How to start profitable leatherwork business in Africa

How to start profitable leatherwork business in Africa

I will save some precious minutes of feeding you with unnecessary leather statistics or how the continent as a whole holds leatherwork products and services in high regard, as I believe the primary purpose of your visit is as follows

  • You love leatherwork but have little to no knowledge of the industry
  • You barely see leatherwork business around you, so you are eager to know if there’s hope
  • Do you think leatherwork business will be a lucrative business idea, as it’s untapped, well I was once with such mentality but I learned my lesson the hard way that business or service saturation doesn’t connote it’s not working or lack strong revenue potential

If you have the above thoughts and questions with you, without further ado, I have concisely discussed the answers and other tips to help you establish a successful leatherwork business in Africa

See you in the last paragraph!

What is leather?

Leather is a flexible and strong material derived from hides and animal skin, which undergoes tanning and chemical treatment to prevent decay at the same time reflect an appealing appearance

What is leatherwork?

Leatherwork is the art of making items from animal skin and hides, it takes long and many processes from cutting to designing

Leatherworkers make various fashionable items [bags, shoes, belt, hat, jewelry, pant, watchband], so as many other items [horse saddle, sheath, key holders] even more beyond the scope of this article

Also Read: 2 proven tips to setup a successful bakery business in Nigeria

6 reasons you should venture into the Leatherworking business


unarguably, almost every African government struggle to fix their citizens up with a job thus contributing negatively to each country’s economy

Behind every successful private firm or company, was a man who volunteers to blaze the trails for employees

When you create your leatherworking brand, you do not only create a job for yourself but also for others, and last time I check this attracts some respect, fulfillment, high self-esteem in the family and society

Get connected:

if you are a business owner already, and the type who often renew old or past relationship after first or second encounter, you should know how it feels to keep a circle of [average, less privileged, or upper class] who you know they’ll probably be there for you in a way or the other in the nearest future

Now, this circle may be from the line of your duty or not, but you have them already, and that is the benefit of entrepreneurship, it always keeps you connected to people you could never think of having around in the first place


Do you know how it feels when the sky is the starting point to how much you could earn rather than waiting for a raise? That is the first encouraging impression of owning a business, either small or medium scale

Now, think of any freedom [location, time, money] you can have it all over the course of time if you just keep the struggle

Dreaming of retiring old parent, paying off a mortgage, shopping cars, paying for your dream house, your leatherwork business could help you design this life with time

Less competitive:

I don’t know which part of the world or Africa you are in, leatherwork business is just less competitive, and if you don’t want to take my word for it, use few miles from your residence to compare wears retail shop, fashion design shop to leather workshop

I bet the numbers of these shops will outwit leather workshop hands down

Save money:

When you craft your wife some beautiful leather jewelry or design unique shoes for your kids likewise that quality bag that accommodates your essential equipment, you don’t only take the responsibility, but save some money, cut down costs rather than buy them thus beating down expenses for the year

Oh! Did I mention it comes with little joy? Yes it does, and it’s empowering


The more you consistently create, the better you gain mastery and derive more creativity from the efforts

The compound effect also impacts creativity, stay with the craft more, and your vision will become a telescope to sight amazing imaginary things to shape into reality with your hands

Also Read: 10 untapped businesses to start with #50,000 in Nigeria

10 Most Profitable Leatherworking Product Sectors

  1. Leather bag making
  2. Leather garment making
  3. Leather shoemaking
  4. Leather jewelry making
  5. Leather safety -shoemaking
  6. Leather winter wear
  7. Leather crafts item making
  8. A leather watchband making
  9. Leather furniture making
  10. Leather promotional product making

You can’t go wrong with these product sectors, let quality be your priority, then let the god of the business decides who or how much blessing to bestow on your effort

However, if you think you can’t handle all without getting overwhelmed, I’d recommend researching more about your few desire niches, then go all in ruthlessly

Also Read: Mini importation business in Nigeria: How to start guide

6 steps to starting lucrative leatherworking business in Africa

  1. Create a business plan

You would agree with me that starting a business requires deep planning and well-defined strategies, to avoid crumbling from takeoff

However, the below plans should serve as a roadmap to where you want your African leatherwork business in the nearest future

  1. What is the potential and capacity of your investment?
  2. Are there liable challenges, and how do you plan to counteract or leverage them?
  3. How can you enhance your unique selling proposition?
  4. How do you propose to establish your leatherwork business?
  5. Do you have weaknesses, and how can you create a moat around them?
  6. What are your financial goals?

