What business can I do with 100k? I get this kind of questions almost every time which I have provided responses to many a lot of times especially, through private chats.
Well, the best answer could have been, “find a need”; provide such needs and you will see many things you can do with 100k. Another answer would have been “find a problem and solve”; “you get value and monetary reward” for that. It can be as that simple, but it sometimes still don’t help and not that easy to figure out for some, hence why I had to put some things together here in my book “Making Money with small businesses in Nigeria” – A comprehensive guide on small business in Nigeria Ideas with hints and tips. Get an E-copy at just 2k.
But first, let me put this straight that, we should first bear it in mind that to make money doesn’t come easy especially with business, so if you are looking for something you will get on a platter of gold, then this book might not be for you.
Even if you want to eat, you will work for it. Starting from getting money to buy ingredients to going to the market to real cooking before setting the table with the real meal. So, nothing comes really cheap or that easy.
Now, who can make money or how do I make money?
As hard as this could be, I think my little journey in this life has shown me few things based on findings and experiences.
So, I will say these three set of people below will have no problem making money in Nigeria. Good luck if you’re one of them and if you are not, you may have to look elsewhere.
- Someone with Money: Like they will say, money answers almost all things. It dictates the tune in the pipe and can be the key thing you need to make more money. Yes, idea they would also say rules the world, but with money you can buy people’s ideas and knowledge.
So, people with money are one of the luckiest persons to make bigger fortunes because they are open to more opportunities and can acquire all they need to make business yield quickly. If you have small money, you are good to go and I’m sure that’s why you are reading this.
2. Someone with Education: When you are educated in Nigeria, and you can at least read and write correctly with good communication skills, you have a better chance of earning good money in Nigeria. However, if only you are smart. Yes, you need to be a bit sharper and smarter than your peers for you to become a necessary thing to have around by those who would pay you for what you know. There are lots of graduates out there today, but only the best available will become desirable. If you think education is no longer valuable, then you are missing the point. Get educated, no matter what.
3. Someone with Skills: Anyone who had equipped him or herself with one or two skills will not find it hard making money in Nigeria. The country is now becoming more of what you can do or what you know than what you study or what you graduate with. So, this is like no (1) above and can set you apart from others.
I remembered an Interview I went for around 2017 at an Hotel as a Procurement Officer. It was an open interview session as I had the opportunity to watch the interviewing panel as they throw questions to applicants. It got to a point that the interviewer were tired of responses they are getting. Too many people studying same course and one of the interviewers asked that ‘Okay, apart from these courses of yours what other things are you guys into especially that is related to your skill”.
A guy among us said, he has a small laundry service outfit. And before he could say more, a woman among the interviewer said, “That’s interesting”. They started asking him series of other questions and ignored the rest of us for a long time.
To cut the long story short, the guy was booked to manage the new hotel’s laundry service. This is a guy who came for an accounting job being offered a job he didn’t apply for. I learned better that day.
You never can tell what skills you have that may count one day. So, keep learning. Skillful graduates are highly sought after now. ICT Skills, construction skills like floor tiling, POP works, plumbing, electrical fitting works or even tailoring or barbing.
To be frank, I sometimes think you need to have certain skills to make money or do business in Nigeria in order to live well.
Such skills include ability to observe things and discover opportunity, ability to take risks and chances; a good marketing skills. If you don’t have the three of these, it will be hard to go into many businesses in Nigeria because you will always need one or the other, and anyone you lack may in turn become obstacles.
Now what are the three different businesses you can put your N100, 000 into? Here we go.
- Food Processing Businesses: The Nigerian food processing industry is becoming bigger everyday and this has opened up many opportunities for a lot of people who can think and innovate – not by doing anything detrimental to health to make money but by simply adding values to food we loathe back then. Our dislike for those foods may be caused by lack of hygiene in processing and great package.
Yes, with simple processing and packaging, you can turn a N10 item to N40. And this may be an Item that people will always ask you to provide. Packaging and processing may not have to add anything but doing it better is important to those who are mindful of their health.
There was a video that went viral online sometimes ago when some fruit sellers were caught in sharp practices, burying oranges in dirty street gutter. This was done in a way that is only best imagined and not to be seen, all to induce ripening. I saw many comments that day, and lot of people vowed not to buy fruits from just anybody on the street again, except very trusted sources. You can be that trust sources. It doesn’t cost big fortune to do many of these things.
You may not make big money at start but if it is what people value, especially food and fruit related, they will keep coming.
You can also think of how you can source Local Cow skin “kponmo” from North and process to sell cleanly. You will be shocked to realize that a lot of Nigerians eat Cow skin “Kponmo”… You can supply eateries, or even local canteen. No one will push a good seller away. There is a woman who sells Cow skin (kponmo) on the way to my work place, I heard that when she started two years ago, she was at the call of many because she is the first to think of bringing Cow skin “kponmo” to the neighborhood and because they were way cheaper. She sells between N100 to N200. But overtime, as with many Nigerians, after they have enjoyed the cheap prices of her Cow skin, she started selling ridiculous sizes at funny prices.
