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Top 10 Small Scale Business to Start in 2024

Nigeria has immense entrepreneurial potential, with small and medium enterprises (SMEs) making up a large portion of the country's economy. However, starting a successful business can seem daunting without the right guidance. This blog post explores 10 of the most lucrative and practical small-scale business ideas that aspiring Nigerian entrepreneurs can launch in 2024.

1. Poultry Farming

The poultry industry in Nigeria is booming as demand for chicken and eggs continues to rise. Poultry farming requires moderate startup capital and has tremendous growth prospects.

To start a poultry farm, you need to:

  • Acquire land and construct quality poultry houses and equipment. Good ventilation and temperature regulation are key.
  • Obtain day-old chicks, pointers, or older birds from reputable hatcheries. Ensure they are vaccinated.
  • Buy feed and vital medications. Maintain high hygiene standards.
  • Sell mature birds and eggs to established markets and middlemen. Eggs can also be hatched for new stocks.

With proper farm management, a poultry farm with 500-1,000 birds can generate ₦500,000-₦1 million monthly in revenue from meat and egg sales.

2. E-Commerce Store

Online retail is expanding rapidly in Nigeria. Starting an e-commerce store allows you to tap into this growth from anywhere.

To launch your online store:

  • Identify a niche like fashion, beauty, or mobile accessories to stand out.
  • Register your business and acquire an online payment gateway like Paystack.
  • Build an attractive website with quality images and product descriptions.
  • Market aggressively on social media and online platforms. Offer discounts and loyalty programs.
  • Provide excellent customer service and fast deliveries to gain traction.

With consistent effort and some paid ads, an e-commerce store selling popular items can make upward of ₦50,000 monthly within the first year.

3. Food Delivery Service

The rising fast-food culture and busy urban lifestyle has led to soaring demand for food delivery services. This presents a viable small business opportunity.

Essentials for starting a food delivery venture:

  • Obtain relevant permits and clearances from authorities.
  • Onboard restaurants and eateries for partnerships through commissions and discounts.
  • Develop a user-friendly app or website for orders and delivery tracking.
  • Recruit delivery bikers or personnel and train them properly.

Start small by targeting busy offices, university campuses, or residential estates.

Profit margins can vary greatly based on scale and number of orders. However, most food delivery businesses make at least ₦200,000-₦300,000 monthly once established.

4. Solar Energy Installation

Considering frequent power outages, solar energy presents a huge opportunity in Nigeria. Starting a solar installation business requires medium capital investment but has tremendous long-term viability.

To start this business, you need to:

  • Obtain extensive technical training in solar PV systems design and installation.
  • Import or source high-quality solar panels, batteries, inverters and components at wholesale rates.
  • Offer installations and maintenance services for homes, businesses, schools etc.
  • Build partnerships with real estate developers and construction companies.
  • Create awareness on the benefits of solar solutions through marketing campaigns.

With a growing customer base, solar installation businesses earn ₦500,000 to ₦2 million monthly on average from installations, maintenance contracts etc.

5. Digital Marketing Agency

Every modern business requires digital marketing services like search engine optimization, social media management and pay-per-click campaigns to thrive online. This presents a major opportunity for digital marketing agencies.

To start an agency:

  • Gain in-depth skills in key services like SEO, email marketing, social media marketing etc.
  • Build a compelling website and portfolio highlighting past projects.
  • Reach out to local businesses for service inquiries through cold calls and emails.
  • Offer discounted introductory packages to secure early clients and deliver results.

Develop service packages and charge ₦50,000 to ₦200,000 per month based on complexity and scale.

With 5-10 consistent clients, digital marketing agencies can generate upwards of ₦500,000 monthly in the first year.

6. Mobile Food Truck

The vibrant street food culture and lack of access to quality quick meals makes mobile food trucks an attractive proposition, especially in bustling urban locations.

Here is a brief overview of starting a food truck business:

  • Obtain required permits and clearances from local authorities.
  • Purchase or retrofit a van with essential cooking equipment and storage.
  • Develop an enticing limited menu with quick, delicious meals. Emphasize branding.
  • Identify locations with high foot traffic and lunchtime crowds to set up daily.
  • Leverage social media and promotions to raise awareness.

