The Best Small Business Ideas You Can Start in Nigeria

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There are several small business ideas or opportunities available in Nigeria, which Nigerians especially the youth can indulge in, only if they look beyond the current circumstances. Nigerians are known for many things, but one thing the world knows is that they are resilient. No matter what comes their way, they know how to survive even the blinds see this fact.

Unfortunately, due to the current economic situation in the country, many youths are planning to leave the country for any place where they can display their God-given talents. They instead work hard in other countries than do it in their country because of the country’s leaders are failing to recognise that the youth are the backbone of the country.

However, if you still believe something “good will come out of Nazareth”, and you believe you can do something to help yourself in this country, but you lack the ideas to set the ball rolling-business ideas that will project you to the world-this article is for you.

To ensure you did not go through the list of businesses ideas for nothing, we make sure every idea listed below have the potential to be

  • Profitable for both short-term and long-term
  • The ideas will thrive even in uncertain economic periods
  • You do not need years of experience, and education qualification to succeed, but in some cases, you do need a degree or apprenticeship and passion before you start the business.
  • It does not need substantial money as startup capital- it is small business ideas after all. However, you do need perseverance, hard work, passion, dedication, and the desire to succeed.
  • Lastly, you do not need extra money to pay for office space, because most of the listed businesses are home-based

Before you skip to the next paragraph, I would like to warn you that if you are looking for a mega get-rich-quick scheme, do not read further. However, if you desire a steady income, to be your own boss and get the ability to call the shots in your business, maintain a flexible lifestyle then go ahead.

Virtual Reality

Virtual Reality

The first on the list is virtual reality computing; it does not mean it is the best on the list, but it simply means virtual reality will play a significant role in the future, and we already see its effects. If you have a passion for tech stuff, you can upgrade your skill, and start earning especially now that it is not crowded yet.

Furthermore, many software and hardware sellers are working to bring new virtual reality products to the business sphere, and the industry is snowballing.

“The world the worldwide size of the VR market will be more than $40 billion by the end of 2020” according to statista.

The possibilities of using virtual reality for pleasure or business are massive. Susan Ward, who is a computer/software instructor, business writer and experienced businessperson, rightly outlined the practical ways virtual reality will be useful shortly. She cited some examples in one of her article

  • Real estate market: imagine searching for a new home, and being able to use an online virtual reality walk-through of an advertised property in the comfort of your desk chair.
  • Team-building exercises: spicing up team building events with a group of virtual reality experience.
  • 3D movies: the ability to watch a film on 360-degree Virtual Reality- how cool is that!
  • Social Media Virtual Reality interaction- it will allow friends to interact in a virtual online space
  • Gaming: this new technology has already started to revolutionise the gaming industry, new VR titles are released almost on a weekly basis.
  • Meditation: with VR, you can get a customised meditation
  • Training: Virtual reality can add a higher degree of realism to training scenarios. Some businesses like UPS are launching new delivery driver training programs using virtual reality.

Creating virtual reality escape rooms and lounges where friends get together to go on a virtual reality adventure, solve group puzzles or merely play VR games- this could be huge if you look into it.

Software Engineering and Development

Software Engineering and Development

Even though you’ve been leaving under the rock for the past decades, you cannot deny the fact that software engineering and development are some of the masterminds behind the technology we today.

Moreover, they create, test and maintain software on a variety of platforms; according to the United States Bureau of Labor Statistics, the demand for software engineers and developers is expected to increase by 17% every year through 2023, and the median pay in 2014 was a little over $100,000 per year. But this is Nigeria, can it work here? Why not? Several software engineers and developers in this country have clients abroad, so if why not consider it?

Furthermore, the nature of the software development industry makes it perfect for contract employment. Besides, many software engineers who started as salary earners have become self-employed contractors. Fortunately, cloud computing and quick remote access have made this business, perfect for home-based business.

Skill Trades

Skill Trades

Although most Nigerians overlook these aspects of business, some even termed it “business for poor, uneducated people”. This notion is destroying the beauty of these trades. Unfortunately, some Nigerian parents discourage their kids from considering skilled trades because they feel it will not “fetch” enough money, even though they know their children are gifted in such areas.

To bring this nation up to her glory she deserves, it is necessary to allow people to learn what they love, irrespective of the nature of the job.

In reality, skilled tradespeople are well paid, and they enjoy the satisfaction they get from their jobs because a majority of these people followed their passion.

