How to Start a Mitumba Business in Kenya

ByBizhack Editorial

Feb 3, 2023
How to Start a Mitumba Business in Kenya

Last updated on March 2nd, 2024 at 05:44 pm

In this article, I’ll discuss the basics of how to start a mitumba business in Kenya.

Including things like choosing a location, setting up your business, and marketing your products.

So, What Is Mitumba?

Mitumba is Kiswahili for “leftovers.” It’s a term used to describe the secondhand clothing and goods that are imported into Kenya from abroad.

Therefore, mitumba business is the buying and selling of secondhand clothes that are imported from outside countries like United Kingdom, China, Canada, United States, Saudi Arabia and many others into African countries.

Kenyan entrepreneurs have turned this into a business opportunity, buying and selling these goods in markets across the country. And it’s a thriving industry—mitumba is now worth an estimated $2 billion per year.

So, if you’re looking to start a business in Kenya, mitumba is definitely something to consider. This guide will teach you everything you need to know about starting and running a successful mitumba business in Kenya.

These are the steps to follow when Starting a Mitumba Business in Kenya

  • Step 1: Identify Your Target Market
  • Step 2: Create a Business Plan
  • Step 3: Obtain Necessary Licenses and Permits
  • Step 4: Source Reliable Suppliers
  • Step 5: Set up Your Store
  • Step 6: Market Your Business
  • Step 7: Provide Excellent Customer Service
  • Step 8: Monitor and Adapt

Starting a successful mitumba business requires careful planning and execution. Here are the steps you can follow:

  1. Identify your target market: Research and understand the demand for secondhand clothing in your area. Determine the specific demographic you want to cater to, such as students, young professionals, or families.
  2. Create a business plan: Outline your business goals, target customers, marketing strategy, financial projections, and operational details. This plan will serve as a roadmap for your business and help you stay focused.
  3. Obtain necessary licenses and permits: Check the local regulations and obtain any required licenses or permits to legally operate your mitumba business. This may include a business license, reseller’s permit, or tax identification number.
  4. Source reliable suppliers: Establish contacts with reliable suppliers who provide quality and affordable secondhand clothing. You can connect with wholesalers, importers, or directly source from overseas suppliers. Ensure that the clothing you source meets the preferences and quality standards of your target market.
  5. Set up your store: Find a suitable location for your mitumba business, preferably in an area with good foot traffic or close to your target market. Set up an attractive and organized store layout that makes it easy for customers to browse and find the items they need.
  6. Market your business: Develop a marketing strategy to promote your mitumba business. Utilize both offline and online channels to reach your target audience. Consider using social media, local advertising, flyers, and collaborations with influencers or local businesses to create awareness.
  7. Provide excellent customer service: Focus on delivering exceptional customer service to build a loyal customer base. Offer personalized assistance, maintain a clean and welcoming store environment, and ensure a smooth shopping experience for your customers.
  8. Monitor and adapt: Regularly assess your business performance by analyzing sales data, customer feedback, and market trends. Adapt your inventory, pricing, and marketing strategies accordingly to meet the changing demands of your customers and stay ahead of the competition.

Where do you Source Mitumba clothes?

One of the most important things to consider when starting a mitumba business is sourcing your stock.

You need to find a reliable and consistent supplier who can provide you with high-quality products at competitive prices.

These clothes are usually imported from developed countries like the United States, Canada, and the United Kingdom

There are a few different ways you can go about finding a supplier. You can search online, or you can ask around your local community.

So, if you have friends or family members who are already in the mitumba business…

They may be able to recommend a supplier for you.

Another option to access these products is to attend local markets and trade shows. This is a great way to meet suppliers and compare prices. Just be sure to do your research before making any commitments, so you know you’re getting the best deal possible.

How to Conduct Research for Starting Mitumba Business

So you want to start a mitumba business in Kenya. This is a great way to make some extra money, and with a little bit of research, you can be successful.

Step 1: Do your research. It’s important to learn as much as you can about the business before you get started. What do people in your area want? What are the current trends in clothing and accessories? How much should you charge for different items?

Step 2: Decide on your target market. Who are you selling to? Local people? Expats? Tourists? You’ll need to tailor your selection of items to the people who will be buying them.

Step 3: Set up your business. You’ll need a place to store your merchandise, and you’ll need to come up with a name and logo for your business. You’ll also need to create some marketing materials to help promote your new venture.

Step 4: Start selling. Get out there and start peddling your wares.

How to Set Up a Mitumba Business in Kenya

Now that you know the basics of mitumba business in Kenya, let’s look at how to set up your own. Before you get started, it’s important to familiarize yourself with Kenyan business regulations and laws.

The first step is to register your business with the Kenya Revenue Authority.

Make sure to have all of the necessary paperwork before registering, including a business plan and documentation about who owns your company.

Once you are registered, you can start looking for a reliable supplier. Try sourcing from online marketplaces and auction sites.

Once you have suppliers in place, make sure to create a plan for sorting items purchased from different vendors and stocking them in your store. Consider pricing strategies based on quality and customer demand.

Remember that it’s best to start small and expand as you gain more experience in the industry. Finally, make sure to keep accurate financial records for tax purposes and other business requirements.

How to Market and Sell Your Mitumba Products

Once you’ve got a steady supply of mitumba, the next step is to start marketing and selling your products. This can be done through word of mouth, referrals or digital marketing.

