The fragrance industry is a $25 – $30 billion a year market. Claim your share! If you love perfumes, why not turn this into a viable business by creating new and innovative scents that appeal to a large audience in Nigeria? An entrepreneur with a sophisticated sense of smell can easily tap into the fragrance market and learn the art. Just be ready to work hard if you want to make a mark in the industry. Starting a perfume line requires creativity and some business savvy.
So if you’re quite ready to smell your way into success in Nigeria, I’ll show you how…
- Prepare a business plan. The first step should be to create a business plan which will include a definition and description of your product, your market niche, your target market and how you intend to reach them, your distribution channels, marketing strategy and profit and loss projections. Having a business plan in place will help give your business direction and a good starter. You may need to get professional help in writing a winning business plan for your business.
Contact firstname.lastname@example.org for information on how to write a business plan and also in implementing the business plan for you.
2. Get some training on perfume making. To get a good grip of your business; enroll for perfume making classes. Exploratory and introductory courses are available online. Browse the internet to get more information on online and offline perfume making courses/training. This is really important, because you will need to understand the design process for scents so that you can create your own perfume line successfully in Nigeria.
3. Take advanced perfuming courses. Courses like these can be hard to find in Nigeria, so I suggest you consider travelling overseas to perfume making centres suchvas one in Grasses, France. It can be worth your while and investment, if you’re really serious about creating a signature scent in Nigeria ( I mean there’s no such endeavor in Nigeria, and if there is; I haven’t seen or heard of it). Grasse is a hub of the perfume industry and is where most of the world’s largest and most suitable perfumeries have operated for centuries. And there’s quite a number of schools and perfumeries there which offer advanced courses for the serious perfumer. I strongly recommend that you look into taking these courses if you can.
- Identify your target market. Now it’s time to determine who will buy your perfumes. By identifying a target market, you can begin to craft a fragrance line that meets the needs of your customer base right from the very beginning. Sure, “everyone” likes to smell good, but “everyone” isn’t your market. The Gen-X customer base may be more inclined to buy a celebrity-endorsed perfume. Not all perfumes are deemed appropriate in an office setting or a gym. You’ve got to have a clear picture of your target market while creating the scents to ensure that your perfume line is well suited to your customer base.
5. Register your business with appropriate authorities. Next, ensure that you take steps to identify with appropriate authorities in Nigeria by way of registering with them. Some relevant bodies you may need to identify with are; The Standard Organization of Nigeria ( SON), NAFDAC, CAC etc. Of course you’ll need to register your company name with the Corporate Affairs Commission (CAC). Just see to it that you obtain the relevant licenses and permits for your business.
6. Design a distinct fragrance. When developing your perfume line in Nigeria, you will have to come up with a distinct fragrance that can be marketable. To do this; you may need to carry out a survey; ask industry experts from Grasse, France to confirm that your formula is not being used by someone else. Most times it may even be that your formula isn’t under someone else’s patent or copyright; the problem may simply be that your fragrance may be similar to another fragrance already being marketed by another brand. So you want to pay attention to such trivialities if you really want a signature perfume line in Nigeria. Although most entrepreneurs actually mimic the smell of popular fragrances to increase their sales; creating a distinctive perfume has the potential for marking you out in the industry. At this stage, you should be more interested in building brand loyalty and establishing market dominance than making profits: They will come.
Right now you should focus on creating a perfume brand that has your signature scent and style. You can help grow your brand by offering customers a branded fragrance that will create better brand loyalty and help set you apart from the rest.
7. Obtain international patents and trademarks. To safeguard your unique perfume formula and brand, register and obtain international patents and trademark. You don’t want other entrepreneurs ( especially a certain tribe in Nigeria) imitating your products, do you? Am guessing no. So what to do? Just get in touch with a lawyer in Nigeria who specializes in international formula patents and one with extensive experience in the perfume and cosmetics industry, to help you with the necessary process involved.
8. Select a name for your perfume line. Names are critical to the branding and sales of your perfume line in Nigeria. Most entrepreneurs name their perfumes after concepts or ideas which they want to have associated with their fragrance. Others name their fragrance after individuals like; celebrities, designers or even beauty experts, sport stars and so on. If you find it hard to name your perfume; you can outsource it to naming companies ( not sure we have such in Nigeria) or hire marketing/ business consultants to help you pitch the perfect name for your perfume line. Hire a marketing firm to run a market survey to check which names appeal more to your niche market in Nigeria.
- Find a perfumery to manufacture your perfume line. Six of the world’s largest perfumeries are located in Grasse, France. You can visit any of these facilities and ask for a business quotation and price quotes to really determine which of them you can work with to create your perfume line. Alternatively, you can source for perfumeries in Nigeria to get the job done for you. So long as the perfumery can create the brand you want, why not?
10. Run a quality control analysis for your product. To ensure the quality of your perfume line; hire quality control experts to run physiochemical tests on your product. You should know that perfumes are volatile and may also have other components that can be harmful to the human body. Run dermatological tests on your perfume line to ensure that it is safe for the human skin; and is not otherwise corrosive in anyway upon contact with the flesh ( skin). What are the constituents of your product? Is it safe? Does it place your customers health(or life) at risk? Ensure that you have all these information at your fingertips even before releasing your perfume into the market for sale.
11. Design the packaging for your perfume line. Next on is choosing the perfect bottle for your perfume. The major appeal of perfumes is in the packaging they come in. Popular brands often come in spritzers with so many unique shapes and glossy bottling, adding to the glam of the product. So many perfumers in Nigeria just keep the packaging simple to save money; which is good though, but it hides your product, if you know what I mean. This is acceptable for new entrants; although I recommend that you get more creative with your packaging to help distinguish your fragrance line – it’s better now than later. You can hire a package design firm to help you create your signature bottle. Choose a bottle design that makes a statement about your brand and also adds to the desirability of the product. Again you may need to conduct a market survey to ensure that the packaging appeals to your target market.
Did you know that the most expensive perfume in the world costs over $200,000 per bottle? ( this is mainly because its crystal container is encrusted with diamonds)
- Ready your samples at all times. Always keep your perfume samples at hand to give to family and friends, potential clients and business partners. Send to the heads of local and international distribution companies. Normally, a sample should come in smaller bottles to reduce costs for you.
- Establish distribution channels. Find wholesalers or distributors to sell your products to retail outlets. Once your product has been successfully created and packaged for sale; you want to make sure you establish links with major cosmetic distributors in Nigeria. You can find them in Lagos, Onitsha, Aba and Kaduna. You have to take steps to set up a distribution agreement with such business entities in the country to help you in distributing your products. And ensure you have a lawyer in place for all business negotiations and contracts.
14. Congratulations in advance!
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