A spaza shop is an informal convenience shop business in South Africa, usually run from home. They also serve the purpose of supplementing household incomes of the owners, selling everyday small household items.
I have practical experience of starting and running a spaza shop. Starting a spaza shop is not one of the most difficult things. It can be done by everyone, it does not require education besides basic literacy and math.
You first need to decide on where you will run your spaza shop from. Most foreigners in South Africa invest in building tuck shops or buying containers for their spaza shops.
Know the basic terminology of retail trade. Determine the core business of your store. Understand how to manage a spaza shop or small retail outlet as well as build a supply chain network. Know some basic principles of customer service and store promotion.
It is very important to have about 4 reliable suppliers. Suppliers differ from place to place, the best way to find them in your area is to do a little research. Wholesalers are your best bet.
Product quality, price, availability, reliability and customer service are all important factors in identifying a good supplier. A solid reputation is good indicator of this and the willingness to work with you to grow your business by selling more products to you.
A spaza shop in a very busy area can be able to make around R1 000 – R6 000 on a daily basis. This depends on the items it sells and their demand.
Spaza shop owners often start their businesses because they noticed a gap in their community or they have a passion, such as beer-brewing, that they wish to capitalise on.Many small businesses, like spaza shops, fail because they make mistakes that could have been avoided.