By mastering site selection and keeping costs low, most food trucks earn ₦200,000 to ₦400,000 monthly within the first few months.

7. Laundry and Dry-Cleaning Services

The growth in number of busy professionals and smaller households has led to increasing demand for quality laundry services in Nigerian cities. Starting a laundry business requires reasonable capital investment but promise very good returns.

Here's an overview:

  • Rent a shop space in a residential area and obtain required permits.
  • Purchase heavy-duty washers, dryers and steam irons. Hire staff for daily operations.
  • Offer doorstep pick-up and delivery. Provide excellent turnaround times and service quality.
  • Partner with hotels, hostels, schools, hospitals etc. for bulk laundry requests.
  • Set affordable rates. Offer promotions like first-time discounts or loyalty cards.

A streamlined laundry service with good machinery can deliver ₦400,000 to ₦600,000 monthly in a decent location.

8. Real Estate

Nigeria's real estate sector holds tremendous opportunities even for small-scale investors and flippers. With some starting capital and networking, you can:

  • Gain market and legal knowledge about buying, renting and selling properties through courses.
  • Start small by purchasing an affordable property to fix up and list for sale or rentals.
  • Partner with builders and realtors for access to deals before they hit mass market.
  • Identify motivated sellers of distressed properties to purchase and resell at a higher price.
  • Consider fractional ownership models to limit risks.

9. Agricultural Ventures

Despite being largely agrarian, Nigeria still spends billions importing produce. This provides huge opportunities in specialized farming ventures around livestock, crops and produce.

Some options worth exploring include:

Snail Farming

  • Low capital and running costs. Steady demand in major cities. Earns at least ₦150,000 monthly.

Tomato Farming

  • Hugely profitable crop with domestic supply deficits. Earns ₦500,000+ monthly.

Fishery

  • Catfish and Tilapia enjoy high demand locally. Very scalable with good margins.

Agricultural businesses require extensive ongoing effort but provide essential products with ready markets in Nigeria.

10. Tech-Related Services

Nigeria's rapidly evolving tech ecosystem provides exciting opportunities for bootstrappers in specialized services like app development, UI/UX design, blockchain services etc.

To capitalize on the tech boom:

  • Sharpen relevant high-income skills like mobile app programming, AI, cryptocurrency consulting etc.
  • Set up digital profiles highlighting your services and past experience.
  • Reach out to startups and SMEs offering discounted introductory packages.
  • Consider freelancing sites like Upwork to secure offshore clients as well.

Average monthly earnings for talented developers and blockchain experts often exceed ₦350,000-₦500,000 monthly. Creating a successful app can generate substantially higher incomes.

Here are some other practical and profitable business ventures worth exploring in Nigeria:

Beauty and Grooming Services

The beauty industry is rapidly evolving with increasing demand for specialized makeup, hairstyling and spa services. Starting a home salon with minimal overhead can earn at least ₦150,000 monthly.

Event Planning

Corporate events, weddings and lavish parties are rising in Nigeria's booming cities. Event planning is very scalable with enough creativity and marketing. Most full-time planners charge ₦250,000 and upwards per event.

Educational Services

Offering extra private lessons, homework helps and exam prep classes for kids is an easy niche business to start at home, especially with growing emphasis on academics. It can rake in ₦100,000 monthly or more.

Financing Your Small-Scale Business

Some effective ways to fund your startup without large savings or external investment include:

  • Seek small business grants and loans from government agencies and microfinance bodies.
  • Form cooperative societies with other entrepreneurs to access bulk rates and pool resources.
  • Consider crowdfunding from friends, family and the public through local start-up funding platforms.
  • Reinforce your business plan to attract angel investors. Offer shareholding or equity partnerships.

Funding Recommendation for Small Scale Businesses

Starting a small-scale business in Nigeria can be challenging, especially when it comes to securing the necessary funding. Fortunately, there are several financial institutions and loan providers that offer tailored financial solutions to help entrepreneurs kickstart or expand their businesses. Here's an overview of some recommended funding options:

1. First City Monument Bank Plc – EASYLIFT LOANS

Overview: First City Monument Bank provides EASYLIFT Loans, a financial product aimed at assisting SMEs in various sectors.

