How to Start a Cosmetics Business in Nigeria

Cosmetic business is one big business that can make millions of naira as profit if one knows what he or she is doing.  The cosmetic market is so huge that everyone uses some kind of cosmetic products without even doing about it, take for example many people including males, females and children use cosmetics such as soaps, shampoo, deodorants, pomade, perfume, hair dye etc.

The list of cosmetics (body care products) is long and much, so when venturing into this business, you should carefully choose the most demanded products to start with.

In this article, I will discuss some steps one should take when venturing into this business in order to be successful.

Do Your Market Survey

The important point to start with is to get as much a qualitative information about this kind of business. You can’t just jump into such business without proper knowledge about the beauty and cosmetic industry.

It is a good idea to find a successful owners of such kind of business and get familiar with them, try to study their strategies, get sales tactics from them and marketing strategy.

Your Capital Strength

Cosmetics Business does not require huge capital to start with. I always encourage first time entrepreneurs to start small and gradually grow. In the case of cosmetics business, when you want to start small, start with cheap cosmetics products at least these ones will allows you to start small and grow gradually with time.

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If you can’t start big. You know what? You can increase your business capacity gradually and be making your cool profit. Starting small means you can start this business with as low as N50, 000 to N100, 000 and frequent turnover of this amount in a month can give you twice your investment –that depends on how well you market your products.

Your start-up capital should cover all the business costs which includes renting, furnishing and acquiring of the products.

If you want to be a whole seller or a distributor for a particular cosmetic products(s); that is you will be buying from the manufacturers directly or from any of the company representatives in Nigeria, then you will need a lot of money because of things like registration fee, importation cost and other clearing charges that may be inclusive when buying the products in bulk. The minimum amount one should budget for this should be N1 Million – as there are sometimes unforeseen expenses

Is Your Business all Planed Out?

It is totally unwise to venture into any business without a good business plan. Your cosmetic business should have a very detailed plan, even if you decide to start small or large.

Most entrepreneurs fail to understand that it is the business plan they will use in projecting or growing there business in the future for example if a foreign or local investor wish to invest in your business one of the criteria they would ask for is your business plan, to see how your business is planed out and the future plan of the business. Your business plan should answer the following questions:

Your financial target for the next 5 years

How financially buoyant do you see your business in the next half decade? Do you see it making a good Return On Investing (ROI) for investors that probably invested their money in your start-up/business or do you see it struggling with debts or trying to pay up bills.

Who are your Customer target

Are your customers going to be children, males, females or combination of the 3.

Your Unique Selling Point

What will make your business stand out from your competitors and what static will you use/apply.

Your niche in the cosmetics business

Are you going to be focused on just a certain cosmetic products or you want to be jack of all trade and master of none?

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Those are just examples of the kinds of questions your business plan should be answering, you can still make more research or ask experts already in the same line of business with you.

Where will Your Business Be Located?

The location of your business is extremely important. You should find a location where your shop can be easily be accessible by customers, it can be anywhere ranging from a Bus-stop, a plaza, a junction etc.

When renting your shop, you should consider some factors such as how far your shop is from the main road or a major streets, availability of power supply and security etc.

Packaging your Business

The way you would packaging your cosmetic products is very important in this business. In order to attract customers you should get a carpenter to do shelve, racks (the fancy and colourful ones), where you will arrange your products according to size, brands, functions etc.

Instead of painting your walls, I would recommend you use those beautiful patterned wall papers and make the doors to be transparent so that people can easily see inside the shop

There should be chairs and tables; where each customer can sit and wait for you, the shop should be airy and spacious so that people can walk and look around.

What Kinds of Cosmetic Products to Buy

In this cosmetic business there are various brand each which serve same or numerous purpose, so choosing the right one to buy can be a lot confusing and stressful. In order not to buy things or products that might likely not be active to customers make a list of various cosmetics to know the ones to buy the list should contain products that have a good demand.

For example, you can buy skincare, hair and makeup products each category should have like 5 different items.

Write down the amount you bought an item and the amount it is sold for. This will help you to keep a good financial record which you can use calculate your profit or loss at the end of the month.

Where to Buy Your Cosmetic Products

Since most of these cosmetic products are not manufactured in Nigeria but rather are imported into the country, there are different markets around Nigeria where you can easily source them to buy and these markets are found in most states in Nigeria, for example in Lagos state you can buy these cosmetic products in Mushin market, Balogun market etc. In Anambra state you can buy from popular Onitsha market, in Abia State you can buy from Ariaria market.

Keep in mind that those markets have distributors who buy from the manufacturers in whole sale and you can do the same thing by becoming a distributors of these cosmetic products yourself.

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If you have the intentions of becoming a distributors, you would have to directly buy from the manufacturers and buying directly from the manufacturers involves buying in whole sale and that requires a large amount to capital.

Becoming a distributor and be selling in bulk you would need to follow some laid down procedures such as identifying (locating) the manufacturer’s representative office address, registering with the company.

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When buying your cosmetic products don’t forget to make the naira strong by also including local brands in your collection by buying from them example of such local cosmetic products are Arami, Nuban Beauty, R and R luxury, Ozone, House of Tara, Taos etc.

Marketing Your Business

A large percentage of Nigerians uses the internet to access the web and different social media platform. In order to give your business the right marketing it needs, you would need to give your business an online presence first.

You can achieve this by creating a website; where you could show case your products and maybe the services you render like skin care therapy, make-up etc.

Before doing this you need to first define your targeted customers and optimize a good online strategy for your business. This will be very useful, if you want to use email marketing and social media platforms such as Facebook, Twitter, Nairaland, Instagram etc. to promote your brand online.

You can advertise your cosmetic products through different mediums. Example through fliers, newspapers, advertising by simply telling neighbours, family, church/mosque members, friends etc.

If your advertisement is good enough, people will begin to look for you and patronize you because of your good advert.

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Another way to achieve a good advertisement is by beautifully displaying your cosmetic items on shelfs and ranks in your shops. If your goods are beautifully displayed, passers-by and first timer customers would want to see what other things you have in stock and this would definitely be a way of converting customers to buy from your shop.

NOTE: Remember that, advertising your products and services to a large audience of potential customers goes a long way in making your business flourish, by converting those potential customers to actual customers.

In Conclusion,

For a small-scale businesses, you can diversify and growing the cosmetic items in your shop by learning to buy various brands and products. Let me give you an example, let’s assume you sell hair products such as hair cream and you happen to have just 2 different brands whenever you make a sale on any of those brands, I recommend you use the capital to get a different brand. In doing so you will expend your shop capacity, its better you have 10 different brands of hair cream than two in doing so you will give customers different varieties of products to choose from.

One of the reasons the cosmetic business remain lucrative is that you can sell some products twice of the initial amounts you bought them.

Also work towards having your business registered with the appropriate authorities as this can save you lot of problems in the futures.

Do not make the mistake of letting a customer leave without suggesting another type of products, that’s if you don’t have what they are looking for, always give them another products that will have equal effect like the ones they are looking for.

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