Word of mouth is a great way to spread the word about your business—so make sure to keep your customers happy and they’ll be more likely to tell their friends and family about you.

When it comes to digital marketing, there are several platforms that you can use. You can create an online store on your website or set up a shop on e-commerce giants like Amazon or eBay.

You can also create social media accounts (like Instagram, Facebook, etc.) dedicated to your business and share product updates, customer reviews and more.

Finally, you should also consider partnering with other businesses in the area. This could mean selling your products in local shops or striking deals with larger retailers.

Whatever route you choose, remember: The key is getting the word out about your business and building relationships with customers so that they come back for more!

Legal Issues and Regulatory Requirements for Mitumba Businesses in Kenya

Before going ahead and starting your business, you need to make sure that you are aware of the legal issues and regulations involved in running a mitumba business in Kenya. This is important to ensure compliance with local laws and regulations.

First of all, you will need to register your business with the Kenyan government. You can do this by filling out the necessary paperwork and obtaining a valid business license from the relevant authorities.

Secondly, you should research any local laws that may affect your business operations, such as minimum wage laws, health and safety regulations and taxation requirements.

All in all, it is essential to familiarize yourself with the legal aspects of running a mitumba business in Kenya before you start operating. Doing so will allow you to stay compliant with local laws and regulations as well as protect your business from potential liabilities or risks.

Minimum cost breakdown

You should plan to spend some money before you start your business. You will need to factor in the cost of renting a shop, hiring employees, and buying inventory. Here is a minimum breakdown of how much it will likely cost you to get your mitumba business off the ground.

  • Rent: Depending on the location of your shop, rent can range from Ksh 10,000 to Ksh 20,000 a month.
  • Employees: You will need to pay at least Ksh 8,000 per employee per month.
  • Inventory: If you’re buying mitumba clothing in bulk, you can expect to pay around Ksh 3,000 for a bundle of 50 pieces of clothing.
  • Miscellaneous: You will also need to factor in other costs like electricity, transportation fees and other miscellaneous expenses.

Keep in mind that these are just estimates – your actual costs may differ depending on the location and size of your shop and the kind of investment you want to make. Try leveraging online resources like online job postings or classifieds sections on newspapers for help with recruitment and sourcing for inventory respectively.

Is Mitumba Business Profitable in Kenya?

Yes, mitumba still remains the most profitable business to start in Kenya because of its higher profit margin of 20% and minimal startup capital of 10k only. On average starters are able to make around ksh.2,000 per day.

Once you have determined the type of mitumba business you want to start and set up your shop, it is important to ensure that it remains profitable.

To ensure profitability, you should make sure to keep track of your expenses and focus on providing quality merchandise at competitive prices.

The most successful mitumba businesses aim to have a steady influx of new merchandise while keeping their overhead costs low.

Making sure you are able to purchase the most sought after items can be paramount in helping your business become more profitable. Keeping inventory of both popular clothing items as well as rarer items can help draw a larger customer base.

Additionally, making sure that your store is located in an area with high foot traffic can help you drive more sales and capitalize on impulse buyers. These are all great ways to help maximize profits and create a successful mitumba business in Kenya.

Starting a mitumba business in Kenya can be a lucrative endeavor, but it’s important to do your research and understand the market before you get started. It’s also important to have a strong business plan and to be prepared to work hard to make your business a success. With a little bit of luck and a lot of hard work, you can be on your way to running a successful mitumba business in Kenya.

Frequently Asked Questions

Which mitumba clothes are profitable?

  • Mixed blouses.
  • Ladies cotton pants.
  • Skirts.
  • Jeggings (heavy)
  • Ladies tops.
  • Official men trousers.
  • School bags.
  • Leggings

Generally, designer and high-end brands tend to be more profitable in the mitumba business, but popular clothing items like t-shirts, dresses, and jeans can also be profitable.

How profitable is mitumba business in Kenya?

The mitumba business in Kenya can be highly profitable, with some traders making a profit of up to 100% on their investments. However, profitability depends on factors such as location, type of clothes, and market demand.

How do I start a successful mitumba business?

To start a successful mitumba business, research the market, identify a target audience, secure a location, acquire inventory, and market the business effectively. Building good relationships with suppliers is also key to success.

Which country has the best mitumba bales?

The quality of mitumba bales can vary depending on the country of origin. However, countries such as the United States, Canada, and the United Kingdom are known for exporting high-quality mitumba bales.

What clothing makes the most money?

Designer and high-end clothing items like coats, jackets, and handbags typically make the most money in the secondhand clothing market. However, popular and trendy items like sneakers and graphic t-shirts can also be profitable.

How many clothes are in a bale?

The number of clothes in a bale varies depending on the size of the bale and the type of clothes. A typical bale of secondhand clothing can contain anywhere from 100 to 1000 pieces.

How to import mitumba shoes?

To import mitumba shoes, research suppliers, obtain necessary licenses and permits, and arrange for shipping and logistics. It’s important to adhere to import regulations and ensure the shoes are of good quality.

How much is a bale of shoes in gikomba?

The price of a bale of shoes in Gikomba market can vary depending on the type and quality of the shoes. However, a bale of shoes can cost anywhere from KSh 10,000 to KSh 40,000 or more.

How much is a bra bale in Kenya?

The price of a bra bale in Kenya varies depending on the quality and type of bras. However, a bra bale can cost anywhere from KSh 5,000 to KSh 20,000 or more