There are currently 16 967 655 people in Zimbabwe, 8 369 428 being male – which constitutes 49.3%. Of that number, 4 535 949 are males aged at least 15 years. This, therefore, means there are enormous returns if one bases their business type and model on targeting men. It’s appreciable that most business ideas lure both sexes but there can be a huge sway to one side (in this case, men). Men are generally pragmatic in their buying patterns. That is to say, they are more inclined to make a purchase that solves a problem for them. Let’s discuss some men-centred business ideas in or that you can start in Zimbabwe.
Clothing And Design
It’s quite lucrative to establish a clothing retail business or even to incorporate actual design with a keen focus on men. Men have their own unique set of clothing items that are solely their preserve. Often times you’ll realize that outlets that do sell clothing items for both sexes tend to be more inclined towards the females. This has a tendency to create a scenario where finding the type of clothes you want as a man can be hectic. Another point of interest is how men (and even women alike) are now big proponents of getting African attire outfits tailor-made for them. That can also be a strategic way to effectively niching with regards to men. Footwear is also a big deal to men from casual, formal to sportswear and so on. So there are actually local clothing and design businesses that target men and they are realizing good return on investment. An example is the House of Gentleman which is located at Fife Avenue Shopping Centre in Harare. They design and tailor designer clothing with respect to customer specifications or trending global designs. Their value proposition is centred on making available formal clothing that inculcates or accentuates the gentleman in any man.
Liquor consumption (and non-alcoholic too) is quite high and prevalent amongst the male demographic. That’s why all throughout any economic phases the Zimbabwean economy goes through, Delta Beverages continues to stay afloat. Of course, recently they had to review their prices downwards due to a general decline in consumption levels owing to low disposable incomes. Regardless, liquor and non-alcoholic beverage consumption are still very high, especially amongst men. That’s why bars, clubs, beer halls, cocktails or any outlet that retails these products are widespread across the country. There is no doubt that women also consume these products but the main demographic is men. If you visit any such outlet you’ll realize that the greater proportion is the men. The targeting of men is made apparent by the deliberate use of female waitresses and female adult entertainers.
Due to the ever-evolving world, it has increasingly become commonplace for women to become more involved in this but it remains a business that can definitely attract a lot of male clients. Reasons for wanting to get in shape range from health reasons, general fitness, sportsmen, past time and so on. Plus on a lighter note, women now generally tend to prefer guys who are toned and in shape; this has led to a scramble for the gym by many men. We do have gyms or fitness centres across the country but I can confidently tell you this – they are way too few. There are some locations where there aren’t any at all; thus, business prospects are rife in this domain.
We have already established that men are huge consumers of beverages (alcoholic and non-alcoholic). The other big hit amongst men’s interests is sports. Men are huge participants of sporting activities be it actual playing, on-site viewing or virtual viewing. That’s why sports clubs are very lucrative businesses whose main consumer is the man. Depending on whatever type of sports club be it rugby, cricket and golf, just to mention a few, men love to hang out in such places. The reason why sports are quite preferable for men is because of the availability of beverages, sports entertainment, leisure aspects such as music or braai. These are locations men tend to opt to go hang out with their buddies or loved ones (family and relatives).
Grooming and cosmetics
If you set up a barbershop anywhere you can never go wrong. Barbershops are riddled all over the country. Men always want to have their hair and beard in a neat shape. This is generally a low-cost business to set up and that’s why most barber shops are run solo. So if you’re looking to niche men then a barber shop is the way to go. In addition to this, the cosmetics industry has witnessed a large growth in male focussed products over the last 20 years. The business can be very lucrative with men spending more and more on grooming globally.
So these are just 5 of some of the local businesses that target men. If you decide to start any of these businesses you can do very well because the market is vast. Remember at the beginning of this article I told you that way more than 4 million Zimbabweans are males aged at least 15 years. This means there is a huge market for you to strategically niche. The other thing you must note is that most places across the country don’t really have established businesses in this regard – capitalize on that.