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Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Boutique Business Ideas in Nigeria: Start up and marketing

Many people know that there are clothes and there are clothes to buy and wear. What I mean by that is there are designer clothes and there are cheap imitations everywhere you go in Lagos. When you hear of Oshodi, Yaba, Katangua, Iyana Iba, Aswani, Jankara and what have you what first comes to your mind is second hand clothes. But that is not all there is to know, other ideas that should come to your mind should include money, self employment and business.
Many people have set up small businesses with very little and have made a lot of money selling clothes from even their own homes. Some have taken the business to their schools, while some sell in offices even to their church members. The point I am making is that selling clothes in Lagos Nigeria is a lucrative business. There is no limit to this business because there are so many people in this city and therefore a long list of waiting customers, you just have to find a way to get to the market of cloth loving folks.
Selling Second Hand Clothes
The journey to money making in this business if you have little capital is to start is with second hand clothes. Don’t laugh at what I just said because it’s true. Except if you have plenty of money to invest in the business, most likely you will start with second hand clothes and where as this may seem insulting but the economy makes it so. Where are the suppliers of second hand clothes? Places like Aswani market which opens on Tuesdays every week or Oshodi Market or Katangua market have answers. On the other hand if you are enterprising, then travelling all the way to Cotonou is a good way to source cheap ‘Okrika’ or OK as some folks like to call them. As for where to display them, anywhere people will easily notice them.
Selling Grade ‘A’ clothes
Some people may glorify second clothes by calling them grade A. As long as you are not the first person wearing it then grade A OK which looks new is still Okrika. Most grade A clothes are sold to the young especially people of school age (university and polytechnic students) but sometimes they may be sold to young men and women working in corporate organizations.
Designer clothes for sale in Lagos
These clothes are sold to fashion conscious people who have money to throw around. Designer clothes are usually sold in boutiques. Some places in Lagos noted for designer cloth selling are Adeniran Ogunsanya Street in Surulere, Allen Avenue and Opebi Road, Awolowo way in Ikeja
How to start selling clothes in Lagos Nigeria
Depending on your goal as an entrepreneur or small business owner, if selling clothes is what you wish to do then you have a number of options open to you. First you may want to sell fairly used clothes in small display trays or on tables as some folks mostly in the poorer parts of Lagos do in front of their homes (please this is not for the proud). This depends anyway on the kind of neighbourhood you are based in (I don’t expect this to work in highbrow areas) and if your Landlord wouldn’t mind you doing so.  Also if your street is a very busy one with many people passing by and taking notice of it. Of course these clothes should be better than relatively of more quality than what obtains elsewhere and should be relatively less expensive to attract many customers.
Selling Second Clothes in Small Shops
Another way to go about this is by selling in stalls or small shops. Some other people sell clothes in small shops along very busy roads. Some popular places where this happens in Lagos Nigeria include; Oyingbo, Along Ojuelegba-Lawanson-itire road in Surulere, Awolowo Way in Ikeja etc.
Selling Clothes in Boutiques
Boutiques are by far the most lucrative ways to make money in Nigeria from selling clothes. Nigerian youths in our major cities like to imitate their western counterparts. They love to wear what’s in vogue and don’t like to be left behind. This means selling trendy clothes and fashion accessories is the way to go if you intend to set up a boutique for this market. But there are other markets also such as the corporate market, women folk and even sports lovers e.g Selling Barcelona, Chelsea, Arsenal or Man United branded T-Shirts and scarves.
Mobile Clothes Dealer
Some other people take their clothes selling to another level. I remember during my service year one particular clothes dealer who used to sell clothes with his motorcycle. He would move from one village to another on his bike usually targeting public gatherings, markets and schools, of course he was making cool money as well. Even in school, some business savvy girls sell girly clothes to their fellow female students in the hostel and hook up with them elsewhere sometimes even going to meet women in their shops or at the offices.
In a nutshell, selling clothes must be based on who those clothes appeal to and why and approaching them in the best way.

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