Get these right to build a remarkable leatherwork business in Africa, society doesn’t only need creative designers but also great thinkers in business

Also Read: How to Start a very Lucrative Poultry Farming in Nigeria

  1. Register your business

Most African countries won’t pressurize you over business registration or securing a permit, license for your brick and mortar business

However, your leatherwork business sales and conversion rate is at stake, if you fail to build a reputable impression around your business, as people find it hard to transact with an unregistered online business, meanwhile, your leatherwork business success heavily rests on the internet [ecommerce]

You hate to keep losing potential customers and sales over a few paper works that cost less than your weekly revenue

You just have to take the time to do the needful

Also Read: How to setup a successful cement block business in Nigeria

  1. Build a brand

We are not doing the usual “what comes to your mind first, if you hear soft drink”, what comes to your mind first if you hear Smartphone operating system”, We all know the former is coca-cola while the latter is android

What I imply here is literally about your online presence and not your authority, as some companies have been in the leatherwork business for a very long time with strong authority just like the aforementioned brands

What we are more consigned about now is your leatherwork business tagline, logo, theme, name, the message should be so unique that when people see it, it etches a strong personalized image to their subconscious that this is your business, when they come across it elsewhere either offline or on other online platforms

Also ReadHow to Set your Brand Goals

  1. Create an e-commerce store

Ecommerce simply means buying and selling products and services over the internet, and you know how crucial it is for your leatherwork business to have one at hand

It’s where your brand establishment starts and evolves into other areas that will chiefly propel your leatherwork business growth

Also Read: How to start Ecommerce business in Nigeria: 7 simple steps

  1. Partner with logistics service or company

You need to partner with a product/package delivery company that will quickly help deliver orders to your customers

 They also help receive payment on your behalf if your leatherwork business accepts cash on delivery, so you’re getting more from the service at your business disposal

Also Read: How to start a successful delivery logistics business in Nigeria

  1. Market your leatherwork products

You sure do hear and even see on paper how they exorbitantly pay sportsmen and athletes, I know you often contemplate why and how

They are not paid for the sweats, people are in the factories doing better, on the farm slaving away for peanuts

What famous athletes literally get paid for their tickets, the attendance they pull in per events

Now, see your business like this and you won’t find it hard to break even

If you produce the best leather product in the world, you’re getting paid less if it doesn’t get the befitting exposure

Visit the below social networks, create pages for your business, as they are your digital storefronts, then start promoting to a larger audience that wants your product from the marketplaces

  • Google ads
  • Facebook ads
  • Social media influencers

You won’t regret listing your leather products on business directories for more exposure, as they have the organic potential [free traffic], to send more customers to your product page without squeezing out a dime on an advert

Also, Read:15 Ways To Create Multiple Online Source Of Income In Nigeria

6 tips to grow and scale your leatherworking business in Africa

Leatherwork business is wide beyond making and selling its byproduct [shoes, bag, belt, and wallet] to consumers without a little glint of curiosity to how more lucrative the business could be, which is why most aspiring leatherwork aspirants either take a detour or back up at once when a rookie highlights their faintest perspectives of the leatherwork business

Below are leatherwork business extra profitable ideas alongside untapped money-making opportunity attachments to explore for bigger paychecks, unless you don’t want more out of this less competitive source of income called leatherwork business

  1. Learn from others

No man is an island of knowledge, you have to build relationships to get every hang of how other leatherwork business owners perceive the market

Join communities, visit fashion conferences, network with others, complement and exchange contacts to discuss how to learn more from one another, if possible create a like-minded community off each relationship you build over time

  1. Build a team

Thanks to eCommerce, you can run a Leatherwork business without staff, as you have all it takes to focus more on your leathercraft with less worry on sales, so long you have disposable funds to run adverts for your leather products and services

However, it’ll get to a time where you can’t juggle, sales, managing brand page, logistics/delivery at a time, unless you don’t mind running out of stock for a very long time to fulfill past order placement, which is where staffing comes into play

Onboard staff if business activities consistently overwhelm you, you only need to strike a balance between your income report and your expenses while simultaneously growing your leatherwork business  

  1. Research your competitors

There is a saying that you should study your competitors but don’t copy them

At some point, you have to copy them, because your primary motive is to get what is working from other business owners, then throw your style into the mix

Fashion styles constantly change, there is always a new trend, celebrities always come into the spotlight with something unique [wears related mostly]

Chances are your competitors are already milking either what you don’t know or what is in vogue, study them and reflect on a proven system, you don’t have to get left behind    

  1. Leather treatment products

When you sell a sponge to customers, it’s easier to recommend them a deliberate soap, and they will gladly pay for it, which is called either upsell or cross-sell in the digital marketing world

Sell leather cleaners, a special solution that maintains and enhances leather product quality, to pull in more money alongside a new set of customers

  1. Leather cleaning

Don’t leave this additional stream of income to shoe repairers, get a little compartment for this if you run a physical store and also reach out to your existing customers about the service

  1. Leather custom service

People love custom or unique designs specially made for them, while some custom designs won’t make a difference or incur an extra fee in the manufacturing cost, just attach a premium fee to it, and they will gladly pay for the gesture, especially rich African folks

Also Read: Starting A Supermarket business In Nigeria? 10 Things To Know


As you will experience a few challenges omitted in this article, some hidden benefits are fully not discussed here

So, you don’t need to have it all figured out before taking the jump, there’s an already market waiting to latch on to your leather products and services, what you need is proper business positioning and a little hunger to succeed

See you at the top!

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