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How to Export Palm Oil from Nigeria

Palm oil is edible oil used in the preparation of many dishes. It is common to West African countries, derived from kernel.
The major producers of the oil are Indonesia, Malaysia and Nigeria accounting for 40% of world’s production. To export palm oil you need to establish contact with foreign buyers.
Commodity export is very lucrative business with moderate challenges. You need finance, supply of the product, buyers, export license.
The good news is that the business is not saturated and has room for more investors. Last year (2017) Nigeria’s domestic consumption outweighed the production. Therefore investors could concentrate on local market or export opportunities.
Palm Oil
Oil Palm Products
Before venturing into the palm oil business you need to differentiate different oil palm products. Common products derived from oil palm are Palm Kernel Oil, Deodorized Palm oil. Others include Palm Kernel Oil, Palm Kernel Shells, Palm wine, RBD-PKO/PO refined palm oil products.
  • Palm Kernel Oil
  • Deodorized Palm oil
  • Palm Kernel Oil
  • Palm Kernel Shells
  • Palm wine
  • Refined Palm Oil Products.
Opportunities in the Oil Palm Trade
Bulk Trading
Opportunities for investors in the palm business are bulk trading, palm oil processing, running a plantation. Bulk trading involves purchasing and stocking large quantities of the product. The trader earns on margin or during scarcity of the product.
Thing to consider as a bulk trader include good storage facility, funding. More requirements are purchase of quality products, transportation and handling. Palm oil is very durable with a long shelf life even under extreme weather conditions.
Palm Oil Processing
The shortfall in the product in Nigeria is due to outdated traditional processing methods. Modern mills produce high grade products using fabricated or branded equipment. The level of purity depends on the quality of the palm fruits, processing method.
Start a Plantation
The requirements for a successful plantation are quality seedling, good farm land. The investor needs startup capital, direct labor or mechanized equipment. It takes several years before the oil palm produces commercial quantity. This type of investment is long termed, recurrent.
How to Export Palm Oil
Documentation to Export Palm Oil
To export palm products you need some documentation. Documents are company registration, quality assurance and commercial documents. More include tariff concession, shipping documents.
  • company registration
  • quality assurance
  • commercial documents
  • tariff concession
  • shipping documents
Register the Company
An individual looking to export palm oil could register as a sole proprietor. While medium/large companies can incorporate as a limited liability company.
The regulatory body for company incorporation in Nigeria is the Corporate Affairs Commission. Register your business name, pay required fees.
The Nigerian Export Promotion Council
Any exporter of goods needs to register with the Nigerian Export Promotion Council. They provide viable information on best practices for exporters. Members also get access to foreign buyers, learn regulatory requirements for export.
Quality Documentation
Europe, America and other export destinations have strict rules of compliance. The product should have quality assurance certification. The label should include address of processing company, NFDAC number, and date of production/expiration. The product should be properly packaged, sealed.
Shipping Documents
The mode of transportation determines the type of documentation. The most cost effective method is shipping.
Contact a good shipping company with experience in commodity export. They will provide useful information and handle the documentation. Some documentation involves customs, export agencies, buyers