According to Susan Ward, “ there will be a huge demand for skilled trades such as;

  • Carpentry, and general construction
  • Electrical and electronic control systems
  • Heating, ventilation, air conditioning, and refrigeration (HVAC)
  • Machinists and Metalworkers
  • Masonry
  • Plumbing, pipefitting and steamfitting
  • Steelworking
  • Welding

40% of current tradespeople will be retiring in the next ten years, which will explain the sudden rise in demands for talented workers in such trades. So, if you have a passion for any of the skilled trades listed above, I implore you to learn the skills, do not be scared of what people will say or how they react towards you- get your acts together and maximise this opportunity.

What you stand to gain

The nature of these skilled trades makes it suited for self-employment

  • Most trades can be operated as home-based businesses; you can always move to bigger office space when you start hitting it big!
  • High salaries and you will always get gigs, contracts etc. so long you are good at what you do
  • The startup capital costs are relatively low for most skilled trades, and unlike some 21st-century jobs, they cannot be replaced by automated technology. So you can enjoy job security, cool isn’t it?
  • Relocating to places where the demands are higher becomes easy; several experienced tradespeople use it to their advantage.

You see why you can earn big in this country. Why don’t you go for jobs people are not ready to learn but are willing to pay high to get the job done?

Local food restaurant (Mama Put)

Mama Put

Do you have culinary skills? Do you have a passion for preparing homemade foods? Well, that may be your ticket to live a fulfilled life. Mama put is an ever-trendy business, as long as there are people in this country, your company will never go out of style (only if you know how to cook the Nigerian style).

Nigerians love their foods- I don’t mean the continental dishes you find in fancy restaurants- I mean the locally made food, from jollof rice to egusi and pounded yam/eba. If you can give them foods, which remind them of “the good old days” your shop will never run out dry.

Although you may need to rent a space to sell to customers, they are not quite expensive compared to owning a continental restaurant. However, if you are an investor looking for what to invest in- I suggest you look into this area. As laughable as it may sound, many people have trained their kids solely on the profit gotten from the Mama put business.

If you think you can handle it, you can as well, start by selling Akara and Akamu (Beans cake and pap) in the morning, and then open your Mama put in the afternoon or evening.

What to put into considerations before opening this business;

  • Ensure your business centre is convenient for vehicles, cycling and as well, as foot traffic.
  • Be ready to offer a pleasant atmosphere, and reception to your customers; there are several mama put joints out there, but a majority of them lack professional customer support. You can take advantage of this by making your joint homely to all. If you want to employ a few workers, ensure you teach them the concept of “the customer is king.”
  • Be ready to serve high-quality homemade local foods
  • Forget the competition; do not attempt to compete with fast-food outlets, or old joints- be unique.
  • Have a passion for what you do, if not you may give up even before you start

If you cannot afford to rent a place, turn your joint to a mobile mama put; serve specialities like delicious homemade moi-moi (beans pudding) ekusu (corn pudding) etc. However, ensure you set a particular time, it will make people get to know and love what you do.

If you have questions on Mama Put business, kindly leave a comment, and I will get back to you as soon as possible.

Markets on Wheels: Ice cream Trucks

Ice cream Trucks

Most people have a vision of food trucks as serving traditional fast-food fares such as burgers, fries, and hot dogs, seriously that’s for the Americans or foreigners; you can take that idea and “Africanize” it.

When I was little, a new type of ice cream came out “Uncle Sam” ice cream, and all children usually save their lunch money just to buy this unique ice cream. We were tired of seeing the typical ice cream.

Unfortunately, Uncle Sam ice cream did not last long, and I still wondered what happened to the company. Maybe lack of business management, no one knows. Well, the business idea is up for grabs, no one is doing it, but you can start it. It’s quite boring to see the same bicycle ice cream sellers. You take the ice cream industry to a new level, and many children will bless you for it- of course, you make money while putting smiles on children’s and even adults’ faces.

Children’s services

Children’s services

There are business ideas that can be derived from children services- from quality crèche education, dance classes, piano lessons, to tutoring in critical skills such as reading, math and English, Art classes, and events, name it this industry has a lot for you.

Although, this business has already open waves in some states like Lagos, Rivers, Delta, and Edo state precisely Benin city. It is still very much unsaturated because a lot of parents work and do not have much time to render these services to their kids, and so they depend on qualify teachers to do that for them.

If you enjoy working with kids and have instructional training or experience, you can turn your passion into a moneymaking machine.

Home Renovations

Home Renovations

Virtually everyone needs to repair or renovate something in their homes from time to time. Professional remodelling contractors are difficult to find- and the good ones are always busy. Home renovation is a sweet business that can stand the test of time irrespective of the economy in the country.

