You hear big salon names, and you’re startled – they all began small and grew with time. You can start a salon business in Kenya and expand to unimaginable heights.
To open a salon business in Kenya, you need between Kshs 50,000 and Kshs 2,000,000. You can specialize in hairstyling, nail art, makeup, massage therapy, or skincare. Alternatively, you can combine any of these options to increase your profitability.
According to a study, a salon owner can earn Kshs 2,000 to Kshs 10,000 daily. While this highly depends on competence, factors like location, customer service, and capacity determine your salon’s profitability.
In this guide, you will learn the following:
- What is a Salon Business all about?
- Benefits of owning a salon business
- The requirements for opening a salon business in Kenya
- Tips for establishing a profitable salon
Let’s take an inside look.
Salon Business In Kenya: What You Need To Know
Also known as a beauty salon, a salon business is a premise that offers cosmetic treatments and services to men and women.
Popularly known for haircare, the salon business in Kenya has evolved by incorporating different beauty services, including the following:
- Professional Haircut and Styling
- Manicure and pedicure
- Facial treatment
- Massage therapy
- Nail services
- Skincare like scrubbing
Simply put; a salon business covers all beauty services to achieve the attractive appearance the customer desires.
Why Open A Salon Business In Kenya?
As a fast-growing state, Kenya offers new and existing entrepreneurs an opportunity to open and run businesses of their choice. However, you must be strategic to invest in a lucrative venture like a salon business.
Here are some of the reasons why you should invest in a salon
The demand for beauty services and products constantly rises regardless of the tax increase and price spikes. You can be assured of beauty service demand throughout the year.
Moreover, the adaptation of hair fashion in both women and men increases demand, making salons a lucrative business.
Running a busy salon solo is demanding. If your business performs exceptionally and you realise you can no longer serve the entire client base, you’ll need to employ other hairdressers to help with the workload.
Put another way, you’ll create employment opportunities for other skilled hairdressers. You can also incorporate other profitable services in your business and seek experienced professionals like nail artists and massage therapists.
The initial capital for salon business in Kenya varies depending on the location and your budget. If you’re working on a tight budget, you can open a small salon or buy essential items like combs and hair grooming products to operate from your home.
In addition, this business allows you to venture into mobile services. This gives you access to different clients in your location; hence, you can use your customer’s equipment.
The increased demand for beauty services and products has led to higher sales and overall revenue, making the salon business exceptionally profitable. Moreover, you’ll make huge profits in this industry by integrating other services, such as nail art, makeup, and massage therapy.
Salon business gives you the freedom to design your venture according to your vision. It also allows you to integrate different services and products in the same space.
You can expand your venture or even open branches in different locations, growing your business.
Unlimited Growth Opportunity
A salon business can be easily expanded as you increase your customer base and your brand gets popular. Moreover, the innovation in this industry births new ideas you can add to your business, making it a worthwhile venture.
Requirements of a Salon Business in Kenya
Before you kickstart your journey in the salon business, making a list of what you need can help you maneuver the process faster.
Below are the essentials for opening a salon business in Kenya
1. Strategically Located Salon Space
A strategic salon space has high foot traffic, high beauty services demand, and manageable competition. This attracts exceptional visibility and helps you create a good customer base. Some of the best-performing salon businesses are located near colleges, shopping malls and cities.
Nevertheless, you must consider the rent charges when looking for salon premises to find one that matches your budget. Note that prime locations charge higher rent amounts compared to remote areas.
2. Equipment and Furniture
Most salon services require beauty equipment such as hairdryers, facial steamers, and LED nail lamps. Furniture is necessary as you must plait or offer nail art when your customers are comfortable. So, you must budget for pieces like shampoo chairs, styling stations, and mirrors.
Depending on the area you want to specialize in, you will need the following:
Haircare Equipment and Furniture
- Styling chairs
- Styling stations with mirrors
- Shampoo chairs and basins
- Hair steamers
- Hair rollers
- Sectioning clips and combs
- Hair straighteners
Skincare Equipment and Furniture
- Facial beds
- Facial steamers
- Hot towel cabinets
- Galvanic machines
- Extraction tools
Nail Care Equipment
- Manicure and pedicure stations
- UV/LED lamps
- Nail polish racks
- Nail sterilizer
- Nail extension equipment
- Tools like files and drills
Spa and Massage Equipment and Furniture
- Massage beds
- Body treatment equipment
- Waxing equipment
- Aromatherapy diffusers
Display Furniture and Equipment
- Beauty products display shelves and racks
- Mirrored display cabinets
- POS system
- Inventory management system
If you’re integrating two types of services or more, you can combine the lists from the matching categories for easy budgeting.
