dealing with the delivery of goods or services, for instance, always ask customers to pay something upfront depending on your business policy or agreement with the customer. The deposit can be half the full cost so that once the good or service is offered, the full amount does not become an issue.

Seek external funding. Sometimes you may put all measures in place but cash flow management will always exist. In this case, it is advisable to look for external funding to keep you going. After all, businesses require some external funding at some point and banks are the first option for many.


Agripreneur Blog business

Covid19-created businesses that promise lifeline for jobless Kenyans

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Covid-19 effects have been felt everywhere and by every person something that has led to the loss of many livelihoods by many Kenyans as a result of job and salary cuts.

To note is the disrupted supply chain of goods due to measures that were put in place by the government to curb the spread of the disease.

These measures have seen markets lack various essential products due to lack of production by local manufacturers who, however, have started increasing manufacturing of the goods whose supply were greatly affected as they depend on international trade.

Some of these vital products include personal protective equipment (PPEs), face masks and sanitisers which are still in high demand and which the country usually imports but are now produced locally.

This move which is the potential Kenya and Africa has, presents various opportunities that many supply businesses can develop.

One such business is wholesale buying and supplying of face masks to shop and individuals who sell them at markets, bus stages and busy pathways.   

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At the moment, according to the Ministry of Industrialisation, Trade and Enterprise Development, as of 29th June 2020, there are about 113 registered companies that are involved in the manufacturing of different face masks in the country.

This has resulted in the availability of a wide range of masks at competitive prices. However, one of the most common brands is a 3ply disposable face mask that goes at as low as Sh220 per box of 50 pieces by most online shops. 

If sourced directly from manufacturers by bulk buyers, the box can cost much less. 

Going with Sh220 a box, you can buy about 20 such boxes at Sh4,400 and sell at Sh250 a box getting Sh30 per box translating to Sh600 profit a day just for a start. With time as the business picks and as you acquire loyal customers, you can trade in other brands like KN95 masks, premium branded masks for kids and adults.

This is much more than a casual labourer at industrial areas or construction sites who, in the majority, earn between Sh300-500 a day.

Some Kenyans have also found business opportunities in homemade sanitisers which are then hawked at events, in matatus and other crowded places like markets.

Currently, these products are still central in the fight against Covid-19 disease as they are used when people cannot hand wash hence making it a moving commodity.

Glycerol is the main raw product used in making these types of sanitisers. A 100-ml bottle of homemade sanitiser go for 50 shillings and one can make as many as they can provide the raw material is available and then the products are supplied to hotels, matatus, churches and shops.

Alternatively, one can source the products from the many companies in the country that are now making them and supply them to the same places.

These are some of the businesses that one can never go wrong by investing in as they deal in products of the moment.


Blog business Learning

Business ideas you can actualise with Sh5,000 and below

Business ideas you can actualise with Sh5,000 and below

Since Kenya confirmed its first COVID-19 case in March 2020, a lot have happened but remarkably the rate at which the economy slumped leading to many job losses and empty pockets.

It is now dawning at many Kenyans that the best job where one can feel secure is self employment which mostly comes from starting and running a business and earning a living from the business.

Nevertheless, starting a business at the moment when the effects of the pandemic are still within can be challenging hence there is need to look for a business idea which will need a small capital to begin after all, world over, the greatest businessmen and women started small but with a view of improving step by step.

In Kenya, there are a number of business opportunities worth trying and which require as little as Sh3,500 to start and with enough room to expand because no one would like to remain with a small business all time.

Some of the businesses that you can start and grow to the level of your desire:

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Perfume refilling

Fashion is becoming a necessity in our urban areas and many people who invest in this area cannot go wrong.

Today, many people would like to look trendy not only in their adornments but also on how they smell around and here is where you can invest in and find some good income.

You do not need to make your own perfumes for it can be expensive for a starter due to the ingredients needed but buy from some companies where you can get the products at some cheaper price.

The amount of capital needed to start the business will depend on how many different fragrances you want to start with. Starting with 10 or 20 different fragrances helps one start with a wide variety.

However, you can start with as low as Sh3,500 which can purchase you a stock of three different fragrances, display bottles, 2 dozen of 3ml and a dozen of 6ml refill bottles.

You do not need to own a shop with this kind of business but identify some few customers whom you will supply from time to time as you grow your consumer base. Luckily with the perfumes, if your choices are good, these first customers will draw more.

Good wholesalers will also advice you on the most popular fragrances as per the market trends.

Your expected profit margins:

You can buy the fragrance at Sh15 per ml and sell at between Sh33-50 per ml depending on your location. So, with the minimum of Sh33 you have a gross profit margin of Sh33-15=18 per ml.

 

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Selling African beadwork

Beads are among the most intriguing and important symbols in the African culture. With time, however, and the cultural exchange around the world, bead workmanship has been evolving to suit the market demands.

Since the practice of bead production and their sale has been a major source of income, many people have flooded production level leaving a niche at marketing level and here is where you can fit should you have some marketing skills that you can display.

You can start by buying readymade items to resell. If you decide to start from scratch, then you will need skills and supplies.

