Are you thinking of starting a small but scalable importation business (i.e. mini importation), then there are a few guidelines you are likely going to follow to be able to make profits and scale up in the future. In this context, I will put those steps in details.
My Name is Mfonini Usoro the founder of IBOMSTORE; I started my importation Business in 2012 with a capital of 8000 Naira and grew it to a Multi-million Naira online store. I will list all you need to know about starting a successful and scalable mini importation business in Nigeria.
The Complete Steps to Starting a Mini Importation Business in Nigeria:
- Plan Out Your Business and Set a Budget.
The first approach to starting a mini importation business that will be successful is planning your business and setting a strict budget that will guide you through everything you need to do from product outsourcing, branding and marketing. So it is easy to put a solid roadmap to having an executable plan that will help grow your business and reduce income lost e.g. you have 50,000 naira to start a mini – importation business you can use 5% for branding, 20% for adverts and 60% for Products, 15% for startup logistics.
Choose a High Demand Niche
Starting can be very difficult and you need to know how to strictly choose your range of products, this will affect your business and your brand will be built around this niche so you have to be careful while choosing your categories of goods. Knowing that your niche will affect everything your brand stands for and even your target market.
Also, you need to know your niche entry point which will decide your related products. We have great niches for smart starters, we recommend; health and beauty, fitness and skincare, and women clothing. As a newbie you will race for items you will be able to retail at 500% to 3000% to be able to reduce the impact of the high cost of doing business in Nigeria.
- Setup Payment and Receiving Channels
For you to be able to pay for your imported goods you need to have a Visa Card, MasterCard, PayPal, or a Bank Account. So you should open an account with a bank that issues internationally accepted Visa Card, MasterCard, Etc.
You will also need a payment processor if you want to be receiving money from your customers online or via a website. Examples of such companies in Nigeria are voguepay.com and paystack.com for international sellers you will need to go through 2checkout.com.
Choose a Name and Register Your Business
Business registration is a good step to securing your brand and creating more confidence among your buyers, and payment processor like 2checkout will accept your application fast as a retailer. So it is a very important step in making your importation business scalable in the future.
So for the Registration of a new business in Nigeria, it will cost between 10,500 Naira to 13,000 Naira.
Note: This cost may change as the government agency may make some adjustment. To register your business, kindly visit services.cac.gov.ng to be sure of the current price. At this stage, you should have your business name ready and after registration, you can open a business account and have all the advantage of professional businesses in Nigeria.
- Meeting Agents, Suppliers and Preparing Your First Order.
Meeting suppliers, agents and making good deals can be very complex, so you need to be careful and follow standard international trade agreements.
For safety, you need to choose a trusted payment method and also you must know the condition of the goods you want to purchase and whether the manufacturer has rights to sell those items and its original trademarks to avoid your country custom from taking over your goods. FEC approval, Drug and Chemical Importation Guidelines should be followed if the items are subject to such laws.
When your agent or supply meet such requirements, congratulations, you now have a great company to partner with, also keep your eyes on a watch. For safe payment methods kindly contact us via 07011110034.
- Shipping your Imported goods
Shipping cost to Africa (especially a West African State like Nigeria with low currency) can be very problematic and may take a huge part of your capital, but there is a solution for a small starter and it is a fun-filled process. First, you need to choose items that are light weighed compared to their values. You can’t start importing jean and heavy fabrics because of the cost of shipping it to your country.
Do not use corporate logistics like FedEx, UPS, DHL, they are good companies but their shipping cost is unbearably high for a country like Nigeria. We have trusted shipping, clearing, and forwarding companies that charge 5 to 10 times cheaper. You can contact us via 07011110034 for information on that.
Marketing Your Imported Goods
Marketing of your goods can be so easy if your niche serves a great purpose. For example, if you are selling skin care ointment and your target market are women between the ages of 18 to 45 years; you have to write out the advantages of having your products because people buy products based on “WHY” they need it. And you must make sure that purchasing your goods is convenient for everyone.
NOTE: Nigerians don’t have extra cash to spend and don’t wait for longer days so you must make sure you have a quick method of delivery so that it doesn’t turn off your customers.
In my view of starting a scalable mini importation business in Nigeria, I have outlined steps you need to follow to have a successful business. If this post is helpful to you and you want to ask more question, you can use the comment section.
I’m Mfonini Usoro, Founder, CEO and Business Developer at www.Ibomstore.com, Thank you.