When you think of putting up a beauty therapy college somewhere in Kenya, Mishomoroni in Mombasa may not be the kind of suburb in mind. Come to think of it, over 70% of the houses there are Swahili type, not so business-like. But after rummaging through the densely populated estate, I have seen a great opportunity for running a lucrative business right there, or more if you have the appetite.
I’m talking of an estate where the running costs are manageable; rent, staff and water to start with. An area where your first level clients, your students, are available at the snap of your fingers provided you offer them value for their money. And unless you have a lazy bone in place for a backbone, you could milk at least four streams of income from that same business.
In exchange for the loot, upgrade the residents’ living standard by charging affordable fee and exposing them to a world of possibilities. That isn’t too much to ask, is it?
Starting A Lucrative Beauty Therapy College Where People Matter Most
While food business seems to top the list of best ventures in densely populated suburbs, followed by mobile toilets and bathrooms, running a business that empowers the people in the long run alongside raking in mighty profits builds your reputation.
But if you wish to hog 90% of the benefits alone and leave the scraps to your clients, you can introduce betting games all over the suburb. In that case, I’m sure this article won’t help you much. I don’t advocate for false hopes and sinking my clients deeper into poverty isn’t my style. I propose we part goodbye right here to avoid wasting each other’s time.
Seeing that we are still together, hear me out. In Africa, every country has its own densely populated suburb. So do other countries around the world. They carry the larger percent of workforce for the cities and the posh estates near them.
Over the last three years, I’ve had the advantage of interacting with a number of people living in such places, Mishomoroni scooped my heart. Being a fun of education; the right dose of it that is, I spotted a number of entrepreneurs who set up schools in densely populated estates.
But you and I know that there is more to education than learning to read and write, right?
And if you have interacted with Kenyan education system you know many people get stuck after completing high school education, don’t you?
Beauty Therapy College In Mishomoroni And Her Mates
Beauty therapy has the benefit of having both men and women as students and clients; both pay for different services. Let me explain to you how I picture your beauty therapy college in several suburbs around the world. We will use Mishomoroni in Mombasa, Kenya which harbor at least 180,000 people, 60% of whom are in the youth bracket.
Picture your business running from a Swahili house; a house with multiple rooms separated by a main corridor with a door on each end. In most cases, one door is shut to control movement in and out of the house.
Let me draw this house for you in your mind. The Swahili house is 3000m2 in size and has 13 rooms and 4 bathrooms. Every month, the landlord collects a total of Ksh. 40,000 from his tenants. If you took up the whole house for the beauty therapy college, that would be your rent. But you could propose to buy it if you have about Ksh. 7 million, less than $70,000, idling somewhere within your reach.
Do you need all the 13 rooms?
Heck You Do!
While not all rooms are the same size, you need to set apart two rooms, those less than 200m2 you’re your office and a store. You also need a reception room; the closest to the entry to prevent losing your clients along the corridor.
That leaves you with 10 rooms. Let the business begin.
Twist From The Top
Don’t dare limit yourself to haircare in beauty therapy, there is a lot more craft you could train here. Mishomoroni, like many other suburbs in Africa has a high number of young people who would benefit from your college. These are your first level target clients; youth who have cleared high school as well as those who dropped out.
Most of these already have the gift of plaiting hair and will charge as low as Ksh. 100 for clean, lean cornrows. Yours is to add value to their talent by offering them the right skill.
If you brought in an expert, you could have them trained in new styles of cornrows, weaving, braids and best of them all, dreadlocks! In today’s hair market, if your salon doesn’t have a dreadlocks guru, you are out of business. Period!
Make sure your students are exposed to YouTube videos to learn new styles too. The idea here is not just to plait the hair but to learn hair care. You will make headlines if you came up with effective homemade products for haircare instead of mixing chemicals and calling such shampoo and conditioners.
I’m sure you have been to a salon and hated it because there was less innovation done to your hair. Why don’t you raise a generation of around-the-hair innovators?
Beauty in the Cut
My dreadlocks doctor told me he isn’t in the business of cutting hair but growing it. I fell in love with him, you would too if you had a partial bald head like mine. But that’s not the issue here, the fact that some people would do better with a haircut is.
Imagine training young men and ladies how to cut hair for every season. Let’s be honest here, in Africa, a haircut depends on the season. During school holidays, you could spend a day taking photos of unique haircuts given to kids in your block. Such only last until the schools reopen; time for the uniform haircut.
Offering practical training on how to trim different type of hair alongside daily experience will give your students an edge in the market.
Before you exit the head, remember to offer ear piercing and complete facial works but in a separate room.
Nails, Not Claws
Still part of beauty therapy, you could offer practical training on nail management. From experience, most of the ladies who have the gift of plaiting hair in such suburbs don’t manage their clients’ nails. Not because they wouldn’t want to, but because they don’t know how. Their clients source these services from young mean at an open park. The services don’t include washing.
From my research, fresh water in Mishomoroni costs Ksh. 10, less than quarter a dollar for a 20 liters jerry can. That gives you the liberty to train your students how to do a complete manicure and pedicure without worrying about the water.
Of course you need to invest in an overhead tank where you can have the fresh water pumped into then supplied in the Swahili house.
Stay as innovative as you can, using the local pumice stone, coconut and aloe vera oil for the hands and feet care. While you can buy various types of pumice stones for exfoliation from local traders, aim to have your students learn how to extract coconut and aloe vera oil as part of the lessons.