In this approach, the materials are relatively cheap. It will bring more profit but will consume more time. Alternatively, you could decide to buy ready-made products and resell them.

There’s Kariokor market in the outskirts of Nairobi where you can buy such products in bulk. Beautiful neck pieces that retail at Sh1,000 in the city centre can be found in Kariokor for Sh250- Sh400.

 

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Supplying liquid soap to professional cleaning businesses

Starting a liquid soap business is easy. However, you’ll have to learn how to make soap at home. It’s easy.

Some of you must have been taught this using sunflower oil, coconut oil, potassium hydroxide – KOH, distilled water, boric acid, essential oil, and dye.

All these cannot even cost Sh1000 and you could make many litters of soap from the materials for sale.

A litre of such soap goes for Sh50 and you can sell up to 250 liters or even more especially during weekends earning a tidy sum. 


Agripreneur Blog business Entrepreneurial Stories

Birds sanctuary increasingly becoming an economic target for most entrepreneurs

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In the recent past, Kenya has been one of the leading countries in Africa for tourism destinations given its wildlife and natural attraction sites.

Indeed, Kenya is the third-largest tourism economy in Sub-Saharan Africa after South Africa and Nigeria and that the sector contributes Sh790 billion and 1.1 million jobs to the country’s economy, according to the Ministry of Tourism and Wildlife.

Entrepreneurs are now taking advantage of this to invest in birdlife in a bid to attract tourists for cash besides protecting the sheer abundance and variety of beautiful birds.

One such entrepreneur is Geoffrey Maranga, currently the manager of Stedmak Gardens, a recreational centre that hosts a birds’ sanctuary with over 30 different species of beautiful birds.

According to Maranga, other than using the birds to attract tourists, they also preserve them for breeding purposes and the two purposes have seen the centre earn about Sh1m annually.

“We started in 2013 when we used to keep these birds just to multiply them, but of late it is one of our major business projects here,” he said.

The centre which is located along Mokoyeti Road East 500 metres off Langata Road is currently home to over 500 birds that attract nature lovers.

For domestic tourists, they charge Sh300 for adults and Sh200 for children while international adult tourists pay Sh1000 and Sh500 for children.

“We receive between 250 and 350 visitors a day and the number most of the time go up during weekends. We also experience up to 1000 visitors per day in festive seasons,” said Maranga. 

According to Rongers Ong’ondo, assistant birds park manager, some of the birds within the centre include French Mondain, Greylag goose, Strasser Pigeon, Indian Fantail Pigeon, Budgerigar,  Saddle Fantail Pigeon, Saxon Shield Owl Pigeon, Ugandan Cranes, Reverse Wings Pouter, Pekin bantam, Jersey Giant, Jacob Lion Head Pigeon, Leghorn, and guinea fowls among others.

“We sell a pair of African grey parrots at Sh70,000 while a single such parrot fetches Sh40,000, a pair of Australian cocktail is Sh30,000 while a single cocktail is bought at Sh20,000 just to sample a few,” said Ongóndo.

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He says, Australian cocktails if managed well can live for over 25 years while African grey parrots can go up to 40-50 years.

For Jagi Gakunju, an avid naturalist from Nyeri County in central Kenya, he had to clear a coffee plantation in 1986 to build a birds’ sanctuary after inheriting the 20 acres of land from his father.

After clearing the coffee plants, indigenous trees started growing and today, there is a massive fig tree and the area is surrounded by lush vegetation, a home for various birds’ species which have become an attractive destination for people who visit the region.

He has since named it Wajee Park, currently recognized by Birdlife International 

as an Important Bird Area, a collective of global conservation groups.

“Currently, we have over 120 birds species such as African green pigeons, montane white-eyes, the green-backed honeyguide and African wood owls and more,” said Gakunju.

The park also attracts migrant African birds such as the black cuckoo shrike and the African pygmy kingfisher, and species from Europe like the Blackcap, Willow Warbler and Eurasian Bee-eater.

They are a good display especially in the morning for most visitors who frequent the area and it has become a big economic venture that Gakunju says he never thought about at the beginning.

“When I started growing trees in this area no one including myself knew it would have turned out to be one of the nicest places frequented by both local and foreign visitors,” he said.

Indeed, this is a venture that anyone can easily start just like with poultry. All you need is a natural set-up where the bids will find their home. 

 


Blog business

Some internet-based businesses you can start with little or no capital

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Starting a business is generally a leap of faith as there is no guarantee that customers or clients will come for your goods or services but, again, it is a step worth taking. After all, no one is born with business acumen, most of the things are learnt on the go.

The absence of capital should never stop you from dreaming, there are so many businesses that can be started with practically no money.

And the following online businesses ideas can be your best bet:

 

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Social media management

Many companies get overwhelmed by the amount of work required to keep their social media pages active and if you have some experience in running social media pages, you can approach such firms and have a deal.

Some tasks of a social media manager include posting regularly, increasing the number of page followers, engaging with users, etc. 

You can find clients by simply reaching out to various companies to see if they would be interested in your services.

