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14 Viable Small Business Ideas To Start In Nigeria

14 Viable Small Business Ideas To Start In Nigeria

By Omotayo B. Adeoye. The founder of The Wumbb, a Start-up and SME consulting firm that specializes in building ideas and growing businesses. Last week, I wrote about how I would be looking for problems to solve and providing solutions for them. Sequel to that, I have come up with a list of 15 businesses

By Omotayo B. Adeoye. The founder of The Wumbb, a Start-up and SME consulting firm that specializes in building ideas and growing businesses.

Last week, I wrote about how I would be looking for problems to solve and providing solutions for them. Sequel to that, I have come up with a list of 15 businesses to start in Nigeria that require almost no start-up fund and can be launched in less than 1 week. These businesses can be started by anyone with the required skills; it doesn’t matter whether you are an undergraduate, unemployed or employed. You can see them as side businesses or grow them into full-fledged enterprises.

Keep in mind that; It is what a man knows, that would feed him

  1. Dry cleaning service

With a washing machine, access to water and electricity (PHCN or Gen), you can start this business. Start by making a list of your neighbours who you’ve seen take their clothes to the dry cleaner or who you think can afford the service. Walk up to them (or their gate men) and introduce yourself and what you do for them. Find out how much the nearest drycleaner near you charges and charge 10% lower than that. Even if you don’t have a drycleaner, you can employ the service of local washwomen, collect as many clothes as possible, get the women to wash it, pay them and keep the rest as profit. All you need is to convince your neighbours you can do it, gather a lot of clothes, monitor the washing process and collect the money. For this business to expand, you need just one very satisfied customer.

  1. Home lesson tutor

JAMB, WAEC, GCE and other secondary school exams are around the corner. I bet you know one or two secondary school students living around you or that attend your church/mosque. Simply identify what you can teach (e.g. English, Maths, Economics or Accounting), talk to their parents and offer to teach their children for about some hours every weekends or after school depending on your time availability. You can charge at much as ₦1000/hour depending on the subject, child’s age and location. All you need is to brush up on the subject, present yourself well (you can tell the parents about your own WAEC/JAMB score or university GPA) and get as many students as possible.

  1. Baby Sitting

It’s common nowadays to find women that work far from home and so have to leave home early. They most likely keep their children at a daycare centre where they are one of many. You know one right? Perfect! You can walk up to her and offer to watch her children after school till she gets back home. This one really requires you to very convincing as to why she should trust you. This business is perfect as you can run another project/business/job during normal hours and relax or do some other work while watching the children.

  1. Website/Blog Design

New blogs and websites are put up on the internet hourly and many of them look crappy. With a good eye for colours and design, a little research and practice you can begin to design websites and blogs for people. There are many premade blogging and website platforms such as WordPress, Blogger, Wix, Squarespace etc. that come with themes you can easily edit and personalize to taste. All you need to do is take a free design course on Alison or Coursera and start practicing in your free time. Advertise your services on your social networks, start with your friends and you are in business. I have designed about 10 websites & blogs (including a wedding site) and made a few thousand Nairas myself from this.

  1. Software and computer repair

A large number of people don’t know how to solve basic computer issues such as (a) how to fix a system crash (b) how to solve blue screen of death (c) computer booting slow, (d) how to download videos from youtube (e) how to install some softwares (f) how to remove malware from a computer (g) how to solve internet connectivity issues etc. While these are simple 10 minutes tasks to you, some people struggle with it. Simply advertise your services on social networks, BBM, WhatsApp and to close friends. Create how-to guides in pdf format solving some basic issues and charge for doing it for them.

  1. Catering: Small chops, cakes, cocktails and drinks

Do you know how to make snacks, or cakes or can you learn it. If Yes; people have events everyday ranging from school events, get togethers, church gatherings, office parties etc. Simply advertise your services to party goers you know and continue sharpen your skill. Price your service at a reasonable price and deliver premium service to your first customer and you are in business.

  1. Jewellery and bag making

The market for this is basically endless. All you need is to be skilled in making any of these. Get a good camera, take nice pictures, post them on social media and charge ridiculously low prices. Once you have a customer base, you can begin raising your prices.

  1. Personal trainer

I would focus on ladies for this one. Have you managed to keep a flat tummy and build beautiful abs or do you know a diet recipe that can help someone lose weight? You can offer your services to fellow women/ladies, stay-at-home moms or women that recently gave birth. You can work with them to reduce their tummy fat, or big legs or whatever you have done for yourself. You can charge premium for this and the best part is you get paid for exercising (I should really look into this one)

  1. Hairstylist and Makeup Artists

So you have perfected your makeup by practise (and YouTube) and people frequently compliment your makeup, great! Advertise to your social networks, friends and even family members by taking regular pictures of yourself with your best makeup and hairstyle and posting it on sites like Facebook and Instagram. Offer to do the first hair and makeup free.

10. Managing a company’s social media accounts and blogs

Many small companies have redundant social media accounts and blogs and are failing to engage their customers. They can’t afford to employ a social media manager or use a digital marketing software. All you need is to love social media, know the tricks and hacks for establishing brand presence on social media and be learn something new. The company provides their content and you help them post, share, engage their customers and establish a strong brand presence. The great part? You now have a money making excuse to be online for the whole day!

11. Promotions

If you have over 2,000 Facebook friends, 500 twitter followers, 400 BBM/WhatsApp contacts, generally a large friend base on any social network. You can help promote events, businesses, trainings etc and charge at least ₦500 per post/broadcast on each social network.

12. Teacher

Yes, what do you know? What can you teach? There is no limit to knowledge, and endless possibilities to acquire it. You can teach someone how to play a piano, cook soup, make hair, change a tyre, drive and so on. Whatver you know, you can teach. All you need to do is make a list of all that you know how to do well, advertise them on social media and offer a reasonable price. You could ask people what they would like to learn, learn it free on the Internet and then teach them at a price.

13. Personal shopper

Do you love to shop (or window shop), do you know how to haggle for the best deals? Do you know that some people are time starved, others are plain lazy and for them it’s a burden to go out and buy things they need? Herein lies an opportunity, get their request, go shop for them; and they pay you for your time, judgement and getting good deals. You can help them shop for food stuffs, buy drugs in a pharmacy, buy books or stationeries, even shop for clothes.

14. Professional Seller

There are some people (like me) who can sell anything (and I mean anything). Can you get someone to buy anything you are selling? If yes, help someone sell something. Maybe your colleague wants to change his phone; offer to help him sell it for a percentage of the selling price and then advertise it and convince someone to buy it!

Remember, it’s what you know that would feed you. You just have to be solving someone’s problem. The problem doesn’t have to be a new problem, it doesn’t matter if someone has already solved it; as long as someone still has that problem, there is an opportunity for you. Start Now!

Do you want to try one of the above or you have an idea for a business; I can help you develop an idea plan FREE OF CHARGE!

Send a mail to [email protected] with Subject: Free Idea Plan and I would get back to you in 2 working days.

Thanks for reading.

Kindly like, comment and share.



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  • Jide Alo
    March 27, 2015, 9:48 pm

    Thanks Omotayo!

  • nonso
    March 29, 2015, 10:03 pm

    This article is really interesting… thanks

  • Eketi
    April 8, 2015, 1:39 pm

    Thank you, Omotayo. I found this really helpful. I’d like to explore the possibility of being a private tutor/personal shopper/content manager.

    I’d appreciate your help with developing an idea plan. Thank you.


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