How to Start a Fabric Business in Nigeria + SAMPLE BUSINESS PLAN
Clothing is one of the three major needs of man. We can hardly survive without clothing especially in certain climes. Nigeria is without doubt the most populous black nation in the world. The country has an estimated 198 million people and her population is expected to rise to 250 million by 2050. This simply means there will continually be a need for clothing in Nigeria.
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Nigerians are very much in touch with their culture and there are over 450 ethnic groups in the country. Some of the major ethnic groups in Nigeria are the Yoruba, Igbo, Hausa, Urhobo, Tiv, Idoma, Itshekiri, Ijaw, Egun, Okun ethnic groups. All these ethnic groups have fabrics that are peculiar to them. For example when you see a person with a black and white cloth you are most certain the fellow is representing the Tiv. A person from Idoma wears red and black and so on.
A fabric business provides services to several sectors of the economy. Some of these sectors include entertainment, arts and culture, costume design, fashion design, etc. Fabric is a major part of our heritage and we use them at several ceremonies. Nigerians are known to love organizing and attending ceremonies. In fact there is almost no weekend that a major ceremony is not held. From weddings to naming ceremonies, to birthdays, house warming ceremonies, burials, and several other ceremonies.
Practically all of these ceremonies require attendees to wear uniform fabrics. This is known as “aso ebi.” Asides this Nigerians generally love to wear clothes that depict their culture regularly. It is almost a norm that on Fridays people wear native clothes. It is usually known as “traditional Friday.” All of these point to the fact that the fabric business is very lucrative and highly profitable in Nigeria.
The fabric business is very vast and has several segments. Basically there are two forms of fabric. Local or traditional fabric and foreign fabric. Getting involved in the fabric business requires you to be involved in one or both of the different kinds of fabric. As a fabric seller you can be involved in several ways. It could be import, export, supply, distribution, or retail. There is none of these that is not profitable. The amount of profit you get in this business is dependent on the amount you have to invest and the effort you put into it.
There are several pointers you should look out for which will boost your chances of thriving and becoming successful in the fabric business. Firstly if you are one who is in love with fabric and you have a desire to always use them then it is possible that you will prosper at the business. Secondly if you have a flair for crafts using fabric like designing clothes, tailoring, quilting, among others then it is possible for you to excel in this business. Thirdly if there is no fabric shop in your neighborhood and you have noticed a major need for this kind of service then you can also prosper in the business. This is because you have a tendency of pioneering the business in your locality and taking over the market before any other person starts it.
If you are still reading this article at this point my guess is that you have developed even if it is a tiny bit of interest in the fabric business. It does not take so much to start this kind of business in Nigeria. This article will be providing you reliable information on things you need to know and do when starting your fabric business in Nigeria. It promises to be an interesting read so I invite you to join me.
Profitability of the fabric business in Nigeria
One of the major entrepreneurs in the fabric industry once said that the fabric business is almost more profitable than any other business. He further went on to explain that if the fabric entrepreneur was able to employ certain tools at his or her disposal the amount of profit could almost be tripled. If you can think outside the box and offer your customers what no other person offers then you are bound to make tremendous amounts of profits. It is almost unbelievable that you can get a 100% return on your investment or more within a very short period, say 6 months to a year depending on how you manage the business.
The amount of fabric needed by Nigerians on a weekly basis means shows that there is huge profit to be made from the business. A major advantage of this business is that you can start small and gradually grow it to become a fabric empire. It however requires lots of resilience, determination and persistence.
A few things you need to know before starting your fabric business in Nigeria
We have already stated in clear terms that the fabric business is a very lucrative one which can produce a hundred percent return on investment in just a few months of operation. As profitable as this business is without gaining adequate knowledge before commencing the business it could crumble even before startup.
To this end here is a list of things you should know before setting up your fabric business in Nigeria.
- Understand the different kinds of fabrics. Fabrics are of different types and it is imperative that before getting into the business on a full scale you must have an understanding of the different kinds of fabrics. This might take a long period of time but the time spent will definitely be worth it as it will help you have in depth knowledge of the sector. This study will also expose you to knowledge about credible distributors and suppliers that will provide your business with the best fabrics at the most affordable prices.
