This article is designed to give you an in-depth practical knowledge of how to start a cosmetics business in Nigeria. A cosmetic, beauty and fragrance store is an easy-to-start business and it is not so capital intensive, especially if you choose to start on a small scale. Getting the right brands of cosmetics that people would want to buy and good stock keeping are the secrets of running a retail cosmetics business.
The cosmetics and beauty industry is a flourishing business because everyone wants to look good. Consequently; cosmetics and skin care products are always in high demand — even during economic recessions. Just like food, everyone uses cosmetics; from bathing soap, brushing teeth, oiling the hair, creaming the body, to applying a deodorant and the rest.
What are cosmetics? Cosmetics are basically a variety of body care products such as; toothpaste, body wash, body cream, hair relaxer, hair spray, hair cream (and all other hair products), deodorants, and beauty products such as; eye liner, lipstick, lip balm, face powder, nail polish, mascara, etc.
Starting a cosmetics business in Nigeria is lucrative and exciting. You can either choose to start-up this business on a small or large scale, it all depends on the amount of capital you have with you.
You don’t need to wait until you have large capital, you can start small and expand it into a profitable venture your desire. So, if you’re ready to profit from the huge demand of cosmetic products; follow these steps to start a cosmetics business in Nigeria.
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How to start a cosmetics business in Nigeria
- GET INFORMATION ABOUT COSMETICS BUSINESS
Getting started with cosmetics business, right? It is important that you have a clear knowledge of the modus operandi of cosmetics business. You can’t just jump in feet first, without first knowing about the beauty sector. Look around you for successful cosmetics business owners in your area. Get familiar with them, study them; study their marketing strategies, their staffing and also their product selection. Learn their sales tactics, how they attract customers and how they manage their orders. Find out who their suppliers are; their pricing system. Learn as much as you can.
Prepare a detailed business plan for your cosmetics business. Most people think business plans are generally unnecessary and should only be prepared for a bigger more complicated entrepreneurial pursuit; this is wrong. One of major reasons businesses fail today is because they never have a plan. The global market for cosmetic products grows every single year. Since the last decade the growth has been on geometric progression. The growth rate for cosmetics has never dropped below 3%. This means that each year; for the past ten years; additionally customers purchases one cosmetic product or the other. Consequently, any cosmetics business that fails, failed to plan.
Your business plan should include an overview of your business and other specific details such as;
- The missions and objectives of your business
- The startup cost
- Your target market
- Your financial projections for the first, second and third year.
- A competitor analysis
- Your marketing plan
If you’re not sure how to go about it yourself; you can get some kind of professional help to prepare an expertly organized and professional business plan for your cosmetics business plan in Nigeria. We can always help you to prepare a winning cosmetics business plan, anytime any moment if call on us.
- SELECT BEST SELLING COSMETIC PRODUCTS
Cosmetics business is a broad one, so you’ll need to settle into a particular product line or group of product line which are fast selling. For example, you could decide to go into the skin care and make up industry. Here are different varieties of cosmetic products line you can be dealing on;
- Make up products. There’s something extremely cool about having your own make up business; perhaps the satisfaction you get as a make-up expert. And just being in a space where you represent beauty to people, this is the appeal of dealing in beauty products. The cosmetics industry is growing every single year, and the make-up cosmetics industry is currently an $11 billion industry! So claim your share. These are some recognized make-up brands in Nigeria; Mary Kay, Black Opal, Milani, clinique and many others.
- Hair care products. This is comprised of a whole range of hair products such as, hair attachments, hair weave-ons, hair extensions mostly used by females. Hair relaxers, treatments, hair sprays, spray gel, hair cream, shampoo, conditioners and many others.
- Skin care products. This includes skin products for different purposes such as, exfoliation, body toning, moisturizing, age defying and so on.
- Toiletry and laundry products. Personal products like toiletries and laundry products fall into this category. Examples of such products are; Toothpaste, bath soap, toilet paper, deodorant, body perfumes, etc.
Once you settle into a particular niche, you can then proceed to write a business plan.
- FIND A GOOD LOCATION FOR YOUR COSMETIC BUSINESS
Where you locate your business has an overall impact on its success. Ensure that you lease a cosmetics shop in a strategic location where it can easily be accessible; preferably in an open market. Basically, the best place to set up shop is in a saturated and highly commercial region of the city. However, if you’re working from home, you can have the cosmetics store set up near your home which allows you display your products and hosts customers and guests. Ideally, you should set up your shop in an affluent territory zone where income earners is high, prompting more sales from customers who can afford to look as good as they want. When deciding on the location for your business; ensure these factors are closely observed
- Visibility from the street
- Availability of parking space
- Ease of access
- Constant and dependable power supply
- Flow of traffic and commuters
- Good road.
