LOGISTICS BUSINESS IN NIGERIA
Logistics Business in Nigeria is basically the transportation of goods, or product from a destination (usually the provider) to another (final consumer). The need for logistics business is becoming more important than ever in the financial world. The advancement of technology in many aspect of our lives has ensured many of the shopping, buying, selling and all other forms of transactions are executed online. After all the necessary steps have been followed, the products involved in the transaction have to be moved from the seller to the customer; an this is only possible through the logistics business.
In Nigeria today, online transactions are becoming increasingly common due to the comfort it allows users and hitch free process. As long as all the necessary fees are paid, transactions will be executed successfully and exchange of goods are done. The increasing number of people using the online platform for transactions have increased the lucrative potential of the logistics business, and entrepreneurs can exploit this for their own gains. It’s important not to forget that the logistics business not only apply to online transactions but also regular, manual transactions between people. This creates a huge market for the logistics business to operate in. Through this article, we will explore and review everything concerning Logistics business in Nigeria and how entrepreneurs can successfully create one for themselves.
Logistics Business in Nigeria
logistics is basically defined as the management of the flow of things, either goods, products, and services between the point of origin/creation and the point of final consumption to meet the requirements and needs of customers or corporations who need these goods. This definition should give a clear understanding of what the logistics business is all about. There are lots of businesses in Nigeria that require the services of logistics companies to carry out their daily operations in moving products to consumers who need them.
As big as logistics can be, involving huge materials, equipment, machineries and so on; logistics can also involve goods as simple as fashion items, food items, health care products, etc. It is clear that you might have already come across different logistics companies around Nigeria who carry out these operations. As much as we have domestic logistics companies who move goods around Nigeria in the likes of GIG Logistics, Courier Plus Services Limited, and AXPD Resources; we also have international logistics companies like DHL, UPS, FedEx and so on. This article will however, cover only domestic logistics business.
How Profitable Is Logistics Business in Nigeria?
The primary goal of setting up any business is to earn profits. It is only natural for entrepreneurs to have questions about the lucrative potential of the logistics business in Nigeria. The rate of success of the logistics business is highly dependent on the number of customers you get on a daily basis. Other important factors are hinged on includes Pricing, business exposure, accessibility, and operations efficiency. Where the conditions of the business are perfect, there lots of profits to earn through the business. The increasing exposure of the Nigerian to e-commerce or online transactions brings a lot of positive impact on the business. Profits in this business can reach up to millions every month of operating.
Equipment Needed For Logistics Business in Nigeria
Depending on the scale of logistics business you intend to run, the equipment you will need to run the business may vary. However, on a general note, some of the equity you will need includes:
- Bus/Truck/Cargo Bike: These are basically necessary to transport whatever goods or services you are required to get across to the final consumers. Logistics business which intend to operate across all states in Nigeria will need d to have trucks or a bus to move between the different states. This is usually for the large scale logistics business who may have to transport large goods, materials to other states. Small scale logistics businesses deal with smaller goods which may include fashion materials, foods, health materials and other smaller items. A cargo bike is usually sufficient for these kinds of goods.
- Space: This is usually required for storage of goods delivered to be transported at a given date. Logistics companies also receive goods which consumers can come to claim within a particular period. The space required for this business can vary, depending on the number of customer you get daily, size of goods to be delivered, and so on.
- Computer Systems: These are basically to store, record information regarding the customer’s, the parties meant to receive goods at delivery, and other operations that make the activities of the logistics companies easier.
- Mobile Phone: This is medium of communication between the company and the potential customer to receive goods which will be delivered by the logistics company. It is also important for communicating with other personnel of the company for deferential purposes.
- Accounting and other Software: This functions mainly to balance the books, considering all the daily transactions executed by the company.
- Dispatch Box: This is for the packaging of goods to be delivered. This is used for goods that are small or medium-sized.
- Stationery: These are writing materials like receipts, order form, dispatch form, and so on.
How To Start Logistics Business in Nigeria
Entrepreneurs interested in this niche of business can easily follow these laid down guidelines to easily and successfully set up their own logistics business anywhere in Nigeria. Adopting good business practices and strategies are advised in to take the business to the projected heights you plan to reach. Here are the steps to set up your own logistics business.
Define Your Mode Of Operation
This should be one of the first steps required before starting any business, as it helps you understand how you intend to approach the business. Though the business might outgrow your initial plans, this initial process will help you create a foundation which you want to build your business on. It will also help determine how the business grows from there. Some of the questions you need to answer before starting the logistics business in Nigeria includes scale of operation (Large or small), Transportation medium (Cargo bike, Bus, Truck), Range of services (Interstate or Intrastate), Working conditions (Agent, transporter, or contractor) etc. Answers to these questions will help make things a lot more clearer, like an estimate of your startup capital that will satisfy the business needs.
