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Monday, October 31, 2011

How to start a Profitable Car Park Business in Nigeria


A car park is a suitable venture for someone who has idle open space in a densely populated area especially where there are many cars with difficulty in locating suitable parking space for car owners.

Benefits of a car park to car owners

  •  Convenient and safe location for parking cars. The cars are parked far away from prying eyes and can be easily monitored by people who are employed to ensure that it remains where it is parked and intact.
  •  Helping to reduce traffic congestion
  • Offers vehicle owners peace of mind no need to be afraid of someone coming to tow your car away or someone scratching or bashing your car or even stealing your car.
The Opportunity
In most Nigerian cities the population of car owners is rapidly increasing with many of them finding adequate car parking space difficult especially during rush hours on weekdays. People would go out to banks, eateries or government offices and be battling with where to find adequate car parking space or one that is at least relatively safe. In large cities like Lagos where there are at least 2 million registered cars it becomes worse when the car owners want to move out and discover someone has blocked them and the car owner is no where to be found. So the car owners need safety, convenience and courteous service for their car parking needs not one that says for instance; "Vehicles are parked at owners risks". Besides this some car parks can also combine other services such as car wash, sale of car accessories such as; wipers, seat covers, car floor mats, even side mirrors and wind screens can also happen as well.

Ideal locations
Suitable locations for citing a business like this could be available idle space in a crowded place in major cities. Sometimes a floor in a high rise building can also serve as a car park. Closeness to popular hangouts is also a good place to locate a car park.

Target Market/Opportunities
Ideal market could include Workers who commute to work but will be busy all day at their offices especially if their offices do not have parking spaces for their cars. Sometimes even at events such as weddings, parties and so on people may need to park their cars outside the venue of such events.

Threats and challenges
The car park management will naturally have to take responsibility for the safety of the cars in their custody and so must device a sophisticated method of safe guarding the cars. Also what measures are in place in case a car is stolen or damaged to either compensate the car owners or to apprehend culprits. What about weather, bird and animal strikes or trouble situations such as riots and so on. These cases may not occur often but they are possible and could hamper the survival of the business.

Start up Summary
 Rent (Open space in busy commercial area) – N3,000,000 a year depending on size
Perimeter fencing around the car park area – N800,000
 A small post to serve as admin area – N300,000
 Working capital for staff and other costs 3 months – N600,000
Total = N4,700,000

This is just a rough estimate of course the start up amount varies it could be much less or more than this.

Want to have a professionally written business plan to show banks or investors? Give me a call to work you through the process: 0803 206 4106

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

How to set up a bar/beer parlour

This might not be a business for everyone because of some people’s religious beliefs but a bar/beer parlour isn’t a bad idea for anyone with medium scale capital intending on setting up a business. Truth is bars are usually suited for middle class or upper class folks and are hardly what you find in everyday typical Nigerian neighbourhoods. Let’s get to understand this business first before getting into the details of how to set up and run a profitable bar/beer parlour.

Bars

A bar is a place where drinks mostly alcoholic and sometimes non alcoholic drinks such as juices/fruit drinks, soft drinks and other non alcoholic beverages are served to paying customers. The alcoholic drinks could include; spirits, wines, gins, whisky and other top popular strong alcoholic brands such as Champagne, Hennesy and baileys. Beers can also be served at bars and occasionally light meals such as meat stakes can be served as well. In Nigeria, bars are usually found in middle class neighbourhoods and night clubs.

Beer Parlours

Beer parlours on the other hand can be found anywhere there are beer lovers. Because beer is relatively cheaper than strong alcoholic drinks beer parlours tend to be found in poorer neighbourhoods although they can be found even in high brow areas. Also note that beer parlours sometimes also double as food canteens and as a result also offer meals but heavier meals than the bars.

Market and Opportunity

There is a market for both kinds of business provided that they are targeted at the right market. For instance setting up a bar in an impoverished part of town will be a mistake because it fails to meet the right market but with a beer parlour the case isn’t really the same because there will be willing customers. What the customers really want is a nice place where they can get the drinks they want and in the right environment. Some people want convenience and quiet and so may prefer to hang out at bars that offer that kind of atmosphere where as others don’t care provided they can get whatever they want

Challenges

For a business of this kind the challenges could present themselves in the form of a loyal customer who may be a perennial debtor but these are not common and but occasionally trouble makers may find their way to your beer parlour, I mean people who want to eat and drink free food but don’t want to pay and stuff like that. You can guard against this by maintaining a no credit policy for your business and it should apply to almost all your customers with the exception of the credit worthy ones.

