How to start a fashion designer business in Nigeria
Fashion design business is a highly profitable business where you can make up to N100,000 or more on a weekly basis. So, if you are blessed with the talent of designing clothes, you can take it up from there. Currently, the fashion industry has such a huge scope for growth. According to an estimate, global apparel market alone is worth 3 trillion dollars and it is growing by 2% annually. It is clear from this stats that the demand for fashion design business is ever increasing, you want to create a profitable niche for yourself immediately.
Skills needed to start up a fashion design business in Nigeria: Here are some important skills you need to possess for your fashion design business to succeed.
- Good managerial skills
- Creative skills
- Marketing skills
- Negotiation skills
- Time management skills
All of these skills are necessary if you want to get to the peak of your fashion career.
Getting started: To start a fashion design business, you must be prepared to think and act like an entrepreneur. Follow this step by step guide to launch your fashion design business in Nigeria;
- Write a business plan
The prerequisite to starting a lasting business is planning for it. Don’t flow with the Nigerian convention and just summarily plunge into your business without preparing a business plan. That’s a terrible mistake. Don’t do it. If you don’t know how to prepare a business plan, you could always outsource this to business consultants to do. Having a good business plan can be the difference between your business’s success or failure. To get a well written business plan by professionals, send a direct mail to firstname.lastname@example.org
- Know your target market
Without knowing your target customers or clients, you simply cannot move forward with your business plans. Who precisely are your customers? Do some research to know what trends of colours, styles, designs, etc that people like these days. What is the purchasing capacity of your customers? You should be able to satisfactorily provide answers to these questions. This will help you to focus your marketing strategy on attracting the exact clientele you want.
- Have an official website
People search the internet a lot these days to source for choice products or services. Get your target audience to see your business by putting up an official website. Do this months before you officially launch your business, it’s better to create awareness for your business before you get it off the ground.
- Your capital requirements
With a sum of N500,000 you should be able to start up a fashion design business and grow it to a bigger outfit. This money should cover rent, labour and the acquisition of equipments needed to startup.
- Materials and equipments needed
Here are the basic materials and equipments needed to start up a small fashion design business;
- Sewing machine. You will need a complete set of sewing machine
- Weaving machine. This machine is used as a finishing instrument to make your work much neater
- Embroidery machine. This machine is used to make designs on clothes
- Furniture. Furniture fittings will be required for sitting and also work tables
- Sewing materials. Sewing materials like thread, pins, tape rule, needle, scissors etc have to be purchased.
- Generator set. A generator set should be purchased to help power your equipments when power goes out
- Pressing irons. These will also be required for straightening of clothes.
- Have a vision for brand identity
You should have a vision for the advancement of your business so that you can work with that. This will help you in building a brand identity that is different and unique from your competitors. Profitability of fashion design business The profit margin in the fashion design business usually depends on the fashion designer. So you get to set your own prices, however, you should work with what is generally charged and acceptable. On the whole, your profit depends on the number of jobs you get per day and the number of jobs you can deliver on a daily basis. For this reason, it is recommended that you seek to hire as much labour as possible for a smoother running of your business. Reasons to go into the business
- It does not require large investment;
- It isn’t a seasonal business;
- the need for exclusive clothing is increasing;
- the flexibility of choosing a business system.
Purchase of fabrics and accessories: You will need different types of fabrics: polyester; cotton; wool/wool blend; viscose, etc. You will also need some lining materials: woven interfacing; non-woven fabric; lining materials: polyester, twill, viscose.
Type of service: There are many tailoring business ideas allowing several variations at the start: standard: sewing dresses, suits, outerwear; repair and modification; sewing children’s clothing; sewing uniforms; sewing tablecloths, curtains, covers, etc.
Organising sales: Wondering how to organise sales for your new shop? There are only 3 ways to sell the product in this business: the Internet, local shops and markets. Of course, you can also open your own store or even a chain of stores. However, this will require significant additional funding that may not be available at first.
Select a niche: The most successful tailors are the ones that are specialize in a particular area. There are so many areas of sewing that one could pursue, and if you don’t select one or two things to specialize in, you can be worn thin and not properly market your business. Whether you want to do crafts, children’s or adult’s clothing, or sewing machine repair, there is a market for your business, but narrowing down your focus is key. Think about an area of specialization and start making plans to develop and market products in that area.
Employ experienced and skilled tailors: Once you’ve concluded on the particular niche you want to be known for, it is advisable to source for tailors that are experienced in that field.
Serial Entrepreneur - International Business Planning Consultant - Speaker - Trainer - Author - Blogger - Network Marketing professional.
- 2018 SME Business Trainer and Coaching Advisor at GIZ for SME Loop.
- 2018 YALI RLC Online Cohort 9
- 2017 Fellow, Inspire Africa Train-the-Trainer Entrepreneurship programme sponsored by US Consulate Lagos and the Dickey Center, U.S.A.
- 2016 Fellow, Tony Elumelu Foundation Entrepreneurship Programme
- 2015 Top 50 Innovative Entrepreneurs, BET5 by Diamond Bank and EDC, PAU.
He is an alumnus of Enterprise Development Centre (EDC) of the Lagos Business School (LBS), Pan-Atlantic University (PAU). Through his training, mentoring, speaking and coaching programmes, he has empowered many young people over the years to start and grow their own business, build wealth, create multiple streams of income and achieve financial independence.
- He is a Certified Trainer in Design Thinking by the U.S Consulate, Lagos and the inspire Africa Entrepreneurship Institute.