Let’s talk business. In a world driven by innovation, it is no longer about having the best product but about coming up with products that people will buy.
There are several ways to make money from your business, and one of the most effective ways is from Small Scale Export Business, otherwise known as mini-exportation.
However, before you decide to venture into exporting as your primary source of income, there are a few things you need to know first.
Small scale export business in Nigeria isn’t for everyone; if you feel like this will be a perfect fit for you and your situation, continue reading on to know more about it…
What is a Small Scale Export Business?
Simply put, a small-scale export business is when you buy goods from a manufacturer in your local market and sell it to an exporter outside the country.
Another way to describe a small scale export business is ‘mini exportation business’. It is one of the most lucrative businesses any country in Africa or the world at large ventures into.
You don’t have to have a large factory. You don’t even have to own one to engage in this business. In fact, you can start a small scale export business in your home or office space.
This type of business is usually done via the internet, with the exporter who buys the goods from you arranging for the goods to be shipped to their end destination.
Small scale export businesses are often offered by manufacturers who don’t have the necessary distribution channels to service the local market. In this case, they might approach a distributor like you who can further sell the product(s) to retailers at a lower cost than what they are currently selling the product for.
You can also approach a manufacturer directly to buy their product and resell it at a higher price to make a profit.
Why Should You Start a Small Scale Export Business?
If you’re an entrepreneur, and you want to be your own boss, then starting a small scale export business is the best option for you.
However, you must understand that exporting goods from Nigeria isn’t as easy as it sounds. It’s a highly competitive business, with a lot of risks associated with it.
You will have to have a good knowledge about the products you want to export and have a network that will buy your products.
The good news, however, is that you will make a good profit from this type of business. You can make your decision to start a small scale export business from the comfort of your home, at a time when you want to work.
You will, however, need a lot of patience, perseverance and passion for the work you do, as it might be frustrating at times.
The Costs Involved in Starting a Small Scale Export Business
There is no business that requires no cost.
The cost involved in starting a small scale export business or mini exportation business will depend on the type of products you decide to export as well as how you want to distribute them.
You can decide to sell the product online at a cheaper price, or sell them offline at a higher cost.
Here are some of the costs that you will incur while starting your small scale export business:
i. An eCommerce Website – If you want to sell the product online, you will need to create an e-commerce website. This will cost you about $300 to $500 as a one-time investment.
ii. Product packaging – You will also need to package your product for shipping. This will cost you between $15 and $50.
iii. Advertisement – You will also need to advertise your product on social media such as Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, TikTok or using search engine marketing (Google Ads, Bing Ads, Yahoo Ads, etc – this depends on which one works best for you) or other websites so that people can buy from you. This will cost you about $200 to $500.
iv. Shipping fee – You will also be required to pay for the shipping fee when you ship the product to the customer.
v. Licences and Permits – You will also require a business licence and other permits needed to run an export business. These will depend on the type of products you decide to export.
The Importance of Networking and Research Before Exporting
The importance of networking and researching can not be over-emphasized.
Before you decide to export any product, you must research well on the demand, pricing, and competition in the market.
Once you have done this, you should also try to network with dealers in your local market who buy from exporters outside the country. You can also start a social media account to attract more customers.
From proper networking, you might even be lucky enough to get investors who will give you the capital you need for your business. However, before you network with anyone, make sure you have a good reputation online and even offline.
You should also research the dealers you want to network with, and make sure they are legitimate. You can also try attending expos and trade shows to expand your network and get to know more people in the business.
Things to Remember When Networking for an Export Business
- The first thing you must remember when networking for an export business is that timing is everything.
- You must pick the right time to approach the person you want to network with.
- You must know that the person you want to network with is in a buying mood.
- You must also remember to keep your end of the bargain in a timely manner.
- You must deliver what you have promised the person you are networking with, as promised. This will help you build long-lasting relationships with people and open new doors for your business.
Some Common Mistakes To Avoid When Networking For An Export Business
- Overselling your product: This is one of the biggest mistakes small scale export businessmen and women find themselves in when networking for an export business. You must know your product well, including how the product is made, the benefits of using the product, etc. You must also avoid overpromising your product.
- Being too aggressive: This is another mistake to avoid when networking for an export business. You must be friendly and approachable when networking. You must not also forget to thank the person you want to network with.
- Don’t approach everyone in the room: As much as it is fine to connect with as many relevant networkers, you should not make the mistake of hitting on everyone you find in the room, if you really need to get the right person or set of people. You must also be patient when networking. It might take a while before you get the right person to network with.
The Types of Scam Artists You Will Encounter While Exporting
We can not but discuss this part as it is an important aspect of business to worry about. There are 3 types of scam artists you will encounter while exporting.
- The payment scammer: This is someone who will ask you to ship a product to them and once you do, they will claim that they didn’t receive the product. They will then ask you to ship it again. You should avoid these scammers at all costs.
- The shipping scammer: This person will request you to ship the product to someone you don’t know. You should avoid these scammers as well.
- The product scammer: This person will ask you to ship a product of lower quality than the one you agreed to ship. You have to be very observant so you don’t sink into his or her trap.
Best Ways to Find the Right Product for Your Export Business
When looking for products to export from Nigeria, you should look at products that are in high demand in the market. You should also look for products that have low competition as well.
You can find these products in the following places: –
The local market – You can start by looking at the products you find in your local market. These products might be in high demand in other countries as well.
The Social media – You can also look for local products that are in high demand at social media platforms.
Exporters and importers – You can also look for local products that are being exported or imported by exporters and importers.
Know the Market You’re Exporting To
Now, this part may not be fully detailed, but in another post, will do justice.
One thing is certain, you must know the market you are exporting your products to. Not only that, you must know about the culture and customs of the people in that market. This makes it easy (a lot easier) to identify their immediate needs.
You must also know about their buying habits so that you can sell your products to them.
Another important aspect is knowing the laws of the country you are exporting your products to. This will help you avoid penalties, fines, and other legal issues.
You must also know the shipping and import regulations of the country you are exporting your products to. This will help you avoid issues with customs when shipping your products.
Finding the Right Supplier(s)
There is no one successful export business without a supplier (at best, the right supplier). In other words, if you want to start your own small scale export business, you will need to find the right supplier who will provide you with the product(s) you want to sell.
Not all suppliers can satisfy your expectation for the best deliveries. You should always try to find a reputable supplier who has a good track record, and the product(s) you want to sell.
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