The business of selling shoes is lucrative and at the same time challenging. So many Kenyans are engaged into this business and are making good money.
It has been established that venturing into women shoes is more profitable that men’s shoes because the former moves faster than the latter.
Shoe business has become one of the most profitable businesses in Kenya, especially when Eastleigh town started importing shoes and clothes in bulk.
When starting selling shoes, you can decide to sell women shoes, men shoes or children shoes, but women shoes tend to be more profitable than men shoes.
To Start the business, you need to identify a suitable location, where you can get regular flow of customers.
One of the best estates in Nairobi for this business include Githurai, Embakasi, Donholm, Kawangware, Nairobi CBD (Moi avenue, Gikomba, Muthurwa), Kitengela, South B and Jogoo road.
You need at least a capital of Ksh.200,000 in order to operate a meaningful store, but if you intend to sell second hand shoes on a busy street then Ksh.20,000 is enough.
If you will open a shop in Nairobi CBD, you need to set aside at least Ksh.150,000 for goodwill and a monthly rent of not less than Ksh.40,000.
Obtain a license from Nairobi County offices situated opposite Nairobi Law Courts. The license goes for between Ksh.15,000 – Ksh.30,000 yearly depending on the size of your business.
Visit Eastleigh stalls and identify someone who can supply you with cheap shoes. There are so many suppliers in Eastleigh.
Alternatively, you can import from Dubai or obtain from Gikomba market if you will be selling mitumba shoes.
I spoke to some of the people who run shoe business in Nairobi CBD and most of them confirmed that they make profits ranging from Ksh.2,000 to Ksh.15,000 per day.
Ensure you stoke more women shoes than those of men; they move faster.
After completing university, Faith Kithome had a hard time securing employment. This frustration led her to consider entrepreneurship as a way of meeting her needs.
She identified an opportunity in the shoe business in Nairobi’s Kahawa Wendani thanks to the large population of university students who formed her main clientele.
When it came to choosing her target market, she decided to focus on women’s shoes, as they were not only affordable for her, but also a little research showed that women bought more shoes than men.
Months into the business, she realized that most of her sales were from online inquiries and required her to deliver the shoes to town.
Whenever she had to deliver shoes to town she had to close her shop thus losing out on potential sales. This led to the decision to relocate her business to the city centre where she felt, she could interact with most of her clients.
Her sales improved with the move, and she now wishes to expand her business. Thus, I linked her up with Hellen Wangui, the founder of Helwas Men’s collection to share with her nuggets of wisdom with regards to the shoe business.
Hellen, the founder of Helwas Men’s collection, started the shoe business with only Sh.7,000 capital. She highlights that capital is not an obstacle with regards to pursuing a business idea.
Start with what you have in hand. Initially she sourced the shoes from Kamukunji, but as the business grew and her capital base grew, thanks to ploughing back profits into the business, she now imports her stock.
Statistics indicate that small businesses fail within the first three to five years. In order to avoid being part of these statistics, you have to wisely use the resources within your sights.
In the shoe business it is vital that one stocks only those shoes that do move fast in order to ensure that one does not end up with dead stock which is expensive for the business in the long run.
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