Kenya is a beautiful country with enormous business potential, but this does not guarantee you 100 percent success in any business that you venture into. Most people start businesses in Kenya but end up failing because they did not consider some essential factors before setting up their businesses. So, what are some of the factors that you need to consider before starting a successful business in Kenya? This article looks at very critical factors that may make your start-up a success.

Do you have set goals?

This is a very important question to any business-minded person. There is no way you will achieve doing something without prior goals. What are your investment expectations?The saying that “He who fails to plan, plans to fail,” is true when starting a business. You don’t have to get unwanted frustrations just because you don’t know where you want to be and how to get there. Setting smart goals will keep you on track during the daily operations of your business.The simplest way of doing this is to have both short and long term goals. For example, what do you want to accomplish within 5 months of starting your business or after 5 years. What are the specific steps that will help you get there?

Once you have this in mind, then you are ready to go

Knowledge of the Business

It is quite hard for you to succeed in a business that you have very little knowledge of. For you to succeed in a business start-up, you should know the ins and outs of the business. You should be able to describe your business in detail to anybody. A good example of a business that you cannot start without sufficient knowledge is a chemist. How would you sell drugs to someone if you don’t know the correct product or dosage? You will lose a lot of customers because of wrong prescriptions. Make sure you learn everything that you need to know about your business before setting it up.

 Capital Required

Capital is essential for all businesses whether small or big. You need to calculate beforehand, all the necessary capital that you will require to fully set up your business. After getting to know the required capital, then look for the capital source. It could be your own savings, a loan from friends, or a bank loan.

Get to know your market

Understanding your market is very important when it comes to setting up a business in Kenya because without a potential market, then your products won’t sell. Are people willing to purchase your product or service? Is the market big enough to sustain your business? These are some of the questions that you should ask yourself before setting up a business, and the best way to answer them would be to conduct a market survey. Conduct a market survey and evaluate the potential of the market.

Analyze your Competition

Would you set up a barber shop with very few shaving equipment and accessories amidst many other barber shops with state of the art shaving components and expect to get enough customers? Not an easy feat to achieve. To avoid being beaten by your competition it is always advisable to check out your competition first, and then think of a service or product that will beat your competition. There are some instances when you can ignore competition especially when the demand for that product is high but under other circumstances always evaluate your competition.


When it comes to starting a business, location really matters. Choose a location that is accessible to people, a location that has a high population, a location that will give your business an advantage.

 Rules and regulations
For any business to operate, there are legal processes to be considered before it starts. These include registering a business name, obtaining necessary licenses and permits, compliance with business taxation among others. You will have to pick and register your business name as it will play important role in all aspects of the business. You research and pick a trademark that isn’t in use.

Get to know about any other rules or regulations that stipulate ways of conducting businesses in an area so that you are not caught on the wrong side of the law. Different areas have different rules; therefore get to learn those rules. For example if you are selling alcoholic drinks, you should not go against the ‘mututho law” that warns against selling alcoholic drinks at certain times of the day.

Back-up plan

Not all businesses pick up immediately they are launched; some take a shorter period while others take a longer period. Many business people have given up on their businesses because they have taken a longer time before realizing any profit, yet these businesses had huge potential of becoming successful if they were just given more time. It is advisable to have another source of income apart from your business to act as a contingency plan, just in case your business does not pick up fast enough so as to avoid premature closures.

Do you have enough time?

Time is one of the greatest barriers to starting a successful business. If you want to be a successful entrepreneur, you must understand that time is a key resource. Are you starting the business on full-time basis or as side hustle? As a business owner you will be required to make sacrifices and face challenges head-on with dedication and commitment.

These are just some of the many essential factors to consider before starting a small business in Kenya. I hope they help you succeed in your upcoming start-up.

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