How to Start an Electronic Store in Nigeria

The electronic store is an important business and size depends on the amount invested. The inventory differs based on the store owner’s preferences.
A small store could cost N250, 000, while mid range ventures N1.5 million. Large stores with lots of inventory could cost over N10 M naira.
The first step is to write a comprehensive business plan, carry out a feasibility study. Then learn the trade and secure credible suppliers. You need a good location, aggressive sales personnel, and stock quality products.
Electronic Store
Starting an Electronic Store
Types of Electronics
You have a huge selection of electronics to consider. Common household electronics found in stores are washing machines, television sets, radios. More are standing fans, electric cooker, bulbs, freezer, and refrigerators.
  • washing machines
  • television sets
  • radios
  • standing fans
  • electric cooker
  • bulbs
  • freezer
  • refrigerators
Carry out a Feasibility Study
You need to carry out a feasibility study and write an electronic store business plan. The study should focus on your business structure, funding, location, competitors.
Electronic business is very competitive with many players. To differentiate yourself you need to offer better prices, use effective marketing strategy. The product should be a popular brand.
Learn the Trade
You can’t venture into a business without learning the rudiments. You can leverage on partnership, become an intern or apprentice. Another way is to hire someone with a good knowledge of the industry.
The learning curve involves how to calculate retail prices, finding good suppliers, knowledge of the devices. Attend a seminar to gain knowledge and consult with experts in the trade. You can network with sales representatives of large store and manufacturers.
  • leverage on partnership
  • become an intern
  • apprentice
  • hire someone in the industry
  • attend a seminar
  • network with sales representatives
Narrow the Field
It is important you narrow the type of electronics you intend selling. You need to specialize in a niche to offer good service.
This also provides opportunity for competitive pricing, branding, and profitability. Focus on the type of electronic you have a deep knowledge. They could be house hold appliances or heavy duty equipment.
The store could stock only one type of item or different items. Offering different electronic devices could provide more revenue streams. While specializing in one item would attract conversions and sales.
Find an Ideal Location
One very important aspect of the business is finding a good location. You find electronic store within residential or commercial areas.
Stores in commercial areas face serious competition. However the huge market guarantees good revenue.
An ideal location should have huge human traffic or close to pedestrian pathways. Densely populated areas offer good business prospects for electronic store owners.
The basic license you need is a trade license. You can register the business as a limited liability company. You need tax identification number, insurance cover for your goods.
There are some areas that demand membership of certain associations. Some areas also attract local government levies for shop owners. Finally some of your good may be subjected to value added tax.
  • a trade license
  • register as a limited liability company
  • tax identification number
  • insurance cover
  • join an associations
  • local government levies
  • value added tax
You need to purchase your goods from wholesalers or manufacturers. This is important to offer your customers competitive prices.
Many electronic dealers purchase the goods from China because they are cheaper than European products. However products from America and Europe are of better quality.
It is important you hire aggressive sales personnel. They should be courteous and understand the devices they sell.  A small store can have a sales person, cashier and driver. You need to offer your patrons good customer service.

How to Become Vulcanizer in Nigeria

The vulcanizing business is highly lucrative and easy to establish. You need low startup capital, basic knowledge of the trade, equipment, good location.
The reason why the trade is so lucrative is because of the millions of vehicles on Nigerian roads. Most vehicles are either used or second hand vehicle imported into the country.
Other reasons include bad roads, substandard tyres and poor maintenance culture. The average motorist would rather patronize a vulcanizer than change the tyres themselves.
The way the business is practiced in Nigeria looks unattractive however the earnings are huge.  Vulcanizer in a good location can make N5000 - N10, 000 daily with little overhead.
What Vulcanizing Entails
The business entails changing tyres, fixing bad ones, gauging the air pressure. They use specialized tools to inflate tyres, remove rim and patch holes. They also sell new/old tyres, tubes to customers.
How to Become a Vulcanizer
The primary way artisans become vulcanizer is through apprentice arrangement. The young men serve their principle for a year before going out on their own.
The boss teaches the apprentice the rudiments and organizes a freedom party. They provide startup equipment and funds to encourage the apprentice. Other ways to learn the trade is through trade institutions, vocational school or practical workshops.
  • One the job experience
  • Practical workshops
  • vocational training
  • Trade institutions
  • Apprentice  
Vulcanizing Equipment
The basic equipment are pumping machine, tyre patches, car jack, iron bar. Others include adhesive material, spanners, sealants, tubes pliers, blades and glue. You can purchase the entire inventory with bout N50, 000 naira. You might need a generating set or power source for your pumping machine.
  • pumping machine
  • tyre patches
  • iron bar
  • adhesive material
  • spanners
  • sealants
  • tubes pliers
  • blades
  • glue
  • carjack
Find a Good Location
Your primary customers are vehicle owners so most vulcanizing shops are beside the road. It is not an uncommon practice to see two old tyres suspended on a stick to signify the presence of a vulcanizer. The best locations are junctions, intersections, busy streets.
You don’t have to incorporate the business. You might decide to take a health insurance policy and pay tax. It is mandatory to join a vulcanizing association in your area to avoid harassment and problems. There are also association fees including local government levies.

