Importation of items intended for resale is one of the businesses through which some people have raked in millions of naira for themselves. If you have an eye for the importation of commodities in bulk from countries such as USA, UK and China, mini importation could be a perfect business activity for you.
Like many other businesses, the mini importation business comes with its own specifics and it behoves a shrewd individual to thoroughly find out these specifics before eventually venturing into the business.
Reading this article further, you’re certain to find out a step-by-step guide for starting a mini importation business in Nigeria but before that below are some of the special prerequisites for starting the business.
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- A physical unit to which imported goods can be delivered
- Sizeable capital for business startup –this capital is mostly determined by your preferred product niche
- Technological requirements: a VISA card or MasterCard, an email address, a computer system and reliable Internet access, all for seamless transactions with online suppliers
Steps for Starting a Mini Importation Business in Nigeria
Conducting a Market Survey
Just as it would be required for many other businesses, conducting a market survey is an essential step in preparation for a mini importation business. Basically, it is through this market survey that you are able to figure out the level of competition in the market, the feasibility of the mini importation business (with respect to the capital at your disposal) and the profitability of the business.
You shouldn’t downplay the essence of a market survey for your proposed mini importation business as it would be risky to delve into a business without first having prior knowledge of how the business works.
In carrying out a thorough market survey, one way is to get in touch with somebody already in the mini importation business while another is to make advantageous use of the Internet in gathering essential information about the business.
Choosing a Product Niche
Provided that you’ve already conducted an in-depth market survey pertaining to the mini importation business, you shouldn’t find it difficult to make a befitting choice from the array of product niches in the mini importation business.
Depending on your capital, your preference and potential customers, you may want to choose any of product niches ranging from furniture down to clothes, electronics, automobiles, etc.
Importantly, endeavour to stick only to a niche concerned with the products you’re comfortable with trading in and whose capital requirement appears affordable to you.
Finding a Reliable Supplier
This appears to be the step that comes after a precise choice of product niche. Put simply, it is essential to find a reliable supplier for the product you want your mini importation business to revolve around.
You may have mused on how difficult doing this might seem but luckily, the Internet has made it absolutely easy to locate reliable suppliers. Needless to say, the presence of online retail platforms (such as AliExpress, Amazon and Alibaba) has brought about a considerable level of convenience as regards shipping goods to Nigeria from China, USA, UK, etc.
Despite that you intend to import goods from overseas, you needn’t travel to any of the countries mentioned above before you can be sure of getting your goods delivered to you. Obviously, it’s only incumbent on you to get in touch with a trustworthy supplier and initiate a business relation with them through any of the trusted online retail platforms mentioned earlier.
Of course, unreliable retailers abound on the Internet same way you’re very likely to come across a decent number of credible online retailers via Alibaba, AliExpress, etc.
Therefore, it behoves you to thoroughly figure out whether the supplier you’re choosing for your mini importation is reliable. One great way you can do is examining the supplier’s profile and paying attention to specifics such as the feedback or the reviews (whether positive or negative) given by customers. You’re certain to find ratings for suppliers and through these ratings, you should come to a crucial conclusion as to whether a particular supplier is worth doing business with.
In all sincerity, some of the advantages of doing business with a reliable supplier are the assurance of getting standard products and the certainty of the goods to get delivered.
Making Payments for Goods Supplied to You
For the transactions involved in your mini importation business, it’s necessary that you make payments before the goods demanded can be delivered to you. To clear out the strain or hitch that may hinder the payment process, there are currently several reliable international payment systems such as PayPal. All you need is funding your account and paying from the account for whatever goods you want your supplier to deliver to you.
Once you have successfully paid for goods, you can expect them to get delivered to you via any of the two major delivery methods: free shipping and express/premium delivery.
Free shipping, in the first place, can require a lengthy period (usually between 20 and 30 days) for the goods paid for to get delivered to you. If you can’t cope with this lengthy delivery period, you may have to consider the premium delivery method by which goods are delivered to your stipulated location in a comparatively short period. Put simply, the delivery will be conducted by a third-party logistics firm and you’re sure of getting the goods between 3 and 5 working days.
Marketing and Selling Your Products
The step-by-step process involved in the mini importation business terminates at the point of product marketing and sale. Obviously, you need to market your imported products probably with the aid of the Internet.
Advisably, endeavour to get registered with reputable Nigerian online stores such as Konga and Jumia for the listing of your imported products. This way, you’re very likely to capture the interest of numerous potential buyers spread across the Internet. Provided that you’ve chosen to operate as an online seller, this marketing strategy is likely to work best for you.
To crown your marketing, getting your products delivered to willing buyers is necessary. You may strike a business deal with a credible courier agent for this purpose. Endeavour to work only with a trusted courier agent so that you don’t have to worry about the delivery of products to buyers within the country.
The importation business is one of the enterprises you can venture into with little capital (although depending on your choice of imported goods) and hope to make reasonable profit in the long run. However, succeeding in this kind of business necessitates the understanding of international business dealings and the avoidance of substandard products.