Establishing any business is no child’s play. It takes a lot of hardwork, determination and resilience, without these failure is inevitable. The same applies to an agrovet which is a difficult business to start but very rewarding if successful. There are people making hundreds of thousands monthly from an agrovet. In 2016, a you student, Kennedy Kimathi, was making 200k monthly from this business, while juggling school and work. The following is the process of establishing a successful agrovet in Kenya:
Conducting Market Research
What do customers want? What product sells the most? These are very important questions to ask yourself. Never walk into any business blindly. A good businessman will research his market and determine whether his business is viable.
Which part of the town or country are you going to establish your business? Choose your
location very carefully. If there are other successful agrovets in an area, it would be unwise to do the same. The other big players already have their customer base. Choose a location that is :
Accessible to customers
Easy to manage since you need to be able to oversee the Business regularly.
Secure to avoid losing the stock to robbers and even make your employees feel safe.
Well ventilated and has regular water supply.
Big enough to store products. Chemicals and animal feeds must never mix. Some
products also can’t be stored on the ground as they absorb moisture that leads to damage. Proper storage is very important and can only be accomplished if the space is
The location also needs to be in a farming community. For safety reasons, agrovets should not be opened near food stores or supermarkets.
If you don’t want to jump every time you hear the word ‘Kanjo’ ( municipal council inspectors), then get a country permit. It may for 8-10k depending on the county.
To build the confidence of clients, one needs to obtain relevant Certificates and attach them at a visible point, like the door. The main certificates required are:
1) Certificate from Kenya Plant Health Inspectorate Service (KEPHIS). The certificate is
mandatory although the government is lax in checking. However, its best to be safe than
sorry. It costs 30k for a distributer, 5k for a wholesale and 1k for a retailer.
2) Certificate from the Pest Control and Products Board. It is issued to those dealing in
pesticides and goes for 4k for both distributors and wholesalers and 1k for a retailer.
A well branded business tends to sell itself to the customer. It is not okay about the name but also about the business structure. Display your products in a manner gat is alluring to
customers. Let customers be able to see clearly what products are on display.
Whether you are involved in the day to day running of the business or not, an employee(s)
provides the needed assistance.One should employ trained personnel that are certified with at least one Agricultural board.
They should also be able to relate well with the customers. Training is also important since the employee advices farmers on various chemicals. It is important to have knowledge so as to avoid prescribing the wrong chemicals that may lead to great losses. Trained personnel will also know the conditions suitable for storing various chemicals such as, adamycin antibiotic should not be exposed to sunlight. This prevents the sale of damaged goods to unsuspecting farmers.
If you are an expert in the area, then take time to train and mentor employees you feel need it.
Sometimes you don’t need to build the business but rather build people and watch them build the business.
Identifying the best producers/ distributors
A lot of agrovets have either paid huge fines or been foreclosed for selling counterfeit products.
There is need for owners to research and buy products from the right people. Not every
wholesaler or distributer is trustworthy. Kenya is full unscrupulous people willing to sell
anything for money. Also, compare prices of different companies and choose the most
Stock fast moving products
It is so frustrating to stock products that stay on the shelves for ages till they expire. Research the products and know what sells and what does not. Since farmers are sceptic to unfamiliar products, never stock them or stock as little as possible. That way loses won’t be incurred when product fails to sell.
Money makes the world go round. It’s the main factor to consider before setting up this
business. This business requires a substantial investment for you to see profits. Therefore, it may not suit you if you have little money.
The number one cause of business failure is lack of financial accountability. Every shilling
mattes in business that’s why you need to be meticulous with your accounts, especially if you don’t oversee the business daily. When some employees find a loophole to steal, they’ll do it like there is no tomorrow. Ensure every purchase is made with your knowledge.
An effective way to keep accounts is through receipts. Ensure every customer has a receipt
copy and that every purchase for the business has a receipt.
Address any irregular cash flow immediately.
Maximize your peak season
There are times when products sell very fast and in huge quantities. During planting seasons, most armers will want seeds and fertilizers. Stock the products early enough as during this season the prices tend to skyrocket. The farmers will buy from you at a reasonable price without making you incur any loses since you'd have bought your stock when prices were low.
Integrate other businesses
The best business to integrate is an mpesa and or a bank agent. It never hurts anyone to have that extra cash coming in. The business will stay afloat even during low peak seasons.
Customers that need immediate cash will as find it beneficial.
How to maintain customers
Pricing. Offer goods at an affordable and consistent price. When you set prices too high,
farmers will look for a cheaper alternative. Likewise, fluctuating prices every time may make you lose customers.
Outreach programs. Everybody loves a business owner that invests in the society as well.
Partner with agricultural agencies and organize outreach programs to teach farmers
appropriate ways to use their land to get maximum produce.
Personnel. Friendly employees will always draw customers back.
Best companies that deal in Agricultural goods
Kenya seed company
Nairobi veterinary center