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How to start a cosmetics business in Nigeria (10 practical steps)

This article is designed to give you an in-depth practical knowledge of how to start a cosmetics business in Nigeria. A cosmetic, beauty and fragrance store is an easy-to-start business and it is not so capital intensive, especially if you choose to start on a small scale. Getting the right brands of cosmetics that people would want to buy and good stock keeping are the secrets of running a retail cosmetics business.

Cosmetic business

The cosmetics and beauty industry is a flourishing business because everyone wants to look good. Consequently; cosmetics and skin care products are always in high demand — even during economic recessions. Just like food, everyone uses cosmetics; from bathing soap, brushing teeth, oiling the hair, creaming the body, to applying a deodorant and the rest.

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What are cosmetics? Cosmetics are basically a variety of body care products such as; toothpaste, body wash, body cream, hair relaxer, hair spray, hair cream (and all other hair products), deodorants, and beauty products such as; eye liner, lipstick, lip balm, face powder, nail polish, mascara, etc.

Cosmetics business is a highly competitive business. But, dealing on original and quality cosmetic products will give you competitive advantage.  Use barcode scanner to screen and convince your customers of the originality of your cosmetics products. This is the best way to win the heart of many customers

Starting a cosmetics business in Nigeria is lucrative and exciting. You can either choose to start-up this business on a small or large scale, it all depends on the amount of capital you have with you.

You don’t need to wait until you have large capital, you can start small and expand it into a profitable venture your desire. So, if you’re ready to profit from the huge demand of cosmetic products; follow these steps to start a cosmetics business in Nigeria.

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How to start a cosmetics business in Nigeria


Getting started with cosmetics business, right? It is important that you have a clear knowledge of the modus operandi of cosmetics business. You can’t just jump in feet first, without first knowing about the beauty sector. Look around you for successful cosmetics business owners in your area. Get familiar with them, study them; study their marketing strategies, their staffing and also their product selection. Learn their sales tactics, how they attract customers and how they manage their orders. Find out who their suppliers are; their pricing system. Learn as much as you can.


Prepare a detailed business plan for your cosmetics business. Most people think business plans are generally unnecessary and should only be prepared for a bigger more complicated entrepreneurial pursuit; this is wrong. One of major reasons businesses fail today is because they never have a plan. The global market for cosmetic products grows every single year. Since the last decade the growth has been on geometric progression. The growth rate for cosmetics has never dropped below 3%. This means that each year; for the past ten years; additionally customers purchases one cosmetic product or the other. Consequently, any cosmetics business that fails, failed to plan.

Your business plan should include an overview of your business and other specific details such as;

  • The missions and objectives of your business
  • The startup cost
  • Your target market
  • Your financial projections for the first, second and third year.
  • A competitor analysis
  • Your marketing plan

If you’re not sure how to go about it yourself; you can get some kind of professional help to prepare an expertly organized and professional business plan for your cosmetics business plan in Nigeria. We can always help you to prepare a winning cosmetics business plan, anytime any moment if call on us.


Cosmetics business is a broad one, so you’ll need to settle into a particular product line or group of product line which are fast selling. For example, you could decide to go into the skin care and make up industry. Here are different varieties of cosmetic products line you can be dealing on;

  • Make up products. There’s something extremely cool about having your own make up business; perhaps the satisfaction you get as a make-up expert. And just being in a space where you represent beauty to people, this is the appeal of dealing in beauty products. The cosmetics industry is growing every single year, and the make-up cosmetics industry is currently an $11 billion industry! So claim your share. These are some recognized make-up brands in Nigeria; Mary Kay, Black Opal, Milani, clinique and many others.
  • Hair care products. This is comprised of a whole range of hair products such as, hair attachments, hair weave-ons, hair extensions mostly used by females. Hair relaxers, treatments, hair sprays, spray gel, hair cream, shampoo, conditioners and many others.
  • Skin care products. This includes skin products for different purposes such as, exfoliation, body toning, moisturizing, age defying and so on.
  • Toiletry and laundry products. Personal products like toiletries and laundry products fall into this category. Examples of such products are; Toothpaste, bath soap, toilet paper, deodorant, body perfumes, etc.

Once you settle into a particular niche, you can then proceed to write a business plan.


Where you locate your business has an overall impact on its success. Ensure that you lease a cosmetics shop in a strategic location where it can easily be accessible; preferably in an open market. Basically, the best place to set up shop is in a saturated and highly commercial region of the city. However, if you’re working from home, you can have the cosmetics store set up near your home which allows you display your products and hosts customers and guests. Ideally, you should set up your shop in an affluent territory zone where income earners is high, prompting more sales from customers who can afford to look as good as they want. When deciding on the location for your business; ensure these factors are closely observed

  • Visibility from the street
  • Availability of parking space
  • Ease of access
  • Constant and dependable power supply
  • Flow of traffic and commuters
  • Good road.