Take a look around you- people are complaining that there is no money, but building and renovations are still going on! Many people are changing their apartment décor every time. Contracts are always carried out- this begs the question, where is the money coming from?

Probably you are not looking in the right direction, in this few years I have worked with people, I realised that money is everywhere; you just have to tap into the legal moving trend!

From carpenter, tillers, to painters- these people never lack in getting jobs especially when they are right. The home remodelling business is perfect for self-employed individuals for many reasons;

Most renovations are contract-based, you do not need to rent an office space except of course when you’ve successfully grown your business.

The capital investment for machinery and tools is much less than needed for new construction.

You can choose to be a general contractor, which means it is not necessary to know the job- all you have to do is to hire people who are good in what they do- more like an intermediary. Get the contract and outsource the jobs to other people-it is a win-win situation. However, you can also choose to be a specialised contractor- you can focus on renovating kitchen, bathroom or niches such as restoring historic structures, solar installations, or improving energy efficiency

Furthermore, these are the few things required of you before you can be successful in this field according to Susan Ward

“Good organisational skills

Up-to-date knowledge of the local building codes and safety regulations

Extensive experience in building construction, with hands-on expertise in at least one of the trades and education of the others

Good contacts within the industry, so if needed you can call in sub-contractors to get speciality work performed in a timely fashion (such as architects, structural engineers, licensed electricians, plumbers, tilers, and more.)

Licensing and certification if needed in your jurisdiction. In the United States, the National Association of the Remodeling Industry offers various levels of accreditation for remodelers.

Senior care services

Senior care services

Senior care services may not be the exact job you are expecting to find here, but it is one of the best business opportunities. In the United States, this business continues to top as one of the best business opportunities. It can still work here too, although demographics play a significant role in the success of the business.

According to Ward, “many affluent seniors suffer from different health or mobility issues and are increasingly uncomfortable or unable to drive their vehicles. The seniors may find it difficult or even impossible to take care of household chores such as caring for their pets, cleaning, landscaping, or cooking.

While some travel extensively and need house sitting or pet sitting and property maintenance services. In fact, a wealth of opportunities exists for entrepreneurs who wish to take advantage of the senior care trend.”

However, this type of business may not be popular here, but if you have a passion for it, then you can start something new in this country.

Sales of Motorbikes, Bicycle, Tricycle, Service and Rentals

Sales of Motorbikes

  • Bicycle: although it is not common in this part of the world, you can create awareness about the health benefit of riding bikes. There are possibilities of you turning it into a health club; it is healthy and good for the environment.
  • Motorbikes: although some states are placing a ban on motorcycles in some main areas of the state, you can as well move the business to rural areas, those who need it for commuting. Employ people you can trust to use these motorbikes for business, and you get paid for it.
  • Tricycle (Keke Napep): Unlike motorbikes, tricycles are used for commuting in almost all the areas of the country. You can get one, or more tricycles and then employ riders who will be remitting cash to you at the daily, or weekly (whatever sails your boat)

However, the tricycle and the motorbikes are quite expensive to run, but it is worth it. It will not only generate jobs for people, and it will increase your cash flow. You do not need any special skills other than riding the bikes and the ability to manage people.

Who knows, you may turn your small business into a mega rental service- like Uber but for tricycles and bikes.

Barbing, Piercings and Tattoos

Barbing

This is a fast-growing trend in the country, although most of our elders believe we are dumping traditions and embracing a foreign culture. Probably they are right, but change is the only constant thing, right?

Barbing, on the other hand, is one business that has stood and still stands the test of time; a lot of youth are embracing this trends. You can never run out of customers especially when you are good in your field.

It may seem saturated, but with great ideas, you can draw people to the beauty parlour; men use their favourite barbing shop to discuss politics, footballs and sometimes take a break from their women. All in all, it is an exciting business that will continue to trend until the end of time.

Counselling and Therapy

Unfortunately, many in the country have overlooked this field; they feel it is time wasting and most importantly money sapping machine. Starting such business now may take a while before it yields profit, but with the current suicidal attempts, some are finally encouraging people to seek professional help.

Furthermore, if you are interested in this field, you need to undergo extensive schooling, but you can get it as a post-graduate degree, which does not take as much time as your first degree in the university.

Financial Advisers

This is yet another professional course that is always on the rise; several businesses have been shut down because of a lack of financial knowledge. Business owners are looking for professional advisers to direct them on what to do.

Although you need at least a bachelor’s degree and specialised training in leading certification, securities management, but it is worth it. As people grow old, they look for trusted financial advisers who can help them with their finances, and that my friend is where you come in. If you are interested in this field, go for it.