How to invest in Real Estate in Nigeria

Are you looking for a viable investment opportunity? Then you should consider real estate business.
The business is profitable but involves huge capital investment. You gain appreciable increase in profit over duration of time.
In most countries the sector offers different opportunities dependent on the type of investment. Here are different ways to invest in real estate.
Challenges Faced in the Real Estate Sector
Despite the huge earning potential investors face many challenges. The sector involve huge amount of money. Before investing in the sector you need to carry out due diligence.
This is because of fraudulent practitioners, capital flight, litigation, false documentation. Other difficulties are property maintenance, monetary cost for perfecting titles, tenement rates. More include inflation, long period to recoup purchase value on rented property.
  • Huge capital investment
  • Fraudulent practitioners
  • Capital flight
  • Litigation
  • False documentation
  • High cost of property maintenance
  • monetary cost for perfecting titles
  • tenement rates
  • inflation
Real Estate
By Haithem Elgasi - Own work, CC BY-SA 4.0,
Ways to Invest In Property
There are five major ways to invest in property. You can leverage on a collective investment scheme or buy to rent. Other ways involve land, building flipping and property development.
  • Buy to Rent
  • Property Development
  • Building Flipping
  • Collective investment scheme
  • Land Flipping
Buy to Rent
Buy to rent involves purchasing a property and renting to tenants. The business provides regular income, however recouping your entire investment might take several years.
The investor may choose to rent commercial office space or residential. Becoming a landlord is not a get rich scheme. However you enjoy regular earnings and property appreciation.
Property Development
To invest in property development you need serious money. This type of business is capital intensive. Real estate developers fund their project through bank loans, core investors and crowdfunding.
The location of the property is very important to the profitability. Properties in prime locations attract 100% profit on investment. Make sure you carry out a cost benefit analysis before investing hard cash.
In Nigeria it is not uncommon to find association’s leveraging on collective funds for property development. Such projects are usually meant for members.
Land Flipping
You can buy a land wait a year and flip for a tidy sum. The business format is simple but effective. Property value regularly appreciates with time so purchasing prime land is wise.
Some investors purchase huge parcel of land and sell in plots. The only risk involves land owner authentication, genuine documentation. Makes sure the land is free from litigation or indigene claim.
Building Flipping
Flipping a building is profitable once you have perfected the skill. You need to find a building in a popular area carry out repairs, resell.
The purchase price should be right to accommodate cost of repair, remodeling, sale. Some buildings require simple upgrade to increase their value exponentially.
Collective Investment Scheme
Collective investment schemes pool together the resources of the collective for property investment. This is an effective strategy to own physical property or part of an investment.
An investment scheme regulated by the Security and Exchange Commission is the Real Estate Investment Trust. The REIT uses collective capital to acquire investment in the real estate sector.
This fund has professional managers and provides direct investment opportunities. Opportunities for investors include portfolio diversification, liquidity of funds. REITs are bought /sold like stocks on major exchanges.

Starting a Fast Food Restaurant in Nigeria

The restaurant business is challenging but rewarding. They tend to cater to peoples culinary needs in a pleasant leisure atmosphere.
 An average outfit provides sumptuous snacks, drinks and fostering social interactions. The popularity of the business in Nigeria is because of few entertainments or leisure locations in the country.
Other reasons include huge population, quick meals, affordability. Some restaurants include full meals in their menu. The enterprise requires huge startup capital, dedicated personnel, good location, quality meals.
By Wayne National Forest - CC BY 2.0,
Here are two ways to venture into the fast food business. The investor could leverage on franchising or start from scratch. The franchising option is very popular in Nigeria with top brand names like Tantalizer, Mr. Big.
To enter into a franchise agreement costs lots of money. The investor needs to have a good location, provide adequate infrastructure.
The franchise owners offer technical expertise, training, popular menu. The new franchisee enjoys the patronage of an establish brand, free advertisement. To get into the business approach the head office of the company.
Start From Scratch
This option is tough, challenging, capital intensive. Startup requirements are leasing building, interior decoration, equipment. Others are creating a menu, trained personnel and serious advertisement.
The investor should incorporate and provide tax information, insurance cover. There are also food handler’s certification, signboard fees and marketing. They need to sourcing raw products from wholesalers, farmers.
Fast Food Startup Requirements
  • leasing the building
  • interior decoration
  • equipment
  • creating a menu
  • hiring trained personnel
  • advertisement
  • incorporate the business
  • provide tax information
  • insurance cover
  • signboard fees
  • marketing
  • sourcing raw products
Sourcing Raw Materials
The fast food restaurant must find credible source for raw materials. They need to buy in bulk to offer competitive prices. Common raw materials are eggs, flour, sugar, butter. They need nylons, packaging materials, cleaning agents, diesel for the generator.
  • Eggs
  • Flour
  • Sugar
  • Butter
  • Nylons
  • packaging materials
  • cleaning agents
  • diesel
The best way to fund the enterprise is through bank loans. Approach a commercial bank in your locality for long term, low interest loans. Other funding sources are through partnership, core investor or sale of startup equity in the business.
Fast Food Restaurant Equipment
The diner needs to experience a comfortable dinning experience. Serious consideration should be given to the interior decoration. Hire an interior decorator to create a beautiful ambiance.
Equipment needed is television sets, large air conditioners, tables, chairs. Buy freezers, generating set, refrigerators, microwave, large oven, kitchen utensils. More are branded snack packs, plates, cups, display cabinets, uniforms.
  • interior décor
  • television sets
  • large air conditioners
  • tables
  • chairs
  • freezers
  • generating set
  • refrigerators
  • microwave
  • large oven
  • kitchen utensils
  • branded snack packs
  • plates
  • cups
  • display cabinets
  • uniforms
Type of Menu
The type of menu common in fast food restaurant is meat pies, egg rolls, scotch eggs, sausage rolls and grilled chicken. More are local and intercontinental dishes. They serve soft drinks, yogurt, fruit drinks, ice creams, beverage drinks.
Fast Food Menu
  • meat pies
  • egg rolls
  • scotch eggs
  • sausage rolls
  • grilled chicken
  • local dishes
  • intercontinental dishes
  • soft drinks
  • yogurt
  • fruit drinks
  • ice creams
  • beverage drinks
The personnel should be highly trained in the food business. Hire qualified chef, cooks, service personnel, accounting and procurement officer.
The establishment needs security guards, driver, dispatch personnel, manager. Apart from onsite service an outfit could include home delivery service.
Marketing involves branding opportunities, television and radio advertisement. Print flyers, posters, banners, billboards, signboards. Use promotions, discounts and leverage on holidays or special seasons like valentine, Christmas.