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Get your business name registered with the corporate affairs commission of Nigeria (CAC). You can visit any CAC office close to you or visit the company official website for more information or see article on this how to register your business with the corporate affairs commission in Nigeria. Getting your business registered is a way of telling the government that your business exists and the business is owned by you. Customers have more trust in registered business than businesses which are not. So, consider registering your cosmetic business. Once registered; you will become a legal entity in Nigeria.


Your style and design can influence how customers feel about your business. If you’re not sure how to go about it; just look at other cosmetics shops around your location for inspiration. Take your time when choosing your style; make it appealing. And remember you’ll also need well decorated business cards for your business. Seek the help of a good designer to help you create best quality cards. You have to appear as professional as possible; and still exhibit a flair for style.


You startup capital should cover cost of renting a shop, cost of furnishing and costs of acquiring your merchandise. The cost can run up to N350,000. Of course you’ll definitely run into other costs on the way, but this should cover the basics. You should be able include start up costs and recurring expenses in your plan. Some costs to consider when planning your budget include;

  • Rent
  • Interior decor
  • Power supply
  • Equipment
  • Marketing and advertisements
  • Staffing
  • Supplies
  • Company registration

You’ll encounter more needs but this list should get you started.


I recommend you team up with cosmetics distributors so as to maximize your profits. There are so many cosmetics distributors in places like; the Mushin market, Balogun market in Lagos island, Dosunmu market also in Lagos Island, the trade fair market along Ibadan express way, Bicu shop at Apongbon street Lagos Island, Dupe cosmetics at Moshalashi street in Lagos Island, with Kudi cosmetics in Balogun market Lagos Island. Outside Lagos, you can also find distributors of cosmetics in places like; Ariaria market in Aba, Onitsha market in Anambra, amongst others.

Of course you could also explore the possibility of going into cosmetics distributorship business for yourself, and become a distributor of cosmetics products. This way, you’ll be buying your merchandise directly from the manufacturing companies; both locally and internationally. Cool right? Yeah I think so too. Buying directly from the manufacturing companies may require you to have a large amount of start-up capital, so if you’re up to it, why not?  Your earning potential is sure going to double.


 Now it’s time to get your elevator pitch ready, yeah? While you await the delivery of your merchandise, start building a rigorous marketing strategy in place. The best way is by word of mouth; so always make sure you’ve got the perfect elevator pitch ready — just in case. An elevator pitch is a 3 – 5 minutes marketing speech. So, here’s the right time to make lasting impression — throw in all you got!

Reach into your network base and spread the word. Never take networking for granted. So go on and network — furiously. Have a great feedback system in place. Establish a great relationship with your customers. Build a blossoming customer relationship; you’re not in business solely for profits, the idea is to be able to satisfy your customers by improving their lives through your business.


Internet has become a global village; with over 90% of population online. So, you need to get your business online! When choosing your products, it will be good you determine the demographics of your target customers. With this data, you can then optimize your online strategy to reach these select demographics.

How to develop your online business strategy

 Create a website: Create a website that is user – friendly and has simple, clear and readable features both on PCs and androids. Here are tips for opening a website for your cosmetics business;

  • It should be easily navigable
  • Make it easy to understand; with clear and bold content
  • Make sure that your site loads fast — very important to note
  • It should operate optimally on different interface
  • It should be mobile friendly
  • Must be user friendly
  • Email marketing: Next, leverage email marketing to optimize sales and engage customers
  • Social media platforms: Engage all social media platforms to grow your online network. Have accounts with social media platforms like; Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn, Twitter and Pinterest.

Leverage all these social media platforms; particularly Facebook and Instagram to promote your business. For example, if you’re into beauty products; it makes sense to maximize your Instagram accounts, and also you have to open a Facebook page for your business. And make sure that your Facebook page is constantly being updated; at least twice a week; this way, you can stay relevant online.

  • Set up a blog: While this might sound cliché; you should probably seriously consider setting up a blog for your cosmetics business. A professional blog will open you up to a larger audience. So set up a blog for your business; this way, you can better engage your audience through posting quality and rich content. It allows for a two – way interaction between you and your audience. The major key to running a successful blog is; engaging your audience.

Use your blog to engage your customers and audience 

You can leverage on blogging to engage your customer. It’s quite simple! Follow these tips:

  • Post quality and relevant content relating to cosmetic business every day.
  • Give out freebies on your blog, like say; a free eBook, gifts, jumbo offers, an invitation to window shop, and many other exciting stuff.
  • Be interactive
  • Always respond to messages
  • Be accessible
  • Be exciting. Be fun
  • Be creative
  • Work with a great blogging team

Secret to success in Cosmetics business

Cosmetics business is a highly competitive business. But, dealing on original and quality cosmetic products will give you competitive advantage.  Use barcode scanner to screen and convince your customers of the originality of your cosmetics products. This is the best way to win the heart many customers.