Startup Summary for bar

1. Furniture (bar section, tables and chairs): N200,000
2. Drinks: N250,000
3. Rent: N500,000
4. Food stuffs: N100,000
5. Others: N200,000
6. Total: N1,250,000

Startup summary for beer parlour

1. Furniture: N50,000
2. Drinks: N100,000
3. Rent: N100,000
4. Foodstuff: N50,000
5. Others: N50,000
6. Total: N350,000

Conclusion

With over a million naira you can set up a bar in a middleclass neighbourhood or in a night club, whereas for just a little less than N350,000 you can set up a beer parlour but this has to be carefully planned. This is a business that thrives on consistency so if you start out well you have to remain on top of your game of the customer will have a reason to patronize someone else.

Monday, October 24, 2011

How to setup a profitable barbing salon/Barber Shop

Barbing salons are everywhere you have men, meaning they are practically suited for every environment. But having another barbing salon and one that makes a lot of money are not the same thing. Barbing salons in the cities or rural areas in Nigeria are numerous but not necessarily indicative of the fact that the business is booming because many are merely doing it to scrape out a living. But for those intending on creating a sustainable business that will not only create wealth but employment as well then knowing how to set up a profitable business is the way to go.

Background

In many towns and cities especially the big cities like Lagos, Abuja, Benin and Port Harcourt people set up shop to do business, barbing hair for mostly the male folk. In Lagos for instance, there are probably more barbing salons than there are churches (you know how we Nigerians love church even more than the early Christians) which means the business is fairly easy to set up and remain in the business otherwise entry into the business should be hard and remaining profitable would also not be an issue. In campuses of Universities, polytechnics around densely populated areas and sometimes in high brow areas and commercial areas, barbing salons seem to thrive. Suitable locations therefore are; popular streets, densely populated areas with a lot of male folks and higher institutions of learning.

Opportunity

Considering that it may not cost more than a few thousands to set up a baring salon, the business offers many opportunities to make a lot of money. For instance, selling clippers, shaving powder, shaving stick, aftershave, barbing equipments and accessories as well as the normal barbing services means that this business isn’t limited in terms of how much money can be made. But more importantly is the opportunity to make a lot of money from being exceptionally professional and organized, word spreads fast and with barbing excellent referrals from customers can do a lot of good in terms of winning patronage and increasing sales.

Challenges

The problem of electricity supply and having fuel for generating sets to power the barbing salon is the obvious challenge. In most parts of Nigeria, electricity supply is usually less than 10 hours a day making cost of doing business to be unnecessarily high. When the business becomes more stable and profitable one would expect the business to expand, unfortunately capital to fund growth is not readily available but with micro finance banks this is gradually changing for the better.

Business Strategy
The key thing is to stay focused on what works and what doesn’t. Imagine a situation where the strategy should be to do something useful that no other person is doing at least in your own locality that will at least offer the intending investor an edge over the competition. For instance, if other barbing salons don’t offer the customer much in terms of quality service, more fashionable environment and professional looking staff or workers.

Startup summary

2 Rotating Chairs (although ordinary chairs may do for a start): N10,000
1 Long waiting chair: N10,000
Tables: N6,000
Mirrors: N12,000
3 original Clippers: N9,000
4 Cover Clothes: N2,000
Barbing ‘Cosmetics’ (Spirit, powder, aftershave etc): N3,000
Generator: N20,000
Sterilizer: N15,000
Others: N30,000
Total: N117,000

Friday, October 21, 2011

How to start and run a profitable Website design Business in Nigeria

A web design business is a very viable business in this era where many people and businesses are going digital and there seems to be no future for people left behind by the internet and digital revolution. Today, the world is a smaller place because of the ease with which people can connect, share and relate with each other over a wide area in a very short period of time due to the impact of internet technology. People use the world wide web especially websites and blogs to establish their presence online. Some people including celebrities even use social media or microblogging websites such as twitter, facebook, linkedln and myspace to interact with friends, customers and associates.

1. The Opportunity

There is a booming market for website design, domain registration and web hosting services in Nigeria. Take a good look around you what corporate businesses and organizations would function effectively without an online presence? Very few indeed can cope in the 21st century without a website. First it is a public relations tool which means it can promote the business corporate identity. Secondly it can serve as a medium of interaction with customers. But the fact that many businesses in Nigeria are not very much involved with e-business is all the more reason why we should view this opportunity with enthusiasm. Potential customers in the web design business include; churches, government agencies, NGOs, Schools and professional associations. All these organizations need websites to help publicize news and information about their activities and events. It’s also a way to post announcements or to even make sales.

2. Management Summary

Typically a website design business can be started from home with very little capital. Only web design skills and knowledge of how to register domains, secure hosting plans and upload files and data is sufficient. From the comfort of one’s home this idea can be vigorously pursued doing both online marketing and offline marketing, approaching the target audience and soliciting patronage from them.

