June 5, 2023
Start a Shoe Selling Business in Kenya

The shoe selling business is lucrative in Kenya. There are so many people making huge profits from selling shoes and you can be one of them too. 

Before you start, it is important to identify your target customers and find a good business location. 

Lady shoe wear is known to move faster so many sellers tend to stock them more. They also tend to bring in better profits as compared to others. Let’s help you understand more about this business in Kenya.

#1. Do Market Research and find your Niche.

Before getting into any business it is essential to do market research. Market research will help you determine whether there is an opportunity to turn your idea into a successful business. 

Understand the market well, what is in demand, and where there is a gap. This is a very important step before starting any business. It helps you gather information about your potential customers and businesses that are already operating in your area.

With that information, you can find a competitive advantage for your business. 

The same applies to shoe-selling businesses. You need to identify the fastest-moving type of shoes, where to source them, and their demand in the market. In the shoe-selling business, women’s shoes tend to be fast-moving as compared to men’s shoes and kids’ shoe wear.

#2. Prepare a Business Plan

A business plan lays a solid foundation for your business. It is a roadmap for how to structure, run, and grow your new start-up. A business plan can be used to convince people that working with you or investing in your business is a great choice.

Since you have already accessed the market, you need to think of all the things you want to include in your business plan. Think of startup cost, the source of your capital, where you want to locate your business, and where to source your stock.

Make your business plan as appealing as possible so that you can attract investors to your business. Make sure your business plan outlines your current and future business goals. Most successful businesses use their business plan to organize the direction of their business.

Your business plan should include:

  • Title page and contents: any investor will use your business plan to get a better understanding of your business. So make sure it is organized and easy to read through. No investors have all the time to read a lot of stories.
  • Statement of purpose: this are should summarize your product (shoes either for ladies, men, kids, or the combination of those three), your target market, and business operation. It should also state whether you are looking for funding or not.
  • Product descriptions: explain more about your shoe business and how you want to benefit the customers.
  • Market analysis: outline your target area, your selling trends, and customer expectations.
  • Competitor analysis: talk about the strengths and weaknesses of other businesses in the shoe-selling field.
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Read also: Startup vs Small Business: Which is the Right Choice for You? 

#3. Finance your Shoe Business

You might want to start this Shoe selling business but you don’t have the capital. Well, here are some tips for getting the funding you need to get your business up and running.

  • Get funding from family and friends.
  • Get a small business loan.
  • Look for grants or local funding
  • Use your business plan to attract “angel investors”.

Read also: 7 Ways to Find Investors for Your Startup and Raise Millions.

#4. Choose your business structure

The structure of your business will typically have legal and tax implications for the foreseeable future. Therefore this decision is critical. Some of the most popular business structures are:

  • Sole proprietorship: This business is owned by one person. Here you are responsible for all debts and obligations of your business. The main advantage is that it is simple and inexpensive.
  • Partnership: If you start a business with another individual or more individuals then that’s a partnership. The main advantage of a partnership is that the partners share the cost of the business.

The above structures are the most suitable for shoe selling business especially if you starting small. However, there are more business structures which include:

  • Limited liability company: this is a type of business entity that provides limited liability to the owners. This means the business owners are not personally responsible for the debts and liabilities of the business. Some of the advantages of an LLC for a shoe business include flexibility in management, avoiding double taxation, and limited personal liability.
  • Corporation: This business entity is separate from its owners and has its own tax ID and is also open to shareholders. The main advantage of a Corporation for a shoe business is that it offers limited liability to the owners.
  • S corporation: this is a type of corporation that provides the owners with limited liability and also allows them to pass their business income through to their personal income tax returns, thus helping avoid double taxation.
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#4. Find a Strategic Location

Your business location is one of the determining factors on how fast your business is more likely to grow. The choice you make will also determine your taxes, legal requirements, and your revenue.

Find a good location for your shoe business and make sure it has a good display since it is very important. Strive to find a location that is visible to passersby from a far distance. The area you choose should be busy where your business can get a good flow of customers.

Some of the best locations to start your business include Nairobi CBD, Githurai, Kawangware, Muthurwa, and Gikomba. You can also start your shoe-selling business near an institution like a university. Target areas with the younger generation since most of these customers are young people.

#5. Get Your Business Permit

To avoid getting in trouble with the county Government, you need to obtain business licenses and permits for your shoe business. The licenses you will need for your business are determined by the nature of your business.

For a shoe-selling business, you will need a single business permit from the County Council offices near you. The licenses and permits are paid for yearly and the amount will depend on where your business is located.

#6. Advertise Your Shoe Business

Marketing your business, especially through advertisements will help make your business popular and attract customers.

Open social media accounts on Facebook, Instagram, and even a Whatsapp group and connect with your potential customers. You can also launch a website and use it to market your business too.

Read also: Social Media Marketing Secrets.

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#7. Open a Business Account

You need to open an account for your business to avoid mixing your personal income with business. This will also help you track your profits. 

A business account will also help protect your assets from getting involved in business or being at risk. It is also easy to file taxes and maintain accounts when you have separate accounts for business purposes.

The process of opening your business bank account is as follows:

1). Identify the bank you want to use and reach out to them.

2). Present all the required documents.

3). Fill out the bank’s application form and provide all relevant information.

4). Discuss with them your business needs and try to establish a relationship with them. This can help you when you finally decide to expand your business and need funds.

How Profitable is the shoe selling business in Kenya

The shoe business is one of the most profitable businesses in Kenya. Shoes are a basic requirement for any human and so you can never go wrong with this business. 

Sellers, however, buy these shoes at a cheap price and sell them at a relatively higher price fetching more profits.

Pros and Cons of Shoe business in Kenya


  • Low to moderate startup cost required. This might range between Ksh 50,000 – Ksh 200,000.
  • You can choose to operate purely online and avoid the expenses which come with rent and electricity.
  • You get to express your creativity in shoe designs
  • It is a simple and a scalable business model
  •  It has few regulations and compliance requirements.


  • Stocking in many sizes can get expensive and hence require a lot of cash from you.
  • The unsold stock could mean sizable losses.
  • If you are selling online you may experience high customer returns especially due to the wrong shoe size.

Final Thoughts

Since the shoe-selling business is very lucrative, investing in it can be very rewarding due to the high returns it gives. If you followed the steps well, you should be able to start your shoe business and be successful in it.


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