Hence, many people started avoiding her except those who really liked to eat Cow skin. Smiles! Overtime, I detected another seller, an Igbo woman, and I ported. No thanks to the bad comments in reviews and flies I have noticed.
Well, you don’t have to sell cow skin “kponmo” alone, you can process fish, meats and a lot more with it. One of my Facebook’s sisters who own Tadfarms is into processing of rabbits which she rears from her farm and package and it’s already becoming a good brand to watch out for.
Meat and Fish
On my way to work every day, there is a Muslim man (Alfa) who has a stand in a corner and all he does is to buy fresh goats that we call “Ogufe” in Yoruba, and slaughter. Oh! He specializes only on goat meat and not just any meat. A live goat meat “Ogufe” can be around N12000 to N18000. He might share it with two families who might have to put them in freezer and enjoy for the month. That’s food processing for people who may not want to be killing goats in their houses monthly before neighbours start thinking that they are indulging in diabolical means “Jazz don enter am”. Yes, Nigerians question everything they don’t understand. Smile.
Well, this man has been there for a year now. And I know he can’t be coming everyday if it is never making sense.
I also heard of a guy within the OAU campus who got machine to “de-feather” fowls/chickens making people run away from imported chickens and also patronizing many local farmers who may be begging for patronage. And people are patronizing him a lot. I was initially not moved by the Idea because I felt there are already processed imported chickens in the market and two of my female friends shouted “See Mr Lateef oo, there are people who don’t like the taste of frozen chickens o”, and one even said her husband doesn’t eat it but prefers chicken to be killed live. What is all these you are saying? One told me after realising that I didn’t know freezed chicken can taste somehow to some people.
It only means there is a market for food processing because of peoples’ choices and with increasing urban lives not many may have to go to the market. Even if they go, they may no longer trust the sources because of what they read online. Be that food processor for some people.
2. Skilled Businesses
With N100, 000, all you may need is just your skill and knowledge. You can use that N100, 000 to learn something like tailoring, shoe designs or even video editing in a big place where you get to see advanced machines that do things seamlessly and this exposure and opportunity of learning from one of the best places will give you an edge over others.
If you learn in Ibadan, you can move to Oshogbo or Ilorin to start your own.
We are in a world of knowledge and skills still sell every day. You can learn more than one skill and this only makes you available for more opportunities. If you can’t engage in buying and selling, or trading, you should at least have brain that can accommodate new knowledge. With that, you can start teaching others the skill you acquired. Smile.
As we speak, there are skilled bosses looking for apprentice to learn. Many of them have bulky works on their table, but there are no boys or girls to assist them. You can convert your waiting time to a resourceful time too. Use your money to get more money.
One of my brothers online wrote about how he directed a cousin of his to a Photography and Videography Academy in Oshogbo called BTR Lenses, and in just 6 months, the 14yrs old girl had started doing brand adverts animation in a way that surprised everyone. Yes, I saw one of the Ads and I know they can’t go for less than N10, 000 to N50, 000 with such a better touch of professionalism. She can do better for bigger brands on million naira contracts.
A 400level student of Unilorin was able to earn herself Airtel *444 Jingle that made the whole nation to start asking who is behind this brilliant and creative voice over Ads. Yes, that’s what skills can do to anyone. This one is more than talent. You need to hone your talent with skills. You can be creative but not be able to figure out the best way to do things others do which you will also love to do. So, you need to spend to learn. Buy books, watch videos, you are doing business with your money in an invisible way that will show much later. Learn how to design logo in Graphic Design, with 50k to 100k, you can get a place and in 6months, you can start getting jobs depending on how smart you are.
If you’re in Osun state, one of my brothers is one of the kings of Graphic Design in the state whose jobs is to design your calendar, business logo, cards, web graphics and business fliers and posters. TolaGraphics is in Iwo town, an hour drive from Osun State capital, Oshogbo.
There are a lot you can do with skills. A guy called Naheem Usman, does Canva training on phones with just N5, 000 to N10, 000. He teaches people how they can use the Design App to do wonders. He teaches you to a point where you can start to explore yourself and do wonders, depending on how creative you are. People are doing a lot with Canva these days. If you have time on your side, you can learn too. Use your money to make more money.
I have lost count of names, what about a sister, DunaMassage? This is an amazing young lady who learned Massage therapy work and started using the skills to help people to relieve their stressed nerves, and body, and today she’s your ideal mobile massage therapist you will run across online in Nigeria doing wonders in her little space.
Once you learn a skill with even N20, 000, you can use the rest to buy things you will need to make your business to be easier. It could be gadgets, instruments, machines or materials.
There are a lot you can do, from photography, laundry, make-up to baking business, to phone repairing, these are skills people need. And if you do it well, you will be shocked to see that there is market for skilled businesses. If one is not paying, you can add one or two more. It makes you to be more skilled and gives you an opportunity to make more money. Work on these.
