Phone accessories

Small Business Ventures: sale of telephone accessories

While many millions of businesses thrive around Kampala, a good percentage of city dwellers survive on small businesses, a variety of which you’ll find in the city center in Kampala’s busy corridors.

Batteries, chargers, screen protectors, rings, stickers, phone cases and headsets are some of the phone accessories that most Ugandans cannot live without.

Since almost every Ugandan has a phone, regardless of income, the sale of phone accessories is a booming business, especially around Kampala, due to high demand and hence market.

“Screen protectors and phone cases are the most requested accessories because everyone needs to protect their phone,” says Issa Muhamadi Mukuye, owner of Precious phone and accessories, a former taxi fleet.

About the company

“The beauty of phone accessories is that they complement each other. When someone buys a screen protector, they are more likely to also buy a phone case or a ring. Batteries, chargers and sometimes helmets also go together,” he says.

So you need to have variety in your store to sell and earn more. He also says that the company needs a lot of patience because the customers are sometimes annoying and most of them are very unfriendly.

“To make money, you have to buy accessories that are in high demand. Right now, Samsung and Tecno accessories are more in demand than other brands,” says Mukuya.

Apart from luxury accessories like phone cases and stickers, you need to have basic accessories like batteries, chargers and other spare phone parts.

He adds that sometimes basics sell luxury, so you have to have them at all costs. Mukuye adds that having phones in your store is also an added benefit.

For him, you can earn more than 1,000,000 Shs in a good month and at least 800,000 Shs in a bad month.

where they are purchased

Individuals buy from overseas, especially in Dubai and China, and goods are shipped within the country.

People who buy in bulk sell to those with little capital, although here very little profit is made since most of them sell to retailers.

“Glasses are very cheap here and you don’t have to waste money importing them because the price is almost the same,” says Hussein Kaketo of Hybrid Accessories.

Kaketo adds that other phone accessories are sourced mainly from Dubai and China. You can have a trusted source buy for you or go there yourself.

To buy things online you must have reliable sources because sometimes they display good materials in nice packages but ship fake ones.

For him, it’s also expensive in terms of shipping and paying revenue, so go ahead and make your own cheaper choices.

Target customers

While Kaketo targets higher caliber people who buy their products at high prices, Mukuya targets low-income locals and therefore sells at a relatively cheaper price.

The price difference can also be caused by the type of customers these people receive and the difference in rent and other services.

“Our biggest customers are women, especially young people. You can buy more than three phone cases to keep changing and come back after a month for more,” he adds.

What’s needed

Selling phone accessories requires good capital, although location still matters. If you need to rent in town, you will need three months rent ranging from 3 million to 6 million depending on whether you want a shared or personal store.

In downtown, Mukuya says proximity to the road or floor where you sell is also vital. The rent varies from Shs 200,000 to Shs 1,000,000 per month, again depending on whether the store is shared or not.

Mukuya says you can start with a capital of Shs 300,000 to Shs 400,000 less rent. You can use it to buy screen protectors and phone cases inside and gradually grow.

Advice

“You have to be very patient with customers because sometimes they are very boring, especially Indians, they want high quality things at very low prices,” Kaketo explains.

“It’s about working hard and spending less, because you won’t really succeed and progress if you spend more than you earn. The business pays off, but you have to save the small profits and reinvest to grow,” says Mukuya.

Antony Kwizera, who wins by calling customers in stores, says you have to be vigilant.

“On a good day, I can get Shs200,000 and Shs30,000-Shs100,000 on a bad day. To earn all that, you have to persuade customers, sometimes you guide them from afar to the shops because language matters” , he adds.

Challenges

Kaketo’s biggest challenge is people who need cheap stuff but buy expensive stuff.

“Someone will give their purchase price which is lower or exactly the same price as you bought the item at, and some don’t even understand when you explain,” he says.

He adds that sometimes the income is a little high when it comes to importing the accessories from abroad, which leads to reselling them at a high price.

Advice

To be successful at selling phone accessories, Kaketo says you need to have perseverance, be ready to show up for work in good times and bad.

“Every business has its ups and downs, so you have to stay put no matter what,” he explains.

For kwizera, you have to be convincing enough to earn more because for him, the more people he brings to buy, the more he earns.