Hardware stores in South Africa provide a variety of goods like building materials, plumbing supplies, electrical products, tools, and hardware equipment. A hardware store is a very lucrative business to start in South Africa, with huge profits. Hardware stores cater for both large and small projects. These projects range from small home improvements to big construction projects. The tools and materials needed to complete these types of projects are available at hardware stores. Setting up a hardware store can be a very rewarding experience. However, it is critical to remember that in order to be successful in the long run, you must constantly expand your business. These days, hardware stores have to offer more than just tools and building supplies. It is important to find ways to differentiate your shop from the competition to draw customers’ attention to your business. This article will outline how to start a hardware store business in South Africa, and the hardware store business plan – PDF, Word and Excel.

Market Research

It’s important that you carry out market research before you start the hardware store business. Important decisions to make include deciding on the location of your business, the products you will offer, your target market and the size of your business. Understand your target market, and what kind of products they want. Assess the competition at your proposed location. You should always carry out a feasibility study, market research and write a business plan before you venture into any business. Do not make the mistake of starting a hardware store business before carrying out research and without a good hardware store business plan.

When setting up a hardware store, you need to understand your customers. If you do not understand your customers, you will have a hard time making informed decisions on where to open your business, where to locate your store, and the right hardware products to sell. You must know who your customers are, and why they would buy from you. When conducting market research, look for common characteristics and interests among the people you intend to target. Gather as much information as you can about your potential clients. Some important factors to consider include their age in terms of generation, where they live, and their spending habits. This will help you understand which geographic areas to target and figure out what hours are most important for your customer service and sales reps to be available. That information will help you schedule your marketing promotions offline and online to ensure the best visibility. Understanding spending power and patterns will help you set competitive prices for your hardware products. You must also learn about your potential clients’ hobbies and interests, especially if they are DIY junkies or only buy hardware products when something is broken. Understanding their interests will also help you find ways to keep your clients engaged.

Hardware store Business Model

A hardware store typically sells hand and power tools, building materials, fasteners, keys, locks, hinges, chains, electrical supplies, plumbing supplies, cleaning products, housewares, utensils, and paint. The products and services your hardware store will offer can range from small nails to power tools. To make more profits, you can earn additional revenue by delivering these products to your customers or by holding DIY tutorials. When looking for customers, consider homeowners, contractors, and DIY consumers. Take advantage of social media marketing by posting videos on TikTok, Instagram, Facebook, and LinkedIn. It is much easier to attract these kinds of customers, who will need to source supplies for their projects. You can also set up trade accounts with local tradesmen to earn consistent business. Making your business more profitable would mean supplementing your main source of income with other services. You can partner with a local carpenter and offer installation services in addition to the carpeting products you sell. You can also do this for windows, doors, roofing, or any other major project.

Location & Premises

Business premises that have a high ceiling are ideal for hardware stores to create ample storage space. The premises also need to be quite spacious in terms of width, you might have to use a forklift to move large and heavy building materials. The space needs to be large enough to fit all your products. Your premises should also be easily accessible by trucks, as this creates convenience when delivering your products from suppliers or when customers are collecting their products.

Location is an important decision to make, and it’s determined by your target market. There are several places when you can locate your hardware store. People are always looking to improve their homes by extending them or renovating them. Residential areas are ideal places to set up shop. A hardware store at a residential area will need you to understand your market so that you can offer exactly what they need. Explore unlikely locations such as rural areas. Houses are expensive and land is also expensive in urban areas some have resorted to building their dream houses at rural areas where land is ample and building is much cheaper. Rural areas that still don’t have electricity and running water have less construction and developments happening compared to rural areas with electricity and running water. There are new development projects that take years to complete due to the amount of construction and the amount of work involved. The work is mostly completed in phases and can take up to 8 years to complete. Opening a hardware store close to a new development project can prove to be lucrative. Your hardware store business plan should cater for the costs of renting or buying premises.

