By Marcus Amudipe
Do you own a clothing business or are you intending to start one; are you scared of using the internet as a platform to promote your business. So therefore, it’s my intention to use this article as a medium to help budding entrepreneurs learn how to start a clothing line business in the best and most organized manner.
We live in a world where the emphasis on white collar jobs is on the decline and where the advocacy for entrepreneurial ventures has been given a huge facelift in the wake of the current and lingering economic realities of the 21st century. For a budding small scale business owner or medium scale, the growth of science and technology in the world today which has led to the creation of the internet can be a huge factor for growth in promoting their respective business ventures as the advent of the internet has made the world a global community where you can reach out to the rest of the world within the space of minutes, helping them cut cost and avoid several long process methods as common with the orthodox way of doing business.
With the rise of the internet and its diverse advantages to business owners there are multiple job opportunities that aspiring business owners can engage themselves with using the social media pace as a veritable platform for growth. Platforms such as Jobs.delon.ng provide Nigerians several job opportunities that can be harnessed for growth and leveraged upon in Nigeria.
One of the common businesses which can be done by aspiring business owners is selling of women clothing in Nigeria
Owing and starting your own clothing shop business in Nigeria as it is very lucrative because the fashion industry is one important sector that will always be vibrant in any economy across all countries of the world, people have a basic need for clothing. Apart from this fashion evolves and it is constantly changing everyday leaving many fashion enthusiast with the urge and sheer desire to not only keep abreast with the latest fashion trend but also to ensure that they get them for themselves not minding how cheap or expensive these clothes might be. Beyond this need, fashions are also evolving on daily basis due to the huge and diverse interest in styles.
In elementary school, we were taught that the three basic needs of every human being are food, shelter and clothing. And indeed, these are things that every normal human being must have whether they like or yes! No one likes to run around naked.
Standing tall among clothes enthusiast are the women. For many of them clothes are more than just materials for covering the body’s nakedness; it is a means of social identity which they were to give themselves confidence and also feel good about themselves.
Starting a women’s clothing business is a lucrative business here in Nigeria. Women loves good clothing, shoes and accessories, it is not a gainsaying to say that it is a business venture that you will find very interesting.
The bulk of this article is to explain to business enthusiasts how they can promote their women’s clothing business, however it is important for them to have the basic knowledge on how to start a women’s clothing business. You can only promote what has been started.
STARTING A WOMEN’S CLOTHING BUSINESS
How much does it cost to start a clothing line from scratch? Do you want to start your own clothing line with no money? If YES, here is a sample clothing line business plan template to open a female fashion line from scratch.
There is more to starting a business from scratch than just having a great idea. So in this section of this article, I will be outlining what it takes to start a clothing company for women. But before I proceed, I want you to understand the fact that this article does not in any way replace the need for you to do your own feasibility study and write a business plan. Having made this point clear, let’s move on.
Women’s clothing business is a very lucrative one but it is quite unfortunate, many people do not understand that it is easy starting this line of business.
Building a successful clothing business means great work and dedication. In order for a business to be successful, you need to have a systematic plan, creative ways in which to promote it and make your products loved by your target clients. There is so much to learn when it comes to starting a clothing business that will yield profit.
Get in the right mindset
The principles of building a successful business is the same all over the world; so regardless of the business opportunity or idea you are pursuing, you will never find success if you lack the right mindset. Having the right mindset entails that you understand that success is not an overnight venture. You must also be prepared to face business challenges and stiff competition of the fashion industry.
Understand the fashion industry
The fashion industry is a rapidly changing one; trend come and go just as the sun rise and sets. For you to succeed in the sales of women clothing business, you must thoroughly understand your customers and their taste. You must possess the ability to foresee trends, months before it hits the market. Most importantly, you must be creative and flexible in your tactics.
You would also need to conduct a market research to understand your potential customer’s tastes, preferences and expectations. Because the fashion industry is seasonal in nature and changes are made every day. You have to be able to keep up with trends in the fashion industry. You don’t want to turn out spring designs when it’s already summer. So you have to be fashion forward and keep up with trends to know what designs are hot and what other designers are doing.
Write a business plan
In every starting business, a plan of action is important. For your business to thrive, you need to identify your target market and learn the kind of products that they buy.
Also, you need to ask questions from different stores and customers regarding products, the price and the quality. Make a list of materials and other things that you need for the business together with the projected cost of operations within the year.
Consult experts on your plans and seek advice from entrepreneurs in the fashion industry. Take note of the legal requirements and prepare all the necessary documents. Decide and define the kind of company you wish to create. Analyze your manpower needs to see if you need employees and if you do, how many will you hire? Organize your plans and identify possible constraints. Compile all this in one report, so that you will have a guide to follow.
Build a Brand
What every clothing line need is a brand. Make sure that the name of your line is creative, unique and catchy. After that, you need to create a logo. Make sure that your logo reflects the philosophy and nature of the brand. Be reminded that the name of the company can be different from the name of the clothing line itself, which you need to register for legalities.
- Register your trademark-: Most importantly, you must not forget to trademark your brand name. Do well to ensure that your business venture is registered with the corporate affairs commission. (CAC).
