Yuletide Economy: Connecting People, Creating Possibilities

By Omiko Awa   |   20 December 2015   |   4:10 am  
PHOTO: AYODELE ADENIRAN

PHOTO: AYODELE ADENIRAN

Good Period For Business
THE Yuletide is a season of love, sharing, partying and exchange of gifts. It’s a season, some companies, social organisations and groups close their books to business and celebrate their staff and customers. Full of activities like visiting places of importance, the season has so much to offer and business minded people are not letting the opportunities to go untapped.

As big companies, whose products are associated with the season strategise to have a grip of the market, sell off their goods and attract new customers, small-scale businesses are keying into the Xmas and New Year rush to sell their goods and services; and also to invest on items that are of immediate need to the people.

For Nkechi Obi, a dealer on hampers, there is no better season to make good money than this season of love. Unlike other festival periods when customers are selective on what to buy, Xmas and New Year is celebrated by faithful of all religions, so the market is usually huge.

According to her, hampers are packaged depending on what the buyer wants and how much he/she wants to spend.

“I have hampers for both high and low budget; for religious people that do not take alcohol and for those that take. And if the already packaged one is not attractive enough for a particular customer, we get details and prepare another one to specifications.

“Depending on the contents, an average hamper could go for between N2,500 and N5,000 or even more. I most times make twice the original amount spent to get the contents; it a business one can make over 100 per cent profit per sale. All that is needed is to get the supplies from the wholesaler, whose prices are cheaper. But, the packaging and content must be attractive to make any buyer want to pay your price without haggling,” she disclosed.

For Nnamdi, the season means putting on new wears, especially for children and women, so he stocks his shops with ready to wear clothes.

“I started stocking my shops from the month of October because during the Xmas and New Year season most parents want their children to look good. Clothes I would have sold at give away prices during this period bring in much profit. From December 1 to date, I have made over N300,000 and still counting in an economy, which most people are complaining of less money in circulation.

“I must say I make at least N1,500 profit on clothes that would ordinarily attract mere N200 profit. Though, the period is short, one has to make enough profit while it lasts. So, to be on top of the game I come out with flashy colours and designs that attract customers,” he disclosed.

On how much one needs to have to start off a profitable retail outfit during this season, Ahmed revealed that no amount is too much or too small. According to him, the business one wants to go into would determine how much money to invest. For me, I started with N20,000 and to date I have recouped the money and even reinvested it; just know what the people want and the rest would be history.

“I started selling Xmas lightings, caps, décor items, children glasses and fire works. I invested N20,000 and now I have made more that what I invested. It is a business one needs to invest with care because once the season is over the items become irrelevant,” he advised.

Apart from food items and clothes, James disclosed that shoes are another item in high demand. According to him, demand for footwear is high and the returns is quite encouraging.

“I deal in new and fairly used shoes. For this Xmas, I have to stock my shop and the market is good. I invested N100,000 and have made thrice that money; though people say the economy is bad, with festivals like Xmas every business brings money.

“People would want to look good and different. They would also want to wear new shoes for themselves and their children; so the market has been good. Children shoes sold for between N800 to N1,500, now go for between N1,500 to N3,000, even more. This is so because everybody wants something new and as it is with children’s wear, so it is with adults’; Xmas season makes what ordinarily would have been impossible to sell possible; it’s a season of all possibilities,” he said.

With new technologies and use of phones to send greetings one would have thought greeting cards are out of vogue, but Funsho Adegbenro says no, rather, he noted that new technologies have boosted their trade. According to him the Yuletide period remains their busiest period because customers want specially designed cards for their clients and loved ones.

“Apart from clients placing orders, if one is creative he/she would make good money. I have made close to N200,000 from sales of handmade cards; this does not include the money from orders I get from clients. I design my cards to reflect the season and as well write prayerful words that attract buyers, as we all know, Nigerians like prayers.

“These cards sell between N500 to N2,000 or more depending on the materials used and the design, but if the materials are chip board or canvass, they would be cheaper, but more expensive on plywood,” he said.

Coming close to cards business is photography, which could be used to keep memories of events. While some do make use of their phone cameras to record these, Mark Idunna said his digital camera and mobile picture printer do the job better.

“On a dull day I make close to N20,000. I at times make close to N80,000 if it’s a big occasion. People would want to keep memories of the event they attend, especially if it’s a nice event and as well would want to be pictured in their new clothes,” he reveal

How does he make his money? He disclosed that he locates public centre like amusement parks, or event centres and snap picture and within 10 minutes, the pictures are ready.

“I charge N150 to N300 and sometimes more, depending on the picture and who is involved. Since it’s a ‘wait and get’ the people are always interested. The pictures are much better than what any camera phones can do. One can see the hard copy and relate with it.

“Photography at this season is highly rewarding because lots of customers are available. I buy only photographic films and glossy printing papers to print out the pictures for less than N10,000 and before the close of day, I would have recouped the money and still use the same materials to do many other jobs.

“Since, this is the season of parties, I move from one event centre to the other, to look for customers, and surely, I must get at lest 10 people to patronize me,” he noted.

Jewelers are also cashing in on the season to sell their jewelries. For Madam Betty Iroh, the season goes with a lot of things, which include people, especially women coming for new beautiful beads to complement their new attires or even to rejig the old one.

“One cannot talk about partying and visiting places without putting on something that would project the personality. My clientele has increased, as most them, especially women are coming for tasty beads that would reflect the season. I now keep vigils because my workers and I have to meet up with demands. From December 1 to date I have sold beads worth over N350,000 and more are still counting.

“Once your finishing is good and the colours right, just the way your clienet wants it, the market would open for you.”



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