There are other lucrative skilled businesses out there that I can direct you to. Check my other business book I call “The Open Secret Businesses”. It’s another masterpiece on Interesting innovative and skilled businesses you can try in Nigeria. Get a copy!
3. Retailing Businesses
Of all the three different categories or business sectors (industries) we have, ranging from raw materials production in agriculture, extractive industry like mining, to manufacturing, and to service industry – the latter seems to appeal to me most, and most importantly core retailing business.
This is a business type with the most minimal business risks, where all you do is to provide urgent needs by offering a product and make gain per item or in bulks. It is the easiest business any dummy can do with no experience while starting, as you can learn on the job. And also, it requires little or no value addition, but sacrifice of productive time and efforts.
A sister wrote on Facebook sometimes ago that she would love to sell Garri in bags in Lagos requesting for contacts of people who do it and can supply. And from nowhere one of her silent readers who must have been reading her pushed her for a huge Garri supply and she started her journey through it by going to a village to source for it. Her first adventure was a success even though it came with anxiety, fear and business apprehension. But with right planning on how to buy right and sell right, you can do it. Retailing is not complex, believe me. It’s what we all have done before and you can still do it with good capital.
When you are thinking of a retail business, think of that pure water boy who buys a bag of 20 sachets from a neighborhood pure water factory at N120 and move to the nearest motor park to sell to commuters and travelers.
If he sells a sachet at N10, he will make N200 with N80 profit.
How much he makes daily or monthly from doing this depends on frequency of sales in turn over and this is exactly what retailing is simply all about with little complexity of marketing or business dynamics.
The Nigerian Retail Industry presently is worth $40M and is projected to expand more by 2050, with increasing rate of urbanization where Nigeria is rated as one of the fastest urbanizing countries in the world, thereby increasing the need for consumer products.
Specifically, according to a McKinsey report I got from Financial times Nigeria
- Nigeria’s rate of urbanisation is one of the fastest in the world, with ongoing urbanization rate estimated at 4 percent per annum. What this means for the urbanized economy is more revenues from exchange of consumer goods, thereby creating more jobs or providing employment with increase in revenue to the government through taxes.
The industry is beginning to attract continental retailers that offer people varieties and better choices, like Shoprite which is the rave of the moment with outlets in at least almost all 6 regional capitals in Nigeria, from Lagos to Abuja, Ilorin to Kano and PH to Oweri.
I wrote somewhere last year when someone asked why multinational retailers like Walmart are not trying Nigeria, and I said it’s a matter of time – “Unlike the Whites, Nigerians are just embracing the culture of buying from stores and marts for their everyday commodities and items. We are used to traditional markets.
I doubt if the Whites have big traditional open space markets like ours”. Smiles!
Online shops like Jumia, big eateries like Captain Cook, shopping malls like Shoprite are all products of an evolving and innovative economy.
Most are on trials first to understand the market intricacies, factors that affect demands and of course acceptance. Ten years ago, most of these shopping malls are scarce but in just few years down the line, we are getting better.
A growing retailing industry gives consumers more choices to make, makes the market competitive and afford the best of products to make considerable profits, as people don’t just buy what they see but what product gives them the best for their money.
If Startime TV cable doesn’t give me as much interesting programs to watch BBNaija or AMVCA (Award) through HIP TV, I can move to GOTV.
If MTN is selling internet modem at a ridiculous price, I can try Airtel that just started making an internet accessing modem at a lesser price without affecting my pocket much. These poised the consumers to be more powerful in what we can call the “consumer has it all”.
The above and more are why the retail industry will continue to thrive, and one should look into it.
So, what opportunities are available for an ordinary man in the retail Industry? Too many I will simply say.
My novel idea of making stupendous money in life has always been around a kind of strategic thinking through retail business. And it is simply by asking me a question of what product can I offer to sell or distribute to interested or eager buyers to make an appreciable or decent profit per item? I’m made for life if I can turn that over many times in months or years. Lol
I once sat down and asked myself what product can I buy at N350 (other cost factored in) and be selling at N500, such that if I can buy like 1000 units in bulk at N350000, I can make N150,000 gain in a month. I can decide to sell in units or just simply supply other lower retailers closer to end users. This will save me time and if I decide to sell at N450 at N100 profit rate, I can still let the end-retailer make N50 per item, and pockets N100000 monthly.
The answers to these have led me to understand that there are actually many products ranges in the retailing industry where people make this decently with aggressive marketing efforts.
But before we go fully into that, it is important we look at few five important questions you should ask yourself in your buying-and-selling business journey
- What do I sell that is of great need?
- How easy will it be to sell this thing?
- Who do I sell to?
- Are there other people selling these stuffs here too?
- What will be my reward for every value exchange in time and effort?
If you can answer these positively and correctly, you are definitely a step closer to identifying needs and adding value profitably.
Excerpt from a Chapter in the book “Making money with small Businesses in Nigeria”.
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