Starting a Mitumba Business in Kenya. 

 August 1, 2016

By  BTK Staff


Small size – Starting 2000
Medium size – 20,000-100,000
Large size – Above 100,000
A table of capital for starting a Mitumba business

If you are a lover of trendy fashion, clothing, accessories, merchandise and sale, then you are in the right place. Second hand clothes, commonly referred as Mitumba, are used clothes that are sold in the market. It is a profitable business venture due to its growing demand in the market especially from the young generation and economical parents. The article explores eight fundamental steps to starting a successful second-hand clothing business.

Determine target audience.

It is an initial step in starting a second-hand clothing enterprise. Although a vast array of audience could be potential client for your business, it is important to identify specific clientele or a group of targeted clientele.

As a potential entrepreneur, conduct pre-visits to prospective competitors to determine a number of factors e.g. their pricing systems, store designs, clients and client traffic among others. In doing so, you are able to identify the uncovered audience and maybe work towards targeting such clients. The location of the enterprise is determined by the identified targeted clients.

Draft a firm business plan.

Once you have identified your targeted audience, it’s time to come up with a business plan. The business plan highlights informed factors like the prospected expenses, targeted clients, pricing structures, store design, labor, and marketing systems.

Business plan will vary depending on whether you will set up a store business or conduct door to door business. A well-documented business plan goes a long way in enhancing the success of your business by providing a blue print of daily business operations. Always ensure you develop a realistic business plan.

Determine the business location.

There are several factors that come into play when determining your business site. For ladies’ fashion savvy trends, select a store shop near a high traffic business building to draw in large clientele. But most importantly, always set up your business near your targeted clients.

Also, ensure to set up fitting rooms, back storage and create conducive space for clients to walk around while shopping. Further, ensure your shop’s front window is large enough to accommodate display of wide range of items on sale.

Obtain license.

You would not want to find yourself in the wrong side of the law. Therefore, ensure to legalize your business by obtaining business permits from relevant authorities. In Kenya, business permit can be obtained from the relevant county government and costs vary depending on the type of business.

For instance, in Nairobi city council, business permits for medium enterprises for between 5-20 employees goes at Ksh. 15,000 per year. On the other hand, large enterprises with over 20 employees obtain business permits at Ksh. 30,000 annually.

Set up your store shop.

If you decide to set up a store rather than selling your clothes from door to door, then you have to go deeper into your pockets. Get shelves, price tags if applicable, cloth rack, cloth hangers, mirrors, and display tables.

Thereafter, organize your shop nicely leaving enough spaces between displays to ensure clients move swiftly while shopping. As cleanliness is next to godliness, ensure your store remains clean always so as to attract more customers. Of importance is to ensure 6-10 % of business earnings would cover the rent of the business premise.

Obtain your stock.

Conduct a market survey of reliable suppliers. You can buy your stock in bales or by simply selecting desired cloths that are often sold at wholesale price if bought in bulk. For a small-scale business at its initial stages, it is always advisable to go for the latter option.

Ensure you buy from reliable suppliers at an affordable prices that will guarantee some profits on your part. Quality is also a key factor when purchasing your cloths. Every client desires quality and durable clothing, therefore, to keep your customers, always ensure to meet their expectations.

Hire employee(s).

Although at initial stages of business, most entrepreneurs prefer running their businesses solely. Nonetheless, as the business grows, it is important to hire some employees. Such employees do perform tasks such as hemming clothes, marketing the business and even keeping daily business records.


Intensive marketing enhance the success of any business. Choose the most suitable marketing strategy for your business. For instance, for second clothing business, window displays will draw in more customers. Also, the social media plays a major part in marketing. Examples of such big social sites include the OLX, Facebook, and Whatsapp platforms. Give a try to any or all of these marketing strategies and you will thank me later.


There you have it, what are you waiting for? Take the challenge and start your own thriving second clothing enterprise.

BTK Staff

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