Entrepreneurs with a low capital can start up the business as an agent for different companies who may need logistics services. Many of the e-commerce platforms like Jumia, Konga etc., employ the services of agent to help carry out the logistics part of their business while getting paid in return.
A business plan for the logistics business will contain a clearly defined and stated goals and objectives which you intend to achieve through the business. These objectives will not only be stated but you must also include the steps you want to take to attain those objectives. In it, you can provide a breakdown of the organization of the business, the structure, expenditures, income, projected growth, and many other useful details to help your business.
These thoughts and plans will provide you a guide as to how well you are doing with the business, and also offer a way out as to what you need to do to get where you want the business to be. Business plans allow entrepreneurs to have a clear view of the big picture before starting anything. Everything about the business should be noted down in the business plan.
Business plans also offers a means of obtaining loans in cases where you need on to start a business in restaurants. It is a requirement most banks, private sectors and government require before disbursing loans to entrepreneurs. If you have no idea about how to draft a business plan for your dream business, you can employ the services of a professional in that aspect to help you make one. You can work hand in hand with the professional to make modifications to what you want and how you want it.
Register Your Business
Entrepreneurs have to understand that before their business can start operating, the have to register the business with the appropriate body which is the Corporate Affairs Commission (CAC). Many entrepreneurs are probably already familiar with this body but yet fail to register with them. It is possible to either register as a business name or a limited liability company, depending on financial buoyancy and capacity. After a successful registration process, you will receive a certificate that recognizes your business as registered.
While most entrepreneurs in Nigeria see registering businesses with government as a waste of time due to the poor structure, bad management policies and inconsistencies; registering your business do a lot of good by confirming your credibility in the business to your potential customers. It gives customers the rest of mind that they are doing business with someone trustworthy and identified by the government, since In any case of irregularities, customers can always report your business to the appropriate authorities.
You should also do some research to find out if there are permits or licenses which you need to have before operating a logistics business in Nigeria.
Set Up A Website
Technology has taken over almost every single business sector in the world today. If there really is a business that can survive on the penetrations of the internet, it is Logistics business. This serves as a medium where customers can get their orders and information across to your business. It helps customers track their goods which might already be in transport or yet to. The website simply allow users know the status of their goods and services surrendered for transport to your company.
Taking your logistics business is also a great way for potential users to know more about your operations, its scale, fees for transporting goods in bulk and units, and all other relevant information that will help your customers understand your business. The internet enables a direct communication with you for enquiries and so on. You can employ the services of web developers to set up a website for your business strictly to your specifications. The presence of your business online will definitely expose your business to more target customers. It is just obligatory that your logistics business is online due to its many advantages.
Get An Office Space/Store
Having a physical space where you conduct your business operations is necessary. It is through these locations and stores that goods will be delivered for pickup by the expected parties. Your office space serve other functions like space where delivery vehicles will first arrive before the goods in it are distributed to the necessary parties or picked up by the same people. Some people could also decide to drop by the office to drop off the materials, equipment for transport.
A physical store is also great for storing goods which have arrived through your company’s vehicle from other branches across the state. Since different people have different commitments, the expected parties to pick up the goods might not come immediately for the pickup. The store is a perfect place to keep all the goods intact and safe.
The number of employees required to run the logistics business are usually not so many. Some of the most important personnel you might need to hire includes drivers, riders, loaders, security, and other required personnel. The size of personnel needed for your logistics business depends on the scale of the business you are running.
All the personnel you need for your business must have the necessary skill set to match the job description they are to fill in. It might be necessary to put many of your personnel through training in terms of their specific job, as well as general management of the business. You can set up the business in a formal, arranged environment where all personnel have to follow specific codes of conduct. This will go a long way in helping create a better working environment for workers as well as customers.
Market Your Logistics Business
This is one important aspect that will help increase your customer base, and patronage. This way, your business will reach any projected goals or objectives you might have set out. You can market your business by advertising through the popular social media networks which have massive following like Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram. This will help better expose your business to target customers and wider reach. You can also advertise your logistics business through publications, newspapers, magazines, referrals, and so on.
Creating offers, deals, and coupons are also other means you can get more target customers to patronize your business.
Logistics business in Nigeria has never been better and easy to set up. As long as entrepreneurs have the required capital to set up their chosen type of logistic business, the most work is already done. Entrepreneurs should note the importance of getting more customers to use your services because that is the only means to reap more profits in the business. That said, entrepreneurs in this business should strategize ways to capture the attention and earn more target customers. Entrepreneurs can employ the services of influencers, paid ads, and many other efficient and effective marketing strategies.