How to Start an Executive Barbershop in Kenya in 2022 | Cost & Benefits

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When I started writing about small profitable businesses in Kenya I got these questions a lot, “Kenn, what’s the most profitable business in Kenya?

What business can I start with 20K to make Ksh. 1,000 daily?

What is the best business in Kenya…

In my mind, all three were tricky questions because — while one small business may be profitable to a specific entrepreneur, it may not be as much profitable to the other.

I did not realize this so soon and so my answers kept giving conflicting looks.

One day I’d say, saloon business was the best, the next car hire and/or tents for hire… you name it.

Not until last weekend when I was at my favorite Kinyozi (Wineca Executive Barbershop – United mall Kisumu).

The shop was full of executive clients waiting for executive cuts.

And I thought to myself; if there are 15 seats in this shop — all serving — each client paying 300 for a cut,

Then by the time we all walk out the house makes Ksh. 4,500.

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In like what, 30 minutes?

Not so much money after all, right?

Now assume — each barber serves 5 clients per day.

Give or take, this shop makes Ksh. 22,500 per day.

Hypothetically.

If those figures don’t make this business the best then I don’t know what does.

Here are 5 more reasons why the Executive Barbershop Hustle is yet the best small business in Kenya.

    • The Kenyan middle class is growing and with it, more people are willing to pay more money for executive things – haircuts being on the list.
    • As an executive barbershop owner, you can make between Ksh. 300 and Ksh. 1,000 per cut depending on your locations. For example, I pay Ksh. 300 for my haircut in Wineca Kisumu — Ksh. 500 for the same cut in TRM’s Kings and Queens Salon (Nairobi) and even more in other malls.
    • With time, haircut customers develop personal relationships with barbers — where the dresser understands the client’s styles and vice versa. This is an advantage to the house because you are guaranteed to get repeat business if the last cut was good.
    • Executive barbershop business does not require excess capital to start.
    • Manpower to run the business is easily available.

What You Need to Start an Executive Barbershop in Kenya.

  1. You need a trading license.

A trading license is the local authority license offered by county governments (get the license on eCitizen).

Prices for these licenses vary by county.

You can get a trading license for as low as Ksh. 3,000 and as high as Ksh. 15,000 depending on the location and size of your business.

2. Music Copyright of Kenya Licence.

This license is important if you will have a TV or radio playing in your shop.

You can get the license for Ksh. 2,000 from MCSK offices.

Types of Equipment Needed for Kinyozi (Executive Barbershops).

1. Clippers – Shaving Machine.

Clippers are used to shave the hair.

The cheapest shaving machine goes for Ksh. 1,600.

Shaving machines for executive barber shops

2. Barbershop Seats.

These are seats customized for the Kinyozi environment.

You can make them locally or order from office and supply stores. 

Barber seat prices range from Ksh. 3,000 if made locally and Ksh. 5,000 if imported.

Here are some samples: –

executive barber shop seats

3. Styling Station. 

This is the cabinet that sits in front of the client.

Often equipped with a mirror, drawers, and other compartments to hold barber tools.

You can make these stations locally or buy them ready-made.

4. Other Equipment & Tools to Buy for the Startup.

You will need a sterilizer to kill germs and to maintain equipment hygiene. Sterilizers go for as little as Ksh. 5,000.

You’ll also need: –

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  • Towels.
  • Combs.
  • Cream oil and gel.
  • Gowns.
  • Heaters.
  • TV and Dstv Subscription (Optional).

Cost to Open a Barbershop in Kenya.

Barbershop start-up expenses depend on various factors like: –

  • The locations of the store – this plays a major role in your rent.
  • How executive do you want your barbershop to be?
  • The size of your store.

Do you want it to have just one seat or 15 would be ideal?

  • Cost of equipment and fittings.

On average you will need Ksh. 1,000,000 to start the best executive kinyozi in your hood but even Ksh. 200,000 can do the trick just fine.

Do you need more info on this business?

Kenn Omollo is an investment writer and a business management consultant at Joon Online Limited. Reach him at - kenn@joon.co.ke

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