Products for Hardware Store Business

Hardware shops in South Africa sell a variety of products including building materials, plumbing materials, tools, safety materials, agricultural equipment and electrical products. Examples of hardware products include Brickforce , Cement, Door Frames, Window Frames , Doors , Glass, Asbestos , Ceiling Products , Tiles, Abrasives , Adhesives , Brushware, Hinges , Nuts, Bolts, Nails, Screws,  Sockets , Cables, Fencing & Wire , Lawnmowers , Wheelbarrows , Hoses, DIY Hand Tools , Screwdrivers , Spanner Sets , Paint, Water Tanks, Timber Boards, Bathroom Accessories, Toilet Seats , Safety Boots & Shoes, Pipes, Hand tools,  Power tools,  Garden tools etc. The kind of products which you sell will depend on your targeted market and the amount of capital which you have. The products can be sourced from South Africa manufacturers, Distributors and International Suppliers. 

Hardware Shop Business Plan South Africa

Inventory Management

Taking control of your stock is an important part of running any kind of business that handles inventory. If you do not get that right, it will negatively impact your profit margins. For a hardware store business, you need stock control software that is especially built for your industry. In order to get the best possible results for your business, your stock management software should work seamlessly with both your point of sale and accounting functions. This will help you efficiently and accurately track the movement of stock through your hardware store. Consider an efficient inventory management software for your hardware store that can highlight areas of your business for improvement. Inventory management will help you prevent employee theft and keep track of your inventory. A proper stock management for hardware stores will enable your company to track best-selling versus underperforming products. This way you can analyze your sales and profits and potentially revise any pricing strategies that aren’t generating maximum profit.

Competitive Analysis

When you open a hardware store, you will be competing with a number of other stores, all of whom are vying for the largest market share. In order for you to stand out, you need to conduct a market analysis. You must know who your direct and indirect competitors are, as well as the products and services they offer, and who their customers are. You must find out what your competitor’s strengths and weaknesses are. A competitive analysis will also assist you in figuring out where you fit in the market. There are a number of opportunities that you can take advantage of, which a competitive analysis can help with. You need to figure out where there are gaps within the hardware market. There are various big and small hardware stores in the country that you will compete with, so it is important to conduct a competitive analysis and find your place in the market.

Staff & Management

The number of employees you need will depend on the size of your hardware store business. The is need for finance/accounting personnel who will be responsible for all the day to day transaction accounting for the hardware store business. This will include the tracking of all transactions and the management of cash flow, and ensuring there are enough funds available to meet the day to day payments.

Operations & logistics personnel are responsible for coordinating with suppliers and sourcing all the products which will be sold in the hardware, and arranging delivery of sold products to customers. They are also responsible for inventory control, ensuring that the shop has all the products in stock and in the right quantities, and determining when to place new orders. You also require cashiers and hardware shop assistants. Your hardware shop business plan should cater for the salaries of your employees.

Knowledgeable staff members will add value to your team by helping the customers buy the correct products. There is a wide range of products available at hardware stores, customers often get confused. Anyone can easily find themselves making small blunders such as purchasing wall tiles instead of floor tiles. If you have inexperienced staff members on your team their training program should focus more on learning about the different products sold in the store so they are able to give informed advice to customers.

Sales and Marketing Plan

There are different kinds of hardware stores that sell various products, and then there are stores that specialize in specific types of hardware, such as plumbing supplies or electrical products. One way to stand out is by specializing in a specific type of hardware product. You can make your store more appealing to customers looking for a particular kind of product. This can also make your store more efficient by stocking specific products you need. Another way to make your hardware store business stand out, is by offering products that your customers can’t find at other stores. Providing unique or hard-to-find products can help you set your store apart from the competition and attract new customers looking for specific products. It can also help you create a sense of exclusivity, making your store more appealing to customers. You can also do this by catering to a specific audience. This could be focusing on customers looking for high-end products or catering to a specific demographic, such as do-it-yourselfers or professional contractors. By focusing on a specific audience, you are able to create a more targeted marketing strategy and better understand your customers’ needs. This will help you improve your store’s product selection as well as create a more enjoyable shopping experience for your customers.


