Succeeding in Style: How to Start A Salon Business in Kenya

Discover the essential steps to turn your dream into a reality by setting up and running a successful professional beauty salon business in Kenya.

Carson O.
13 Min Read
Salon Business in KenyaCourtesy - freepik.com
Highlights
  • Register a legal business
  • Get Capital; Ksh.100,000+
  • Get a good location.
  • Purchase inventory, furniture and decor.
  • Remember to work on shelves and plumbing.

Are you looking forward to starting a beauty salon business but still can’t get your head straight on what you need to open such a business? If so, this post will answer most of the questions you have about this venture by taking you through how to start and run a professional beauty salon business in Kenya. All you need to do is stick to the end as we dive in.

Let’s get started!

What is a beauty Salon?

A beauty salon is simply a shop where hairdressers and beauticians work. In such places, clients get their hair done, alongside other popular services such as makeup, manicure, pedicure, etc. Beauty salons could also be referred to as beauty parlours, depending on your preference.

What do you need to start a beauty salon business?

To start a beauty salon/parlour business in Kenya, you will need:

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All businesses in Kenya are required by law to be registered under the Registrar of Companies. You will need to register a sole proprietorship which will cost you Ksh.950 for a name search and approval.

Further, you will need to obtain a single business permit from the county government offices. The cost of the permit will depend on the size of your business and analysis from your area ward rep. A small salon will cost Ksh5,000 – Ksh15,000 per year to license.

Depending on the county you choose to establish your business, you may also be required to acquire a health permit and a music license (MCSK) if you will play music in your parlour.

2. Get a Business Plan

You may be wondering, “Do I need a business plan to start a beauty parlour in Kenya?”

Well, YES and NO.

How come?

You see, getting a business plan has been shown to improve the chances of success for your business. However, let’s face it! You probably won’t lock yourself in your bedroom for one month working on a business plan.

Business plans help a great deal especially if you are seeking to start an extra-large enterprise that will need funding from traditional banks or government agencies. If this is what you looking forward to, then a business plan is a must-have.

Here is how you will benefit from a business plan:

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  1. Setting Clear Objectives – A business plan helps you define your goals and objectives for the laundromat. It allows you to outline what you want to achieve, whether it’s financial targets, customer satisfaction goals, market share objectives, or expansion plans.
  2. Understanding the Market – A comprehensive business plan involves market research, enabling you to gain insights into the local demand for laundry services, identify your target customer base, and assess the competition.
  3. Financial Planning – A business plan requires you to estimate the costs involved. This includes expenses for equipment, lease or purchase of premises, utility bills, staff wages, maintenance, marketing, and more.
  4. Marketing and Promotion Strategies
  5. Securing Funding or Partnerships

However, if your goal is to set up a small to moderate-scale beauty parlour, then there are many alternatives to business plans that will yield the same results.

One such example is mapping out a feasibility-viability-desirability map that will help you identify if people will want your product or service, and if would you make any money out of it.

3. Look for Capital

Starting a beauty salon will need a minimum capital investment of Ksh.100,000. The larger the capital, the larger your venture will be.

Note, however, that the amount of capital you invest in your startup is not directly proportional to the level of success you will achieve.

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Success in any business has its own set of rules as discussed in this post.

– How profitable is a salon business?

According to Kuza-One, salons have a net profit of 16% per month. Going by this rule, a small salon will yield Ksh16,000 per month and even more as it grows and expands.

On a global scale as depicted by sharpsheets.io, the profit margin of a beauty salon is around 8.2%. However, depending on the management, the profit margin can vary between 2% and 17%.

4. Get a good Location

A good physical location for your salon is critical to the success of your venture. When deciding to choose a particular place over another, there are a few things that you’ll need to keep in mind:

  1. Choose a space that will suit your needs: For instance, ask yourself whether you will have employees or you’ll run the business alone. If your answer is the latter, then a smaller space may be ideal for you.
  2. Prime area = Prime Cost: This means that if you choose to rent out a stall in the middle of town, you will likely encounter high rental fees, electricity and water bills. Note, however, that you don’t need an expensive room to succeed. You can acquire a space anywhere else as long as it is accessible.
  3. Make sure your location equally accommodates people travelling from different distances to your parlour.
  4. Accessible Parking: Make sure that your clients have adequate parking space. This will act as a bonus in attracting new clientele.
  5. Work on Plumbing: Salons and beauty parlours depend on water and with this, you will need to install sinks and proper drainage systems. If you are low on your budget, you can choose to rent out a place that was previously a salon as it may still have its plumbing in place.

#5. Furniture and Décor

Whether you like it or not, a beauty salon must exude beauty as clients walk in and with this, you must work on your furniture and décor.

Successful beauty salons often choose a colour scheme for their parlours that may also prove beneficial in branding and marketing. As you work on this, just remember not to overspend here.

This should be the least of your worries as you set up your new salon.