How to Become a Dance Instructor

A dance teacher’s main constituency is schools and private individuals. They can operate a private dance studio or offer schools special dance programs.
They teach foundation movements, dance techniques and choreography. The business involves deep knowledge of dance, education and stamina.
The career is rewarding and moderately challenging. To succeed you need to maintain a good professional image and build a solid reputation. Here are things to consider before starting a career in dance.
How to Become a Dance Teacher
A dance teacher could work public or private establishment. They can also open a studio to teach the discipline.
To become a teacher you need training, education qualification and certification. Try to join dance groups, aerobic classes and work on your fitness level. To gain knowledge attend dance workshops, dance seminars ands dance conventions.
How to Become a Dance Teacher
  • Training
  • education qualification
  • certification
  • join dance groups
  • attend aerobic classes
  • work on your fitness level
  • attend dance workshops
  • dance seminars
  • dance conventions
  • how to become aerobic instructor
Conduct Research
 Conduct research on the industry to learn the best teaching practice. You could establish a gym or work in private or public schools. Another way is to join an establish gym as an instructor.
Get Trained
You can obtain a bachelors degree in theater arts or bachelor’s degree in dance education. Other ways is to join a dace group or studio. Attend training programs in demonstrative teaching techniques, directed teaching. You can increase knowledge by acquiring a master degree program in dance.
You need a teacher’s certificate in dance education. There are many dancer certificate programs and examinations. You need dance skill, practice and consider internship.
Some states have administered examinations. Take continual courses and attend professional workshops to deepen your knowledge. There are also professional associations and bodies to join.
Dance Styles Different
The instructor should be knowledgeable of different dance styles. Common disciplines include ballet, freestyle and jazz. Others are tap, contemporary dance and waltz.
  • Ballet
  • Freestyle
  • Jazz
  • Tap
  • contemporary dance
  • waltz
Create Dance Classes
Once certified and active you need to create dance classes. Make sure the routines are fun, interesting and practicable. You can focus on specific niche or offer different dance styles.
The amount of money you earn depends on many factors. Some include number of students you teach, public or private students. Some instructors charge group fees, flat fees or earn per hour. They offer hourly private lesion or are on a retainer fee.
Where to Find Work
Common clients are public and private schools. You can teach community college or at local dance studios. Teaching opportunities include health clubs, theater, gyms and cruise ships. To get jobs network with industrial players, use referrals and word of mouth.