- Understand how to employ and handle employees in the business. This is a very sensitive aspect of the fabric business. Your staff are the face of your business and the kind of staff you employ and their attitude to the work will affect the business positively or negatively. Before you even employ at all you must first figure out if you really need to employ staff. The level at which you plan to run the business will determine if you need to employ anyone or not. A small roadside shop will not need any staff but a big store catering to several smaller businesses will definitely need at least 2 staff. It requires you to visit other existing businesses and find out how they treat their staff. Also find out pay rates and other incentives. Also consider coming up with an employee manual where you will have recorded your staff processes. These processes should be reviewed regularly to ensure that employees are comfortable enough to offer the best of services.
- Understand the power of social media to your business and how to use it. You do not need to be tech savvy to know that social media is the best way for any entrepreneur to market and grow a business. If you have an idea of what happens on the internet through social media in a minute you will know that you must learn how best to use it for your business. One of the ways of using social media is posting content regularly. Your content must be related to your business and it must not be offensive to other businesses.
- Learn how to make your brand stand out. The fabric business is one which requires a lot of imagery and publicity. You must learn to find a way of creating a brand with your business. There is no fabric business that is successful today that has not spent time, effort and money to do this. If you are going to be successful in this light then you must pay this price. Learn to create a personality for your business. While doing this ensure that you work with your vision and your element of style for your business.
How to start your fabric business in Nigeria
Now that you have understood all of the above and gained the necessary knowledge then you can begin the process to start your fabric business. Before we go into this I must let you know that it is not a rosy journey as there are quite a number of hurdles you will face. This is however trivial compared to what you will gain from the business if handled or managed properly. In this section we shall be discussing what you need to set in place while starting your fabric business. I believe that you are itching to see this now that you have come this far in this article.
- Feasibility study. All of what was stated in the previous aspect of this article should be part of your feasibility study. This will ensure that you are well equipped to run the business. You definitely want to reduce your chances of failing or losing to the barest minimum. You also need to understand your market and what your prospective customers want. What is obtainable or in high demand in the Southern part of the country may not necessarily be in high demand in the North. You feasibility study will expose you to this kind of information.
- Write a business plan. Once you are done with your feasibility study the next step is writing a business plan. It is important you do this so your business has a map of operation. A lot of entrepreneurs take this aspect for granted and end up regretting it later in the business. You do not need to write it yourself you can simply seek the expertise of a professional at a cost. The business plan helps give your business direction and creates opportunity for investors to consider investing in your business. It also helps you when you need to collect a loan from the bank. If you do not have the expertise to write a business plan for yourself, you can buy our sample business plan for a fabric store in Nigeria. You can edit this business plan to suit your specific needs. Call us on +2347033378184 today to get yours.
- Register the business. This is another aspect that small business owners take for granted. It is however important to do this to avoid unnecessary problems while running the business. You can register with the Corporate Affairs Commission in any State of the country. You can also visit their website and complete your business name registration. You should also find out local bodies that you should register with in you locality. Once you do register with them as they can be a source of embarrassment to your business if you do not.
- Rent a shop. For a simple start up business it is advisable to rent a shop instead of building. You can later grow into owning your own complex. The location of your shop will affect to a large extent how successful your business is. Ensure that your shop is sited in close proximity to the kind of people you want to patronize your business. It is best if the shop is in a place with high traffic. It is also important that your shop is accessible for vehicular and human traffic.
- Purchase your goods. At this point you can make a purchase of the goods to be sold at your shop. To make this purchase you must visit the results of your feasibility studies. This will help you know what people want and which suppliers will best suit your needs.
- Hire employees. If you need to employ anyone this is the time to do so. Ensure that people that will be employed have a heart for your business and are honest and trustworthy. You will not be on ground at the shop at all times so you need people that will treat your business as theirs and handle affairs properly.
- Promote your business. You have learnt the advantages of social media to business advertisement, this is the time to use it to your advantage. Asides social media you can also find other ways to engage your prospective customers. Some of these include handbills, billboards, etc. You can run promotions and provide discounts and price slashes occasionally to boost sales.
That is about all you need to know in starting your fabric business. You will notice I did not talk about capital. This is because the amount of capital you need is dependent on the level at which you want to run the business. good luck in starting your fabric business.
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