- Create a bank account for your business-: You should also create a separate bank account for your business, so that your personal expenses can be separated from your business expenses. You may have to register your business legally before you can open a business bank account.
SELLING FEMALE CLOTHES ONLINE
Selling female clothes online has never been easier thanks to websites and an application that helps sellers set up a virtual shop even from the comfort of your homes. It is also handy for people with already existing female clothing ventures. If you are willing to put in a great deal of strategic work online, then you will definitely find it easy to sell your clothes
Here are some tips on how to sell clothes online
- Know Your Marketplace – There are various platforms plenty platforms on the internet where you can see your female clothing, including Jobs.delon.ng which gives sellers a platform to reach a bigger audience where they can make their goods and services visible to prospective buyers. The good thing about this platform is that while other platforms such as Poshmark, ThredUp, Ebay, Jumia charges their clients before they can make use of their respective platforms to sell their merchandise but Job.delon.ng is a free platform or marketplace for business owners to use. Business owners must ensure that they understand the platforms they intend using well before using those platforms. They must know what type of users visits those platforms and the polices that surrounds the sites usage
- Freshen up Your Merchandise- the presentation of your wares online matters a lot, stained and wrinkled clothing is not good for sales as potential buyers will be put off and discouraged from buying them. Ensure that before you put up any clothing wares for sale online, they must be in good condition. Quality matters a lot.
- Take Clear Photos- High quality pictures helps your items stand out. Ensure that you employ the use of good device to take clear pictures of your wares. When you use device with low picture quality, it affects the quality of our wares as the device will not bring out the best in them even if they are goo merchandise.
- Write an honest description- this is another important factor which is highly needed for the credibility of your business. Do well to inform prospective buyers everything they need to know about the item you are selling. Give basic details on the size, brand and condition of the merchandise. Do not make any attempt to provide false details as they might in the long run come back to hurt the credibility of your business venture and people’s perception of you
- Ensure that your Customers send in their Reviews- it is also important that you ensure that your clients do a review of the goods they buy from you. Collate these reviews and make them available for prospective customers to read them. This when done give people a safe and assured feeling that doing business with you is safe.
- Keep in Touch with your customers- Ensure that you keep a record of your customers and not only this, make it an habit to always reach out to them once in a while. This will ensure that they have you in mind at all times.
- Have a good delivery system- Since you are running an online business, this implies that for every goods sold there is a need for you to deliver them to the doorstep of the buyer depending on the agreement between you both. However do well to ensure at all times that you have a good delivery system which enables you to transport sold goods to their respective buyers within the stipulated time you promised to deliver them. Also ensure that the goods sent are not mis-handled by the delivery means you chose to use to transport the goods
PLATFORMS THAT CAN BE USED
- Delon.ng- also a good platform but it takes time to get your product on their website. You need to do documentation, and the good thing about the platform is that there services are for free and they give visibility to a larger audience which goes a long way in boosting their clients profile and business
Instagram Another popular platform on our list because it’s a common social media platform people use now and spend more time on. On this platform you get the chance to own your own accounts which you can tailor to be a business account which enables you to conduct and transact business activities. Through the use of hash tags you get the opportunity to reaching a bigger audience
However, to run a successful clothing line on Instagram you must first create a profile and start uploading pictures of your snapped clothes. You should tag your friends, tag celebrities and Instagram influencers as you’re doing this so that your products will appear on their profile too even if they don’t comment on your pictures. After doing this for quite a while, you should run a systematic advert to reach more people on Instagram. By systematic, I mean choosing the right day, time, age of users you want to see your product, and so on. Running your advert any time of the day will be a total waste of time and resources.
Facebook is still useful despite its ups and downs recently plus the fact that you might not need to run a paid ad on it if you have many friends like 2,000 friends above.
But then again the time and day you post these pictures determines greatly how far they will go. I’ve noticed posting my pictures on Saturday evening reach more people than posting on Wednesday. And I’ve noticed why. Nigerians are always busy on the weekdays and even when they get home most time they just want to eat, watch TV and sleep. Also on Facebook you can run sponsored ads which enable you to have a bigger reach to the targeted audience and it runs for a stipulated period of time.
This one is a bit different from all the ones I’ve mentioned so far because it’s not a social media platform. However, you can still sell clothing on a blog – if you have one.
All you need to is create a page and upload pictures of your clothes to that page.
Note: This only works if your blog attracts enough traffic and have built enough trust with Nigerians
Jumia is also a good platform but it takes time to get your product in their online mall. You need to do documentation and also pay a certain fee.
Also, I heard you’ll need to be paying them a certain percent each time someone buys your product through their platform. I don’t know how true this is. Let me know in the comments if it is. But I’ll say this platform is not profitable if you’re just starting out because it can drain all your funds.
Conclusion- selling female clothing online in Nigeria is indeed a lucrative business in Nigeria which can be a good source of livelihood for individuals which they can grow into a big and strong venture. However they must ensure that they retain the integrity of their respective business ventures because there are plenty online platforms where unsuspecting customers are duped. Thus they must ensure that they build for themselves and have a good business outlook built on integrity.