A provision store, or grocery store, is one of the most common businesses in Nigeria. Every neighbourhood, even a small one, has its own provision store where locals can buy food items and other daily necessities. Opening a provision store can be very lucrative for the owner, and here is how to do it.
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1. Choose the location for your business
The location of your grocery store can either make or break a new business. Even the neatest, best-stocked grocery store in the middle of nowhere will never give you the desired profits. The location of your provision store should be busy and have a lot of foot traffic. At the same time, it will probably be hard for you to compete with supermarkets as a small provision store. That is why a suburban or rural neighbourhood with lots of people living there but no large stores will be ideal.
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2. Register your business
Registering your business with the Nigerian Corporate Affairs Commission is an essential step to making your provision store legal and official. By that time, you already need to know the name and scale of your business and let the CAC know about it. Skipping this step makes you vulnerable to unexpected visits from the officials and big fines or even legal problems.
3. Create a business plan and secure your capital
A provision store can seem like a very easy business to launch, but it still needs to be approached with care and a lot of planning. A business plan will help you estimate the potential profit and expenses for your business, as well as learn more about your competitors and how to get better than them. You will also need a startup capital for your business that ranges from ₦100,000 for a very small provision store or kiosk to ₦2 million and more for a supermarket.
4. Decide on the goods you’ll sell
As a small provision store, you probably cannot sale rare, expensive items or delicacies. You want to sell food products and additional items that are purchased by Nigerian buyers every day. You can choose to only sell food items and drinks, but you can make more money if you also sell toiletries, household items, stationery, and laundry products that are also very popular among consumers.
5. Find good suppliers
A new provision store cannot survive without reliable suppliers who are willing to offer flexible conditions to their clients. You can find a supplier for each of the products groups you intend to sell, or work with just one or two big suppliers who will meet all of your needs. The longer you work with a supplier and the most satisfied you are with each other, the better conditions you will be able to get.
6. Hire the personnel
When you open a very small provision store, it’s possible to run your operations on your own without anyone’s help. However, for a larger-scale business, you are going to need some professional help. A shop assistant and a cashier will work with the customers, a cleaner will keep the place clean during the day and after the shop is closed, and an accountant will help you get your finances in order.
7. Advertise your store
With a provision store, there is no sense in advertising your business in newspapers or on billboards all over the city. You should focus only on your neighbourhood and nearby areas. Print advertising, such as flyers, will attract the customers to your store, as will an eye-catching design of the shop. You can also try advertising your shop on social media, and if the customers are satisfied with your supply and level of service, the word-of-mouth marketing will take on from there.
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