So you have decided to start your own export business, but do you know how to get started? Our article will help you figure out the steps to opening up your business.
Learn about the export market
First of all, start off by signing up for some business planning courses. After you are done with that, you need to sit down and take your time to learn how export business in Nigeria works. Nigerian export market is vast and complicated, and you should not go in unprepared. Figure out what legal documents you might need, visit online business forums and ask experienced businesspersons about the pitfalls of export businesses in Nigeria.
Decide on what you are going to sell and where you are going to get it
Nigeria is a country rich in things you can sell to other continents. The list of possible products for export includes (but is not limited to):
- Oils. Palm oil, palm kernel oil, coconut oil, sesame seed oil, you name it. These products are always in high demand in countries with a colder climate. Therefore, it is easy to make profits from selling all sorts of oils;
- Cosmetics. It is only logical to consider cosmetics as a possible product for export. The oils that were mentioned before, are great for hair and skin, so many creams, shampoos and other beauty products contain them;
- Charcoal. Countries in Asia, Europe and Americas have a large market for this product, and Nigeria has the best quality charcoal;
- Fruits and juices. Nigeria can provide plenty of fruits that are considered exotic in such countries as United States. Juice concentrates are an even better option, as they have longer shelf life.
- Textiles and cotton. People around the world appreciate the African culture, and Nigerian fabrics and garments fascinate foreigners. Also, the cotton business is currently on the rise in Nigeria.
Once you’ve decided on what you are going to export, you need to consider how you are going to get that product. You can either grow/make it yourself or purchase it from someone else. If you are a first-timer, the second option is much easier. Although you should have some backup suppliers just in case. You never know.
Find a way to finance your business
If you have a truckload of money that you don’t know how to spend, you can skip this step. But if your idea of starting a business runs solely on your enthusiasm, consider where you can get the needed funds.
- Take out a loan, but be cautious with that; there is no guarantee your business will be profitable.
- Ask your friends and relatives for some money, although sometimes, borrowing money from people close to you negatively affects your relationship.
- Alternatively, find a person with lots of money who is willing to invest in your idea. Just be sure you are on the same page about your financial relationship. They might expect way more profit from your business than you can offer them.
After you have figured the easiest part, it’s time to go to the next step.
Register your company and your business address
For other people to take you seriously, you need to register your company. Here is a little checklist of things you need to do for that.
- Create a UNIQUE name for your export business and register it with the Corporate Affairs Commissions.
- Register an office for your company. It doesn’t have to be an actual office, you can just use your own address for this.
- Register your company with the Nigerian Export Promotion Council (NEXP). Nigerian Customs Service demands that all export businesses in Nigeria are to be registered, but it is fairly easy. Just go to their website (nepc.gov.ng) to do that.
- Additionally, you will need to fill out the Form NXP. You can do that in any bank.
All done? Proceed to the next step.
Get all the required permits and licenses
This step requires you to procure the necessary licenses and permits for the government and potential customers to recognize you as a reliable business. There are particular demands for people that have an export business in Nigeria, so be sure you meet all of them. The same goes for foreign countries where you want to export your product to. Learn what documents your target country wants and obtain them.
Find your buyer
Nowadays, it is very easy to conduct export business from the comfort of your own home. You don’t even have to leave your couch to find the importers for your product. You can just go on the Internet, register your company on some trade websites and start negotiations with potential clients.
Advertise your product
When you have found your client, you need to persuade them. Convince them of why they should buy your product and not someone else’s. Think of a list of things that make your product worth buying. Moreover, you can show off your product at various expos and fairs. That way, potential importers will actually see what they are dealing with.
If you have fulfilled all of the requirements listed here, you can venture into the world of export business in Nigeria. Good luck!
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