If you enjoy styling hair, performing manicures and making other people look good, opening your own hair salon could be the best decision you make in your life. You only need to start small, build a clientele and grow big slowly as word about your good services and talent spreads. Does this sound like something you’d like to do? Keep reading the next few lines.

Hair Salon Business in Kenya

Salon business can be done anywhere in the country although big towns tend to provide the best growth opportunities. If you’re in the rural areas, then locating your business in a busy market center is highly recommended.

Step 1: Getting Started

Of course, if you’re going to rely on your own manpower to run the business you need to be trained in matters of beauty. Alternatively, you can hire a trusted salonist and take up the managerial role.

Then you need to buffer up your savings just so your business has enough fuel to run on. The least amount required to get off the blocks is Ksh.100,000 which is a very conservative estimate for those who really want to start small.

Step 2: Shop, book and prepare your premises

It is best to locate your business premises in an area with high foot traffic for maximum visibility. This however means you have to contend with high rent prices and probably goodwill requirements.

A room of 500 square feet will be adequate for a small set up. Rent prices may vary from as much as Ksh100 per square feet in Westlands Nairobi, Ksh25 per square feet in Machakos, to as little as Ksh10 per square feet in upcountry shopping centers. Basically you should set aside Ksh20,000 as premises charges for starting.

You will also need to call in a carpenter for a typical salon fitout. This will cost you an extra Ksh20,000.

Step 3: Shop, evaluate and buy salon equipment

The kind of equipment you purchase will depend on the amount of capital you want to invest and the types of services you want to offer. For starters, a budget of Ksh60,000 would help in finding some basic equipment. In that case, your equipment list will look something like this:

(a)Adjustable chair – Ksh20,000 each

(b)Hair dryer – Ksh12,000

(c)Plastic chairs – Ksh750 per pc

(d)Flat iron – Ksh3,000

(e)Water heater – Ksh3,000

(f)Water storage tank – Ksh1,000

(g)Cerriotti Blow dryer – Ksh2,000

(h)Towels and aprons – Ksh1,500

(i)WAHL Kinyozi machine – Ksh3,500

(j)Sink seat (Local made) – Ksh10,000 est

(k)Transport and miscellaneous – Ksh3,250

TOTAL Ksh60,000/=

You can shop for these equipment and supplies the Perida Business Center along Dubois Road Nairobi, Supermarkets or Best Lady shops in a town near you. Alternatively you can shop online on OLX or Jumia.

Additional equipment you will need to buy as your business expands include: imported sink seats, steamer, sterilizer, foot spa, trolley, towel warmer and a TV set.

Step 4: Get licensed

You will require a single business permit from your county government to operate. The cost of it will depend on the size of your business and from an analysis from your area ward rep. A small salon will cost Ksh5,000 – Ksh15,000 per year to license.

Step 5: Get Started

Open your shop, do a good job and success will follow. Use the first 20 months to build a name for yourself and also to expand your establishment by re-injecting your capital. You can even hire more workers and pay them on commission.

How much to invest

You can start with as little as Ksh100,000 and keep re-injecting your profit as the business grows.

How much profit

Typically, salons have a net profit of 16% per month. Going by this rule, a small salon can earn you Ksh16,000 per month and even more as it grows and expands. That is sufficient to double your initial investment in just one year.

Where to get customers

Apart from the usual walk-in customers, you can market to your “chama” friends. Word of mouth marketing and referrals are your best bets.

Final Word

It is not that difficult to start your own hair salon in Kenya even if you have a small budget. All you need to do is put lots of hard work and perseverance in addition to scanning your competition and offering better services.

The potential for a salon is enormous. You can make millions. You can employ many people. Most importantly, you get to earn as you do something you love.