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How to Start a Tailoring Business in Kenya

Vincent Nyoike
Vincent Nyoike Kenyan SMEs

Clothe tailoring business is a profitable business you can start in Kenya with little capital. The business has been in existence for decades. Clothes are basic needs and from time to time, they get torn and need repair. If you have the skill, you can help people to mend their clothes and make money. 

You can start a small tailoring business at home and avoid expenses like rent and business permits. With time, when your business is big enough, you can expand your tailoring business and rent a business premises. 

How to Start a Tailoring Business from Home  

First, to get started with tailoring, you need to have the skill. If you have the passion in tailoring, you can take a short course from a vocational training center or from a local tailor. Once you have been trained, practice by mending, or making clothes your clothes and those of your family members for free before venturing into a business.

First, you need to have a sewing machine. You can buy a new one or a second hand. You can use it to practice how to make clothes. Once you have perfected the skill, you can start making clothes for customers at a fee. Start by charging a small fee to attract customers and have confidence in your tailoring skills. 

Once people like your services, you will start getting many clients. Customer satisfaction is crucial and people will start to spread a word about your business. It will help you get new customers and retain the existing ones. 

Once you have built enough customer base and your revenues are enough to meet operational costs, you can launch your tailoring business. You can move your business from home and open a stall from where you will be operating.  To move the business from home, you need to do the following. 

Read also: How to start a boutique business. 

Find a Suitable Business Location

Clothes tailoring business is best suited for areas with many households. It can also thrive well near an institution like a college or in a market center. Tailoring business that are situated in market centers get many customers especially during the market days.

If you wish to start your business in a town, look for a place near a dry cleaning business or a boutique. You are likely to get customers who want to have the clothes they just bought slimmed. 

Write a Tailoring Sewing Business Plan

You need to have an elaborate business plan to help you launch a business. It is important you plan your business well before launching one. It will help you foresee business risks and find ways to mitigate them when they come.

A good business plans should state the following. 

  • Business name 
  • Startup capital 
  • Sources of startup capital 
  • Business location 
  • Tailoring business requirements 
  • Business risks, weaknesses and strengths 

You also need to list down services you will be offering in your tailoring business. You can offer the following services: 

  • Clothe repairs 
  • Ironing 
  • Sewing clothes 
  • Slimming new clothes

Launch Your Sewing Business 

The final thing is to launch your tailoring business. You need to make sure that it complies with the law. For instance, you need to have a single business permit. You can get one from the County council offices for Ksh 5,000. 

Finally, make sure to market your business. If your were previously operating from home, let your customers know where you moved your business. Continue providing quality services and you will get more customers. 

Read also: How to start a laundry business. 

How Much Does it Cost to Start a Tailoring Shop 

You can start a small sewing business with Ksh 25,000 startup capital. The following is startup capital breakdown.

  • Sewing machine – Ksh 10,000
  • Business permit – Ksh 5,000
  • Scissors - Ksh 500 
  • Iron box – Ksh 1,500
  • Ironing board – Ksh 5,000

You start a small clothe tailoring business with Ksh 10,000 and grow your business as your customers and demand increase. It is always best to start small and expand when it is necessary.

Is Tailoring Business Profitable?

Tailoring is one of the profitable businesses in Kenya. Also, it is a business you are sure not to miss customers. If you are operating a small sewing business from home, you can make around Ksh 10,000 per month. If you open a small tailoring stall, you can be making Ksh 15,000 profit in a month. The profits can go as high as Ksh 30,000 every month if you are operating in a large town with many customers. 

To succeed in the business, you can offer other services like ironing apart from sewing clothes. It will help you learn, get more customers and give your business an opportunity to expand. 

Challenges in the Clothe Tailoring Business

The main challenge that many tailors face is competition from mitumba clothes and boutiques. Unlike before, people now like buying new clothes as opposed to buying locally tailor-made clothes. Most tailors get small jobs like repairing torn clothes, which may not generate enough income. To generate enough revenues, you need to repair many clothes.

Seek to get a stall inside an institution like a college or a high school. You will be serving a large population which will help you make enough revenues from clothe repairs. 

Read also: How to start a mitumba business. 

Conclusion

Knowing how to start a small sewing business from home will help your business transition into a large business. To make it in the business, you need tailoring skills and trust from your customers. You need to maintain cleanliness in your sewing business. Customers fear taking clothes to tailors for fear of them getting bedbugs. Finally, you need to market your business to attract customers.