4

Ghost-writing

A ghostwriter is a person who is hired to write a book, speech, article, song and many other forms of written content on behalf of a company or another person who takes credit as the author.

Ghost-writing is a fantastic business opportunity for people who are good with words. A short book that would take about 6 weeks to write can earn you up to around Sh1,000,000.

 

5

Data entry

Data entry is another fantastic business opportunity you can start with no capital whatsoever. 

You can find work by either reaching out to small businesses to pitch your services or by advertising on online freelancing platforms.

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Tax preparation and bookkeeping

If you’re good with numbers, you can offer your services to small businesses as a tax preparer or a bookkeeper. 

The great thing about such a business is that clients will be paying you on an ongoing basis, it’s not a one-off service (particularly bookkeeping).

7

Editing, proofreading and beta reading

If you are great at catching typos and grammatical errors, editing or proofreading other people’s work can be a great side hustle for you.

Similar to editors, beta readers are people whose job is to read and critique other people’s unpublished writings. Fiction writers use them a lot before publishing new books.

A great place to find work as an editor, proofreader or beta reader is on freelancing platforms like Upwork, Guru and Freelancer.

8

Virtual assistance

Virtual assistants are self-employed people who provide technical and administrative assistance to busy individuals through the internet.

It is such an in-demand service, and the advantage is that you get to decide who to work with and how much to charge for your time.

 Some common virtual assistant tasks include bookkeeping, editing reports, data entry, responding to emails, etc. You can find clients on freelancing platforms.

9

Affiliate marketing

Affiliate marketing is one of the most common ways to make money online. You simply refer customers to the affiliate companies, and they send you a check for the referral.

The earning potential is limitless as you keep getting paid as long as you keep referring customers. Some high paying affiliate programs include Bluehost, Shopify and ClickFunnels – some paying as high as $100 per referral.


Blog business Entrepreneurial Stories

How passion to serve others birthed a lucrative catering business for former nurse

How passion to serve others birthed a lucrative catering business for former nurse

As a practising nurse in Australia with up to eight years of experience, Michel Alusiola had always felt rewarded when she would lift the spirits of both the sick and their family members by serving them.

During her service, she noticed that one of the things that lifted the spirits of her patients on some days was the type of food that was being served.

“The mood was always good for most of my patients on Tuesday especially when we served hot chocolate and there was always a dip in the mood on beef stew and mashed potatoes day. This pattern fascinated me a lot,” said Alusiola.

Her career took a turn when she had challenges balancing her time between work shifts and being a new mum, she then opted to be a full-time mum and relocated back to Kenya. 

As she took care of her children, she noticed a similar pattern to the one she had experienced with her patients in terms of their mood when it came to preparing meals for them. 

 “My children would get excited and in a good mood before and after some meals and in bad moods when it came to other foods,” said Alusiola.

With her nursing career behind her Ms. Alusiola still had the desire to achieve the same satisfaction she had in the past from serving others and this drove her to start her enterprise PinkPurple a catering service in 2016.

 “I started with no capital, all I had was my kitchen. I received one order and from the down payment made, I started growing my business. I started catering for weddings and private functions during the weekends and then expanded to breakfasts and lunch orders for offices during the week,” said Ms. Alusiola.

PinkPurple started with four to five orders a day and one additional member of staff making small wedding and private function food. As they introduced breakfasts and lunches, the business progressively grew its orders to 15. With its customization of meals and the introduction of dinners PinkPurple currently employs three additional members of staffs and receives 30 to 35 orders a day. 

“I do have a menu but I primarily focus on listening to customers request and tailor-making the meals according to their requests. Once, a customer requested an evening meal with specific servings and he made it a daily routine. From that order, I began doing weekly dinners for customers and it has made a major impact on my catering service,” said Ms. Alusiola.

She says her interest in making weekly dinners was driven by her assessment that most working-class people arrive late from work and find it difficult to prepare proper meals on a daily basis and the cost of eating at restaurants may be high for some people. 

“I had a challenge at the beginning with setting up the rates for the meals at a completive rate to the restaurants but still have the customers enjoy the meals at the comfort of their homes. I decided to range my dishes between Sh250 and Sh350,” she said.

She explains how she sets up her weekly dinners and how she contributes her expertise to the customers’ orders.

“I receive orders at the end of the week with customer specifications on the type of food, the number of servings, and when they want to eat the food in the course of the week. From my experience with patients, I have always believed there is a link between the type of diet someone has and their physical and mental health. There is no superfood for better health so we try to create a whole dietary pattern through the food preparation and inform the client of its importance “said Alusiola

“I make some deliveries on my own to give me an opportunity to engage and receive feedback from my customers. Sometimes I engage courier services such as SafeBoda Kenya and Glovo to make fast deliveries” she added.

Her biggest challenge has been to market her business. With major players seeking the expertise of marketing specialists to promote their food service she still relies on word of mouth and tried to progressively learn how to use some social media platforms.

“I get recommendations from my clients and I keep trying to put video tutorials of the food PinkPurple cooks on social media platforms like WhatsApp, Facebook, and Instagram but I hardly find the time to consistently do the marketing for myself.