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How to Start a Mitumba Business in Kenya

Daisy Neema
Daisy Neema SME

The mitumba business generates significant revenue to the Kenyan economy and has created employment opportunities for the youth. There are many families making a living by selling mitumba clothes. It is an easy business to set up since it requires little startup capital, no educational requirements, and there is always a ready market. 

Also Read:  How Caroline Njeri paid her college school fees selling mitumba clothes

Factors to Consider When Starting a Mitumba Business

There are factors you need to consider when starting a profitable mitumba business in Kenya. First, you need to have a mitumba business plan that will should list startup costs, marketing strategies, future cashflow projections, risks and strengths of the mitumba business. 

Mitumba Business Startup Capital

The startup capital for a mitumba business depends on its size and location. You can start a small second hand business with  Ksh 5,000 on the streets. For a medium second hand clothes business, you need between Ksh 20, 000 and Ksh 100, 000 and over Ksh 100, 000 for a large business. However, it depends on how deep you can dig into your pockets.

Identify the Target Market

Before you can decide on the niche to concentrate on, it is essential to identify your target market. Understanding your customers' age, preference, purchasing frequency will help you know the types of clothes to sell. Additionally, it will help you set reasonable prices for second hand clothes. Your colleagues, friends, relatives and neighbors can be your customers.

Also Read: How to start a movie shop in Kenya

Choose a Strategic Location

Choosing an excellent location for your mitumba business will help you maximize profits. It will be best to locate your store in an accessible location. If your target customers are college students, locate your business near an learning institution. You can run the business in stalls, shops, street vending, or an online store.

Setting up online stores is the new normal in business. You can decide to sell your mitumba clothes by advertising them on social media. It is cheaper to run your business online since you will not need to pay rent, business licenses and permits, and electricity bills. You only need to finance marketing expenses to reach your target customers.

Strategic areas in Nairobi where you can start a mitumba business include Gikomba, Muthurwa, Ngara, Kawangware, Umoja, Mlolongo, Rwaka, Githurai, and Kasarani. In Mombasa, you can start a mitumba business at Kongowea market, Majengo market, Buxton market, Chaani market, and Kisauni.

Also Read: How to start a retail shop in Kenya

Identify a Reliable Supplier

Finding a reliable supplier at lower prices is essential to start a mitumba business. You buy stock in bales or pick individual items from the suppliers. It will depend on how much budget you have. On the other hand, you can decide to import clothes from developed countries like Australia, Japan, Canada, China, Germany, the UK, European countries, and the USA.

Mitumba clothes are graded according to wear and tear and packed in bales. Mitumba suppliers sell clothes using the following categories.

  • Grade A/Crème Bale: Clothes in this category are new and have store labels on them. In most cases, they were bought, but never worn and were taken to charity pick-up points to be donated to developing countries. Crème bales can cost about Ksh. 50, 000.
  • Grade B: They may have been worn several times but are still in good condition. They are usually cheaper compared to crème bale.
  • Grade C: This category consists of clothes with minor defects that can be corrected.
  • Grade D: Grade D second-hand clothes come with many defects such as cuts and are the cheapest.

Setting Prices for your Mitumba Clothes 

Setting clothe prices depends on several factors. First, the category of clothes you are selling. Clothes in the crème bale category are usually expensive. However, it takes good salesmanship to set fair prices. This will help you get customers and make profit at the same time.

The income level of your target customers will also determine the price of mitumba clothes. Setting high prices for low-income consumers or college students will make you lose customers. Price setting largely depends on your customers' demography.

Read also: How to start a day care center. 

Is Mitumba Business Profitable in Kenya?

Yes. With a mitumba business, you can make a profit of 50% with a suitable location with many customers like near colleges or in market centers. The startup cost is low and you can start with little capital and grow your business over time. Its expenses are less since you only need to pay for licenses and permits. You can opt to sell from a store or open market centers. 

Conclusion

The mitumba business in Kenya is a no get-rich-quick scheme. As such, you will need to plan ahead, manage the business well, employ the right marketing strategies, and have great commitment. You will need to be flexible and adapt to seasonal changes. An eye for attractive clothes will help you win the competition. That is how to start mitumba business in Kenya.