There are lots of business opportunities online in Nigeria. Mini importation is one which you can start with low capital and grow over time. This article explains the details of how to start a mini importation business in Nigeria.
What is mini importation?
The mini importation business involves you buying goods online from foreign manufacturers in China, Turkey etc. and selling them in Nigeria at a profitable margin. The icing on the cake here is that you don’t need to travel out of Nigeria – you do it all from your PC or smartphone.
Unlike the major importation business, you don’t have to go through time-intensive, highly-regulated government processes involving a lot of paperwork. Importation used to be a luxury afforded only to rich business owners, mini importation business has changed that narrative.
Is mini importation profitable?
Yes, the mini importation business is profitable. How much you make depends on the demand for the product you imported and the way you promote it. You can sell a product you bought for just ₦1,000 for as much as ₦10,000. It depends on how you ‘package’ it and who you market it to.
To generate a great return on your investment in mini importation, you need to have knowledge of how to promote your business online.
What do you need to start a mini importation business?
The list below includes the basic tools required to start a mini importation business in Nigeria. Once you have these things, you are ready to start a mini importation business;
- Your personal computer (PC) or smartphone
- Your ATM card that works for international transactions (MasterCard or Visa Card)
- Starting capital of at least ₦30,000
- Your email address
- Your location to receive your goods
- A stable internet connection
How much does it cost to start a mini importation in Nigeria?
You can start a mini importation business with minimal capital expenditure. However, I’ll advise you to start with ₦30,000 and scale gradually as your business grows.
What are the fast selling products in Nigeria?
Find below some classifications and examples of products you can import and sell fast in your mini importation business in Nigeria;
There is a high demand for fashion items by the over 20 Million Nigerians online. Therefore, it is wise to import fashion products for sale to Nigerians. You can import fashion items for various age groups from baby fashion products to items adults wear.
Fashion items include; clothing, shoes, wristwatches and bags.
Whether at home or at work, people have a strong need for electrical appliances and gadgets. Electronics can either require a constant supply of power to work or are rechargeable. Due to the fluctuating power supply in Nigeria, there is a high demand for electronics that are rechargeable.
People look out for gadgets that are long-lasting and functional. Some examples of electronics you could sell in your mini importation business include; Bluetooth speakers, AirPods, phone chargers, waterproof smartphone cases, flash drives etc.
People are more conscious of their body image in the current world. Therefore, they spend massively on products that help them stay in shape. Products like; food supplements, waist trainers, slim tea etc.
Souvenirs or Gift Items
The beauty of souvenirs and gifts is in their uniqueness. A gift is more meaningful if it is rare to find. Your job as a mini importer is to find these rare gems and make them available for your customers. This works better if you buy the gift in bulk for occasions.
Examples of gift items include; suctions mugs, electric fans etc.
How To Start A Profitable Mini Importation Business In Nigeria
Make sure you have the basic requirements listed above (ATM card, stable internet etc.) you can proceed. Once you have the needful, follow the steps below on how to start a profitable mini importation business in Nigeria and scale.
Here are the steps you should follow to build a mini importation business in Nigeria;
1. Decide on the products you want to import
Product knowledge forms a major part of your mini import business. The demand of the products you import determines how successful your business is. Do some research to find out products people actually buy and see if they are available for sale. An easy way to do this is to visit a popular e-commerce website and sort by popular products. Below are some of the product categories that you might import;
- Household items and utensils
- Electronic devices and equipment
- Hair wigs and hair care products
- Computers, mobile phones, fashion accessories
- Clothing and apparels
2. Find a place to buy your goods
Once you have decided on the most profitable products you can import for your business. The next step is to find a place to buy such products. Find below some reputable websites to buy your goods at low wholesale prices directly from manufacturers in several countries.
3. Decide on a supplier for your products
A good supplier is one of the pillars of the mini importation business. Lack of communication skills and slow response are some of the problems you face with suppliers. Don’t do business with incompetent suppliers. Avoid possible frustrations by doing business with only a reliable supplier. Below is how you can find a reliable supplier;
- Compare reviews customers who have made purchases from suppliers who are selling on the ecommerce site you wish to purchase from.
- Ensure your supplier can communicate comfortably in English if you’re buying from a non-english speaking country.
- Make sure your supplier is available for communication 24/7
- View the number of sales your proposed supplier has completed
- Find out if the supplier is in long-term or temporary business.
- Ensure that the supplier responds to requests in a timely manner
4. Order and pay
This is a critical step in the mini importation procedure. It is one of the reasons you require a dependable supplier. You can order and pay for the product once you’ve decided which products you want to order and found the right supplier. Payment can be made using a local bank account or a dollar bill. Ensure that you receive a message from the seller confirming the transaction’s success and the delivery of the order. Take note of the product’s price in your home currency and try to identify different product categories such as colour, product type, size, minimum order quantity, weight, and so on.
5. Delivery of your goods
Delivery of goods can come in two in the mini importation business. This includes the following:
- Free Shipping – This method is slow but profitable. It takes between 14 and 60 days. However, products usually get delivered between 20 and 30 days. China Mail Air Post and Hong Kong Mail services are usually responsible for free shipping from China. Also, try to include your phone number. This is due to the fact that they are constantly directed to the nearest post office near you. This allows you to be easily contacted when your cargo arrives.
- Premium delivery – Premium deliveries are typically made with the assistance of DHL, EMS or FedEx. It’s far more expensive than free delivery, but it’s far faster and safer. Deliveries are usually made within 3 – 5 days.
It is difficult to track free deliveries compared to premium deliveries.
Promote your mini importation business
Once you are done ordering your goods and they are set for delivery, you need to market them to generate sales. Start your promotions before the goods arrive. To do this, you can;
- Place your products on ecommerce platforms like Jumia and Konga
- List and promote your products on classified ad platforms like Jiji
- Post your products your WhatsApp status and request for shares
In addition, you can hire a Facebook ad expert to promote your products on Facebook, Facebook messenger, Instagram and websites (and apps) partnered with the Facebook network.
To do this, you need to post convincing pictures or designs of your products on Instagram or other platforms. You can hire a graphics designer to add some information like price or features to your product pictures.
Like any other business, the mini importation business requires patience and prudence. Growth happens over time, invest your revenues in growing your business further.
I wish you luck in your business.