Running a boutique business in Nigeria is a lucrative business if you have it set up the right way. However, clothing is one of the three primary needs of a man, so if you are looking to start a boutique business, you have chosen to pursue a viable business. Why did I say so? Well, the reason is obvious. Man cannot do without clothing just as much as he can’t do without food.
Therefore, you have a high chance of succeeding because you have chosen an industry for which there will always be a demand.
With that in mind, it’s no surprise that many people are doing great in the clothing industry. The good thing is you can also join the train and get a slice of that pie. But before you jump in, here is a quick guide on how to run a successful boutique business in Nigeria:
Things to know before starting a clothing Business in Nigeria
What do you want to sell?
First, you need to define your niche. You have to decide the type of cloth you want to deal on. Are you going to sell top designers or children wears or second-hand clothes or your design?
Each of these types of wears has its peculiarities. If you decide to sell top designer wears, you need more capital compared to the others.
If you are starting on a tight budget, it’s best you sell second-hand cloths popularly called “Akube” or “Okrika” because they are the cheapest to buy, but if don’t want to sell them you can sell children cloth as they are also quite affordable.
If you’re a fashion designer, selling your designs might not be a bad idea; however, you must be prepared to handle the initial skepticism that most of your prospects will have.
Related Post: Starting a small business: 6 things you need to know
Choosing the right location is key to the success of a boutique business. If you sell top designers like TM Lewis, Fendi, Gucci, TM Lewis, Karl Cani, Versace, etc. it’s best you set up your shop in highbrow neighborhoods where high-income earners live or in places they frequent like Shopping Malls. But if you sell second-hand clothes, you’d sell more displaying your product in open markets.
Something else to consider when choosing a place is to select an area that would provide an incentive for your prospects to buy your clothes. For instance, if you sell kids’ clothes, you’d sell more if your shop is situated where toys are being sold.
On a general note, ensure wherever you choose is accessible, convenient, and visible to your customers else, you might struggle to acquire them.
In business generally, you cannot, but market your products and running a boutique is not an exception. In fact, your marketing must always be ongoing.
So print complimentary cards, give discounts, run ads, etc. If you design custom clothes, wear them to display your designs – that would not cost you anything. Just do what you have to do to attract new customers and measure the outcomes.
I know marketing might seem like an expense, especially if you are using paid media, but when it is done right, it could be your most rewarding investment in the business. Find cost-effective channels to market your wears and explore them.
Do a feasibility study about your competitors. Find out their strengths, weaknesses, pricing, etc., and develop a plan to dominate them. I’m sure you’ve heard the saying “he who fails to plan, plans to fail.” That’s how important a business plan is. In your business plan, ensure you estimate the cost of business supplies, marketing, location, etc.
Also, a good business plan must define the unique value proposition of your business. Unique value proposition refers to the service that makes your business stand out from others but more importantly offer value or experience to customers that they cannot get anywhere. For example, your business USP could be the personalization of service – the way customers are treated as friends and not some opportunity to make money. I hope you get the point.
ASK FOR CUSTOMER FEEDBACK
Keep a record of your customer complaints and criticisms. They are your pointers in business, showing you the direction your business should be heading towards.
When you get customer feedback, negative or positive, work to adjust or consolidate. If you receive negative feedback ensure that you make corrections so that another customer doesn’t have the same experience.
Similarly, when you have positive feedback consciously establish routines that will help you provide such service that will provide such feedbacks.
Publicize your positive feedbacks and encourage your satisfied customers to spread the word. In spite of the advent of social media, word of mouth remains the best form of marketing so treat your customers right and not only will they repeat doing business with you, they will become your ambassadors.