HOW TO START LPG BUSINESS IN NIGERIA
One of the popular business types in Nigeria is the sale or dealing with Liquefied Petroleum Gas(LPG). This is due to its regular use in many homes with more reliance given to the product ahead of other forms of cooking like kerosene stoves or firewood method. Liquefied Petroleum Gas found in cooking gases, provides individuals with a clean and efficient method of cooking and not to forget the fact that is is portable. The demand for the product is high due to its regular use and that is one of the reasons why the business is one with a huge prospect and represents a good business idea that promises to bring profits.
In recent times, individuals have neglected the traditional method of using Kerosene stoves and Firewood. I mean, who in this century still makes use of firewood? Even at places where large scale food is to be prepared, the traditional method is not in use with people preferring the use of a cleaner and even faster method. Also, the prices of other substitutes has helped in promoting LPG. Kerosene for instance, has its price always rising. Elsewhere, firewood is neglected because of the potential environmental hazard it causes not to mention the fact that smoke from it could be uncomfortable and make the environment less conducive for people.
The LPG gas business comes in different forms which could either be for large scale or small scale sale. The large scale sale involves setting up a gas plant and being one of the wholesalers of the product where small units can also be sold. For the small scale, the products are sold in small units to domestic users depending on cylinder size. Whichever way you chose, the business is highly lucrative judging by its regular use in homes and public places so it is surely one business to invest in.
Starting the business, however, is not exactly easy. There are some factors that needs to be considered, some of which include choice of locating the gas plant or the small shop you intend to use for small scale sale and the presence of competition in the different regions you might choose to sell your product. In the next sub heads, I’ll be discussing the several steps involved in starting a fresh LPG business in Nigeria and some factors to consider in each step to be taken to have chance of securing a better result or a high chance of succeeding.
The benefits of research to any business can not be overestimated. There are many things to be learnt about a particular business before one starts it. Mostly, they are things individuals are not aware of or things not common during the practice of the selling the product. A proper research helps you review your business and the different options you might have to select from. The study is not only important for the starting stage of the business but it also gives insights on how to manage and sustain the business for several years to come.
Most times, research helps individuals come up with a better written business plan. The business plan, of course, needs no introduction. It contains all the information about the business and everything you have planned to help bring the business to light including ways you chose to to spend capital, plans to operate and also projections for the future of the business. A well written business plan is not just there for writing sake and it also comes with its benefits especially for individuals who have to look for ways to secure funds to kick start the business.
A good, well detailed and thorough research will most likely help in writing a very good business plan, thereby helping to win over investors. Research is highly important and not something individuals or rather, future entrepreneurs should take lightly. The internet is available for all kinds of research and if you choose to meet up and discuss with experts in the industy, it is a huge plus to your research depending on their level of knowledge about the business. Never ever skip the research stage especially if you’re a self starter and someone who has never been involved in the business before.
2. SELECT A LOCATION
Now, as previously discussed, there are two forms of the business which are the large scale kind and the small scale kind. The large scale kind needs a large area of space which can accommodate the resources needed to be present on site for the start of the business. A large scale business means the need for a large space for the location. This is due to the capacity you plan to undertake and it also means the need for a large amount of capital. As a large scale dealer in the product, you’ll definitely need to get a number of equipments to help operate the business.
The small scale capacity is highly recommended for individuals who are just starting up and with little amount of capital. Even with running a small scale business, you’ll still get your profit as it is a product high in demand. This form needs just a small space, most likely a small shop that can fit in the few equipments that you might need which mostly includes cylinders, scale and fire extinguisher. And maybe seats, for your customers. Getting a location might not be hard but making sure you’re well positioned in an area is the real deal. The shop must not be far from the residential areas as they are your most likely customers. And also avoid setting up in an area with many competitors.
3. GET YOUR BUSINESS REGISTERED
This is almost as important as anything you plan to do for the start of the business. Failure to get registered could potentially render all your hardwork useless. Get informed about the regulatory authorities responsible for the registration process and get it done. During your research, you probably must have encountered a couple of agencies responsible for it so it should not be a problem finding them. Also, don’t deal with agents or seek the help of any individual to help you do it, get it done yourself to prevent issues where the agents fails to register you or the individual is even a scammer.
There are a number of agencies that can also help with easy registration. Seek these agencies and get your registration done and intact to prevent issues with regulatory bodies. In addition, follow the guidelines stated by the body to prevent sanctions.
4. GETTING EQUIPMENTS AND THE PRODUCT
Depending on the capacity you plan to take, there are some equipments that must never be found missing in a gas station or a small scale LPG shop. Gas cylinders, weighing scale and fire extinguishers are infact the most important equipments for this business expect you’re moving large scale where you’ll need a gas pump and a very large gas tank for storage. There will also be need for generators. The equipments you will need will be decided by the scale you choose to start with.
For getting supplies, which is the LPG, it is also quite the same. For a large scale business, you’ll definitely need to get a gas station or a gas production station to get the products while small scale only needs to find the nearest gas plant for the product. There are a number of gas plants in Nigeria, so the suppliers should not be hard to get. Make sure you select one closer to your shop for easy transportation of the product.
5. SALE AND MARKETING
Lastly is finally the sale and advertisement of the product. Once your choice of location is well placed in an area, there should be no problem getting customers and making your sales. For advertisement, you might choose to use a banner or use word of mouth. Physically market your business to people and also get your customers to help to play a role in your marketing to tell their neighbors and other residents.
The LPG business is one with a high chance of success provided you carefully conduct your research and do all the necessary things involved. It’s high demand is one of the things that makes it a good choice of business.