The fashion business is one of the fastest growing industries in the world.
In Cameroon , its popularity is accelerating every day with fashion designers experiencing an increased need by people to want to purchase designer clothes, wear custom made traditional fashion items to occasions and events, adjust ready-made clothing bought from the markets, purchase mass produced and imported fashion items, and much more.
The frenzy surrounding the local impact of the fashion business in Cameroon is setting a business trend leading to the creation of a new fashion store at every street corner almost every day, whether a proper feasibility study had been carried out by the store owner or not.
With several roles for aspiring, new, and existing entrepreneurs to play in the fashion industry, here’s how to start a fashion business in Cameroon , Africa, or anywhere else around the world:
What Is The FashionBusiness About?
The fashion business is about the manufacturing,modification, importation, exportation, and generalsale of fashion items in Cameroon, Africa, or anywhereelse around the world.
Business Opportunities In TheFashion Business
1). Fashion Design Business:
The fashion design business is one of the mostpopular segments of the fashion business in Cameroon.
Creative individuals operate in this segment, andthey bring their ideas to life in different ways,through various designs.
After sewing, theclothing are then packed and sold to people with aknack for buying designer wears.
The roadside tailors also operate in this segment, asthey sew custom-made non-designer clothing fortheir clients.
They also patch and adjust ready-made clothes brought in by people, and this makesup a bulk of their smaller revenue stream, sincemost people who visit come in to fix one thing or theother.
2). Fashion Retail Business:
Running fashion boutiques or retail stores is anotherpopular segment of the fashion business in Cameroon .
They’re widespread across the country, and can befound in every marketplace and most street corners.People have a longing need to always buy clothingat some point, and as a result, fashion boutiquescontinue to record product sales daily.
3). Fashion Import/Export Business:
The fashion import/export business comprises ofthe people who manufacture locally for exports, orthat import from other countries.
They’re large scaleplayers in the fashion business in Cameroon and manyother countries.
They usually import in largecontainers and distribute to widespread markettraders.
Due to the large volumes involved in this segment,the fashion import/export business is mostly playedby deep pocket individuals or people who havestrong access to bank loan facilities.
Many low-budget entrepreneurs still operate hereand import import items from Aliexpress or Alibaba,but most of the successful lots are those who importin large quantities and distribute to traders in largemarkets.
Facts And Benefits Of The FashionBusiness
The market is growing faster than manyother industriesThe basic start-up cost can sometimes bevery littleIt’s an easy source of incomeThe profit margins can be high, dependingon which type of fashion business you’rerunningSetting Up Your Fashion Business(Manufacturing)
1). Decide The Type Of Fashion BusinessYou Want:
The first step is to determine the type of fashionbusiness you intend to start.
As stated above, thereare about three different types, but for the purposeof this article, we’ll focus on the manufacturing offashion items for the creation of a fashion brand.
2). Create Your Designs:
The next step is to sketch your designs. For this,you don’t need a special degree or certification.Rather, you need a creative mind and one that has aknack for spotting trendy marketable products.
If you have problems putting your ideas down onpaper, you can attend a fashion school, so you cantrigger and bring a part of your creative side to life.
3). Make A Sample:
The next step is to make a sample of the product(s)you intend to manufacture.
The samples can bemade locally, but usually cost very high amounts.When you have the sample you want and are sure itmeets all the specifications you need, you can go onto find a factory that can produce your fashion itemsin bulk.
4). Find A Factory:
To find a factory for your fashion business in Cameroon, you could start with Alibaba.
Another waycould be to either get a referral from an importer orto physically pay the manufacturing hub a visit inwhichever country it is.
If your preferred manufacturing location is China,the most popular location for manufacturing fashionitems there is Guangzhou.
Upon locating the factory, the first step would be toensure they can successfully replicate the prototypeyou have, after which you can then go on to place abulk order with different shapes and sizes.
5). Market Your Product:
Here, you’d need to setup a sales and marketingteam whose goal is to come with a market andexecution plan to build up and grow your fashionbrand.
Since sales is the life-blood of everybusiness, it is adviseable you consult a sales expertbefore you spend a dollar of your money trying topromote any fashion items to a market that may ormay not be the right fit for them.
Challenges Of The FashionBusiness
1). High setup costs:
Depending on the type of fashion business in Cameroon you’re setting up, it could either be reallycheap to start up or very expensive to execute.
2). Rising costs of production:
Fluctuations in exchange rate values makes the costof goods and services jump.
When the currencydepreciates, it falls against the US dollar price,causing the local market price to rise.
3). Marketing & Sales:
Building a reliable distribution network can bedifficult for many fashion entrepreneurs.
As such,they need to hire experienced sales people who mayeat deeply into their profits.
The constraints fashionentrepreneurs face in marketing their productscauses many to have low turnovers, whicheventually leads to a lot of closed shops.
4). Sourcing credible manufacturers:
Finding reliable manufacturers in foreign countriescan be difficult, especially when youre basing yourresearch over the internet.
With many noncrediblepeople masqurading themselves online as garmentmanufacturers, getting a factory that’d actuallyproduce what you want in the right quality, quantity,and price can prove difficult to find.
5). Staying up-to-date with the trends:
To stay active and not get knocked off by thecompetition, fashion brands around the world haveto constantly innovate.
They need to release a newstyle every quarter or so, and ensure they’redesigning their wears in tune to the curent marketdemands.
The fashion business in Cameroon is very crowded,and so, profitability is difficult to achieve, especiallyfor people who are operating in tight niches. Unlessa fashion brand can successfully distinguish itselffrom others, and still create a social ripple effectwith its brand name, while offerring a superiorservice at very competitive prices, breaking evenwould be difficult to achieve.
The fashion buiness in Cameroon , just like many otherbusinesses, can be profitable and can be terrible forany entrepreneur.
First doing an extensive research,asking the right questions, and fully understandingthe trade can help you succeed in the fashionbusiness in Cameroon or anywhere else around theworld.