3. Salon Supplies
Salon furniture and equipment must be supplemented with daily consumables for seamless operation. The list consists of haircare products, nail polish, and beauty accessories like scrubbers.
These products are used daily, making them recurrent expenditures that you must budget for weekly or monthly, depending on your customer base.
4. Licenses and Permits
Similar to other businesses, you should secure the necessary authority approval and documents before you start operating your salon. In Kenya, you must apply for the following
- Business Registration: The government of Kenya requires you to register your business legally. You can complete this process on eCitizen. You can use M-Pesa or any other available payment method.
- License: To start operating a salon business, you must secure a trading license from the local authorities. This may cost you between Kshs 10,000 to Kshs 15,000.
- Health Certificate: You need a health certificate that shows your station can handle clients without risking infections.
- Fire Safety Certificate: The salon business applies fire objects significantly. Hence, you need a certificate that proves you can prevent or contain a fire accident if it occurs.
- MSCK License: Planning to set entertainment gadgets for your customers? If yes, you need to get a Music Copyright Society of Kenya License to showcase music or films on your premises.
5. Skilled Staff
Hiring the right professionals for your salon can help you retain your existing customer base and attract more referrals to your business. Consequently, you should employ highly skilled hairstylists, nail artists, beauticians, and support staff.
In addition, you should interview for ethics and customer services. If your staff members are not concerned about your customers, they can quickly leave your business and look for an alternative where staff members address their needs.
As a new salon owner, you need a marketing strategy to acquire a good customer base. Some of the marketing activities you can leverage include creating a website, printing materials, and establishing a social media presence.
You can also hire marketing experts or micro-influencers to help you attract massive leads in your location.
Running salon activities requires utilities such as water and electricity. Without enough utility supply, your business will encounter endless hitches, leading to losses or low profits.
As a result, you should research the location where you’re about to set up your business. Once you confirm the space has utilities throughout, evaluate the cost per unit or, depending on their measurement, see whether it’s profitable.
Some utilities like electricity might need a backup plan like a generator. So, ensure you budget for the same.
It’s possible to operate a salon without skills by hiring experienced hairstylists, nail experts, and massage therapists. However, when starting your business, you might take time to find a suitable professional who can handle all types of services or customer requests.
Hence, you should enroll in training to become acquainted with the knowledge and skill level necessary to attend to customers and run the business.
Tips To Establish a Profitable Salon Business
A salon business has challenges; however, you can mince massive profits by implementing the following tips from successful salon owners.
1. Provide Excellent Customer Service
If you visited a hotel and the waiter politely welcomed you and asked what you needed, you would feel comfortable. But if you encounter a rude server who ignores you until you call them to order food, you will dislike the restaurant. The case would be worse if they served lousy food.
This applies to your salon business, too. If your staff welcomes clients politely and provides excellent services according to their requests, your customers will look forward to the next salon visit.
But, suppose your staff don’t welcome your customers and provide suitable services. In that case, the clients will be disappointed and may even go sharing what a bad experience they had at your premises.
To avoid all these, you should ensure your staff offer excellent customer service to complement their skills.
2. Keep Up with The Trends
The beauty industry keeps evolving to fit the fashion trends. Consequently, new products and styles consistently emerge, making it necessary for your business to adapt to the latest styles.
If a client comes to your premises and you can’t plait the new hairstyle, they’re more likely to look for an alternative for the rest of their salon visits.
You can join salon groups to learn about the new products in the market and how to plait new hairstyles.
3. Leveraged Localized Marketing
If you’re located in Nakuru, marketing your salon business across the country will attract an audience from all over the state. These leads can be unhelpful as you can only serve those in your location.
To ace this, you can apply localized marketing by interacting with macro-influencers in your area or posting your work in local social media groups.
GMB(Google My Business profile) is also a great way to attract the right audience to your business as it provides your premises details and past reviews, helping prospective clients make a purchasing decision.
Frequently Asked Questions
1. Is the Salon Business In Kenya Profitable?
Yes, the salon business is a lucrative venture with a minimum average wage of Kshs 2,000 daily. Combining a variety of services can increase this return exceptionally.
Other factors that can increase your profit margins include location, marketing plan, and staff proficiency.
2. How Much Do I Need To Start a Salon Business In Kenya?
To start a salon business in Kenya, you need a minimum of Kshs 50,000. This figure is ideal for small salon premises.
But if you plan to establish a medium or large salon, you will spend up to Kshs 2,000,000.
The salon business in Kenya is among the most profitable ventures you can invest in. The rising demand for beauty services makes it a goldmine for skilled salonists and salon owners.
Nevertheless, you must find a suitable location and provide exceptional services to attract more clients and increase revenue.
Looking for more business ideas? You can also explore other money-making, management, and saving guides right here!