How to Start a Profitable Supermarket Business in Nigeria

Nigeria is Africa’s largest economy and beyond arguments, the largest black population on earth. This sets the tone for lots of businesses to thrive. If you want to start a profitable supermarket business in Nigeria, it’s a great idea and if you have a penchant for business, you are certainly on the right track. But there are few fail-safe strategies you need to learn of before venturing out into a supermarket business in Nigeria. 

Armed with the right tips, you are going to get it right. You also need to understand that starting a business in Nigeria won’t be easy as a walk in the park, you need to be patient, consistent, not afraid to try new things, be friendly and cultivate some handy business attitudes. 

The interesting part about starting a supermarket business is that you can sell a variety of products and you are patronized by lots of wealthy people. There is no price haggling too, saving you the energy and talk time. 

Now you can either choose to start on a small scale as in mini-marts then expand with time or gather substantial capital and start big. Whichever way you choose; the following tips will help you start a profitable supermarket business in Nigeria. 

7 Fail-proof Tips on How to Start a Profitable Supermarket Business in Nigeria

1. Write a Concrete Business Plan 

Have a concrete business plan

Don’t be casual or laid-back about this step. A business plan is needed at least if you will be starting a business on this scale. So take the time, sit, plan and write a solid business plan that will guide you in the course of the business. The business plan should contain virtually everything about your business. From the kind of goods, you will specialize on, to the budget, location and how to source the capital. 

The reason why this is very necessary is that you might need assistance with funding and some of the funding prospects you are looking at might ask for it. Without a business plan, you’ll appear unprofessional and most people won’t take you seriously. People are tired of local champions already and this is the 21st century. So get that business plan ready, remember that one of the rules to achieving your dreams is writing them down. If you can’t do it yourself find someone who can, communicate your ideas across and have the person write a professional business for you. 

2. Location Matters 

Map

When it comes to businesses of this nature, location is critical to success. You need to find a location where human traffic is high as well as population density. Site it where people are few and you’ll have to struggle for a very long time. Low population births low patronage. Another important factor you need to consider on location which is independent of population or human traffic is “need” and “scarcity”. If the population and human traffic are low, it doesn’t affect their needs. The few people around definitely have daily needs and the scarcity of shops around makes you valuable. So if you don’t like playing the game of competition which is inevitable by the way, you can find an area where there’s no supermarket and plant yours theirs no matter the population. This makes you the number one shopping centre for lots of commodities in that area. It will also increase your popularity and even if the competition comes, you were the first and your reputation is still rock-solid. 

3. Raise Capital – Plenty of it. 

capital

If you want to start a profitable supermarket business in Nigeria, you need to have a surplus budget. The more money you push in the more profits you make. That’s the thumb rule of business. More investments-more profits, it’s that simple. You need enough capital to rent a shop – a very spacious one to contain your goods and a small warehouse with a parking lot. You will need money to furnish it and make it attractive. It should resemble a mall. It should afford buyers the luxury and feel of shopping in a mall. This is how profitable businesses work. 

You’ll need money to register the business and you will most importantly need more than enough capital to purchase your goods and store. You’ll need money to employ sales staff, install CCTV and buy a power generating set. The need for enough money can’t be overstated. It’s the most important factor you need to consider before others. When the competition begins or when you have a competition in your face already, substantial capital is what guarantees you stability and ensures you don’t get kicked out. Please gather as much as you can. There isn’t a better way to flog this. 

4. Find a Reputable Supplier

Truck

Trusted suppliers ensure you don’t end up with expired goods and dent the reputation you are trying to build like a start-up. With the right suppliers, you are certain of premium quality goods to retail to your customers. There’s no profit in by purchasing wholesale goods and discovering that a quarter of them are sub-standard. Also, if you want to start a profitable supermarket business in Nigeria, it’s best you approach the manufacturers directly and strike a deal with them for consistent supplies. This way, you are sure of getting the right quality (SON approved) and then the discounts which are the next best part of buying directly from manufacturers. You are about to start a profitable business, you need to buy at lower prices and sell at normal prices to count your profits. 

The logistics involved in getting the goods to your supermarket is also part of what the manufacturers provide. It’s wholesale and logistics are critical. Although you might not need this for all products, certain products like wines, drinks, toiletries, pasta, bread and the likes need this kind of purchasing. The breweries will offer discounts and so will the bakeries. As a rule of thumb, it’s best to consult those who have been there before you for proper guidance. 

5. Furnish to Premium Taste 

A supermarket

From the way your goods are properly shelved to the lightings, product descriptions and price listings, you can either scare away customers or get them coming back while referring others. Furnishing is important, it helps customers navigate with ease, makes them feel comfortable and enjoy the shopping experience. The floors should be tiled, the entire space air-conditioned, there should be a POS machine for seamless transactions, the goods should be well labelled in the shelves, everything needs to be in place and almost perfect for maximum profit to be made. 

You should hire someone who’s experienced in the retail world to help you out on this. When the interior part of your supermarket is attractive and comfortable, you create crusaders of your business effortlessly. They will preach about your business to others. 

6. Be Unique 

be unique

These strategies on how to start a profitable supermarket business in Nigeria won’t be complete without the strategy of going unique in everything you do. There are too many businesses out there doing the same thing every day. Going unique on the generic lot stands you out and makes you more profit. Train your staff to be polite and treat customers with the best courtesies in the book. Encourage your staff to show your customers that you appreciate their patronage whenever they turn up at your supermarket. 

Teach them to apologize where necessary and always be willing to help customers in any way they can. These attitudes count even though they seem negligible. Study your competitors and find out what they aren’t doing. Come back to your supermarket and implement them. Whatever it takes to be unique as long as it doesn’t need you to hurt people, cheat them or compromise on quality. 

7. Be the Boss 

Boss

If you want to start a profitable supermarket business in Nigeria, then you’ve got to have both hands and legs in on it. This is hardly a side hustle and perhaps the most ridiculous side hustle idea. A supermarket is one huge business that you can’t run on the side-lines while on track with your full-time job. If you want to get it right, you might have to quit your job. It’s a serious business that needs complete attention. There’s a lot of attention to the details involved. If you are not there, someone else might not treat your business with the utmost care as you would. You need to be there to man your business and staff. You need to be there to build a certain degree of integrity in them before leaving to establish another. 

Becoming the captain of your business ship allows you to learn more about your business, ensure transparency and rake in profits. This doesn’t imply that you shouldn’t trust people with your business, it’s the only recommendation that as a start-up, you need to be around to nurture and watch your business rise. When it’s ripe to stand alone, you can take a break. Hiring a manager to oversee your business is an expensive business Investment on an entirely different level and you can’t vouch for the 100% integrity of the manager you are spending your money on. Take your business by the hand and lead it to where you want it to be. 

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