Saturday, September 26, 2009
In Nigeria there is only one well known laudro-mart at Lekki. However a large number of dry cleaning businesses exist providing mainly services for individuals’ clothing. A business like this requires a number of specialized equipments for use.
The business thrives on the premise that busy executives and socialites want to have their expensive clothing properly cleaned and maintained. Some of the methods used by dry cleaners include; starching, dying, warm rinsing and use of chemicals to remove dirt and stains from clothes and adding fragrance to them as well. Dry cleaning just like selling cars in Lagos Nigeria is a location dependent and back end business, meaning where you site the business and how well you satisfy your existing customers are major factors affecting sales.
The market for this business cuts across all age groups but is typically patronized by upper middle class and upper class folks. Most people who patronize professional dry cleaning businesses do not want to leave their clothes in the hands of people who will not do a good job or who might contract it to other dry cleaners thus charging a higher than normal fee. So being efficient and cost effective at the same time is tantamount to getting a pass mark from customers and the possibility of referrals. Remember the post about efficient service delivery? It could also be of help to you as you try to uncover the opportunities this business offers.
Electricity supply is highly unreliable meaning that all your machines will have to be powered mostly by diesel generators. The location is another important factor. A good dry cleaning business should be located in an easily accessible place in a high brow area. Places like Allen Avenue, Adeniyi Jones, Victoria Island, Isaac John Street in Ikeja GRA, Ikoyi, Lekki and Ajah. Finding a suitable site in one of these places is a major challenge especially since the rents are very high.
Start up Summary
The cost of setting up a dry cleaning business is listed below;
• Rented space preferably measuring 50 sq metres or more =N= 800,000 for 2 years
• Machines and Equipment =N= 600,000
• Working capital =N= 900,000 for 6 months
• Generator =N= 200,000
• Others =N= 300,000
• Total =N= 2,800,000
Marketing and sales plan
To effectively market your services you will need to do a lot of marketing
1st year Projections
• Annual Sales =N= 4,400,000
• Expenses =N= 1,600,000
• Taxation =N= 980,000
• Net profit =N= 1,820,000
Investment and Returns analysis Projections
• Return on Investment = Net profit/Total Amount invested
= 1,820,000/2,800,000 or 65%
• Return on sales/margin = Net profit/ Total sales
= 1,820,000/4,400,000 or 41.3%
Monday, September 21, 2009
I have been forced to make this post because many people act as if the problem with Nigeria is hopeless. Many of them really take things too far acting in ways inimical to the well being of their fatherland. It certainly isn’t hopeless and I would spare no effort in letting out my views on this. From my experience, I have found out that there are three classes of un-patriotic Nigerians namely;
1. Those who want to leave the country at all costs
2. Those who have left and don’t wish to ever return
3. Those who do not want to leave but are bent on making things worse
For the first group of un-patriotic Nigerians, many of them are tired of the economic hardship in their country. They have lost hope of ever making anything tangible of their lives and belief that their path to financial freedom lies in becoming an immigrant in a first world country. They are quick to blame government for systemic failure and would do anything including perpetrating scams, fraud schemes and forgeries just to raise funds to travel out. This bunch are no better than the leaders they condemn and once they leave don’t expect to hear from them again except if Nigeria offers better opportunities than their bases abroad.
The second group, I prefer to call them saboteurs, these group are the criminals; pirates, smugglers, drug peddlers, militants pretending to be freedom fighters, corrupt politicians, lying and deceiving clerics and a bunch of supporting cohorts.
The third group is highly pretentious and hypocritical, only caring to know about their country if their personal interests are at stake. Most times they have very unkind words for their country especially its government and are very regular in making their voices heard when something negative is said about their country. They are also not likely to return home except if better economic opportunities exist for them.
But this article will focus on the first and third groups because they are the most hypocritical of the three groups. At least we know the villains are group two so let’s leave them out of this.
Before expatiating on my points let it be known that all over the world there are only three acceptable reasons for seeking immigration opportunities in other countries especially more endowed countries and these are;
1. The need to empower oneself through Education so as to contribute meaningfully to national development. Hence it is not a surprise that the world over governments sponsor their citizens to study abroad in order to acquire useful skills that could help in national development. Seeking temporary immigration abroad to study, work and pursue a career is all part of a plan to develop your country because in later years those skills and experiences would be useful to others who are not so priviledged.
