How To Start a Hardware Business in Kenya In 2024 (Step By Step)

With more citizens investing in real estate and constructing individual homes, there’s an increased demand for building items. So, starting a hardware business in Kenya means exploring a marketable and lucrative industry. 

Hardware business in Kenya is one of the most lucrative ventures due to the high demand and decent profit margins it offers. Depending on your budget, you can open a small, medium, or large hardware business.

According to Statista, Kenya’s construction industry grew by 3.1% in the first quarter of 2023. This proves that despite the Kenyan shilling surge and high cost of living, building materials continue to experience an increased demand. 

So, how do you leverage this to mint massive returns?

This exhaustive piece takes you through:

  • The benefits of starting a hardware business
  • Hardware business requirements in Kenya
  • Tips to run a successful hardware business in Kenya
  • Answers the most common hardware business questions
Hardware business in Kenya

Let’s dive in!

Why Consider Starting a Hardware Business In Kenya?

Packed red bricks

With so many business ideas in Kenya, you’re perhaps wondering why hardware. Well, here are some key benefits of opening a hardware business

Increased Demand for Hardware Items

There’s no way in a day a strategically positioned hardware will go without sales. Reason? Hardware items are used daily if not for home repairs; you can expect new constructions to purchase your items.

Again, the construction industry of Kenya is expected to grow by 7.7%, hitting Kshs 973 billion. So, opening a hardware business means you have a ready market to supply!

It’s a Future-Proof Business

Seasonal businesses can be frustrating, especially if you look forward to establishing a long-term venture. 

Fortunately, the hardware business does not rely on seasons, as it continues to grow regardless of the economic and natural occurrences. 

High-Profit Margins

Hardware business in Kenya allows you to enjoy high profit margins. For instance, in a daily Kshs 100,000 sales, you enjoy Kshs 10,000 profit and above. 

Nevertheless, to mint such returns, you must identify the best suppliers with top-quality yet affordable prices. 

What You Need to Start a Hardware Business In Kenya. 

Tiles displayed in a hardware store

For new entrepreneurs, it can be difficult to identify hardware business in Kenya requirements. Here’s how to start a hardware business in Kenya

Step 1. Do a Market Research

The first step to establishing a successful hardware business in Kenya is performing market research. This will help you identify the needs of your prospective clients and define a fitting strategy to meet them. 

Market research will also expose you to the different challenges in this business, helping you develop a strategy to overcome them. 

Step 2. Find a Suitable Location

Establishing a hardware business in a slow-growing area means you will receive few orders. Consequently, you must identify a place with numerous construction activities and high-purchasing power individuals.

Again, your hardware site in this area should be strategic for easy access by residents and new customers.

Step 3. Apply for Hardware Business Permits

Before you open a hardware, ensure you have secured all the necessary business permits. This will keep you on the good side of the law, allowing you to operate smoothly.

To operate a hardware business, the government of Kenya demands that you get a single business permit at Kshs 10,000. You also need a KRA ETR machine to ensure you pay taxes accordingly.

Step 4. Stock Your Hardware Business

The final requirement of starting a hardware business is buying the first stock and organizing it in your store. If you’re starting a small hardware business, you will need the following items:

  • Cement
  • Nails
  • Steel bars
  • Roofing sheets
  • Pipes
  • Tiles

With a higher budget, you can include more expensive items such as plumbing materials.

The Cost Breakdown: How Much Does It Cost To Start a Hardware Business?

Hardware employee inspecting paperwork

Your initial capital will determine the size of the hardware you will establish. To open a small hardware business in Kenya, you will require the following

  • Rent – Kshs 50,000
  • Business permits – Kshs 20,000
  • 400 bags of cement – Kshs 200,000
  • Roofing sheets – Kshs 250,000
  • Steel bars and rods – Kshs 200,000
  • Other expenses – Kshs 100,000

The total capital you need to open a small hardware is around Kshs 600,000.

Tips for Running a Successful Hardware Business In Kenya

A client signing paperwork after a delivery

The ultimate goal of every businessperson is to maximize their returns. However, as a first-time entrepreneur, you might experience challenges in establishing a thriving business.

