Except you are a Rockefeller, a Ford, a Gates, a Dangote or born into the home of one of the world’s richest families, you are not rich by default. You might need to work your way up the ladder. Playing in the big league is no small feat, but like they say; everything big started small (well, most of the time). One of the big businesses today is importation, and most of the time it requires huge capital. But what if you didn’t need that much money to start an import business?
Mini importation is one of those businesses you can venture into with very little cash. Contrary to what people think, importation does not require you to start big. Here, you are permitted to start small; the business allows it. This means you don’t need to have some five hundred thousand or even a hundred thousand naira to start the import business. In fact, you can venture into this business with less than ten thousand naira in your account. This business allows you to be a boss of your own; with less even less than five thousand naira as capital. This sounds easy right?
With this post, you will find out how to start a small-scale importation business with very little capital. Ever heard of Mini Importation? Yeah, that’s right. Importation with no special licence and no legal hurdles whatsoever. It is the minor league of importation business. With mini importation, you can easily carve a small niche for yourself and make good money.
The Concept of Mini Importation
I have a close friend that was without a job for a long time. She got frustrated at some point and built the urge to start her own business. She wanted to dive into nail making and painting, pedicure and manicure but the problem is, there was no capital enough to start (so she thought). She later came to a conclusion that she had to start somewhere. She had gathered about eight thousand naira and she decided to invest that little in importation of artificial nails.
In her first month after she got her products, she made times two of her capital. She reinvested again and made another double her investment. Today, she is one of the most trusted artificial nail and cosmetic (yes, she also went into importation of make-up products, perfumes and general cosmetic) seller in her area. Not only that, she has a very big and growing cosmetic store in the state capital of Lagos.
How did she become so successful with just a capital of eight thousand naira? Are you still asking how it is possible? I have heard stories about people who started with much smaller capitals and are doing so great now. Mini importation business isn’t so bad, is it?
The question now is, what is mini importation? In a simple term, Mini importation means small-scale importation. It is amazing how technology has made things so easy. You can easily access what online stores outside Nigeria have in stock and can easily order for a product and get it in less than a month. It is as simple as that. Yes, it is as easy as it sounds. You can be within the confines of your room and place orders from all over the world. You can easily import your products (no matter how small) and sell locally. You are almost guaranteed you will make a minimum of 20-50% profit.
Now, relax and let me show you how to start your own mini importation business.
Step-by-Step Guide on How to Start Your Mini Importation Business
Now that you know you can start your small scale importation business regardless of how much capital you have, it is important to know the right steps to take to ensure a successful business launch. The truth is, ideas are not enough, neither is information. To be successful, you need to work on the information you have and that, in the right way.
Let us now take a look at the step-by-step guide to help you start up your mini importation business.
STEP 1: Identify Your Market
The successful ones in the world are those that see and embrace the opportunities the world offers them. Great news is, the world has limitless opportunities, only if you can see them. The first step in starting your mini importation business (or any business at all) is to identify your market. What solution can you bring on the cards that your society needs? What do people use over and over again and cannot do without? Do you have customers you can easily reach out to? What product trends in the society? My friend identified hers to be nail polish and artificial nails. As small as that sounds, it earns her big money today. Identify what you want to actually do, your target market, the challenges you could face and how you planned solving them.
STEP 2: Open an E-Banking Account
Open a business bank account and ensure you can buy products online with it. You will have to get a Mastercard or Visa card for the account to enable you pay online with your card. For a start, there is nothing wrong with using your own personal account if it enables you buy products online anywhere in the world.
STEP 3: Start Your Online Survey
By now you know the products you want to start importing. The Internet is your friend; it gives you liberty to surf any online shop all over the world. While the likes of Amazon, eBay and Alibaba are the most popular online shopping websites in the world, they are probably not the cheapest online stores available. Do your research and check for online stores that sell the products you want. When you get one, get all information necessary about them and create an account with them. Make sure the site can be trusted.
STEP 4: Place Your Order and Pay
You are almost there. You can now place your order. You don’t have to start big. You can start by ordering 8-10 products or products worth any amount you are comfortable to start with. It is always better to use computer for better experience. Remember, it is important to familiarize yourself with the interface of the online store before you start using it. You are also not restricted to just one online store as well. Select the products you want to purchase and add to cart. This will be easier because you already have an account with them. Carefully enter your account details for payment. Be careful. You only pay what you are charged. Most of these online stores do delivery to Nigeria and so will charge you for delivery. After you have placed an order, always make sure you get your order tracking number. This enables you to track your order and report any irregularity when need be.
STEP 5: Clear and Confirm Your Delivery
Does this sound difficult? Not at all. You don’t have to do anything special. You decide where you want your products delivered and you get notified when it is delivered. You just go and clear your order, check if the products are as requested and confirm delivery.
STEP 6: Sell Your Products and Repeat the Process All Over
This is probably the most important of the steps. After you have taken delivery of your product, get customers and make your first profit. And I must warn you, do not spend the profit. Reinvest. Place another order. Do more. Do a little more. And a little more.
Contrary to what people think, importation business is not expensive to start, neither is it difficult. It is one of the most profitable businesses in Nigeria today. In as much as you can identify what people need, no matter how small, you have a huge chance of succeeding in the importation business. The steps above will guide you one how to go about starting your own Mini importation business.