2. The need to empower oneself and fellow countrymen through improved employment opportunities abroad. Many people seek to work abroad for a while maybe a few years in order to exploit the opportunities of being employed overseas can offer. This trend is very common in the Philippines where many Filipinos work for the good of their country abroad by repatriating funds home for national development. In other words your body is in another man’s country but your heart is at home.
3. Asylum or fleeing from persecution or certain death. If your life is threatened you could seek asylum in a foreign country sympathetic to your course.
So in other words seeking immigration opportunities abroad should one way or the other benefit your country, but can we honestly say that these applies to 10% of Nigerians living in the diaspora? Certainly not as many Nigerians are living abroad for themselves and their loved ones because they would rather enjoy an improved standard of living in a European, Asian or North American country and not Togo, Gabon or Cameroon because rather than working hard to better the lot of their country like the Jews have done in their native homeland or the Americans, Canadians, koreans and the Brits have done they would rather reap from where they did not sow and still turn around to castigate their birth place. It is as if they wish to say, Nigeria is the cause of all their personal woes not forgetting that even abroad where they choose to settle down many of them are treated as second class citizens.
A wise saying goes that when a ship is sinking, it is usually rats that jump boat. This applies to Nigerians who would rather suffer humiliation in a bid to secure visas in order to emigrate to more advanced countries of the world seeking greener pastures and an easier life rather than wanting to exploit opportunities abroad that will serve their country well. It is among these Nigerians that you find people who have made up their minds to only return home to pick up anything they forgot while emigrating, meaning that their hearts have since left their fatherland, preferring to become permanent residents abroad. It is this same Nigerians who complain that Nigeria is a spoilt nation and are in no way interested in improving the lot of their fatherland while sometimes pretending to care about their fatherland by commenting on the worsening state of affairs in the country. They fail to realize that Filipinos of Asia who live in the diaspora consider their homelands to be sacred and would not stop at anything to support both morally and financially to the course of their country than pay mere lip service to their countrymen.
One would expect a sensible Nigerian living in the diaspora to rise to the defence of his/her country when a film maker decides that making money from a movie/film loving global community should be done at the expense of Nigeria through its very misleading and suggestive story line that includes barbaric insinuations of cannibalism, criminality and prostitution painted against a small band of Nigerians represented by southern African actors and actresses. What’s more, rather than see that movies don’t just entertain but inform as well many of these so called Nigerians have been in defence of the film makers putting all manner of silly arguments. Some of them mention that solving the rot in the Education system (as if that can be done overnight) as being of greater priority than demanding an apology, what a shameful thing to suggest, from such people anyway I would expect worse imagine living without an identity that seems to be what these bad eggs are saying.
World famous wycleff Jean loves his country Haiti so much inspite of the fact that Haiti is more corrupt, poorer and even more denigrated by the international community than Nigeria is. Even the late human rights crusader, Gani Fawehinmi did not pay lip service to his country men, he often times spent his resources trying to make things work out well, instead of merely commenting on how bad things are in Nigeria which is exactly what our detractors would love to do anyway.
In conclusion I would say that any person who hates his fatherland does not deserve to have any.
Thursday, September 10, 2009
For individuals looking for a world class retail outlet or a shopping mall consisting numerous world class retail outlets in Lagos Nigeria, the place to visit is the Palms shopping mall in Lekki. It is the shopping mall to beat because it has high end products and services that are comparable to any luxury mall in the world. It comprises a number of world class retail shops with virtually any item available for purchase.If you haven't visited the palms yet, I'll advise you to do so as the place is really impressive.
The Palms in Pictures
Front view from main entrance
Shoprite one of the best places for high end shopping in Lagos Nigeria
The Sony centre
The game stores at the palms a place for affordable consumables.
The palms from the side view taken along the now being rehabilitated Lekki expressway.
My take on this, see things for yourself
Wednesday, September 9, 2009
- People need to own cars to transact business of various kinds.
- Desire to belong to a certain social class and hence will purchase cars they think fits their expectations for that class.
- Others are rational in their needs about why they should buy cars. They might desire situations that enhance their ability to network with possible customers and business partners.
- People also purchase value especially quality and durability.