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- REGISTER YOUR COSMETIC BRAND NAME
Get your business name registered with the corporate affairs commission of Nigeria (CAC). You can visit any CAC office close to you or visit the company official website http.cac.gov.ng for more information or see article on this how to register your business with the corporate affairs commission in Nigeria. Getting your business registered is a way of telling the government that your business exists and the business is owned by you. Customers have more trust in registered business than businesses which are not. So, consider registering your cosmetic business. Once registered; you will become a legal entity in Nigeria.
- FURNISH , DESIGN AND STYLE YOUR SHOP
Your style and design can influence how customers feel about your business. If you’re not sure how to go about it; just look at other cosmetics shops around your location for inspiration. Take your time when choosing your style; make it appealing. And remember you’ll also need well decorated business cards for your business. Seek the help of a good designer to help you create best quality cards. You have to appear as professional as possible; and still exhibit a flair for style.
- GET STARTUP CAPITAL READY
You startup capital should cover cost of renting a shop, cost of furnishing and costs of acquiring your merchandise. The cost can run up to N350,000. Of course you’ll definitely run into other costs on the way, but this should cover the basics. You should be able include start up costs and recurring expenses in your plan. Some costs to consider when planning your budget include;
- Interior decor
- Power supply
- Marketing and advertisements
- Company registration
You’ll encounter more needs but this list should get you started.
- GET YOUR SUPPLIERS
I recommend you team up with cosmetics distributors so as to maximize your profits. There are so many cosmetics distributors in places like; the Mushin market, Balogun market in Lagos island, Dosunmu market also in Lagos Island, the trade fair market along Ibadan express way, Bicu shop at Apongbon street Lagos Island, Dupe cosmetics at Moshalashi street in Lagos Island, with Kudi cosmetics in Balogun market Lagos Island. Outside Lagos, you can also find distributors of cosmetics in places like; Ariaria market in Aba, Onitsha market in Anambra, amongst others.
Of course you could also explore the possibility of going into cosmetics distributorship business for yourself, and become a distributor of cosmetics products. This way, you’ll be buying your merchandise directly from the manufacturing companies; both locally and internationally. Cool right? Yeah I think so too. Buying directly from the manufacturing companies may require you to have a large amount of start-up capital, so if you’re up to it, why not? Your earning potential is sure going to double.
- DEVISE A MARKETING STRATEGY
Now it’s time to get your elevator pitch ready, yeah? While you await the delivery of your merchandise, start building a rigorous marketing strategy in place. The best way is by word of mouth; so always make sure you’ve got the perfect elevator pitch ready — just in case. An elevator pitch is a 3 – 5 minutes marketing speech. So, here’s the right time to make lasting impression — throw in all you got!
Reach into your network base and spread the word. Never take networking for granted. So go on and network — furiously. Have a great feedback system in place. Establish a great relationship with your customers. Build a blossoming customer relationship; you’re not in business solely for profits, the idea is to be able to satisfy your customers by improving their lives through your business.
- TAKE YOUR COSMETIC BUSINESS TO THE WEB
Internet has become a global village; with over 90% of population online. So, you need to get your business online! When choosing your products, it will be good you determine the demographics of your target customers. With this data, you can then optimize your online strategy to reach these select demographics.
How to develop your online business strategy
Create a website: Create a website that is user – friendly and has simple, clear and readable features both on PCs and androids. Here are tips for opening a website for your cosmetics business;
- It should be easily navigable
- Make it easy to understand; with clear and bold content
- Make sure that your site loads fast — very important to note
- It should operate optimally on different interface
- It should be mobile friendly
- Must be user friendly
- Email marketing: Next, leverage email marketing to optimize sales and engage customers
- Social media platforms: Engage all social media platforms to grow your online network. Have accounts with social media platforms like; Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn, Twitter and Pinterest.
Leverage all these social media platforms; particularly Facebook and Instagram to promote your business. For example, if you’re into beauty products; it makes sense to maximize your Instagram accounts, and also you have to open a Facebook page for your business. And make sure that your Facebook page is constantly being updated; at least twice a week; this way, you can stay relevant online.
- Set up a blog: While this might sound cliché; you should probably seriously consider setting up a blog for your cosmetics business. A professional blog will open you up to a larger audience. So set up a blog for your business; this way, you can better engage your audience through posting quality and rich content. It allows for a two – way interaction between you and your audience. The major key to running a successful blog is; engaging your audience.
Use your blog to engage your customers and audience
You can leverage on blogging to engage your customer. It’s quite simple! Follow these tips:
- Post quality and relevant content relating to cosmetic business every day.
- Give out freebies on your blog, like say; a free eBook, gifts, jumbo offers, an invitation to window shop, and many other exciting stuff.
- Be interactive
- Always respond to messages
- Be accessible
- Be exciting. Be fun
- Be creative
- Work with a great blogging team
If you follow these steps above, I’m pretty sure you will start and run successful cosmetics business in Nigeria. I just hope this article will help to set you on the right path