Nevertheless, as you work on furniture and décor, focus on purchasing durable furniture and proper lighting for your space.

6. Purchase Inventory

Here is an exhaustive list of what you will need to purchase as you set up your salon business:

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a) Hair Care Products

ItemQuantity NeededAverage Price (KES)
Hairdryer23,000 – 8,000
Flat Iron22,500 – 6,000
Curling Iron22,500 – 6,000
Hair Cutting Scissors41,500 – 4,000
Hairbrushes and CombsAssorted200 – 800
Hair Rollers and CurlersAssorted500 – 1,500
Hair Clips and PinsAssorted100 – 500
Hair Color and DyeAssorted500 – 1,500
Hair TreatmentsAssorted500 – 2,000
Shampoos and ConditionersAssorted500 – 2,000
Hair Extensions and WeavesVariesVaries

b) Nail Care:

ItemQuantity NeededAverage Price (KES)
Nail Clippers4200 – 500
Nail Files and BuffersAssorted50 – 200
Cuticle Pushers and Nippers4300 – 800
Nail Polish and LacquersAssorted200 – 800
Base Coats and Top CoatsAssorted200 – 500
Nail Polish Removers2100 – 300
Nail Art ToolsAssorted100 – 500
Nail Tips and FormsAssorted200 – 800
UV or LED Nail Lamps22,000 – 5,000
Manicure and Pedicure KitsAssorted1,000 – 3,000
Hand and Foot CreamsAssorted– 1,500

c) Skin Care:

ItemQuantity NeededAverage Price (KES)
Facial CleansersAssorted500 – 2,000
MoisturizersAssorted500 – 2,000
Facial Masks and PeelsAssorted500 – 2,000
Toner and AstringentsAssorted300 – 1,500
Serums and OilsAssorted500 – 2,000
Sunscreen and SunblockAssorted500 – 1,500
Exfoliators and ScrubsAssorted300 – 1,500
Facial Steamers13,000 – 8,000
Facial Massage ToolsAssorted100 – 500
Waxing ProductsAssorted200 – 1,000
Depilatory CreamsAssorted200 – 800
Tweezers2– 500

d) Makeup:

ItemQuantity NeededAverage Price (KES)
FoundationsAssorted500 – 2,000
ConcealersAssorted300 – 1,500
PowdersAssorted300 – 1,500
BlushesAssorted300 – 1,500
EyeshadowsAssorted200 – 1,000
EyelinersAssorted200 – 800
MascaraAssorted200 – 800
Lipsticks and Lip GlossesAssorted200 – 1,000
Makeup Brushes and SpongesAssorted100 – 500
Makeup Removers2100 – 300
False Eyelashes and AdhesiveAssorted200 – 500
Setting Sprays2300 – 800
Makeup PalettesAssorted– 3,000

e) Salon Furniture and Equipment:

ItemQuantity NeededAverage Price (KES)
Styling ChairsAssorted5,000 – 15,000
Salon Stations or WorkstationsAssorted10,000 – 30,000
Shampoo Chairs and SinksAssorted5,000 – 15,000
MirrorsAssorted2,000 – 5,000
Hairdressing Trolleys and CartsAssorted2,000 – 5,000
Nail Stations and Manicure TablesAssorted5,000 – 15,000
Pedicure Chairs and Foot BathsAssorted10,000 – 30,000
Waxing Beds or TablesAssorted3,000 – 8,000
Facial Steamers and Machines15,000 – 15,000
Massage Tables or ChairsAssorted5,000 – 15,000
UV or LED Lamps for Nails22,000 – 5,000
Sterilization EquipmentAssorted5,000 – 20,000

f) Salon Supplies and Accessories:

ItemQuantity NeededAverage Price (KES)
Towels and WashclothsAssorted100 – 500
Disposable Gloves and ApronsAssorted100 – 500
Disposable Spa SlippersAssorted50 – 200
Hairdressing Capes and ApronsAssorted200 – 800
Hair Rollers and Perm RodsAssorted200 – 800
Cotton Pads and SwabsAssorted50 – 200
Sanitizers and DisinfectantsAssorted200 – 1,000
Disposable ApplicatorsAssorted50 – 200
Disposable Pedicure LinersAssorted100 – 300
Retail ProductsAssortedVaries

Remember, these quantities and prices are approximate and may vary based on your specific needs and preferences. It’s always a good idea to research local suppliers and compare prices to find the best deals for your beauty salon in Kenya.

Conclusion

This article has delved into all you need for you to start and run a successful salon business in Kenya. By following the guidelines stipulated in this post, you will be on the right track as you set up your business.

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I am a multi-faceted professional with a strong foundation in Business and Finance, honed since 2020. Additionally, I possess a deep passion for automobiles, serving as an avid car enthusiast. In parallel to my diverse interests, I am also a dedicated student pursuing a career in the medical field.
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