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How to Start a Boutique Business in Kenya

Boutique business in Kenya is a trending business due to the love of fashion, especially by women. It is a profitable business if you get a good business location. The type of clothes your boutique is selling is a factor in the success of your business.

For instance, women clothes are usually in high demand compared to that of men. Therefore, selling women clothes can generate more sales. Boutique business is best suited in towns where there are a high number of potential customers. This is how to start a boutique business in Kenya.

What Do you Need to Start a Boutique Business in Kenya? 

Research the Market

It is crucial that you carry out a market research before venturing into the business. It will help you identify clothes that are in demand and a good business location. You also get to know where to source clothes at cheaper prices. It will also help you identify business risks and find ways to mitigate them. Talk to people who are in the business and learn the dos and don’ts.   

Write a Boutique Business Plan

Once you have researched the market, you can now put facts down on a paper. A business plan states the goals of any business. It should include startup costs, business location, type of clothes to sell, target customers and where to source clothes at cheaper prices and costs of running the business. 

Read more: How to write a business plan.

Identify a Target Group

Targeting the right customers will help you stock clothes in demand. A market research will help you to identify fast moving clothes. For instance, in a business location with a youthful population, you should stock youngster clothes. Also, the clothes your business will be selling like men’s wear, women clothes or baby clothes. 

Identify a Boutique Business Location

Before launching your business, find a good business location. Target the high income or middle income areas. It is because people in these areas tend to buy clothes more often. By any chance, they work in offices and need to have a bigger wardrobe.  

If you are planning to set up a boutique business in Nairobi, consider Moi Avenue, Village Market, Tom Mboya Street and Westlands as suitable boutique business locations.  

Read also: How to start a salon business. 

Find Reliable Boutique Suppliers 

Finding a steady and cheaper clothes supplier is a great deal for your business. It is because it will leave you with higher profit margins and also be in a better position to compete favorably with your competitors. Where to source your clothes depends with your business location.

Where to Buy Clothes to Start a Boutique in Kenya?

If you wish to set up your business near Nairobi, you can source new clothes from Eastleigh at relatively cheaper prices. Other places you can source clothes include Gikomba Market, Kongowea market in Mombasa. If you are dealing with imported clothes, you can import clothes from Dubai and Turkey.

Acquire Business Licenses

To operate any business in Kenya, you need to get a single business licenses and permits. Its cost varies from one county to the other. On average, it goes for Ksh 10,000 a year. You can get it from the county offices or the county council offices.

How to Arrange a Small Boutique

The way you arrange your boutique determines its success. Neat and well arranged boutiques tend to attract more customers. The kind of clothes you sell will determine the arrangement. For instance, if you are dealing with all types of clothes, you can have a separate area for women clothes, men clothes and baby clothes.

With that, categorize specific clothes to make it easy for customers to locate them. For instance, in the men’s clothes area, you can have an area for trousers, coats and shirts. It makes your boutique look organized.

Finally, make sure that your boutique has a changing area. It would be best if you have separate changing areas for men and women. It gives your customers the confidence to fit clothes comfortably before buying. Finally, ensure you have mirrors to assist customers see how they look when fitting clothes.

Market Your Boutique Business

Business marketing is important especially for a newly opened business. Tell people about your business, its location and what you are selling. You can market it through social media, posters and banners, business cards.

You can also use word of mouth marketing through your customers. If they like your services, they will spread a word about your business.  

How Much Does it Cost to Start a Boutique Business in Kenya?

The cost of starting a boutique business depends with its size, business location and type of clothes. For instance, if you are dealing with locally made clothes, the startup cost will be lower compared to that of imported clothes.

You can start a small boutique business selling locally made clothes for between Ksh 100,000 and Ksh 200,000 in smaller towns. In towns like Nairobi downtown, you will need over Ksh 500,000 startup cost. The cost of starting a boutique, apart from rent, is relatively the same regardless of location.

Is Owning a Boutique Profitable in Kenya?

Yes. A boutique is a profitable business if you find a good business location. On average, if your business is in a busy location, you can make a profit of between Ksh 1,500 and Ksh 3,000 in a day.

If you target the right group of customers and get a reliable and cheaper clothe supplier, your business will make higher profits. The boutique business tends to make more sales during Christmas festivities. As such, you need to have a huge stock during the month of December.

Unfortunately, the boutique business may not do well if it is located in a low income area. If you wish to start selling clothes in such an area, consider the mitumba business.

Summary of How to Start a Boutique Business in Kenya

To start a boutique business in Kenya, you need to research the market, plan your finances and other resources, identify a good business location, get high quality clothes from reliable suppliers and then launch your boutique business. 

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