Cameroonians are just so talented but rarely believe in their talents. Most of the times, they wait for someone with same talent to become successful before they engage.The clothing business has many of such talents spread all over Cameroon.
It is not a bad thing to follow someone, but first still remains the best. The greatest problem most people with talent face is that they don’t know how to monetize their talents. That is, they don’t know how they can make money out of their talent.
I can remember when we were in primary and secondary school where I could see girls draw out dress designs in their books. I am still to see any of them becoming a designer (except I can’t make them out). Most of these talents have been abandoned not because they never loved it but because they knew not how to monetize it.
Starting an independent clothing business may not require much but may need you to acquire additional skills. You may need to know how to manage money, carry out marketing and sales functions alone in the beginning.
In a nutshell, starting a clothing business is not very different from other businesses. The stages are similar as in other traditional businesses.
First of all, you need to do a research on your identified business idea. Here you will need to ask yourself the following questions:
What do I want to put in the market?
Who are my customers? Will they like and be willing to pay for it?
Who are my competitors?
What is the competition like?
It doesn’t matter what format – short, long, on a piece of toilet tissue or a jotter. The essential is that you jot something down.
However, at the beginning, if you have very little funds, you can start from home.
It is always good to register your business before you start. Clothing business in particular deals a lot with brand names. Your brand can shine and if a smart entrepreneur discovers it’s not a registered business, (s)he can go ahead and do it before you. Check out why you need to register your business.
The clothing business is very broad and if you want to start one in Cameroon, you will need to choose your own niche. The following will help you define your designer business niche:
The way customer view your brand – is it high end, middle end, or low end?
Your method of production – are you dropshipping someones product, printing on blanks (like tee-shirts) or designing custom apparel?
Choose by gender – are you going in for men, women or all genders?
Age – you can define your fashion business’ niche by determining the age of people who put on your clothes.
Customers’ location or season – where your customers live may determine what you will have to design for them. In Cameroon, we have two seasons, different climatic conditions and terrains. So you may decide to use the season and location to determine what cloths to make.
Type of apparel – is it casual, trendy, sporty, Afritude, business, wedding, artsy, etc.?
Type of fashion product – this is very important. Are you going in for shirts, pants, shoes, jewelry, underwear, socks, etc.?
The above will help orient you on how to choose your clothing business’ niche as well guide you in your marketing and communication.
Talking about marketing and communication, there are two things that are very important – brand name and logo. These two things help to differentiate your clothing business from those of competitors. You should know that there is a big difference between a product and a brand.
Read Also: 4 Points to note when branding your business
Whether you are working from home, online or having your own business location, it is very necessary for you to register your business in other for you to carry out your activities legally.
Many small business owners in Cameroon fail to understand that it is very necessary for them to register their business before carrying out activities. You can checkout the advantages of registering your business.
You can also choose the business format you wish to operate in as a small business. It may be a sole-proprietorship, partnership or a limited liability company.
OpenHub Digital has put at your disposal various guides and tools you can use. The following links will help you to start your clothing business (designer business) in Cameroon:
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