How to Grow and Market Edible Mushrooms in Nigeria

Nigeria has perfect weather for mushroom growing and they attract good prices. Despite a huge population of over 150 million people Nigerians hardly eat edible mushrooms.
There are few mushroom farmers and moderate consumer market. Those that embrace mushroom farming are making good money. This is because of little competition.
The major advantage to this business is low startup capital and space requirement. You can start the business at your backyard or work part time. The business is practicable alongside your regular job.
The other incentive is huge financial reward for your effort. Commercial farmers are capable of making six figure incomes in the business. However the major challenge is finding credible customers for your product.
Edible Mushrooms
Facts about Mushrooms
Mushroom is the fleshy part of a fungi growth found on logs, soil or tree trunks. Some are edible while others are dangerous to consume.
The edible mushrooms are delicious with many health benefits. Mushrooms prefer moist shady environment and need plenty of oxygen to grow.
There are four categories of mushrooms the parasitic type, entophytic, Mycorrhizal, and Saprotrophic. It is important you recognize and choose only edible mushrooms. 
Types of Edible Mushroom
There are many types of edible mushrooms found around the world. Common types of edible mushroom are Shiitake, and Chanterelles. Others include Pleurotus Oysters, Morchella Esculenta.
Once you identify the edible mushroom you want to grow purchase spawn from credible sources. The spawn carries the mycelium that is cultivated.
Learn the Business
Before you can go into mushroom farming learn the trade. There are many ways to acquire knowledge.  Learn through seminars, online courses, practical demonstrations and books. You can hire a tutor or work on a mushroom farm.
Decide on the Medium
Mushrooms grow in different mediums therefore you need to decide on the medium. There are three possible candidates for growing mushrooms. You can grow them on log wood, sawdust or straw material.
Basic Growing Technique
The growing technique depends on the type of mushroom and medium of choice. The medium should be free from micro organisms then spread in container.
Mix the spawn with medium (straw) in container and place in direct sunlight to introduce heat. After heating the mixed medium, place in darkroom, drawer, box or cabinet.
The environment should be dark, damp but airy. To maintain a damp consistency spray with water periodically. Growing mushrooms is highly technical so you need adequate knowledge of growing techniques.
How to get the Spawn
There are three ways to get the mushroom spawn in Nigeria. You can order for the spawn online, buy from a farmer or the federal institute of international research Oshodi Lagos.
To sell your produce you need a regular customer base. Sell your produce to large supermarkets, restaurants and hotels.
Try Shoprite, Eko Hotel, Lagoon Restaurant and locations in Lekki, Ikoyi or Victoria Island. Once you conduct good marketing research you will be surprised by the huge market for your product.

Starting a Call Center Business

Starting a call center is moderately challenging and profitable. You can work full time or part time depending on your business structure. It is practicable as a one man business or large agency.
Some things to consider are type of equipment, staff, location, license and funding. You also need to connect with companies that need your services. You can start a call center with $2000 to $10,000.
Call Center Business
How to Start a Call Center agency
Write a Business Plan
You need to write a call center business plan the carry out a feasibility study. Determine the type of center, lease office space and procure equipment. You also need adequate funding and qualified staff. Make sure you plan accommodates growth and expansion.
Determine the Type of Call Center
A  call center has different job specifications and operational structures. The different types of call centers are domestic, outbound and inbound call centers. You also have the international call centers.
Most centers are classified based on ownership structure. The outbound ones are usually outsourced to domestic or international partners.
Outsourcing operation in different country is cost effective. The company cut costs on training, staff, equipment, leasehold.  In-house centers are operated by the company.
Types of Call Centers
  • Domestic
  • Outbound
  • inbound call centers
  • international call centers
Size of the Call Center
Other classifications are based on mode of communication, size. Virtual or home based centers are usually small one man businesses.
You have small, medium or large centers. The number of agents in each center determines the size of the operation.  Large center could have upwards of 400 staff while medium center has about 50 agents.
  • Virtual
  • home based centers
  • small
  • medium
  • large centers
Type of Communication
The mode of communication defines the operation. We have basically two types of communication. Centers use either web enabled system or telephone. The phones are used to make or receive calls.
Web based software and agents chat in real time or use email contact. Staff requirements are maintenance staff, technical staff, phone operator and hardware engineers.
The equipment depends on the type of call center. You need a dedicated telephone, computer, USB headset and modem for high speed internet connection.
Others are cloud based solutions, CRM package, virtual contact center by Five9 and software. More are Hands free headset, smart dialer, on-screen caller info, office supplies.
Call Center Equipment
  • dedicated telephone
  • computer
  • USB headset
  • 3G/4G modem
  • cloud based solutions
  • CRM package
  • virtual contact center by Five9
  • software
  • Hands free headset
  • smart dialer
  • on-screen caller info
  • office supplies
Find out if your state requires an operational license. Most call centers need to obtain telemarketers license and vice versa. The center mangers are also mandated to get individual license.
The cost also depends on the state fee from free to application fees of $6000. You might need a surety bond from an insurance company.
Other considerations in regards to obtaining a license are number of agents, company article of association, driving license and work history.
More include no criminal record, litigation history, home or office address. It is important your incorporate the business as a limited liability company. Some states require individual sales person’s registration.
To secure partnership contact different companies that outsource. You need a state operational license and search online for opportunities.
You can contact businesses or call centers that outsource. Use advertisement, networking to attract good clientele. Try to join a professional body or organization in your industry.