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How to Start a Barber Shop Business in Kenya

Vincent Nyoike
Vincent Nyoike Kenyan SMEs

A kinyozi business in Kenya is a profitable venture with a ready market. Many Kenyan men and some women get a haircut once in a month. The startup capital for a small barber shop is relatively low compared to other businesses.

With a limited capital, you can start a kinyozi business with a shaving machine and a chair only. However, make sure to open a comfortable barbershop business to give your clients a better experience and to retain them.

This is how you can start an executive barber shop business in Kenya.

Learn How to Barb

It is important that you learn the barbing skill. Barbing is an art and if customers like your skill, they will keep on coming back. Giving clients an ugly haircut will push them away forever. You also need to learn different hairstyles like hair trimming.  

You can enroll for a short course in barbing to ensure you perfect the skill. Before you start shaving customers, you need to have perfected your barbing skill.

No customer wants to get a shave from a learner and end up with a funny haircut. The success of your business will depend on how you have perfected the skill.

Read also: How to start a hair salon business. 

Write a Barber Shop Business Plan

You need to write a barbershop business plan that will help you identify startup costs, business location and its necessities. A business plan will help you to plan for uncertainties and how you can compete with your competitors.

Write your business goals and services you will be offering in your kinyozi. Make sure to identify services that are in demand within your locality before starting an executive barbershop. There is no need to offer services that are not in demand.  

Find a Business Location and Rent a Shop

You need to find a suitable business location that is easily accessible and has high foot traffic. A barbershop business can do well in a town or a market center where there are many people. Make sure that your barbershop is visible.

The room should be spacious enough to have a sitting area for customers as their wait to their turn to get a haircut.

Furnish Your Barbershop Business

Customers like to get a haircut in a smart and comfortable kinyozi. As such, you need to furnish and partition the barbershop so that it has a sitting area and a shaving area. Make sure the walls are repainted. Then fit mirrors on the walls for customers to see how they look after a haircut.

Read also: How to start a computer sales business. 

Acquire Business Permits

You need to have a business license to operate any business in Kenya. You can get a single business permit from County Offices or the county council offices. The cost of a single business permit varies from one county to the other.

On average, it costs Ksh 5,000 annually to get a single business permit. Operating a business without a business permit will put you in constant conflicts with county council.

Develop a Pricing Plan

You need to develop pricing for different hairstyles. The price varies depending on a hairstyle, location and amenities in the barbershop and after shave services.

For instance, you need to determine the price of services like a haircut, beard shave, after shave services like massage and cleaning services.

Before you start after shave services, it is important you know if they are in demand. For instance, you will hardly get customers requesting for massage services in rural areas. But if you are in a busy town, these services are usually in high demand. Consider your competitors’ prices and your business location when setting barbing prices.    

Cost of Starting a Barber Shop in Kenya 

The cost of starting a barbershop depends on its size, business location and comfort. You can start a small barber shop with Ksh 50,000. However, if you want to start an executive barbershop, you will need at least Ksh 200,000.

If you have limited capital, you can start a small kinyozi business and then expand it as your customers increase.

What You Need to Open a Kinyozi Business in Kenya  

 For a small kinyozi business, you need clippers, shears, combs, hairdryers, sterilizer, razors, towels, water heater, hair brush, hair spray, mirrors and after shave lotion. You also need a rotating chair to make your work easier when shaving a customer.

To open a barbershop business in Kenya, you need several items.

The following is the price of the items you need in your kinyozi business. 

  • Clippers - Ksh 3,000
  • Sterilizer - Ksh 10,000
  • Water heater and storage - Ksh 5,000
  • Apron and towels - Ksh 2,000
  • Barber chair - Ksh 15,000
  • Single business permit - Ksh 5,000
  • Hair spray, spirit and after shave lotion - Ksh 1,000
  • Basins and combs - Ksh 5,000
  • Branding ad partitioning - Ksh 10,000
  • Customer waiting chairs - Ksh 10,000

Read also: How to start movie shop business. 

Is Barber Shop Profitable in Kenya?

A barbershop is a profitable business in Kenya with a ready market. With a good business location, you can make at least Ksh 25,000 profit in a month. With an executive barbershop with amenities, you can be making over Ksh 50,000 profit monthly. The interesting thing about barbershops is that they never lack customers even during hard economic times.