They say looking good is good business and fashion design is certainly one of the best. Anyone who wants to excel in the fashion industry needs to plan properly and be creative. Since fashion is broad, you need a business plan to narrow your focus. You can also take a look at top 10 profitable fashion business ideas to help you narrow down the type of fashion business you want to do. A fashion design business plan answers the what, why, whom and where.
Overview of fashion business
Every day, Nigerians search for styles to sew and for fashion designers that can meet their expectations. The fashion business is about inventing styles, making clothes, and marketing these services to a specific target audience. To be a successful fashion designer in Nigeria, one must have a sense of style, good designing skills, a high level of creativity and business skills.
Requirements needed to Start fashion business
To start a fashion business in Nigeria, you will require the following:
- Fashion training
- A fashion business plan
- Business registration
- Capital of at least 100,000 naira
- A business page on social media
- Sewing shop or sewing space
- Sewing machines and other types of machines needed
- Facilities and furniture
- Generator set (because of the constant electricity)
- Electric iron
- Other sewing materials like needles, measurement tape, scissors, etc
Is the fashion business profitable?
Some fashion designers in Nigeria earn 500k and above weekly, while beginners can earn between 50k to 100k weekly. This depends on the business location and the number of employees assisting the designer.
How much does it cost to start a fashion business?
The cost of starting a fashion business ranges from 100k for a small scale fashion business to above 500k for a large scale fashion business. Prospective fashion designers can start small and save up to expand later.
If you are a beginner with low funds, you can start your fashion business at home. All you need to do is to get your sewing equipment and everything else you need. You can offer to sew for your family, friends and neighbours for a small token.
If your work is outstanding and they like it, they’ll recommend you to their friends.
Types of fashion business
Below is a list of the types of fashion business in Nigeria:
- Fashion Retail
- Fashion Retail
Fashion retail is a type of fashion business where the retail owners either make their items or buy them wholesale.
The fashion retailer searches for a wholesaler or a manufacturer that they can purchase clothes from for an affordable price. It is a win-win situation for both parties because manufacturers rarely want to search for buyers, so they are receptive to retailers who approach them for business.
- Fashion Design Business
Fashion designing is famous because most people prefer custom made outfits to those in retail shops. Fashion designing involves creating designs, cutting, and sewing items of clothing for clients.
Clients approach fashion designers with a variety of styles and they pay for it according to the complexity of the styles.
- Clothing Import and Export
Clothing import and export is a fashion business done between manufacturers, wholesalers, and retailers. The retailers buy items of clothing from manufacturers in another country who only sell in bulk. These manufacturers produce these clothes in large quantities and supply them to retailers all over the world.
The clothing import and export business requires a large capital to start either as a manufacturer or as a retailer because manufacturers need a lot of money to mass-produce these outfits while retailers need a huge amount of money to purchase these outfits in bulk.
- Fashion school
A fashion school is a school that trains people to become fashion designers. There they can get first hand and intensive training from experienced fashion designers and tutors. Most fashion designers who have had a few years of experience under their belt decide to open a fashion school. While it promises to be lucrative, it requires a huge startup capital to get a building for the school, the furnishings, sewing machines and other tools to facilitate the students’ learning.
How to start a fashion business
Anyone who wants to start a fashion business in Nigeria should follow the outlined steps below;
- Pick a Niche
Picking a niche is deciding your area of specialization in the fashion business. To know which niche you should go into, do research based on your location and your competition.
If most fashion designers in your environment specialise in ladies’ wear, then you can consider going into either men’s wear, children’s wear, street outfit or fashion accessories, which are also profitable.
- Apply to a Fashion school
A fashion institute is the best place to receive training before you start your fashion design business. Regardless of your level, either beginner, intermediate or advanced, most fashion schools have moulded their training to suit all learners.
Another good thing about fashion schools is that after teaching you the basics of fashion designing, they train you in your area of specialisation.
This training period is usually between six to twelve months.
The cost of fashion institutes in Nigeria is high, with the least being around 200,000 to a million naira for a specified duration.
Because of this high cost, most people decide to go for an apprenticeship, which can be around 50,000 naira to 100,000 naira for a year or more.
You can ask around in your area to find a suitable and affordable fashion designer.
Another way to get fashion design training is through the Internet. Many fashion designers offered online fashion training at affordable prices. This method of training has gained popularity in Nigeria since the start of the pandemic.
Although it is not as efficient as physical training, it is more affordable and less time-consuming, so you can learn at your own time and pace.
Whichever of the above methods you choose, get reviews from others who have either attended the school or apprenticed under a fashion designer before you apply. So you will be certain of the designer’s skills.
