A barbershop (locally known as Kinyozi) is a good example of a sustainable business because people will always need haircuts. Fashion styles may come and go, but hair cuts aren’t a fad or trend – they’re a basic necessity. Moreover, Kenya’s middle-class is growing at an alarming rate and you can jump onto this tide by starting your own executive barbershop.

One good thing about Kinyozi business is that it is not seasonal. Business flows in, as usual, come rain come shine. This makes it a worthwhile venture to delve into. Below is a step-by-step guide on what it takes to start an executive barbershop.

Kinyozi Business Idea in Kenya

Step 1: Getting Started

Before you start your own barbershop you will need to become a barber. A beauty course in one of the many training centres in the country is inexpensive, and you can complete school and obtain your recommendations within a short period. If however you’re not interested in becoming a barber (or if you are busy with your current occupation) then you can always consider the option of hiring a trained barber.

Step 2: Find Ideal Premises

Of course, the ideal location is one that is easy to locate and access. Most first-time customers to your business will be walk-in customers and therefore it is important to maximize on available foot traffic by choosing a strategic location for your business. Keep in mind that you might be required to pay a good-will fee on some of the prime locations.

Average rent prices in residential areas in urban centres vary from Ksh5,000 – Ksh15,000. The same unit may go for Ksh1,000 – Ksh5,000 in rural areas. High end streets attract premium rents of above Ksh80 per square foot. Keep in mind that some landlords require payment of a deposit prior to moving in.

So just to be safe, set aside a budget of Ksh20,000 for premises if you’re moving into a Ksh10,000 per month premises.

Step 3: Shop Fit Out

Call in a carpenter to carry out a basic shop fit out. This may include installing mirrors, cabinets as well as painting the shop. On average carpentry labour costs Ksh1,000 per day. The entire project may take three days and therefore you should budget for Ksh15,000 or thereabout.

Step 4: Apply For Licenses

The most basic form of license you will require in order to operate is the single business permit. Cost of this permit varies from county to county with small stalls attracting as little as Ksh7,000 license cost per year in some regions. Those in the Nairobi Metropolitan region are advised to set aside at least Ksh20,000 for single business permit.

Step 5: Buy Equipment

The following is an example of a shopping list you can use. Note that it is not mandatory to buy all the items listed as you start. You can forego some of them and stock up on as the business grows.

*2 Basic barber chairs – Ksh10,000 each (Locally made)

*2 WAHL Clippers – Ksh3,000 each

*Equipment Sterilizer – Ksh10,000

*Locally Made Sink Seat – Ksh15,000

*Cosmetic Products – Ksh3,000 (Including spirit and after-shave)

*Fabric sheets, towels, apron – Ksh3,000

*Hair Style Charts – Ksh1,000

*2 Waiting or Lounge Chairs – Ksh750 each (Plastic chairs)

*Water heating & storage – Ksh5,000

*Small Basins – Ksh1,000

*Backup Generator – Ksh50,000

*Entertainment System – Ksh30,000

Step 6: Build A Clientele

Once you start the business, you will need to build a clientele by giving great services and good value for money to your clients. That means treating each customer like royalty every time they step into your shop. Good customer service, neatness, good hygiene and reliability are just but a few qualities you should adopt to woo more loyal followers.


-Evenings are peak hours as well as weekends and public holidays

-You may consider adding an money agent business (e.g M-Pesa or Agency Bank) on the side to ensure steady supply of business

-The business typically takes 6 months to reach peak

-High-end executive barbershops charge Ksh500 for a routine hair trim while standard ones charge Ksh150. If you’re targetting low income earners then Ksh50 per trim would be a fair bet.

How Much To Invest

If you’re planning to start at full-scale operations then you’ll require a budget of at least 200,000 (For a standard executive barbershop). However you can always start small with Ksh50,000 e.g. by reducing on your list of equipment and renting out a small room.

How Much To Expect

On average a well performing Kinyozi can give a net profit of 30% of total investment per month.

Final Word

The executive barbershop business idea is an ideal option for anyone who wishes to widen their fishing net. And you don’t have to be a trained barber to start one. You can simply use your entrepreneurial prowess to start, then train a few young men from your area and recruit them to work for you. That way you’ll not only have established a source of livelihood for yourself but also helped create employment for deserving young men and women.

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