While many Nigerians are lamenting about the state of the economy, some few smart Nigerians are taking advantage of the several opportunities in export business to smile to the bank. One of such smart Nigerians smiling to the bank every month is Mrs. Linda Marcus. In this short case study, we will be looking at how Mrs. Linda, one of our “Export Business Coach” students, stumbled upon export business by chance and has she has grown it into a 7 figure per month export business.
Mrs. Linda was a civil servant until 4 months ago when she resigned to face her export business full time. According to her, she does export transactions worth between $10,000 and $15,000. That’s about N3,600,000 and N5,400,000 when converted to naira. N3 million is more than the annual salary of most average Nigerians, yet in the international market, the figure is one of the least export transactions. Especially when you are exporting foodstuff.
Most Nigerians don’t know they can make lots of money in Nigeria exporting Foodstuff. Yes! The common foodstuff we eat every day here in Nigeria is in high demand abroad.
This is due to the large number of Africans, especially Nigerians who live abroad.
One myth a lot of people believe about exportation is that it is a business for the rich as it is a bit capital intensive. Of course exporting other materials like solid minerals, gold, etc are expensive but not so with exporting of foodstuff.
It may sound funny but foodstuff export is as easy as sending goods from Lagos to Abuja. Due to the rise in dollar, starting your own export business either part-time or full time, could be very lucrative. What you need is the right information, a coach and the actionable steps, then you’re on your way to making lots of money exporting foodstuff.
HOW LINDA DISCOVERED FOODSTUFF EXPORT BUSINESS
Linda discovered food business by sheer luck almost the same way you are reading this but on a different scenario. She traveled abroad to visit her immediate younger sister who just put to bed to do “Omugwo”. When she got there, she didn’t find any of Nigerian delicacies like eba, fufu, amala, egusi, ogbono, stockfish, edikaikong, Afang, etc. All she was eating was rice and burger.
When she asked her sister why they only eat rice and never cook soup, the sister told her that getting local foodstuffs was a daunting task. Even when she found one, they were too expensive to buy.
When she came back to Nigeria, she went to the market to buy some local foodstuffs and sent them to her sister abroad. A few days after sending the foodstuff to her sister, she received a call from her that the things she sent were worth #45,000. Even though some of the foodstuffs were rejected by their customs and some were accepted.
She was very surprised because those foodstuffs were just #9,500 in Nigeria. That was when she realized the million naira opportunity in foodstuff export business and the day she decided she would resign from her civil-servant job and go into exporting foodstuff full-time.
In the next paragraphs, I’ll be sharing with you tips on how you too can make money exporting foodstuff to foreign countries.
- Know the foodstuff to sell:
Before getting buyers of foodstuff it is important to make plans for the type of foodstuff you want to sell accordingly you can sieve down to specific countries. This will minimize your efforts even if you have a full-time job, because it would help you to focus on a few countries.
You have to know which foodstuff will make you most of the money and the one which will not. Although all Nigerian foodstuffs are in high demand, not all of them would be. You should figure out those ones that are in high demand. One way to find out is to listen to the foodstuff buyers demand more often.
Another way to find out is to ask other exporters. Some of them will be kind enough to tell you. Of course, they have to, because they can’t possibly meet the high demand. A platform like the African Business and Exporters Network (ABEN) is also a good place to get the right information. (At the end of this post, you will get a link to access top 100 products you can export from Nigeria)
2. Get all necessary document:
To avoid getting into trouble with the different authorities and regulatory bodies, you need to get the necessary documentation required to run a legitimate export business especially if you want to do it big time. Although, there’s a way you can get started on a small scale like Linda without any document. That would be reveal at the end of this post.
One myth I hear from non-exporters is that getting these documents are very difficult. Well, its not really true. Once you have the right information and someone to guide you, it will be very easy to run the business.
Export business is an international business and so you must treat it right so you wont be seen as a scammer or someone that is incompetent.
These are some of the documents required for commercial export business in Nigeria
a. NEXP Registration certificate (Nigeria Export Council Promotion) Forms (6 copies)
b. Certificate of Incorporation
c. Form NXP (from authorized dealers)
d. Insurance covers
e. Proforma Invoice
You dont need to worry about all of these forms because they are not always needed for some export transactions and in some cases, there are ways you can export without having to worry about some of these documents
3. Source for local suppliers:
The next plan is to source local suppliers and get the needed foodstuff from them. To get the best deals, that is, at the cheapest price possible, go to rural areas (village). Strike a deal with the farmers there for them to be supplying you with foodstuffs. Alternatively, a global market place for African produce like Bamitaja.com and abenconnect.com can also be helpful.
Whatever the foodstuff you desire to sell, you can get anywhere across Nigeria States like Ogun, Oyo, Enugu, Osun, Ondo, Akwa Ibom, etc would be good places to start with.
4. Package the foodstuff:
After sourcing for the needed foodstuffs from local sellers, the next thing is to package it to meet international standard.
Most of the foodstuffs you would be exporting would have to be in dry form. This is to make it last longer. You will lost lots of money if your foodstuffs are not properly dried and packaged.
Since, you can’t depend on the sun to dry them, you should invest in a drying machine. This machine will help you take away the moisture found in these foodstuffs.
6. Find buyers:
Getting buyers is very crucial. Not only getting buyers but also getting genuine buyers.
There are different ways to find genuine buyers. I will briefly mention 4 ways to find them.
Use the traditional method – attending trade shows and meetings. Send direct emails to potential clients. Use Online platforms like social media, apps, websites and business communities to find exporters.
Join associations of exporters around you to tap into their client base. A good b2b export platform for African produce to join is abenconnect.com
7. Get an export coach
Let’s be sincere. The fastest and easiest way to start and scale any business is to get a coach. The truth is if you don’t have the right coach to show you exactly what to do when building your export business then your failure is pretty much the only thing that is guaranteed.
Linda was able to resign from her work to start her export business full time because of our export coaching program. She has transited from foodstuff export into other agro-commodities because of the support she gets from our coaching program. Linda is one of our export business coach students that contributed to our success stories of over N100 million export transactions we have had till inception.
If you want to succeed in export, you NEED a coach, someone who has built his export business empire and ready to introduce you to his high network of exporters and importers around the world, that are ready to do business with you. This is the only fastest way to start succeeding in export business irrespective of your background and location.
To your success,
African Business and Exporters Network (ABEN)