HOW TO START KITCHEN UTENSIL AND EQUIPMENT BUSINESS

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Kitchen is one critical area in any home because that’s where health of the family is defined through the meals. Without a kitchen, humanity could be extinct.

Kitchen utensils and equipment business is not business you can avoid and sleep peacefully, it’s lucrative. One beautiful thing about the business is that it’s not saturated.

Kitchen equipment include plates, spoons, cups, mugs, jugs, fridges, oven, microwave, thermos, gas, forks etc. They are all important in the house.

Assuming that you have the idea in mind but you are not in a position to execute it, the following is the easiest way to start the business.

*How to start the business*

First, identify ideal location with busy streets and people with ability to buy your products. You cannot take your business in a village where there are 10 people and expect to get profits.

There are two ways to run the business. To start with, you have to buy a vehicle which you would be using to transport the utensils to the village and move them within the villages. The method works because you will identify the day when there it’s market day and then take the items to the market for sale.

You can also stock them in a shop/stall for customers to visit and pick their favorites.

*Capital required for the business*

If you intend to start small, Ksh.150,000 is enough in small towns like Narok, Kericho, Voi, Kakamega and Machakos but if you intend to set up in towns like Nairobi, Kisii, Nakuru and Mombasa, you need at least Ksh.300,000.This is because of the rental cost and operating expenses.

If you intend to sell in large scale, capital of at least Ksh 1 million is required. You also require a vehicle if your business will be mobile.

However, there are individuals who would want to hawk utensils around town or from house to house, this one is cheap to start because with just Ksh.20,000, you are ready to go.

*Profits*

The business is very profitable, especially if you set up in a busy town. If you started with Ksh.150,000, your monthly profit must be at least Ksh.50,000.

*Best towns to start the business*

The best towns for this business are Kisumu, Mombasa, Kisii, Busia, Nairobi and Nakuru. These towns are ideal because of the large population which lives there.

*Legal requirement*

The only thing that’s required is a license, which is obtained from the local county council. The cost of the license ranges from Ksh.5,000 to Ksh.15,000 per year depending on the size of your business.

*How I make money from selling household items*

Every payday, Jacinta Mutoro would make allocations to her expenses as many employees do. The result for the lab technician was always the same – what she earned (Sh.24,000 per month) was far from enough to cater for her needs.

In May 2015, with Sh.3,000 in capital, she decided to start a small business to supplement her income. She has not regretted her decision.

6 years down the line since she started her business, In a good month, she now makes about Sh.800,000 from selling household items. She started by buying her goods from Eastleigh, Nairobi as ordered by her clients.

“My colleagues loved my products so much. I used to sell them the goods on credit. They would pay me after two months or so. In the process, I identified my market niche,” said Ms Jacinta.

She noticed there was a big demand for handbags and mosquito nets, which she sourced from wholesalers in Mombasa. Every week, she said, she would sell around four handbags from which she made significant profit. She saved the money, intent on using it to start importing goods from abroad.

Today, Jacy’s Smart Collection deals with all households wares from inflatable beds, pull out sofa beds, carpets, utensils to handbags, plastic wardrobes and home decorations. She sources them from Turkey, China and the wider European market.

“I linked with one of the suppliers in China and started importing goods. Back then majority of the items were handbags, but now I sell all types of household goods. I import all of them. A client just has to say what they need and I will get it,” she said.

The experience has made her understand the market well and she is today able to the meet needs of customers with different tastes.

“Sometimes other businesses get similar products, hence I have to be very keen on trends. Each time I have to bring in something new to meet the client’s needs,” she said.

“Besides meeting my basic needs and other expenses such as rent, the business has helped me support my family back at home. I have also employed my siblings,” she added.

She has also employed seven people who assist her in running the business.

Most of her products, which she either sells wholesale or retail, go for between Sh.2,000 and Sh.14,000. And in order to reach out to customers, she uses social media platforms such as Facebook. Word of mouth, however, has been the greatest driver behind her growing client base.

Over and above the two branches she operates in Mombasa and Nairobi, she also supplies the products to other towns through courier deliveries.

She says balancing between her full-time job and the venture needs can be taxing, but the returns make it all worth it.

“Both of these jobs are important to me, so I am forced to work very hard. I am a very busy person, but my family has really supported me. My brother assists in the management of the business,” she said.

The business is not without its challenges. The biggest of them is the fluctuations in freight charges.

“Freight importation charges sometimes change. For instance you had expected to be charged Sh.35,000, but on arrival of your goods the charges increase. It was a big challenge especially during the electioneering period,” she said.

She hopes to expand the business to other regions in the country. For her side-hustling is not only a way to make ends meet, but also about pursuing a passion and fulfilling customer’s needs.

She encourages prospective entrepreneurs to start a venture with whatever amount of capital they have.

“Start with whatever you have. Be it Sh.1,000 or Sh.2,000. You may never get a lump sum for you to start. However little you start with, it will one day grow big” she said.

By Justine Nyachieo
Business Man & Mentor

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