If you follow these steps above, I’m pretty sure you will start and run successful cosmetics business in Nigeria. I just hope this article will help to set you on the right path



78 thoughts on “How to start a cosmetics business in Nigeria (10 practical steps)”

  1. Good day sir, i really appreciate your post, please I’ll need a guidelines on how to venture in cosmetic like creams and toiletries products, maybe medium scales. thank you in anticipation as i look forward in reading from you.
    Best regards.

  2. Thank you very much sir,I felt so relieved after going through the article,you spoke nicely about comestics, I’ve to take my fesibility study very well so I can arrive at my destination

  3. thank you so much i really enjoy reading this article… i am about to start a cosmetic business too infact i have gotten a shop and but i have been scared all a sudden as i don’t even know what step to take again and if the amount i have will be enough for the business but after reading this article i feel relieved. please do you know any authentic cosmetics distribution?

  4. I read your article and it is really insightful thanks. Please i am also planning to go into cosmetic business and i need help in drafting a business plan. I would really appreciate a template that will serve as a guide

  5. Please I want to start a cosmetics business but I don’t know how to go about it, a wholesale shop where I can buy for retail,
    I’m in portharcourt .

  6. Sir I’ve gone through your write-up sir but you never made mention of perfumes, please is perfumes not part of cosmetic products? Bcuz thats the area I really wanted to venture into. Thanks.

  7. Thanks a lot for this information, I need advice on how where to set up a cosmetics business and the amount that can get it started at this present economy

  8. Your article is very helpful to me God bless you more and more, I have a strong passion for cusmetic business, I have a million to start up the business but I haven’t gone for training what can I do?

  9. Am staying inside garage but need to start up cosmetic business, the amount I own now is hundred thousand can I able to start with small capital?

  10. Thanks for the information… Please am a hair stylist and I want to venture into cosmetic business, how much will it coste to start. Like getting a shop and equipment it small scale or medium sha. Please I need an explanation. Thanks

  11. Thank you so much enjoyed all the post and the advice you gave to everyone , I also want to go into business but I’m in Local environment

  12. I really appreciate reading this sir, please I want to go into beauty shop generally, like how much will I start with? I will like to go into cosmetic, hair and d likes. I don’t know anything yet about it how do I go about it . Thanks so much

      1. Sir you’ve done so much well for us we appreciate. But is it not better to start on the business and make it grow rather than starting it big with millions?

        1. Please sir, with the present economy in Nigeria now 2022 how much do one need to start up this comestics business cos I have a passion for it taken into consideration all aspects of it eg hair extensions,skin care ect thanks

  13. Please I’m a hair dealer online but presently someone asked me to cost the requirements to get a shop, set it up and purchasing of goods (total breakdown of the business) but I want to add cosmetics to the business, I don’t really have much idea on cosmetics. Please I need advice and help..Thanks

      1. Good evening sir…… Yes, I want to know the cost of starting a cosmetic business in conjunction with human hair business in Nigeria today thank you sir

  14. I have a capital of close to a million to start off my cosmetic line. I saw a shop, good location but the issue is, there are so many cosmetic shops around me if I should take the store. I really like the location cos it’s busy. So am looking at up-ing my game to stand out. So should I take the store or find somewhere else? I have a full knowledge on the skincare n makeup industry, learnt it for 2 years. So what’s your advice?

  15. Good morning sir. Am an aspiring makeup artist. i want to be selling makeup tools or equipment apart from doing makeup on people. But the thing is, I want to make the product myself instead of going to buy from people. Is it possible?

  16. Thanks sir your article was a blessing please I want to know how to contact suppliers of organic items for cream formulator that sell wholesale price thanks

  17. I’m in a rural area in Delta state and I intend starting cosmetics business and combining it with clothings, wristwatches and bags. Can I start the cosmetics with two hundred thousand? Do you have any reliable wholesaler in Onitsha who sells original cosmetics?

    1. That’s too small. You need to increase your budget to at least five hundred thousand naira.
      In terms of reliable wholesaler, you need to go there yourself and ask questions while you’re there.

      1. Am in nsukka in Enugu state and i really want to start up a cosmetic biz but I need to get in touch with wholesaler to get adequate information on how to supply me with the ones I will sale as retail

    1. Please sir I want to go into comestics business cos I have passion for it how much do I need to open a standard retail comestics business thanks.

        1. Thanks to your response sorry I haven’t been on line since. Sir am in port Harcourt rivers state which market will you advise me to go for my goods thanks

          1. Please I’m a hair dealer online but presently someone asked me to cost the requirements to get a shop, set it up and purchasing of goods (total breakdown of the business) but I want to add cosmetics to the business, I don’t really have much idea on cosmetics. Please I need advice and help..Thanks

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