2020/12/09 16:12:54

How to Start Furniture Business in Kenya

Kenya is one of the leading economies in Eastern Africa with a unique business environment. There are various rules and regulations that dictate how businesses are conducted, and if you have any plans of starting a furniture business, then there are a few hurdles you have to get over first. Some of the most notable ones include the following.

Get the Necessary Documents

There are licenses and permits that you have to pay for before setting up the furniture business. There’s the standard operational license that is renewable every year payable to the county government. The amount varies from one county to another. You will also need to be given the green light by other bodies like environmental regulators like NEMA and the standardization body called the Kenya Bureau of Standards (KEBS).

Get a Good Location

The Kenyan population density is concentrated in urban centers, and this is where you’ll want to set up your furniture business. You will be exposed to more clients compared to setting it up in rural areas where demand is not as high. Another advantage of having the physical premise of your furniture business in an urban area is the pricing, the cost of furniture is higher in places like Nairobi and Mombasa compared to those being sold in smaller towns.

Market Research

You will not be the first person starting a furniture business, and you will not be the last one; competition will be in your face even before you break any ground. To keep things under control, you have to conduct adequate market research to figure out what people really need. Sometimes, furniture clients don’t know what they want, and you may reap a lot by coming up with something they’ve never seen before. All this can only be achieved through a rigorous market research effort.

Good Management

If this is your first rodeo into the furniture business, then you’ll be well-served to hire someone who has extensive experience in furniture sales. This is especially vital if you have absolutely no or have minimal experience in that sector. Good management is what will get your business through the teething challenges. Many businesses fail at this point and never recover.

Qualified Staff

The first six months of a new business are all about creating good impressions in the minds of the people. You will be looking to give potential clients something they have not been getting from other furniture shops. This doesn’t have to come in the form of discounts or promotional gifts, having the right staff that knows how to communicate with the people is more than enough. Once a customer feels valued and respected, even if buying furniture was not part of their plan, they’ll do all they can to come back or spread the word around.


Finding a niche is important. There are very many types of furniture types to choose from; going general and selling everything is never an advisable move since you will not be able to make unique furniture pieces that can only be associated with your brand. Find a furniture design that people have never seen before, then put your creativity to work. Once you have established a good rapport with the public, your brand will be known for being the best in a particular type of furniture. 

A Budget

A furniture business demands a lot of startup funds. Unlike other businesses like selling clothes that allow one to run their business from their homes for a while, furniture requires space to begin with. You will need to first find a premise and means of paying rent and goodwill. Hiring qualified staff also requires money, and keeping the business afloat in the first six months as you try to build a client base will also require a substantial out-of-pocket investment. It will be a while before you start reaping the fruits of your labor. It takes patience.

Land a Good Supplier

If you are a furniture retailer, that means you outsource your furniture from another party. For this to be successful, you’ll need to procure the services of a good and reliable furniture supplier. They should, among many other things, provide you with the latest furniture designs and styles to ensure that your brand stays ahead of your competition. Having a constant stream of high-quality products is what will keep customers coming in.


Getting past all of these legal and startup hurdles can be brutal, and it is easy for a business to fold. But it is part of the process. Once the company picks up, you need to shift the gear towards promoting it aggressively. This can be achieved through social media marketing and taking part in fairs and exhibitions.
For details about furniture fairs and exhibitions around you, do not hesitate to get in touch with us and we will set your business up with the best in the market.

Looking for the latest furniture designs and the best suppliers?


All comments

  • Anonymous comments

    2023/01/03 18:13

    Hi there Looking for furniture fairs and exhibitions in nairobi please