How to Start a Successful Cosmetic Business in Tanzania 2022

The cosmetics business in Tanzania is growing at a rapid pace. The demand for all types of cosmetic products is ever-increasing from varied sections of the population.

The demand for premium cosmetics is expanding everywhere including the middle and lower class people in Tanzania.

The cosmetics business in Tanzania includes a vast array of businesses such as anti-aging clinics, aromatherapy, beauty salon, beauty spa, cosmetic store, hair salons, and even makeup artists are part of it.

If you are planning to start a cosmetic business in Tanzania, there is immense scope for growth, provided you proceed in a planned way.

Steps to Start a Cosmetic Business in Tanzania

1. Choose a Product

Choosing a cosmetics business niche is crucial when starting a cosmetics line. For instance, makeup designed for men is in high demand and organic makeup brands continue to be popular.

The attributes of your products will help you stand out from the competition, from the type of ingredients you use to the specific audience you cater to and what your brand stands for.

To find a niche, you’ll want to first look into what type of makeup products are in high demand, or you even start by asking yourself why you want to start a cosmetic line in the first place. Are you passionate about anti-cruelty?

Have you struggled to find a foundation that matches your unique skin color? Many times, the reasons that drive you to want to start a cosmetic business are the same factors other makeup product lovers are looking for.

2. Perform competitor research

Conducting thorough competitor research is one of the most important things you can do before you launch a cosmetics business in Tanzania. You’ll want to research a competitor’s pricing model, special offers, social commerce strategy, customer reviews, and press coverage.

Taking a look at a competitor’s mission, vision, and values will also help you craft a unique brand position that stands out. With this research in mind, you can start to identify ways to further differentiate your brand.

For instance, the founder of the makeup brand Stowaway, Julie Fredrickson, was frustrated by carrying a heavy bulk of makeup products in her bag all the time just to keep up with her makeup routine. So she came up with the idea of creating travel-size cosmetics that easily travel with you when you’re constantly on the go.

3. Create a Business Plan

Before you start a cosmetics business in Tanzania, you should make a business plan. This outlines what you want to sell, who you want to sell it to, and how you plan to sell it.

This business plan will be used primarily for your reference, but it will also help if you are pitching for partnerships, loans, grants, or investors.
Your business plan should include:

  • A company overview
  • Market research analysis
  • The legal structure and general organization of your business
  • A breakdown of your beauty products
  • An overview of your marketing and sales strategy
  • A detailed financial outlook
  • Any files related to your business (contracts, legal documentation, tax information, etc.)

In this step, you work out the logistics of your business. Consider things like how much inventory you plan to hold and what the ordering and shipping process looks like.

You can also outline how you will send invoices for your makeup business.

4. Get Funding to start cosmetics business in Tanzania

Starting a cosmetics business in Tanzania requires capital and there are several ways to come up with this capital.

You could fund your business with your savings. However, if you don’t have the money of your own, you have the option of either borrowing the money or seeking investors.

To take out a business loan, you can start by reaching out to your bank. We encourage you to shop around with other banks to find the best interest rates.

If you decide to go with an investor, determine if you want a hands-on partner or if you’d prefer a silent investor. Investors could be family members, friends, or business associates.

Ideally, you’d want somebody who is trustworthy and has the amount of money that you need.

The following are the requirements for starting a cosmetic business in Tanzania and their respective prices.

  • Beauty products inventory  10,000,000
  • Furniture                               3,000,000
  • Rent and upfront rent          500,000
  • Electricity expenses               30,000
  • Salary for staff                      600,000
  • A computer and printer       450,000
  • Advertising                             200,000
  • Licenses and permits            1,500,000

5. Take Care of the Legalities

When you start a cosmetics business in Tanzania, you will need to register your business. An LLC should suffice, How you classify your business will depend on local legal requirements.

Your business must be its legal entity. If an accident occurs due to one of your cosmetic products, you’ll want to make sure you’re protected as an individual.

You will also need to seek a tax identification number for your business entity so that you can pay taxes. Some cosmetic and beauty products require approval by the Tanzania Medicines & Medical Devices Authority/Tanzania Bureau of Standards.

Additionally, you should seek legal assistance if you plan on patterning any element of your brand.

6. Decide On The Location of your cosmetics business in Tanzania

You have the option of starting your cosmetic business from home in your initial days. Another option is to lease premises. Getting a premise on lease is expensive for small business owners.

7. Source a cosmetics manufacturer

There are two common types of makeup manufacturers: private label and white label. Private-label makeup lines are custom-made by a manufacturer that allows cosmetic businesses to sell their products under their brand name.

With a private-label manufacturer, you have the option to customize your products, such as color, fragrance, or packaging options.

A white-label manufacturer makes makeup products for multiple brands that then rebrand them under their name.

Although both private and white label manufacturing is similar and cost-effective, working with a private-label manufacturer allows for more customization, which makes your product unique and hard to find elsewhere.

However, you decide to manufacture your makeup products, be sure to familiarize yourself with your products’ ingredients and comply with local and international rules and regulations, depending on where your customers are located.

8. Create a memorable brand

A brand is essentially the personality you build for your business. It should be designed to connect with your target audience.

You breathe life into your brand by creating an aesthetic that includes a color palette, logo, and the like. Additionally, you’ll develop a voice for your brand that shines through in any copy on your website, social media, and packaging.

The perception of your brand starts with the messaging and imagery used in your marketing and ad creative and doesn’t end after the unboxing experience and product usage.

Every stage and touchpoint in the customer journey counts. Before you start a cosmetics business in Tanzania, take the time to create a brand ( that makes your cosmetics line stand out from the competition.

9. Create a Marketing Strategy

It is time to develop a marketing strategy for your cosmetics business in Tanzania. If you are sticking to e-commerce for your makeup business, both advertisements and content marketing are good options.

Here are a few approaches you can take when creating your marketing strategy:

  • Paid ads: Run targeted ads on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram
  • Social media marketing: Create engaging content to build a community of followers who could be potential customers
  • Search engine optimization: Use SEO to target keywords that your potential customers would be searching
  • Influencer marketing: Hire people with large social media followings to talk about using your products and encouraging their followers to purchase their own

Your marketing strategy should depend greatly on your target audience. Design your marketing strategy so that it speaks with your target audience.
This goes for both messaging and the delivery of the message.

Speak to them in a language that resonates with them, and make sure you’re delivering the message on a platform that they spend time on.

10. Design a Digital Storefront

Many cosmetics businesses in Tanzania excel in the world of e-commerce. Even if you plan to sell your products in physical stores, you’ll likely opt for an online storefront as well (and factor it into your business model).

Your website should include a home page, an ‘about’ page, a contact page, and shop pages. The shop pages should be easily searched, sorted, and filtered so that your customers can find what they are looking for with ease.

Ensure that you use a secure paywall so your customers’ sensitive information is never compromised. Adding payment features like PayPal, Mpesa or offline payment plan options also enrich the user experience.

You have two options when it comes to building your online storefront. You can either create it yourself with a drag-and-drop site like Squarespace or you can hire a professional to build it for you on WordPress.

We recommend hiring a professional so that your site meshes perfectly with your brand and offers a seamless user experience for your customers.


Every entrepreneurial journey is unique, especially in the cosmetics industry where there are so many ways to go when starting a cosmetics business in Tanzania. However, some business practices are universal.

Now that you’re familiar with the basics of the cosmetics business in Tanzania, the manufacturing of cosmetics, and the 10 steps for building a successful cosmetic business, you are ready to bring your idea to life.

So what do you say? Are you ready to start your cosmetics business in Tanzania?

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