Swahili Body Massage
Have you experienced a massage done with a rungu?
Oh yes! That Maasai stick can do more than smash the head of a predator. Its firm ends while used in the right way gets the body well relaxed. Watch this short clip by Sanguine Spa in South Africa for further indulgence.
Hiring an expert masseuse to guide your students through the preparations of ‘udi’, the wood of aloe incense for the massage will go a long way into creating experts in the industry. But don’t restrict yourself to Swahili body massage, innovation calls for you to explore the massage market for variety. You can then concoct your own massage style while ensuring you keep you products as natural as possible.
Building a Generation of Beauty Entrepreneurs
Remember the aim of setting up your beauty therapy business in Mishomoroni suburb is to make profit while empowering your students. This calls for a class in communication and entrepreneurship.
Hear me out please.
You may have learned communication skills in college and are wondering how writing a resume will help your students. Now that your aim is to empower them, engaging an expert communicator to come up with a curriculum that is fit for your students is key. It should include public speaking to instill confidence in them and customer services to give their clients utmost tender loving care.
When your students present themselves before employers and your second level clients, you will need them to entice them without making them feel like they are being coerced to take a service. The second level clients are the people who your students will serve. More on this later.
On entrepreneurship, don’t start replaying the boring classes you took in campus from a lecturer who only owned a theoretical business; no offense. I mean, offer business training that will show your students how to keep clear records, price their services, save, pay their debts and invest beyond the beauty industry.
This blog has plenty of articles packed with great entrepreneurial advice. You could start with these vital building blocks or leave me a message to write for you suitable entrepreneurship curriculum. Better still, I can train your students for you, at a fee of course.
Feel free to add any other services you believe will make your beauty therapy college rock! Besides, you still have room for such and variety will make your name notable.
“Show You The Money?”
This article would be incomplete if I didn’t give you this analysis.
The reason why a densely populate suburb like Mishomoroni in Mombasa would suit your beauty therapy college, is based on location. Brick and mortar businesses largely depend on location. Such a suburb allows you to access countless desiring students who won’t need to commute to the college. Keeping the school fees as low as Ksh. 500 per week, you could attract your first 50 students fast.
You just welcomed your first Ksh. 25,000 in your first week. By the second week, you will have paid your rent. How’s that for a start?
Make sure the students come in in two shifts; a morning shifts that runs from 7am till noon and the second from noon to 5pm. From the five hour shift, your students could use two- two hour sessions on beauty therapy training. Work with your trainers to make a progressive curriculum; in six months, you could have the first set of beauty therapy experts.
The remaining one hour in each shift in a day is a sweetener packed with entrepreneurship and communication. Now you are in the business of producing beauty therapy entrepreneurs who know how to win and keep their clients happy!
By the third month, your students should show notable progress; this is when the second level clients come in. Make it your business to market your beauty therapy services offering them at a discounted price to these particular clients. This is a great way to correct feedback from outsiders on the performance of your students.
With a functional system for allocating clients, your students could serve people they may have never met before and you can evaluate how they treat them. You don’t need a complex system, keep it sweet and simple with physical tags.
Watch out for your trainers, such a tight schedule could leave them energy and morale starved. Make sure they take adequate breaks once they complete their classes. You don’t want a human version of droopy addressing your precious students. Such don’t arouse anyone’s creative juices.
Did you notice the second income into your business?
You should. Every client you bring in to be attended by your students brings you secondary income! You get to keep that money or give a discount to needy students.
But that’s not all; you could pursue contracts from event planners to give the bride, groom and the trail a touch of beauty. At this point, resist the urge to keep all the cash. Share a percent, say 50% of the loot with the students involved. A fair share will keep you and them going.
How about negotiating employment for your students with up-market beauty parlors?
By exposing your well-nurtured students to the upper class, you could earn a portion of their first month’s salary while allowing them to keep a better portion of it. Better still, they get exposed to richer environment enhancing their dreams. You can be sure of having them start their own businesses in such places courtesy of rubbing shoulders or is it the feet of the elite.
To expand your fourth income stream, you could hire some of the students in your own beauty parlors that you have established in the up-markets. After all, you are the beauty boss!
Winding Up The Game. Are You In?
You may be reading this article and thinking, ‘I’m not in Mombasa, not even in Kenya. How do I go about the business?’
In less than 3000 words, I have given you a reason to go and empower others as you enrich yourself. Between every two sub titles there is adequate wisdom to reinvent the beauty therapy college even if you will start with five students in one room. And if you haven’t noted yet, this isn’t just about beauty, it is about every other craft you can teach other people and profit.
Instead of sitting 100 students in a tiny room promising them of employment, why not teach them something they will benefit from even sooner. Teach them to fish, buy them the first hook and worm, they will invent the line and get the rest of the skills to do anything else they are destined to do.
Even if they were meant to work in an office, the beauty parlor is their stepping stone when done right.
What if you don’t have adequate capital?
From this article, you can create a proposal and get funded by a number of organizations. But to be more practical, start small with the little you have, as low as Ksh. 100, 000, less than $1000. As you grow, pitch your already running business to venture capitalists or face the Lions at KCB Lions Den if you are in Kenya.
This Mishomoroni-based beauty therapy college can be anything you want it to be. Structure it now and if you are stuck let me help you build your version of ‘beauty therapy college’. Most of all, let faith lead you.