The diaper business is one of those businesses that have an ever-ready market. As long as babies are being born, diapers will always sell. Flora Moraa, aka Flo the entrepreneur, runs a diaper business.
In this article, she takes us through the process of starting and running a profitable diaper business.
Like most businesses, the diaper business entails purchasing diapers wholesale and selling them at retail prices. Wholesale diapers are sold in 4 bales: Jumbo (largest), High count, low count, and pieces (smallest). Popular diaper brands in Kenya include Pampers, Snuggles, Huggies, Nipnap, KissKids, Molfix, and Pretty Baby.
For suppliers, you have three options. The first option is company distributors. Here, Flora advises that Molfix offers the best prices and free delivery. They also mix bales of different sizes for you.
The second option is wholesale shops near you. You can purchase bales from here and retail them in your shop. Flo recommends Molfix and Pretty Baby brands as the fastest-moving brands currently. Factors to consider in a wholesaler include whether they mix brands and offer delivery.
The third option is Mega Wholesalers, located in Eastleigh. Flora says they offer delivery, and their prices are fair. You can contact them via their website.
Once you get a good supplier, the next step is identifying an ideal location for your shop.
You’ll need to research the shops around your target area to determine your competition. Establish how much they are selling their diapers. From that, you can calculate how to price your products and whether the profit margin will be able to sustain your business. Will it be enough to cater for rent and employees? If yes, you’re good to go
Flora recommends a startup capital of at least Ksh 17,000 for your diaper business. Start wilt a few bales and focus on the fast-moving brands depending on your customers’ preferences. However, ensure you have at least one bale of Molfix, Softcare, and Pretty Baby brands, as most customers prefer them.
Diapers alone will not sustain your shop forever. Once a customer buys a packet of diapers, when else will you see them? When they need another diaper. Therefore, you need other products to keep customers returning to your shop. Flora recommends toys, crocs, candies, ice popsicles, balloons, airtime, rubbers, pencils, guns, bubbles, tissues, kitchen towels, and serviettes.
Set aside ksh 20 000 for diapers, which will be your main product. Later, set aside ksh 10 000 for toys. These harbour plenty of money but have the best returns—even better than diapers. Finally, set aside Ksh 5 000 to stock crocs, which Flora says has 100 % profits.
You can start this business with approximately Ksh 50,000 – 60,000. The capital breakdown is as follows:
Ksh 15,000 – Diaper Stock
Ksh 10,000 – Toys stock
Ksh 5,000 – Toiletries stock
Ksh 5,000 – Crocs stock
Ksh 10,000 – Rent
Ksh 10,000 – Miscellaneous
According to Flora, you can expect profits of between Ksh 1,000-2,500 per day. She says the business is not worth your time if you can’t make your rent within the first week.
You’ll need to get a good supplier for your diapers. You will also need a good location to set up your shop. Also, remember to stock only the diaper brands that are in demand. Finally, diversify to sell other products, which will attract customers to your shop.
If you’re in Nairobi, you can source diapers from Kamukunji, the Retail market, or OTC.
Flora advises that it doesn’t matter where you start your business; your vision is what matters. Start with what you have and grow your vision.