Whether you like it or not, wedding is a big business in Nigeria. Specifically, bridal train business in wedding is a money spinner. In a country where a couple can spend up to 6 million dollars for a single wedding you should be thinking of how to tap into such an industry for business breakthrough. The 6 million dollar is usually shared thus. The caterers that cook the sumptuous meal used to entertain the guests. The event planners that do the decoration also take theirs. The cake designer, the fashion consultant that supplies the dresses, the owner of the event center used and others all take theirs. But there is another big part of the wedding occasion that no one seems to have taken note of and that is what I plan to share with you in this post so that you can cash in on first movers advantage to launch this.
HOW TO START BRIDAL TRAIN OUTSOURCING BUSINESS AND MAKE UP TO $2,000 MONTHLY
I was in Lagos recently for different training and strategic sessions with clients. I was fagged out after a hectic week and decided to hang out at a friend’s wedding. The wedding was lit. You needed to see decoration and assorted foods and drinks; in fact, everything was spot on.
Of course, my guy works with Shell, so money was not supposed to be a problem. The bride was beautiful, and the groom’s suit ‘carried anointing’ with it. The bridal train was beautiful, elegant and gorgeous in appearance; nevertheless, I noticed something odd about the ladies in the train: they were ‘out of sort’ and didn’t look “uniform” enough. Some of them were tall and others short, some were fat and others slim, some were very fair while one of them was really dark in complexion. It looked to me as if that had spoilt the entire show, somehow.
BRIDAL TRAIN BUSINESS – HOW IT ALL STARTED
My kind of person naturally won’t take note of such trivial issues, so I started wondering why my mind even went there at all and then I recalled where and when it all started…
During my wedding, I had also noticed something subtle about the bridal train my wife used. All of them were almost the same height, the same complexion and the same stature. I remember asking my wife what manner of coincidence that was and she answered, “It was not really a coincidence, I was intentional about it. I wanted to choose from among my friends those that looked alike as much as possible; in fact I had to choose one or two ladies that aren’t really close friends because they fitted the description of my ideal train”. I was like ‘Hian, there’s nothing that won’t matter to ladies o.’ I never knew that, instinctively, I had started admiring such ‘trivialities’ starting from that day even though I wouldn’t admit it, hence when I saw the out-of-sort train, it was rather a big turn-off for me.
NOW, HERE IS THE BUSINESS FOR YOU
Time was when if you wanted to wed, you would go to your church and arrange the ushering department to serve as ushers for you, and they would gladly oblige without charging you a dime. Today, celebrants are demanding for more as the world continues to get complicated and with the increased quest for class and packaging at events. This became an opportunity for someone who decided to go into the gathering, training and outsourcing of beautiful ladies, as event ushers.
I hope you know that some people pay as high as Three Hundred Thousand Naira to have 6 ladies work as ushers for just a day’s event? Imagine you charge 300,000 naira per wedding and you cover just 4 weddings in a month! That is 1.2 million Naira monthly. Of these amount, budget between 10,000 to 20,000 Naira for each of those your ladies per outing which will give a total of 240,000 to 480,000 naira per month. This will leave you with more than 700,000 naira monthly to pocket for just conceiving the idea. Multiply that by 12 months and see what business you have, yet you can still scale this business further. Just imagine what it will translate to if you can cover 2 weddings every weekend.
BRIDAL TRAIN BUSINESS – IF IT CAN BE DONE WITH USHERS, WHY NOT BRIDAL TRAIN?
Gone are the days when a bride randomly selected her friends, sisters, or husband’s sisters to serve as her train. Well one can still do that if she wouldn’t want to look back to her wedding day with fond memories. Or maybe she simply wanted to intentionally betray or bore her guests. Ladies are now selected purely on the basis of their beauty because bridal train has become a very important part of a wedding’s preparation.
You see, the world and system we now operate with has become both sophisticated and complicated. A groom works at Chevron and is always on the rig; the bride is a banker and hardly attends church programmes. They have neither time nor friends, but they have too much money to spend. On top of that, they want the most memorable, most expensive, most classic and most-talked about wedding in town. They can pay any amount to have you supply them the prettiest ladies in town as their bridal train just to add colour and elegance to the event. They have said the girls must be the same height, same complexion and same stature, now go meet them and make that cash! If I were to start a bridal train business today, here will be my classification.
THE GOOD NEWS
The good news is that it costs almost nothing to start this bridal train business. Just gather enough ladies for auditioning, separate them based on height, statures; the figure 8s, the curvy ones, the big hips etc. Sort them according their sizes (fat, slim, chubby); complexion (dark, fair or chocolate). Note that every physical attribute is an asset, so don’t discard any of them on the basis of being too fat or slim, short or tall. The only basis for disqualifying anyone should be facial beauty. You are guaranteed more ladies than you actually need with the high rate of unemployment in the country.
BRIDAL TRAIN BUSINESS – WHAT TRAINING WILL THEY NEED?
Not much. You don’t need Philips Consulting, i-Skill or HTS Business School to train them for you, at least for a start; you might need that when you are ready to expand but certainly not when you are starting. So for beginners, all the training you need is just:
- Make sure you teach them how to dance with their waist and how to move their long fingernails.
- Encourage them to speak with good diction that people will find difficult to understand. Let them feign those dictions if they are not naturally good with phonetics—the groomsmen like it that way. And of course anyone can do that. Just speak through your nose rather than your mouth.
- They must know how to wink those artificial eyelashes
- If they don’t have smart phones they should go and borrow one. They will need it for selfies with guys on stage.
- Lastly, heels are compulsory irrespective of your height
BRIDAL TRAIN BUSINESS – HOW BIG IS THE MARKET?
Lagos alone registered 5,483 marriages in 2014 at the registries . This is according to the office of the Commissioner for Local Government Affairs. In my crude estimation and without any empirical proof, though, that figure must have been just about one-third of those who actually wedded in Lagos that year because more people do church wedding without formalizing it in court. So we may have as well had about 16,449 weddings in a year which translates to 316 weddings every Saturday. So you see how big the market is. That is in Lagos alone oh, we have not calculated for other states.
In Lagos State alone, the total amount spent on parties over a period of 5 months in 2014 was $17 million. See, wedding is a big business in Nigeria and you must find a way to tap into that huge market. Don’t allow yourself carry last on this.
BRIDAL TRAIN BUSINESS – WHAT SHOULD YOUR ADVERT LOOK LIKE?
You don’t need a marketing consultant or advertising expert to sell this service. This business is what the Igbos call ahia oma n’ele onwe ya—a good market that sells itself. Just get the pictures of your bridal train well dressed and write something like this: “How do you want it? The orobos, the lepas, the open teeth, the blacky, the curvy, the figure 8s or the models? As e dey hot, we can give it to you, it is all about adding class and making your event memorable” and you are good to go. Do this and sit down and watch how many calls you get in a week. Watch how you will be smiling regularly to the bank. What more, those girls will be praying good prayers for you for changing their lives.
Do you know you can actually pioneer this business now that it is still a blue ocean before everyone else enters into it— you know Nigerians and their copy-copy style of doing business? Do this, pay your tithe to the Lord and thank me later.
Written by KACHI OGBONNA