Lagos being the most economically strategic place in Nigeria has a very unique and easy to reach phone directory when compared with other states and regions of the country. Lagos Nigeria has a unique phone code 01 if you are calling a Lagos landline within Nigeria or +234-1- (the dash means you don’t need to dial 0) preceding the number if it is a landline. However you will not have to include the state code 01 or 1 if you are calling a mobile phone number. Just dial country code with the number excluding 0 (if it is preceded by 0).
If you are calling Lagos Nigeria from overseas don’t forget to include the country code +234 (ha-ha, I’m just playing with you).
Examples of dialing a Landline Phone Number in Lagos Nigeria
Extension number (3 digits) followed by 3 or 4 digits. For instance 271-2304, calling this number from outside Lagos but within Nigeria dial, 01-271-2304 but dial +234-1-271-2304 from outside Nigeria.
Examples of Mobile Phone Numbers in Lagos Nigeria
Most mobile phone numbers are provided by GSM service providers whereas others are by CDMA providers. The mobile phone numbers usually are in this form;
070(2-9) followed by 7 numbers for instance; 0702, 0703, 0704, 0705, 0706, 0707, 0708 and so on followed by 7 numbers. My mobile phone number is 0709-201-1484
080(2-9) followed by 7 numbers for instance; 0802, 0803…………. 0809 followed by 7 numbers. Another of my mobile phone number is 0803 206 4106.
080(10) followed by 6 numbers.
Summary of calling numbers in Lagos Nigeria Phone directory will therefore be
- Calling any of these numbers from abroad will be +234-1-(phone number) for landlines and for the GSM and CDMA lines, +234-(mobile phone number excluding the preceding 0)
- Calling any of these numbers outside Lagos but within Nigeria simply dial 01-(phone number) for landlines and 070 and 080 number series.
Zip/Postal codes of Lagos Nigeria
The postal code of Lagos Nigeria is 101001-29 depending on location of city or town. For instance the postal code for my part of town, Ebute metta is 101012 while that of surulere is 101014.
Did you find this article useful? If you didn’t leave a message or ask the question you wish to have answered.
Tuesday, September 8, 2009
Profitable SME businesses you can start in Lagos Nigeria (Sale of Automobiles, parts and accessories)
Part I: Car Accessories
In this part, we shall be examining the option of selling Car accessories in Lagos Nigeria.
Car accessories are the additional aids to your cars which serve to improve navigational and directional performance of your car. They could also refer to decorative additions made to improve your car’s appearance and they include; seat covers, steering wheel jackets, foot mat, side mirrors, rear view mirrors, wind screens, caution sign, car spray, air freshener, rims, car seats, car alarm systems, seat belts, car horns, wipers, bumpers, doors and a host of others.
Opportunities in Reselling Car Accessories in Lagos Nigeria
One of the accompanying features of brand new cars is their accessories, however most second hand cars in Nigeria do not have the complete set of accessories since many of them would have been damaged, stolen or just gone missing. People’s cars will always be hit or damaged by other reckless motorists, side mirrors, car stereos even a caution sign can go missing. Since road and vehicle maintenance agencies exist to ensure compliance with traffic and road safety laws especially the VIO, Police and FRSC, there will always be demand for the products.
The demand for car accessories is quite high because most cars in use are never bought brand new or tear rubber if you like. Hence there is an ever increasing market for accessories as long as people buy second hand cars and these cars have incomplete accessories that accompany them. At least Lagos has more than 1 million cars plying its different roads.
Who buys car accessories and why?
1. Car dealers who wish to enhance the appearance of your second hand cars for sale. Imagine trying to sell a car with a torn seat cover or no one at all. Car dealers can relate with this because their chances or making any sales will not be improved especially when there is competition to consider. Most car dealers still need to purchase one accessory or the other to enhance the appearance of their cars and hence ‘increase’ the market value of the cars in the eyes of their prospects.
2. Motorists who wish to give their cars a facelift. Some people ride old cars that need a serious make over. Others have been involved in road accidents and need to change may be a side mirror, a rear light or perhaps the car needs new paints.
3. Motorists who love trendy items. Some motorists are fashionable people who desire to own attractive and in vogue accessories. Being one step ahead of competition in terms of knowing what new but highly in demand product to buy, where and when will ensure that these motorists are cared for.
