How to start a bulk SMS business in Kenya


Bulk SMS business is one of the best businesses to start in Kenya today, the only issue is how to start the business.

Bulk SMS reselling simply entails buying branded SMS units in large quantities and selling them to customers at slightly increased rates. For instance, if you buy 5,000 units for Ksh 3,000(at the rate of Ksh 0.6 per unit) and then sell to customers at the rate of Ksh 1.2 per unit, you will make 100 percent profit after selling all 5,000 units.

Most of the companies in Kenya are using Bulk SMS services to notify or send information to their clients. Betting companies, supermarkets, banks and insurance firms are among those who seriously need this service.

You don’t need any formal qualifications to become a bulk SMS reseller, and you don’t need more than a PC (or tablet), a reliable internet connection, and a little cash to get started. Once you have all these resources, then you need to follow these steps to start your own bulk SMS reselling business:

  1. Register with a bulk SMS wholesaler

Since you will be buying and selling custom SMS units, you will need to register with a custom SMS wholesaler from whom you will buy your SMS units. Most wholesalers will provide you with your own bulk SMS reselling platform, which will serve as the portal through which your customers can buy SMS units from you and send them out as well.

You will most likely be charged a fee for the SMS reselling platform set up for you by the wholesaler, and this fee varies among wholesalers. Be sure to search the web for reviews about any wholesaler before choosing them.

  1. Buy custom SMS units

After registering a reseller account with a wholesaler, you will need to buy a specific volume of custom SMS units to start with. You can start with 10,000 units. The wholesaler will then credit your account with the number of units you purchased and send you guidelines for setting up reselling portal.

  1. Customize your SMS reselling platform

By default, your bulk SMS reselling website will be a clone of the wholesaler’s website. So, you will need to customize and tweak it to your taste. You will add your own business name, slogan, logo, and other content.

And you will add your contact information so that potential customers can reach you easily. Although you can do the tweaking yourself, as it requires no technical skills, you may hire a professional to help you come up with a fascinating design.

  1. Promote your business

You will never attract customers if no one knows your business exists. So, you will need to promote your business through various platforms; online and offline.

Print fliers and handbills promoting your bulk SMS reselling business. Spread word of your business on social media. Collaborate with owners of blogs and websites that your potential customers visit regularly, and promote your business. You can also consider paid adverts on online platforms.

  1. Pitch potential customers

Another proven strategy for landing big value customers is to pitch them. This involves sending them proposals explaining how custom bulk SMS can help them. As for businesses, you can let them know how bulk SMS can help boost their interaction with customers and ultimately help them grow.

You can also pitch religious organizations or associations that have hundreds to thousands of members. The rule here is to highlight the benefits that they will derive by patronizing your business.

You can only make substantial profit from bulk SMS reselling by targeting big value customers. Aside that they will order huge numbers of SMS units, they will patronize you for a long term, as long as they remain satisfied with your services. So, landing 5-10 big value customers is far better than attracting 50-100 individual customers who buy small quantities of SMS units at scanty intervals.

If you want to start your own bulk SMS company and avoid buying reseller package, you need to first get a license from Communication Authority of Kenya, then approach Safaricom for agency business. If the telecom company gives you a go ahead, you’ll sign an agreement with them on terms of business. You will then set a platform where the business is conducted.