- Write a business plan
A fashion business plan is like a map that helps you to find the best way of arriving at your destination and, in this case, the objectives and goals of your fashion business. It outlines your target market, your competition, your advertising and promotion strategy, and more.
Writing out a fashion business plan will help you have a realization of how much you need to start a fashion business in Nigeria because it will take into consideration all the expenses that you will incur from one milestone to the next one.
In the latter part of this article, you will find a guide on how to draft your fashion business plan and a fashion business plan sample.
- Source for capital
After writing a fashion business plan, you should have a reasonable idea of how much you need to start your fashion business.
Your capital will decide if you will go small scale or large scale if you will rent a shop or you will operate your fashion business from home.
- Register your fashion business
Any prospective fashion designer who plans to go deep into the fashion business will have to register it under the Corporate Affairs Commission (CAC). To do this, you can go to the CAC website to contact them and to get their address.
- Rent a Space
When you want to rent a space for your business, you need to look for a suitable location where your fashion design business will thrive, somewhere close to your target audience.
Ensure you rent a space that will be large enough to accommodate your sewing machines and your furniture. The size of this depends on how large scale you want your fashion business to be and the funds you have set aside for this need.
If you plan to use your house, ensure there is enough space for sewing machines and a private area for your customers’ fitting.
- Buy furniture and sewing equipment
After you get a location for your fashion business, the next thing to do is furnish the shop and buy the sewing equipment you need. Below are some equipment needed for a fashion design business:
- Sewing machine: A sewing machine is used to sew clothes. There are various types of sewing machines, so you have to research the kind that is suitable for your business.
- Weaving machine: This machine is used to ensure the edges of the clothes are neat after sewing.
- Scissors; Scissors are used to cut fabrics.
- Measuring tape: This is a rule that is used to measure clients and fabrics.
- Needles and Pins: There are different needles used for sewing. Some are for the sewing machine while others are for hand sewing.
- Advertise on Social Media
Social media is one of the best places to advertise your fashion design business and to promote it to meet more people.
You can learn to be social media savvy t post your designs, customers’ reviews and expose your business to the world.
Fashion business plan in Nigeria
A business plan consists of the sections outlined below:
- Executive Summary
The executive summary defines your business by describing its focus, the service you plan to offer, the leadership structure, employees, location, and your business plan in summary.
- Company Description
This part of your business plan should give an understanding of the important areas of the business. It should contain the physical description of your business, like the name, address, history, and nature of your business. This section should help the reader understand the why of your business and what makes it unique.
This section focuses on the team that will manage the business. Who are they? What are their credentials? What experience do they have that makes them qualified to be part of the team? This section shows investors that your team can manage the business and make it a success.
- SWOT Analysis
The SWOT analysis of the business plan is an abbreviation of the words strength, weakness, opportunity, and threat.
This section analyses your business strengths, what makes it unique, its weaknesses, the opportunities open to it and the threats it faces. This section highlights all the factors affecting your business, both good and bad.
- Market Analysis
Market Analysis is an important section of your business plan as it outlines the target audience for your business. It gives a description of who they are, where they are, what they do, their pain points, their needs, how they satisfy those needs currently, and how your business can satisfy it too. This section shows that you have an in-depth understanding of prospective customers, which will help make predictions about them in the future.
- Financial Analysis
Financial analysis in a business plan is a detailed outline of your business’s financial information and expenses. It contains your budget and helps investors see how much you will spend in the business from the start to the foreseeable future.
- Marketing Strategies
The marketing strategy is a spinoff of the market analysis section. It describes your strategy to attract customers, get them to patronise your business and keep coming back for more. It discusses your methods to get to your target audience and the pricing scheme you have set to meet with their financial capability.
- Competitive Analysis
The competitive analysis section shows that you have an in-depth knowledge of your business’ competition.
It outlines all their important details like how they operate, how they promote and distribute, their strengths and weaknesses and how you will take advantage of these weaknesses and combat the barriers their strengths will pose for your business.
The appendix is a section of the business plan that contains data and documents that investors might request or that will give the reader additional information about your business or a specific part of it.
It can contain charts, product illustration, legal documents, management team resume, reference letters and more. These will enable the reader to understand your business better.
Most common FAQs
Do you have fashion business plan free template
Yes. You can download and edit the fashion business plan template for free and edit it to suit your business
Does the fashion business plan comes with a business plan sample
The business plan provided contains all the information you need to be able to craft your business plan.
Can you help me with a business plan
Yes, for a fee our business consultants can work with you to craft your business plan. Contact us via calls and WhatsApp on 08073090253
Image Credits: All images on this website are sources from Getty Images, Pexels and Unsplash.