A hardware business has multiple sources of customers, these include; building & civil construction, home and business renovations, small DIY projects, agriculture, and maintenance work. All these projects can’t be completed without a hardware store. This type of business has the advantage of offering services to a market that’s totally dependent on it. Having a reliable market makes you feel more secure and confident, you feel less anxious about the possibilities of failure. You already have a reliable market, it’s all up to you to make sure that you are ahead of your competition. Studying what your competitors do with the intention to see what you can do better will help you get ahead.

Many individuals are constructing houses in South Africa, and are always in need of the building materials.   From time to time individuals carry out improvements, repairs and upgrades on their properties, and this requires hardware products. Other potential customers include farmers, organisations, schools, companies, construction companies, housing cooperatives and the government.


For an in-depth analysis of the hardware shop business in South Africa, purchase our hardware store business plan. We decided to introduce the business plans after noting that many South Africans were venturing into the hardware business without a full understanding of the industry, market, how to run the business, the risks involved, profitability of the business and the costs involved, leading to a high failure rate of their businesses.

Our business plan will make it easier for you to launch and run a hardware shop business successfully, fully knowing what you are going into, and what’s needed to succeed in the business. It will be easier to plan and budget as the hardware shop business plan will lay out all the costs involved in setting up and running the hardware business. The business plan is designed specifically for the South African market.


The hardware store business plan can be used for many purposes including:

  • Raising capital from investors/friends/relatives
  • Applying for a bank loan
  • Start-up guide to launch your hardware shop business
  • As a hardware store project proposal
  • Assessing profitability of the hardware stores business
  • Finding a business partner
  • Assessing the initial start-up costs so that you know how much to save
  • Manual for current business owners to help in business and strategy formulation


The business plan includes, but not limited to:

  • Market Analysis
  • Industry Analysis
  • 5 Year Automated Financial Statements [ Income statements, cash flow statements, balance sheets, monthly cash flow projections (3 years monthly cash flow projections, the remaining two years annually),break even analysis, payback period analysis, start-up costs, financial graphs, revenue and expenses, Bank Loan Amortisation]
  • Marketing Strategy
  • Risk Analysis
  • SWOT & PEST Analysis
  • Operational Requirements
  • Operational Strategy
  • Why some South Africans in the hardware business fail, so that you can avoid their mistakes
  • Ways to raise capital to start your hardware store business in South Africa
  • Directory (Contact details of hardware products suppliers)

The Hardware Store Business Plan package consist of 4 files

  1. Hardware Store Business Plan – PDF file (Comprehensive – 83 pages)
  2. Hardware Store Business Plan – Editable Word File (Comprehensive – 83 pages)
  3. Hardware Store Business Plan Funding Version – Editable Word File (Short version for applying for a loan – 48 pages)
  4. Hardware Store Business Plan Automated Financial Statements – (Editable Excel file)

The financial statements are automated. This implies that you can change eg the markup, salaries etc, and all the other financial statements will automatically adjust to reflect the change. 


We decided to make the business plan affordable to anyone who would want to start the business, and the price for the pre-written business plan is only 500 Rand.

We have several payment methods which you can use.

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The business plan package is a zipped compressed file containing the PDF, Word and Excel documents. To open the package after downloading it, just right click, and select Extract All. If you have any problems in downloading and opening the files, email us on sales@bizbolts.co.za and we will assist you.

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If you want to purchase multiple business plans at once using Instant EFT then  click here: Business Plans Store

The business plan package is a zipped compressed file containing the PDF, Word and Excel documents. To open the package after downloading it, just right click, and select Extract All. If you have any problems in downloading and opening the files, email us on sales@bizbolts.co.za and we will assist you.

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