Monday, October 5, 2015

How to Start a Wedding Planning and Wedding Vendor Services Business in Nigeria

Would you consider starting a wedding planning business a viable business venture in Nigeria? Maybe 15 years ago that may have been a bad idea, a waste of time, but not in 2015, Nigeria is catching up with the western world where wedding planning business is not a joke but serious money spinner making people with little or no education high income earners, why should Nigeria be any different when a lot of people spend good money on their weddings? The global market for this business is put at $300 billion and Nigeria is a very large market with its own peculiar market opportunities, although the business in Nigeria is largely informal it is quite large and can create both employment opportunities for a lot of Nigerians and wealth for budding entrepreneurs.

Let’s not mistake wedding planning with events management although both of them are closely related but wedding planners usually can specialize and carve a niche without being mistaken for so called events planners – apologies to event planners reading this post. Wedding planners have a duty to inform their potential customers to patronize them and stop wasting money doing things the old boring way but should be trying more modern and reasonable approaches that will wow guests. It is your duty as a prospective wedding planner to let your customer know that by using your service they will have a wedding their family and friends would envy even with a modest budget.

The Opportunity
Nigeria is still a conservative society despite strong western influences on our youths and one area we take very seriously is weddings. Nobody in Nigeria takes it lightly – that is why we hold three weddings here; church, court and traditional - and even low income earners go to great lengths to raise money to hold a memorable wedding people will talk about for years to come at least among their family and friends. Nigeria is also a very closely knit society with large families and social connections common among people. The wedding couples usually have at least 200 people from each side – bride and groom that is - they can’t afford not to invite, imagine the feeling of not being invited to a wedding by someone you call a friend. This has led to heavy spending by people for weddings which very often leaves holes in the pockets of the newly weds. This doesn’t have to be even though the average budget for Nigerian wedding among the middle class is over N600,000 for 300 guests.
More than 30,000 weddings take place weekly all over Nigeria
Weddings in Nigeria are becoming increasingly innovative and theme based
There is a growing acceptance of wedding planning service among intending couples in Nigeria

The business is however not so easy o! If you plan to enter it just know there are many people already claiming to be wedding planners and they know how to find customers and convince them to patronize them, so you have one challenge in that area. Two how would you handle situations in which something you didn’t expect to happen suddenly shows up and would cost you money if you ignore it as part of the wedding plan? Imagine that you have your list of things to spend money on, then rain now falls on D-day meanwhile the rain has made your wedding decorations go wet and the wedding reception is just hours away. Guest won’t appreciate smelly table cloths and chair covers nor would your client be impressed. So you have to sharperly arrange for replacement or else ………. You know the rest.
Other challenges include but not limited to; unforeseen expenses, unstable market prices, gate crashers, difficult customers and so on.

Areas of Wedding Business you can specialize in
If you can’t handle wedding planning you may want to try;
Venue decoration – some decorators smile home with over 150k per venue depends on size of venue and location of venue as well.
Events Photography – you could earn 30k per day
Bridal Shop – Can there be a wedding without wedding rings, bands, gowns, flowers etc
Bridal Jewellery – The bride must look like a million bucks
Make up artistry – both the bride and her maids must look beautiful
DJ and Wedding Entertainment – Guests must not sleep off during reception, they must laugh, dance, sing and shake body.

Marketing Strategy – how to find customers and convince them
Networking- Meeting the right kind of people, connecting with them and letting them know what you do
Internet marketing- Knowing how to use Instagram, Google Adwords, BBM, Twitter, Facebook, blogger, Nairaland, Whatsapp, Pinterest to name a few to sell yourself and your work.

Startup Requirements
Office/Shop Space – 360,000 (optional)
Wedding Venue Supplies – 300,000
1 year Marketing and Advert expenses – 120,000
1 High capacity smartphone – 30,000
Working Capital – 300,000
Total – (750,000 to 1,110,000)

Financial Projections
Gross Income – 6,000,000 (Your fee/commission from 40 weddings in a year)
Total expenses – 3,600,000 (Salaries, transportation, contingency, adhoc staff etc) 
Taxation – 720,000
Profit after tax – 2,880,000

Return on Investment – over 250% within first year if you meet your sales target and manage your books well.  I would have loved to continue indefinitely but I guess you have other things to do so thanks for reading.

Now for this important announcement – if you need a professionally written business plan that investors and banks would love to see, I’m your man for the job. Call me on any of these numbers: 0803 206 4106, 0817 142 9969 or email me: and I’ll walk you through the process.