As much as starting and running your own international business is one of the most rewarding and lucrative endeavors one can engage in, it is not always smooth sailing as most people think.
It involves a lot of hard work and rigorous procedures. Let’s look at how you can start a craft importing business in Kenya. Crafts are useful and decorative items that are created entirely by hand.
Most crafts are made from wood or soft stone. In Kenya, the type of fast moving crafts include items such as furniture, gift items, kitchen accessories, toys and games, statues and blinds for both domestic and corporate use.
Before you start your craft importation business in Kenya, the following are important considerations to make.
1. Obtain Relevant Market Information
You can access relevant information on the market from different sources. To start with, the internet is an important source of information on trade. Here, you can look up different websites of those countries dealing in craft business.
This will enable you to compare offers of different crafts suppliers and make an informed decision. Websites such as Aliexpress.com and Alibaba.com have a great database of craft manufacturers from China and other countries. Here suppliers sell their craft at very competitive prices that are pocket friendly to the buyer.
The Kenya National Chamber of Commerce and Industry (KNCCI) provides valuable information on imports, local market and potential foreign markets. Also, joint Kenya Arab Chamber of Commerce provides relevant information on UAE and other Arab countries. However, before buying in bulk it’s always wiser to request the supplier to send some craft samples in order to assess the quality of the product.
2. Acquire the Relevant Permits and Licenses
Before importing your crafts into Kenya it’s important to ensure that you have all the required documents for importation of crafts into the country. Most suppliers will want to confirm that they are dealing with a licensed company that is allowed to carry out import services.
Information on the requirements can be readily obtained from the local government offices. Some of the important importation documents that you need are:
- Bill of landing
- Commercial invoice
- Customs import declaration
- Certificate of origin
- Inspection report
- Terminal handling receipts
In Kenya there are certain procedural requirements for importing goods that must be followed. There are also documents that are required in order to carry out any official procedure.
It’s also good to know that these procedures take time before they are completed. Such procedures include documents preparation and customs clearance.
Once these crafts are in the country, they can be sold in retail shops such as gift stores, supermarkets and departmental stores. You can also sell them in well -known galleries and exhibitions or through agents.
As a crafts importer, carrying out market survey in advance is the most important thing to do to ensure your career success. By doing this, you will be sure that the products you are importing are in demand.
It will also help you to know which parts of the country are more accepting of your products. Once you establish that, you will be well on your way to a successful career path.