Baby Business

All things Small And Cute; Food, Clothing, Education & Toys

Baby business refers to any business that focuses on the baby from pre-birth to early years; say about 3 years old. The needs of these little people and those associated are broad and varied and in a grown ups perspective may be more specialised than kids think as they always want to do what their older siblings and parents do.

The baby industry is over 30 million dollars in the US and much larger in Asia. Africa’s baby industry is underdeveloped and there are hardly any companies that focus baby product manufacturing (other than baby porridge) and the industry has a large opportunity to grow and develop.

There are two ways you can stand out in this sector especially if you would like to export or sell online.

  • buy the products you sell
  • through your customer service

Most products on our supermarket shelves targeted to for babies are produced in other continents. This means products may be over priced. Below are some options in the sector that you  could consider.

BABY FOOD BUSINESS

Food processing and value addition of farm products provide great opportunities for growth and start-up businesses. The baby food though traditionally is prepared fresh presents a great opportunity for entrepreneurs. This is because there is a growing middle class and changes in daily routine mean there is a need for healthy quick meals for babies. Given there are reasonably good meals imported but the taste of these and quality does not compare to local foods that are by far tastier and organic.

This sector also provides an opportunity to expand the use of traditionally food products like yam, sweet potatoes, millet and sorghum into meals that are healthy but have been forgotten.

Currently, most producers getting into this sub-sector focus on baby porridge, however, there is an opportunity for other food items packaged meals, baby formulae, fruit and dessert.

BABY CLOTHING

Baby Boutiques provide an opportunity to get into either general kids clothing or specialised clothing. General clothing can be any clothing item meant to fit a little person special clothing item will address a specific need. Like making it easy for a child to wear or as in the case of infants vest that makes it easy to dress and undress the baby.

Clothing can also be made using green products meaning they would be made to ensure children’s allergies are not activated

BABY ACCESSORIES

Baby Accessories present a great opportunity to be innovative  and any technology or process used in this category can be transferred to products for other people who may be physically challenged. people tend to use what is familiar to them when dealing with their children and you find that the same shaker your mother used to you can be found in to stores today for your baby. One way to be innovative would be in making things that make it easy for the child to use. A good example is the by myself belts that featured in Shark tank that makes it easy for children to tie their own belts thus creating a level of independence.

Other options would combine different gadgets that normarlly work together or are used in certain period. We all know the myriad of things parents have to buy. examples would have a baby tub which has a thermometer, a troly with removable toys or that convert to a changing surface or car seat, or shoes with trackers so you know where your baby is and what they are doing. All these are thing people already use and can be licensed to big manufacturers or you can produce if the market is not so large.

TOYS

Toys for babies are not only meant to entertain (life is already so entertaining for them ) but also train in motto skills. One aspect of is that they are meant for kids but from a grown ups perspective. Try looking at the number of shakers that are created too big for baby hands! A visit to a toy store can provide you with a wide range of ideas for toys that can be adjusted or improved to make more suitable toys for babies.

In different towns, there have been artists who come up with toys cars and rug dolls that am sure most babies are not interested in. be more innovative when making cars by painting them brighter and ensuring they are safe for children. This can be addressed by choosing a better medium to work with and using a brighter colour for the toys.

BABY SERVICES

These range from child minding, children’s parties and barber and saloons for children. Simply put, any service for an adult can be tailored  to services for children or an equal one when parents are not present. For example, with parties, you can have a mother daughter/ father so or any other combination of functions be it breakfasts, lunch or tea but without the parents, you could have a child minding service that is a play group or tea party for an age group of girls, boys or combined.

Depending on how innovative you are and the target group, activities can target school holidays, can be all year round and or become a seasonal event that everyone looks forward to.

SUBSCRIPTION SERVICES

The beauty about baby business is that you can grow with your target clients or if a product there is opportunity for a subscription service. By this we mean that if a product or service is to be used for a short time then one can rent the use for a period. These could be toys, books, costumes, equipment (think of all the guitars, pianos and saxophones parents buy for a child who changes their mind after a couple of lessons!)

Really your ability to capitalise on the number of children born daily and the opportunities the different sub-sectors provide can only be limited by your creativity as this is an untouched market.

Explore opportunities for photography (from baby bumps to family photos, nurseries, packaging material for baby food and drinks, maternity items and furniture.

Newborn Baby Photography Class
Learn how to photograph a newborn baby. Learn how to create simple and safe poses. Work with wraps + photo sets. USD 97

KEY SUCCESS FACTORS IN BABY BUSINESS

1.Consider your target customer; Remember your customer may not be able to talk; while they are the end user the decision maker is the parent. This can work for or against you. When starting ensure you test with a wide range of children and get scientific proof of any claims you make wherever possible. Parents will rely on how the child receives your product or service and for psychological comfort any scientific data  on why this is good for their child. either way your target customer is not just the baby u also their parents.

2. Continue innovating; Babies are babies for a short time. Because the lowest cost for a product lead is an existing customer, innovation and upgrading of a product or service should be done between the time the a child is born and the child is 3 years old. This means you should have a product that can be easily upgraded as the child grows. This is why a subscription service works well for this groups.

3. Sell both online and in a physical location; Going online provides and opportunity reach a large audience  and educate them about your product.

4. Quality service; Make sure the process of serving your client whether in a physical store or online is fast and efficient. Busy mums and children are both impatient. By making the shopping experience fast and efficient the parent is likely to come to your store more often. With a physical store ensure there is sufficient packing,  wide aisles for prams and products are well placed and reachable for parents.

5. Add value; provide information that is useful for parents. Information could include different stage of babies development, events, vaccination or anything concerning your target client.

6. Be patient; this is especially so if you are selling online whether through your own website, Amazon or Ebay.

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