How to start a hardware business in Kenya: Key Items That Move Fast

Are you looking to start a hardware business in Kenya? Running a successful hardware store in Kenya can be a profitable and rewarding business venture. However, like any business, it requires careful planning, hard work, and attention to detail. Here are some secrets that can help you run a successful hardware store in Kenya:

Location: The location of your hardware business in Kenya is critical to its success. You need to find a location that is easily accessible to your customers and has enough space for your products. A good location should also have good security and be visible to potential customers.

Stock quality products: The quality of the products you sell is essential. You need to ensure that you stock high-quality products that are durable and can last long. Quality products will keep your customers coming back and build your reputation as a reliable and trustworthy hardware store.

Provide excellent customer service: Customer service is crucial to the success of any business. You need to treat your customers with respect, listen to their needs, and offer helpful advice. Your staff should be well trained to provide excellent customer service and be able to answer any questions that customers may have.

Offer competitive prices: In Kenya, customers are always looking for the best deals. You need to offer competitive prices to attract and retain customers. However, you also need to ensure that your prices are not too low to the point where it affects your profit margins.

Market your store: Marketing your hardware store is essential to attract new customers and retain existing ones. You can use social media, local newspapers, flyers, or billboards to market your store. You can also offer discounts or promotions to attract new customers.

Keep up with the trends: The hardware industry is constantly evolving, and it is essential to keep up with the latest trends. You need to be aware of new products and technologies that can help improve your store’s operations and customer service.

Build relationships with suppliers: You need to build strong relationships with your suppliers to ensure that you get the best deals and quality products. Good relationships with suppliers can also lead to better credit terms and faster delivery times.

Invest in technology: Technology can help improve your store’s operations and customer service. You can invest in a point-of-sale system, inventory management system, or a customer relationship management system. These systems can help you manage your store efficiently and provide better customer service.

Manage your finances: Managing your finances is critical to the success of your hardware store. You need to keep track of your expenses, income, and profit margins. You can also consider hiring an accountant to help you manage your finances.

Running a successful hardware store in Kenya requires careful planning, hard work, and attention to detail. You need to provide excellent customer service, stock quality products, offer competitive prices, and keep up with the latest trends. You also need to market your store, build relationships with suppliers, invest in technology, and manage your finances. With the right strategy and dedication, you can build a profitable and successful hardware store in Kenya.

List of items that move fast in a hardware store in Kenya

  • Steel bars and rods: Steel bars and rods are commonly used in construction projects to reinforce concrete structures. They are essential in building strong and durable structures such as houses, bridges, and roads.
  • Nails: Nails are small, pointed pieces of metal that are used to join pieces of wood together. They are commonly used in construction, carpentry, and woodworking projects.
  • White cement: White cement is a type of cement that is used to make decorative and architectural concrete structures. It is popularly used for creating sculptures, wall cladding, and precast structures.
  • Door hinges: Door hinges are essential components of doors that allow them to swing open and closed. They come in various sizes and designs to fit different types of doors.
  • Roofing nails: Roofing nails are used to attach roofing materials such as shingles, tiles, and metal sheets to the roof deck. They come in different sizes and materials depending on the type of roofing material used.
  • Flooring tiles: Flooring tiles are used to cover floors in residential and commercial buildings. They come in different sizes, designs, and materials such as ceramic, porcelain, and marble.
  • Welding rods: Welding rods are metal rods that are used in welding processes to join two pieces of metal together. They come in different sizes and types depending on the type of metal being welded.
  • Plumbing materials: Plumbing materials include pipes, fittings, valves, and fixtures used in water supply and drainage systems. They are essential in the construction and maintenance of residential and commercial buildings.
  • Normal Cement: Cement is a crucial component in construction projects as it is used to bind materials together. It is commonly used in concrete mixtures to create strong and durable structures such as buildings, bridges, and roads.
  • Door hinges: Door hinges are essential components of doors that allow them to swing open and closed. They come in various sizes and designs to fit different types of doors.

In terms of the items that move fast or are sold easily, cement, steel bars and rods, and nails are typically in high demand due to their frequent use in construction projects. Door hinges are also essential components of doors and are likely to be in high demand in a hardware store. However, the demand for each item may vary depending on the location and customer base of the hardware store.

Budget Breakdown for Starting a Small Hardware Business in Kenya

This table presents a comprehensive breakdown of the estimated costs involved in starting a small hardware business in Kenya. The budget covers key items such as rent, business permits, and various hardware products, including cement, steel bars, pipes, roofing sheets, tiles, and others. The total budget comes to 1,500,000 Ksh, providing an overview of the financial requirements for starting a hardware business in Kenya. Please remember that this is an estimate and actual figures might change once you start buying inventory.

ItemCost (Ksh)
Rent and deposit60,000
Business permit10,000
Steel bars200,000
Roofing sheets250,000
Plumbing tools80,000
Electrical tools70,000
Hand tools100,000
Power tools200,000
Safety equipment50,000
Total budget1,500,000

Is a hardware business profitable in Kenya?

A hardware business can be a profitable venture in Kenya, especially if it is located in a fast-growing area with high demand for construction products. The profitability of the business, however, depends on several factors such as the location, competition, and management.

The amount of profit that can be made per day in a hardware business in Kenya varies widely and is difficult to estimate accurately without specific information about the business. On average, a well-managed hardware business in Kenya can make a profit of between Ksh 5,000 to Ksh 20,000 per day, depending on the size and location of the business, the variety of products offered, and the level of demand in the market. However, it is important to note that profits may fluctuate depending on the season and economic factors.

To generate good returns, a hardware business should target to move large volumes of materials in a day, especially if located in a place with ongoing construction projects.

It is important to note that many construction activities take place around mid-day, and most materials are bought early in the morning and late in the afternoon. Therefore, a hardware business should aim to be open during these peak hours to capitalize on the market demand.

How to start a semi-large hardware business in Kenya

Opening a hardware business can be a great investment opportunity, but starting one from scratch can be daunting. That’s why it’s always a good idea to talk to someone with experience in the business. I recently had the opportunity to speak with the owner of a semi-large hardware store in the remote areas of Eldoret, and he had some valuable insights to share.

When I asked about starting a hardware business in my small village, the owner suggested that I start small and build up from there. This is great advice for anyone looking to enter the business for the first time. Starting small allows you to test the waters, learn from your mistakes, and grow your business gradually over time.

But what about the costs involved? The owner estimated that starting a hardware business like his would require an initial investment of around Ksh 3,000,000. While this may seem like a large sum of money, it’s important to remember that a well-run hardware business can be very profitable, especially if located in the right place.

So, if you’re thinking about starting a hardware business in Kenya, it’s important to do your research, talk to people with experience in the business, and start small. With hard work, dedication, and a little bit of luck, your business can grow and thrive in no time.

Also check out: Step by Step Guide: How to Write a Profit and Loss Projection of a Hardware Business in Kenya

Joseph Boit
Show full profile Joseph Boit

Joseph is a social entrepreneur with a curious mind and a love for farming. Big dreamer and a technology enthusiast.

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