For many years, those perceived to have made in life, especially in the field of business, have had one piece of advice for the young generation; start your own business.
The phrase ‘start your own business’ should now be considered old and tired. It is time we start telling young people the truth about the business environment and why it is not easy to ‘start your own business’ in Kenya right now.
The process of starting a business in Kenya is not for the faint-hearted. Currently, the SMEs sector in Kenya among the most taxed with taxes ranging from presumptive tax to Value Added Tax (VAT).
It is good to tell young people to start their own business but telling them so without giving them a clear picture of what they should expect is ‘investment hypocrisy’ that only serves to mislead them and leaving them frustrated.
Before setting up any business in Kenya, you must be ready to be patient. You are never guaranteed instant returns. In fact, most new business start realizing sales after two or three months of their establishment. This means that you must have some money saved to keep you and your business going before the business is able to stand alone.
You should understand the registration process especially if you are setting up a company. Initially, the registration process was tedious but currently, you can pay someone to do it for you. You can read on the “Guidelines to Starting a Business in Kenya” and “Registering a Company in Kenya – The Key Steps You Should Know”
Before setting up a business, you should familiarize yourself with The Different Types of Taxes in Kenya as far as the ease of doing business is concerned. The taxes in Kenya for the SME included the newly implemented presumptive tax that is now charged at 15 percent.
There are five major questions that you should always ask yourself before starting any form of business. They are commonly known as the 4Ws and H.
WHAT – What kind of business are you planning to set up? What product or service do you want to sell? What is the competition?
WHY – Why do you want to set up the business? To make profits? To make a living?
WHEN – The time that you plan to set up the business
WHERE – The place. It should be strategic.
HOW – How do you plan to set up the business?