How to succeed in the business
In order to succeed in this business, you will need to carryout a well thought out plan on how to start, run and grow the business. Considering that the market is large, a very good marketing strategy will put one miles ahead of the competition.
Knowing where and how to sell car accessories in Lagos Nigeria
One good way to go about this is to sell through car related channels. For instance a lot of busy car owners and users are too busy to have the time source for dealers hence you take the business to them by selling through car parks where their vehicles will naturally be packed.
Marketing your accessories will be made easier if you can sell through the following channels;
- Car Parks
- Filling Stations
- Traffic jams
- Auto repair workshops
- Car dealership lots especially dealers in second hand cars
- Car wash centers
- Busy Shopping Malls
- Along Major Market roads and streets
- Close to driving schools
Remember to use the power of networking and work on effective service delivery as many of your customers will be referrals, although you could also have others who will simply locate you because of your marketing efforts. These channels will work well if you sell indirectly as I have discussed in this post finding money spinning ideas in Lagos Nigeria II.
Finally ensure that you carry out a proper market survey in order to choose the most profitable product line. You could specialize in selling only foot mats or you could sell car air fresheners if you are sure of your marketing skills and the level of demand.
Monday, September 7, 2009
A travel and tour business is a going concern which involves the rendering of travel and tourism services namely; flight and hotel reservations, preparation for visa and other travel and immigration documents as well as city and regional tour guide for travelers. Travel and tour businesses also engage in pilgrimage and flight charter services. It is the business of ensuring that travelers are as safe as possible, arrive their destination on time and receive the most convenient and affordable services available. The duty of every travel and tour agent is to ensure that clients get the least expensive, yet most pleasant and convenient visit possible to their desired locations. A travel agent is saddled with the responsibility of planning regional visits or travel schedules for business and fun seeking travelers, thus saving them time, money and wasted efforts.
Being an agency type of business, travel and tour agencies are entitled to commission on total fees payable for the service package. People travel all the time. Business people travel, traders, diplomats, civil servants, tourists, clerics and entertainers. Most of these travelers don’t have the time, knowledge and skills to enable them successfully plan inter-regional visits and travels especially when they are first time visitors to such places. Hence the need for people who can specialize in this line of business is very essential indeed. In Lagos Nigeria, there exist a lot of opportunities to be reckoned with as competent travel and tour specialist considering that aggressive but immature competition and inefficiency are common place in the sector.
The major challenges peculiar to the Lagos Nigeria environment for this kind of business include poor road networks and traffic situations which might hinder prompt and orderly meetings with clients and partners. Inefficient transportation and I.T infrastructure are also hindrances to the successful running of this business. Also there is a great deal of discontent with Nigerian travel and tour companies particularly by the expatriate community owing to poor service delivery and past sharp practices recorded against some indigenous travel agents.
Being an IATA certified agent is by far the most important requirement. However, you may also need to have a well established network of Hotels, Airports, Airlines, car rental companies and other travel agents to be effective in the business. Most travel and tour agents work in partnership with other related businesses as well as government recognized agencies like the federal airports authority of Nigeria. Having a very convenient and suitable location is a must especially when it is close to reputable hotels, car rental companies and airports. It is advisable to work this way as you are not only close to the client but could also benefit from profitable alliances with other related businesses.
Like all other agency businesses, Travel and tour services offers possibilities of fast and enviable growth especially in terms of sales but only if service delivery is far superior to what the competition has to offer.
Saturday, September 5, 2009
By Onwueme Paul
You don’t have to own a store or shop to be able to sell goods and services in Lagos Nigeria. Many smart people in Lagos run part time businesses using other people’s shops to sell their products indirectly.
Amaka, is a 23 year old pharmacy student who sells hand bags and women’s sandals. She makes between N 20,000 to N 35,000 a week selling through her neighbour’s shop. Amaka sources her bags from an importer of fashion accessories while reselling her hand bags and sandals by paying a certain amount as commission to her neighbor. The business partnership with her neighbor is symbiotic as both of them enjoy the arrangement.
Tolu, a very young and highly talented student in a very well known polytechnic also makes money selling indirectly. He partners with a bookstore owner to sell motivational books and career development books. He having identified the best wholesale market for motivational books (Ajegunle), bought a sizable number of copies to resell at Yaba with a bookstore owner. He makes an amount of money sufficient to support both his academic and social needs.