Here are tips for establishing a successful hardware business in Kenya

Your First Stock Should Contain Fast-Moving Items

Since it’s your first time operating a business, you need products in high demand. This will ensure you don’t have deadstock in your business. It will also boost your sales, helping you make tangible progress.

Here are fast-moving products you can stock in your new hardware business

  • Nails
  • Roofing sheets
  • Cement
  • Steel bars and rods
  • Gutters
  • Plumbing pipes
  • Tiles

Establish Strong Relationships with Hardware Items Suppliers

Having a good relationship with suppliers is crucial to establishing a successful hardware business. Reason? It gives you access to the best deals and top-quality products.

As you continue to get acquainted with these suppliers, you also enjoy better credit terms and better services like fast delivery.

Market Your Hardware Business

Let’s face it: marketing has taken over online and physical streets. The competition in the different industries calls for a unique strategy to sell your products before clients see your hardware.

Thanks to roadshows, billboards, and social media, you can advertise your hardware business and boost your sales. And as you continue to expand, offering discounts or hampers will market you better.

Provide Excellent Customer Service

Did you know that excellent customer service is a hook that retains a business’ customer base?

Why do you keep going back to the same restaurant or barbershop and salon?

The treatment a client receives from your staff will determine whether they return. Moreover, it affects the reviews they leave on your website.

If your customer service is top-notch, they will write a positive comment to attract more customers to your hardware. If not, you may have to endure negative reviews that will scare new clients away. 

When you deliver top-quality items in good time, you prove your client is your priority. To them, you are a reliable person, and they will easily refer you to their close friends or relatives.

Stay Updated on Industry Trends

Although the construction industry always has demand, it keeps revolutionizing with technology. As a result, new items may be developed, leaving you unaware there’s a fresh substitute for something you’re selling.

Think about it: when the interlocking bricks emerged, they attracted a high demand. Not understanding what is meeting the needs of the hour may mean losing out on massive profits. 

To avoid this, you should stay updated on trends and integrate them to garner huge returns.

Invest in Technology

Technology makes work easier and helps you operate more efficiently. Some technological elements that will help you better serve your clients include a customer support system and an inventory management system.

Again, using a point-of-sale system will enable you to serve your clients better while monitoring your business sales. So, invest in these operational tech solutions for better outcomes.

Technology is not only limited to service. You can integrate it into your daily activities as a large hardware owner. For instance, use equipment to lift heavy-weight items or a machine to measure or mix items.

Stock Top-Quality Products

Top-quality products sell your business to existing and new clients. In addition, they establish you as a reliable seller whom clients can ask questions when they need any construction items.

Moreover, when they require help in their construction process, you’re the first person who comes to their minds since they know you only the best. So, ensure you stock quality products to build trust in your clients.

Also Read:

  1. 10 Simple Untapped Business Ideas in Kenya
  2. How To Start an Electronics Business in Kenya

Frequently Asked Questions

1. Is A Hardware Business Profitable?

A hardware business is among the most profitable business ideas in Kenya. Typically, a hardware business earns you a 10% profit of your total sales. For instance, if you make Kshs 50,000 in total sales, you get Kshs 5,000 profit.

2. How Do I Start a Simple Hardware Business?

To start a simple hardware business, implement the following steps

Step 1. Do a proper market research

Step 2. Acquire the necessary business permits

Step 3. Develop a business plan

Step 4. Find a suitable location

Step 5. Create a matching budget

Step 6. Brand your hardware shop

Step 7. Buy the first stock

3. What Is the Starting Capital for a Hardware Business?

The starting capital for a hardware business is Kshs 500,000 and above. 


Hardware business in Kenya is among the most lucrative ventures due to the rising demand for construction items and decent profit margins. Depending on your budget, you can open a small, medium, or large hardware business in a suitable location to enjoy massive returns.

Whether a first or second-time entrepreneur, you can follow the above steps to open a successful hardware business in Kenya.

Written by Alex

Written by Alex

I have passion in helping people Make, Manage, Multiply & Protect Wealth.Download my Free Guide to Financial Freedom >>[ GET IT HERE]<<