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How to start a cosmetic shop in Uganda

How to start a cosmetic shop in Uganda. Are you a beautician or just a trader interested in starting a cosmetic shop? here are a few steps you can follow.

A cosmetic shop according to Wikipedia is a speciality retailer that sells cosmetics, hair-care products and/or beauty tools.

How to start a cosmetic shop in Uganda
Beauty tools

Now here are the steps on how to start a cosmetic shop in Uganda.

1) Make a business plan

A business plan according to this article is a written document that describes in detail how a business—usually a startup—defines its objectives and how it is to go about achieving its goals.

Before starting your cosmetic shop, you need to first draw a plan for how everything will be. This plan will be drawn or written on a piece of paper and it will have details of how your business will be from;

The employees who will work in your shop, estimated startup capital, products that your shop will sell, how you will market your products, how big you expect to grow and much more.

Doing all this may seem intimidating, but creating a business plan is necessary for the success of your cosmetic shop.

A good business plan can assist you to raise startup capital mostly if you want to get startup capital from investors and venture capitalists.

So starting with a business is the foremost step in starting a cosmetic shop and any other business.

2) Choose a Location

A strategic location is necessary for the success of any retail business, and the cosmetic shop too.

As you are planning to open a cosmetic shop, you should look for a few potential locations for your business based on where your targetted customers live and do their shopping from.

A location on a high-traffic mall or street area can be so ideal for a cosmetic shop. You should decide whether you want to rent or buy a store.

Choose the right option for you based on factors like the location of the shop and the startup funds you have.

3) Raise Startup Capital

Startup capital is the money an entrepreneur uses to fund all the expenses that occurred in starting a business.

You need capital to start a cosmetic shop in Uganda and there are many ways how you can raise this startup capital.

The most used ways of raising startup capital are the following;

  • Raise the money yourself (Through Savings)
  • Raise Money from friends and family
  • Get a bank loan
  • Get money from investors

For more information on raising startup capital, we have a full article on; How to Raise Startup Capital for Your Business in Uganda

4) Legalize Your Cosmetic Shop

There are many types of business and some include sole proprietorship, partnership, corporation and limited liability corporation(LLC).

You can choose any business type you want for your cosmetic shop.

It is better to make this decision with financial personnel like an accountant and also a law enforcer like a lawyer or attorney.

The other thing you have to do is register your business, and get all the required permits and licences in order to operate your cosmetic shop.

You can check out the Uganda Registration Services Bureau (URSB) for more info on business registration.

5) Find Suppliers

You need to decide what you will be selling in your shop.

In deciding what type or types of products you will sell in your cosmetic shop, choose the products that will serve your targetted customers.

Don’t bring high-end products for low-class people, you won’t get anyone buying from your shop because the products will be too expensive for them.

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Research different suppliers of cosmetic products and learn about what they offer and the terms and conditions they have.

Terms and conditions may be anything like; “You have to reach a minimum quantity of products ordered for us to supply you with cosmetics, or your shop must be located in such and such a place for us to supply you with cosmetic products.”

For the success of your cosmetic shop, you need to find reliable and trustworthy suppliers. You also need to strike a good relationship with your suppliers.

You too need to be trustworthy because some suppliers can give you products on credit so that you pay later.

6) Design Your Cosmetic Shop Interior

The appearance of your cosmetic shop is the first advert of your shop to your customers. Should it look messy and out of place, you will have done a de-service to your business.

Cosmetic shops are one of the businesses that require attention in designing their interiors. Position all your products well in your shop.

Display what has to be displayed and where necessary, add labels in your shop to show where to find what.

This will help customers in easily identify what they want which in turn will increase the chances of that customer coming back and he/she may bring someone along next time to shop at your cosmetic store.

Keep your shop clean and organised.

7) Hire employees

Depending on the size of your cosmetic shop and how busy it is, you may or not hire employees. But if your business requires employees, then you need to hire some.

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Reliable and hardworking employees can make a huge difference in the success of your cosmetic shop.

As you are preparing to start a cosmetic shop in Uganda, take time when hiring employees, and train your employees properly where necessary before they are allowed to operate in your cosmetic store.

Remember that your employees are going to be the face of your business, you need to take the hiring process seriously.

It is advisable to hire employees who also have a love for cosmetics.

8) Open your shop

Here comes the grandest day of all, the day of opening the business to customers. After doing it all, you need to show customers what you have for them.

Opening your shop to your customers is best if done on the first or second day of the week. Like a Sunday or Monday.

Don’t wait for your business to become perfect before you open it up to your customers. You can open it and improve it as you move on with your customers.

The other thing to remember is, customers will show you what products are needed in your shop. This will be seen in the sales report.

The products that sell more, you stock that product in larger quantities and the reverse is true for the products that don’t sell quickly.


Marketing refers to the activities a business undertakes in order to promote the products they sell.

This can be anything from advertising, to selling products at discounts, sponsoring social events like football games and many more.

The most used method of marketing in Uganda is advertising. Advertising includes using TV, radio, Newspapers and much more. As a business owner, you need to choose an advertising method that will meet your targeted customers.

Your Turn…

That is all that is required to start a cosmetic shop in Uganda. What do you think of the steps?

Let us know in the comments section below.

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