How Kano Tailor Rents Out Clothes, Receives 200 Customers Daily
SANI IBRAHIM PAKI, KANO
Most successful entrepreneurs have come to agree that being successful entails taking risks and identifying ideas when many seem not to see it.
They believe that it is usually the risks taken that eventually translate to profit.
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This may be the reason that triggered Ibrahim Bature Yakubu to start a clothes renting business in Kano.
A resident of Sani Mainagge Quarters in Kano City who is in his mid 20s, Yakubu said many people, including some members of his family, did not see sense in his new business idea.
Yakubu who said he started as a tailor, explained that, “Sometimes if I sew clothes for myself that look good, some friends do come and borrow them if they have an occasion to attend until it reached an extent that the thing became too much, so I decided to monetise it.
“That’s how the idea started.”
The categories of clothes available for rent include Shadda, caps and shoes (for men); laces and Ankara for women, with their prices ranging from as low as N500 to as high as N4,500.
The rental price of cloth sown with Shadda fabric is pegged at N1,500, N3,000 and even N4,500, for yards we have that of N500, N2,500, then N2,000 for ladies’ Ankara, and N1,500 for lace.
Yakubu said his major motivators were youths who wanted to dress expensively and attend events such as weddings and birthday parties but who did not have enough money to sew clothes to match the occassions.
‘My phone doesn’t stop ringing’
Although the business is still at infancy, Yakubu said he received an average of 200 business enquiries daily from potential customers to rent either a set of clothes, shoes or caps.
He said, “I started this business about a month ago, though I only do it at home and don’t want many people to know, not until last week that I just decided to publicise it by printing a banner.
“Since then, my phone doesn’t stop ringing to the extent that sometimes I find it difficult to sleep.
How it all started
Yakubu said when he first started his customers lived mostly around his area and were known to him, but that now he had decided to publicise it.
He explained that, “When I started, even members of my family thought I had gone mad for thinking of initiating such an idea.
“Some colleagues even said I was on drugs.
“I almost gave up.
“But thank God they have now understood and are even blessing it.”
On how he is able to manage the clothes being rented by strangers, the young entrepreneur said he had a trick.
He said, “We have already initiated a plan for people who want to rent clothes from other places; from far places, they would be registered with their ATM cards, National ID Card or any valid means of identification.
“You know business is all about risk taking. Someone may decide to collect and never come back, that’s why we have the plan of collecting the ID cards or ATM cards as collateral.
“We also warn our clients not to stain our clothes or tear them. If you tear them, you have to buy.
“If you stain them, you have to pay N500 fine for washing them. Same applies to those who refuse to return them on time.
“The lease period is from 08:00am to 10:00pm.
“My capital is still very low as I have about just 15 sets of clothes.
“When someone wants to rent anything but can’t get their size, we record it and sew a new one for the future.”
Yakubu said so far he had engaged two of his colleagues who assisted him in the business either in washing the clothes or in issuing receipts.
He said he was looking at expanding the business by opening more branches and employing more people.
He explained that, “I know this is an entirely new business model, but I’m very sure if it succeeds, which I’m optimistic it will, many others will copy.
“Now, all I have is not more than 15 sets of clothes.
“If I could get assistance, even if it is in form of a loan, I will move this business forward.
“I see growth prospect in it.”
He, therefore, called on youths to be more creative in identifying business opportunities to reduce their reliance on government for jobs and to achieve financial independence.
Daily Trust reports that most of the customers who patronise the business, mostly youths, do so because they cannot afford sewing new ones.
Muhammad Murtala who came to rent some clothes said like many other youths in Kano, he wanted to appear neat but did not have enough money to afford expensive clothes and that Yakubu’s new business model had provided a good alternative.