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How to start a successful Smokie business in Kenya


From the title, you already know what we are going to discuss today, how to start a successful smokie business.an image of a tray of smokies

But before that how lucrative do you think this type of business is? On a scale of one to ten.

One is not lucrative at all and ten being very lucrative? Let me know in the comments section below this post.


As always I’ll start with a story. This story is about a very close friend of mine.

This friend of mine was like many other young people in Kenya. Young, energetic, unemployed, and dog on broke.

This however did not dampen his dreams of earning a decent income.

He put this energy and determination to good use by tending to cattle at home and doing various  online jobs.

With a little saved up, he decided to move out of his parents’ compound.

This move set him back a few notes.

He however did odd jobs to regain momentum. After a few months of working he had finally saved up enough to start a small business.

He decided on starting a smokie business. Today he earns close to $50 a day.

But how was he able to achieve this?

Read on to find out.

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Skills required for one to run a successful smokie business.

First things first, resilience and patience.
For a month or so my friend didn’t sell one packet of smokies a day.
At times he even made losses at the beginning of his journey. He had the option of giving up and going back home and tend to cattle. He chose not to.

In addition to making losses, he faced threats from other smokie sellers near his business premises.
Did he give up? We couldn’t be talking about him if he did.

Other skills include good managerial skills, good customer service.

an image of two people shaking hands in agreement
Remember the customer is always right. Well, not always but you get what I mean. Good customer service will sell your business more than any type of advertising will.

A good business person knows their strengths and weaknesses. You don’t have to do everything yourself.
You can simply outsource some skills.
If you lack any of these skills at the beginning don’t worry you will learn them as you go on.

The smokie business plan


an image of a man writing on a booklet of foolscaps  with a pen
The purpose of any business is to make profit. Now that we have established that, let’s look at what you need to run a successful smokie business.

1.Decide what to sell.
Here’s a no-brainer, right. Wrong.

Why should people buy from you and not from any other vendor? Do you have a wider variety of snacks to choose from?

Decide what you want to offer your customers. Is it smokies alone? Smokies and eggs? Or even better smokies, eggs, and chapatti.
Making a combination of smokies and chapatti popularly known as smocha.an image of smocha(chapatti and smokie)

2.Get suppliers
As a business person know where to get the best deals.
That is the best price for your ingredients. an image of eggs in a trayKnow where to get your smokies at wholesale prices, eggs, and so on.

3.Get the required equipment.
To start your smokie business you’ll need equipment.an image of a smokie trolley, umbrella and smokie seller
You’ll need a vending cart or trolley that costs between ksh.5,000 to ksh,10,000, an umbrella, packaging materials, knives,jiko, Dustin for litter, jerry can for water, and so on.

To get a full list of things you’ll need click here.

4.Get a strategic location to situate your smokie business.
Now there is no need of completing steps one to three only to fail at four.
A strategic location could be your breaking. It could be the difference between you and huge profit margins.

So what is a strategic business location in a smokie business?

This is simply anywhere there is high human traffic.

This could be near bus stops, learning institutions, bars, restaurants and hotels, junctions, and market places.

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5.Get the necessary business permits.
Instead of playing cat and mouse games with the city council askaris(kanjo).
Who demand a share of your profits simply get business permits from the county council.
These business permits include a county council single business permit which costs around ksh.5,000 per year and a food handlers certificate.

6.Start your smokie business.
But before that.

 

How to prepare smokies

To boil or to fry that is the question. What should you do?

an image of eggs and smokies in a trolley

Well, you only need to heat the smokies. But for the eggs, you’ll need to pre-boil them. If you are going to offer smochas, you can simply outsource the chapattis.

My friend made some chapattis and ended up eating all of them by himself.
Why? because they were too hard to sell. Chapattis should be softer than a baby’s bottom.

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How much can you make in a day in the smokie business?


This is the part you were waiting for right. Yeah me too. So let’s do the math.

 

How much can you make daily selling smokies

One packet of smokies has 22 pieces. The buying price is around ksh.330 per packet. That is ksh.15 per piece of smokie.
If you sell at least 5 packets a day at ksh.25 per piece, you’ll be making a profit of ksh.10 per piece.

When you sell 5 packets of smokies, that is 110 pieces of smokie you’ll be making a profit of ksh.1,100 (110* 10) per day.

 

How much can you make daily selling boiled eggs


One tray has 30 eggs. The buying price per tray is ksh.300.
Therefore, you’ll be buying each egg at ksh.10. sell the eggs at ksh.20 each. The profit will be ksh.10.

If you sell at least 5 trays per day you’ll be making a profit of ksh. 1,500 (5*30*10)

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How much can you make daily selling chapattis

We had earlier mentioned outsourcing skills. You can buy ready-cooked chapattis at ksh.10 from a nearby hotel.

In a day if you sell at least 50 chapattis @ksh.20 each you’ll be making a profit of ksh.500. (50*10)

In total from the smokie business, you could be making a profit of ksh. 3,100 (1,100+ 1,500+ 500)

Remember that this is excluding the working capital.
Is this a lucrative venture? Let me know in the comments section. Let’s keep the conversation alive.

Before I pen off I’d like to say that success is at the other end of fear. Quit being afraid and just start.

Success as you start a Smokie business in Kenya or not. Whatever you start,  I wish you success. I should stop there, will I?

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