3. Market strategy

The market strategy is simple but not dogmatic. Everyone involved in the business has his/her own way of approaching the opportunity especially when viewed against the backdrop

• Write promotional articles about the benefits of website designs
• Direct marketing approaching potential customers
• Classified adverts in newspapers, magazines, bulletins or outdoor signs

4. Startup information

a) A simple PC preferably a laptop computer but a desktop may also be fine – Little or nothing
b) A website design package such as Microsoft frontpage, dreamweaver or other similar package
c) Web design skills
d) Fliers to promote the design business – N 3,000

Conclusion

Although the market is saturated, the business is highly lucrative judging by the low overhead costs and increasing potential to generate income and patronage.

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Boutique Business Ideas in Nigeria: Start up and marketing


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Many people know that there are clothes and there are clothes to buy and wear. What I mean by that is there are designer clothes and there are cheap imitations everywhere you go in Lagos. When you hear of Oshodi, Yaba, Katangua, Iyana Iba, Aswani, Jankara and what have you what first comes to your mind is second hand clothes. But that is not all there is to know, other ideas that should come to your mind should include money, self employment and business.
Many people have set up small businesses with very little and have made a lot of money selling clothes from even their own homes. Some have taken the business to their schools, while some sell in offices even to their church members. The point I am making is that selling clothes in Lagos Nigeria is a lucrative business. There is no limit to this business because there are so many people in this city and therefore a long list of waiting customers, you just have to find a way to get to the market of cloth loving folks.
Selling Second Hand Clothes
The journey to money making in this business if you have little capital is to start is with second hand clothes. Don’t laugh at what I just said because it’s true. Except if you have plenty of money to invest in the business, most likely you will start with second hand clothes and where as this may seem insulting but the economy makes it so. Where are the suppliers of second hand clothes? Places like Aswani market which opens on Tuesdays every week or Oshodi Market or Katangua market have answers. On the other hand if you are enterprising, then travelling all the way to Cotonou is a good way to source cheap ‘Okrika’ or OK as some folks like to call them. As for where to display them, anywhere people will easily notice them.
Selling Grade ‘A’ clothes
Some people may glorify second clothes by calling them grade A. As long as you are not the first person wearing it then grade A OK which looks new is still Okrika. Most grade A clothes are sold to the young especially people of school age (university and polytechnic students) but sometimes they may be sold to young men and women working in corporate organizations.
Designer clothes for sale in Lagos
These clothes are sold to fashion conscious people who have money to throw around. Designer clothes are usually sold in boutiques. Some places in Lagos noted for designer cloth selling are Adeniran Ogunsanya Street in Surulere, Allen Avenue and Opebi Road, Awolowo way in Ikeja
How to start selling clothes in Lagos Nigeria
Depending on your goal as an entrepreneur or small business owner, if selling clothes is what you wish to do then you have a number of options open to you. First you may want to sell fairly used clothes in small display trays or on tables as some folks mostly in the poorer parts of Lagos do in front of their homes (please this is not for the proud). This depends anyway on the kind of neighbourhood you are based in (I don’t expect this to work in highbrow areas) and if your Landlord wouldn’t mind you doing so.  Also if your street is a very busy one with many people passing by and taking notice of it. Of course these clothes should be better than relatively of more quality than what obtains elsewhere and should be relatively less expensive to attract many customers.
Selling Second Clothes in Small Shops
Another way to go about this is by selling in stalls or small shops. Some other people sell clothes in small shops along very busy roads. Some popular places where this happens in Lagos Nigeria include; Oyingbo, Along Ojuelegba-Lawanson-itire road in Surulere, Awolowo Way in Ikeja etc.
Selling Clothes in Boutiques
Boutiques are by far the most lucrative ways to make money in Nigeria from selling clothes. Nigerian youths in our major cities like to imitate their western counterparts. They love to wear what’s in vogue and don’t like to be left behind. This means selling trendy clothes and fashion accessories is the way to go if you intend to set up a boutique for this market. But there are other markets also such as the corporate market, women folk and even sports lovers e.g Selling Barcelona, Chelsea, Arsenal or Man United branded T-Shirts and scarves.
Mobile Clothes Dealer
Some other people take their clothes selling to another level. I remember during my service year one particular clothes dealer who used to sell clothes with his motorcycle. He would move from one village to another on his bike usually targeting public gatherings, markets and schools, of course he was making cool money as well. Even in school, some business savvy girls sell girly clothes to their fellow female students in the hostel and hook up with them elsewhere sometimes even going to meet women in their shops or at the offices.
In a nutshell, selling clothes must be based on who those clothes appeal to and why and approaching them in the best way.

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