Benefits of this arrangement
- There is low overhead cost as there is no need to employ a sales attendant or pay rent
- The shop owner has increased inventory without additional capital from him. That means he earns free money from selling your products
Like every business involving agreements, there is the possibility of a breach and trouble that could emanate from same. It is not uncommon for the shop owner to inflate the price of your products behind you and pocket the excess while still expecting to receive commission on sales made. What everyone needs to understand is that this kind of business works best when there is a good relationship, an effective understanding and workable symbiosis between parties involved. The likelihood of betrayal or quarrels coming up is best handled if both parties stand to benefit more by working together than not working together. Beware of people who always want to cut corners as experience has shown that such people constitute the greatest hindrance to trade partnerships. So it is advisable to partner with people you already know and who are also entrepreneurial and productive.
Tips to guide you
- Always have a price tag on your products so the buyers pay the exact amount you wish for them to pay
- Draw up the agreement (could be oral or written) with at least one neutral witness.
- Select a suitable location especially one that is strategic for your kind of product. Don’t make the mistake of randomly selecting a shop because patronage and quick turnover are important factors that could lead to success of the business
By Onwueme Paul
I often times wonder why people fall for scams everyday. You read eye catching headlines in classified adverts in some local newspaper targeted at unemployed people making promises and claims that are far from truthful. Many of these adverts invite people to buy a manual or attend a seminar that will teach you how to make big and quick money without really touching on a core issue of money making which is value. Yet, many people still fall for these scams. Why? because of greed or ignorance.
However, I am willing to share with you how to make money legitimately in Lagos Nigeria so you don’t have to enrich any scammers.
To start with there is no real secret about making money. But there is a method for making money although it is not as easy as you might be made to believe especially by people who have an unhealthy desire to sell you some secret information whether it is Forex, Printing of Recharge Cards or Making millions from doing something that requires little money and effort to start.
However, I will put it in plain English Language. Making money in Lagos Nigeria or anywhere for that matter requires a combination of certain ingredients which include time, Specialized Knowledge, effort, observation, a clear cut goal, preparation and planning.
The universal method for making money legitimately
In Nigeria just like in all countries of the world people make money by closely observing people and looking for their unsatisfied needs or economic problems they face. Most people fail to realize that money is simply an abstract item. It is merely represented by symbols. It is actually a value created from solving problems affecting a particular group of people called a niche. The people in that group (niche) express appreciation by exchanging symbols of economic value (cash or other valuables) for the benefit they derive from that value (which is usually conveyed by a product or service rendered them). So essentially, money is a medium of exchange between a problem solver and a person with a problem.
Think of it this way, when an estate agent links a landlord up with a would be tenant and earns his commission for doing so, he has merely provided a thing of value which is to link up the Landlord who needs to collect rent and a tenant who needs a place to stay. When people’s needs are unsatisfied then there is a problem and when you ensure that that problem is solved you make money.
Here is another example many working mothers in Lagos Nigeria have very little time to effectively manage their homes due to their tight work schedules. This leads to a problem which is their inability to effectively manage their homes (cook, clean their house, do the laundry, take children to school, look after their husbands , attend to visitors) and on top of that go to work and still perform well at work. Also many working class mothers do not like to leave their homes to nannies fearing that such nannies might wreck their homes. A sharp business mind will see an opportunity to make money here if he can provide well trained nannies that will be professional and courteous in the discharge of their duties. Since in many middle class neighborhoods, especially those in Lekki, Illupeju, Ikoyi, Victoria Island, parts of Ikeja, Gbagada, Magodo etc where most of the mothers are educated and have plum jobs, there will be opportunities to start an agency that will train and contract nannies to these mothers. The entrepreneur only earns a commission on the wage paid to each nanny.
Summary of making money
- First Identify a group of people with an unsatisfied need or problem (niche)
- Know the cause of their problem
- Solve their problem
- Market the solution to that niche in form of a product or service
- Charge a fair price and collect your money
When you do this consistently, you will be surprised by how much money you can make around you.
Tuesday, September 1, 2009
- Bankable Business Plans and Proposals
- Business Ideas in Nigeria
- Business Tips for Nigerian Entrepreneurs
- Free Marketing information
- Actionable Marketing and Business Insights
- SME start up advise