Loan Features:

  • Minimum amount – ₦50,000
  • Maximum amount – ₦500,000
  • Minimum duration – 1 month
  • Maximum duration – 12 months
  • Tailored for small to medium-sized enterprises across different industries.
  • Offers substantial loan amounts to cover significant business needs.
  • Competitive interest rates that are manageable for growing businesses.
  • Flexible repayment plans that can be adjusted according to business cash flow.

2. Money In Minutes Business Loan

Overview: Money In Minutes (MIM) offers a business loan designed specifically for SMEs. This loan is ideal for entrepreneurs looking to quickly boost their business capital.

Loan Features:

  • Minimum amount – ₦100,000
  • Maximum amount – ₦20,000,000
  • Minimum duration – 1 month
  • Maximum duration – 3 months
  • Fast processing time, ensuring quick access to funds.
  • Flexible repayment terms to suit different business models.
  • Minimal documentation required, making the application process smoother.

3. Lendigo Business

Overview: Lendigo Business is known for its hassle-free and entrepreneur-friendly loan services.

Loan Features:

  • Minimum amount – ₦100,000
  • Maximum amount – ₦20,000,000
  • Minimum duration – 1 month
  • Maximum duration – 6 months
  • Quick and easy online application process.
  • Offers a range of loan amounts suitable for small-scale businesses.
  • No hidden fees, providing transparency in all transactions.

4. Letshego SME Loan

Overview: Letshego Microfinance Bank offers the Letshego SME Loan, catering to small and medium enterprises with a focus on sustainable growth.

Loan Features:

  • Minimum amount – ₦20,000
  • Maximum amount – ₦20,000,000
  • Minimum duration – 3 month
  • Maximum duration – 36 months
  • Competitive interest rates that are favourable to small businesses.
  • Flexible repayment options to ease financial burden.

5. Letshego Agricultural Loan

Overview: Specifically designed for businesses in the agricultural sector, the Letshego Agricultural Loan provides financial support to farmers and agri-businesses.

Loan Features:

  • Minimum amount – ₦20,000
  • Maximum amount – ₦10,000,000
  • Minimum duration – 1 month
  • Maximum duration – 24 months
  • Tailored for agricultural businesses, including farming, animal husbandry.
  • Competitive interest rates suitable for agricultural business needs.
  • Flexible repayment terms considering the seasonal nature of agricultural businesses.

Each of these funding options has its unique features and benefits, making them suitable for different types of small-scale businesses in Nigeria. It's important for entrepreneurs to carefully assess their business needs and choose a loan provider that aligns with their financial requirements and business goals. nairaCompare has a wide range of loan options you can compare and choose from.

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Marketing Your Business Effectively

Vital tips to market small enterprises:

  • Clearly define and consistently communicate your brand promise across platforms.
  • Leverage referrals and word-of-mouth by delighting early customers. Incentivize referrals.
  • Harness the power of social media to engage prospective clients.
  • Exploit niche platforms and targeted local advertising for your industry.
  • Continuously offer promotions like contests, sales and loyalty reward programs.

Overcoming Key Challenges

Common hurdles faced by Nigerian SMEs include limited funding, infrastructural deficiencies like power, cumbersome regulations and lack of talent. Here are some effective solutions:

  • Explore innovative ways to minimize costs like solar energy, remote workers etc.
  • Share resources with other entrepreneurs in your sector or locality. For instance, small e-commerce businesses can collaborate for joint delivery fleets. These builds leverage and economies of scale.
  • Actively network with industry associations and peers to stay updated on policy reforms impacting your sector.

The opportunities for dynamic small-scale ventures seem boundless, especially by filling critical gaps in essential goods and services within local communities across Nigeria. With adequate planning, sustained effort and innovation, aspiring African entrepreneurs can build truly impactful and profitable businesses.

Conclusion

Nigeria offers immense scope for ambitious individuals to launch and scale a variety of small enterprises across sectors like agriculture, technology, essential services and online ventures. Hopefully, this post provided some fresh practical ideas and actionable tips to turn your entrepreneurial dreams into reality!

What other business opportunities in Nigeria look promising to you? Let us know your thoughts and queries in the comments section!

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