The Nigerian business ecosystem may not seem as favourable as you desire but without any doubt, it houses a good deal of thriving businesses. Delivery business is certainly one of these thriving ventures and if you really have the required capital and business finesse, you’ll make substantial fortune from it.
Otherwise known as logistics or courier business, delivery business is not difficult to set up in Nigeria. In fact, you don’t need to have acquired millions of naira in startup capital before you can comfortably get the business underway. Provided you’re pleased to begin the business on a small scale, you can start with less than #400,000. However, your startup capital can vary considerably, depending on business inputs such as choice of delivery vehicle and where you wish to operate from.
If you’re convinced that you have the mettle to ply a logistics venture and will comfortably acquire the required capital, you may want to find out how to start delivery business in Nigeria. Reading this post further, you’ll learn how to get started with delivery business in Nigeria but before that, here is Why Delivery Business Will Continue to Grow:
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Delivery (or logistics) business is making impressive waves in Nigeria and other places of the world. This is because it is a business that several other businesses rely on for the distribution of goods, commodities, etc., to final consumers. In particular, e-commerce is an industry that depends on courier services for the delivery of items (already ordered online) to customers.
With authoritative bodies projecting remarkable growth for the Nigerian e-commerce industry, it is highly predictable that delivery business will be positively affected in the country. If you need a better definition for the latter statement, you should like to know that sellers on Konga, Ali Express, Jumia and other popular e-commerce stores engage the services of logistics operators in delivering goods to buyers. These logistics operators are independent channels and alternatively, they are the courier companies with cargo bikes, vans or other kinds of vehicles designed for delivering items to people.
Starting a Delivery Business in Nigeria: What You Need to Do
Write Your Business Plan
In starting a business, the essence of a business plan goes beyond the need to attract the interest of investors. If you ever think you don’t need a business plan for your proposed delivery business, you might eventually operate the business in a directionless manner.
A business plan isn’t just a mere document that summarizes your business. It is, in fact, a paper that indicates the appropriate roadmap for your business. This is why you may have to outsource the task of business plan writing to a financial expert.
Specifically, your business plan will indicate your estimated operational cost, cash flow, projected financial position, etc. Also, the business plan will, expectedly, have a section titled “feasibility study” and this is the part that indicates the practicability of your proposed delivery business in the area chosen for it.
Without a properly written business plan, it may be hard for you to accurately identify if your business is heading in the right direction. And when business difficulties arise, you might struggle to overcome them since failure to have a business plan could mean you never truly planned how to manage the business amid challenges.
Get Your Business Registered
It wouldn’t seem sensible to operate a delivery business without a duly registered name. No e-commerce platform (or even serious-minded individual) would deem it safe to deliver their freight to customers through an unregistered logistics business.
To project formality about your delivery business in Nigeria, you definitely need to register it with the Corporate Affairs Commission (CAC). Even if you have other things to prove that your business is legit, most people will hardly want to patronize you if you don’t have a business name (i.e. a unique name licensed by the CAC for business operation in Nigeria).
In terms of naming, delivery business is one business that appeals to catchy names. This is why you have to go creative about the name of your delivery business. Some of the business names you can consider for your delivery business include Fortunate Logistics, Assurance Cargo & Freight, and Cargo & Logistics Hub.
Set Aside the Required Startup Capital
If you’re yet to set aside adequate capital, your chances of starting a delivery business are very slim. Of course, delivery business isn’t a venture you can get off the ground without capital. Based on our estimation, you’ll need anything in the range of #300,000 to #700,000 before you can comfortably set up a standard delivery business in Nigeria.
With your startup capital as little as #300,000, you’ll probably find it convenient to start the business and operate it on a small scale. But if you must operate on a sizeable scale and have more than one cargo bike, #300,000 won’t be enough to get the business underway.
Under the circumstance that you can’t raise the startup capital unassisted, we advise that you devise your business plan in drawing the attention of investors. In a different vein, you may want to seek the assistance of friends and relatives. Whichever source you deem fit for generating startup capital, we’re hopeful that a sum as high as #700,000 will suffice for all that you may need to start the delivery business.
Acquire the Necessary Startup Equipment
Business equipment is the set of tools needed for smooth business operation. As much as startup capital is necessary for a proposed delivery business, acquisition of startup equipment is also important for the business.
The primary equipment for a delivery business will necessarily incorporate a cargo bike, an office space, stationery and a dispatch box. You’ll likely need some other items which probably make up the secondary equipment for running the business. Depending on what you’re putting up as startup capital, you may not want to factor in an office space at first. But it’s advisable that you acquire an office space as the business grows.
While you’ll need either a cargo bike or a van for starting the delivery business, the cargo bike is what you’ll begin with provided your budget is small. Meanwhile, don’t just hit the market and initiate a bike purchase without first knowing the kinds of vehicles permitted for use in your desired business location. It’s very possible that bikes are not allowed in majority of the localities in the Nigerian state you’re considering for your delivery business.
As implied earlier, an office space might not be included at first. However, you’ll definitely need a dispatch box and some stationery. The dispatch box is a kind of compact container that will be required for conveying deliverables. While the dispatch box will be fitted to the cargo bike, it makes it convenient for the bike rider to convey several items at once.
Stationery is another important aspect of your business equipment. What we term stationery is an aggregate of the store boxes, seal tape, books, pens, rulers, etc., which you need for the writing and packaging aspects of your delivery business. You’ll certainly have to brand items (meant to be delivered) with names or other things that signify their owners. Also, the seal tape and the store boxes in your stationery will make it easy for you to appropriately package deliverables.
Staff recruitment is a critical aspect of business and if it will ever be deemed less important, it’s definitely not in the delivery business.
We may not need to tell you that whoever you’re employing as dispatch rider must be reliable but we may have to furnish you with the tips to ensure you don’t end up with a disastrous individual.
First of all, make sure you only employ somebody you can easily vouch for. You’ll never wish to bear the risk of having a dispatch rider cart away deliverables. Try to prevent unnecessary emotion or bias from playing into the process of staff recruitment. Advisably, select an individual with some work experience (not compulsorily in the courier business) and who is ready to come with a guarantor. The guarantor shouldn’t be a random individual but somebody who is an older relative and can prove this. Lastly, find out where the individual and their guarantor live.
Brand Your Business
Branding seems to have come last in this post but this is never an impression that you should ignore business branding or go about it in a frivolous manner.
Of course, you need something that distinguishes your delivery business from competitors’ and this is where branding comes in. Not only does branding set your courier business apart from the crowd but also, it adds value to the business.
While branding looks broad in scope, some of the ways you can brand your delivery business is securing a trademark for the business and customizing your business equipment. Particularly, your cargo bike and its dispatch box should bear your business logo, motto and some other insignia that will distinguish the business from competitors’.
Additional branding suggestion implies having an online presence –such as a website –that presents an overview of your delivery business, spells out the kinds of items you deliver and the value people will derive from patronizing you.
We hope this post is the comprehensive guide you’ve been looking for on how to start a delivery business in Nigeria. Especially, you must have figured out how much money you’ll need for getting started with a delivery business in the country.
Notably, we didn’t factor in the cost of insurance while working out the estimated startup capital. While insurance is certainly an important consideration for a delivery business, we don’t consider it a preliminary requirement for the business. It is probably something you’ll want to think of only after the business has been fully launched.