Retail business ideas are usually low-cost businesses that an entrepreneur can start from home, brick-and-mortar stores, or online. It is one of the fastest-growing industries in the economy, with the assurance of a regular cash income daily.
See Also: Looking for a business to start? Get 35 Booming business ideas and step-by-step guides to start them.
These days, retail business can be anything from food and grocery to clothes, drugs, or other kinds of general merchandise. It involves selling goods and services to consumers for profit.
There is no limit to what you can sell if you are in the right location, sell the right goods, and employ the right marketing strategies. It is a business that gives you access to different kinds of customers with numerous business opportunities.
Do you wish to own a retail store? Then, fasten your belt as I take you through some practical and most profitable retail business ideas you can start on a small scale in Nigeria.
Small Scale Retail Business Ideas In Nigeria
1. Gift Shop
A gift shop offers a variety of gift items starting from greeting cards to flowers and souvenirs. It is a broad business area that involves the sale of portable goods. It’s a stop centre for all kinds of gift items at all seasons of the year.
For instance, you can create packages for festive seasons like Christmas, Easter, etc., and during special days like Mother/Father’s Day, Valentine’s day, Children, and even Worker’s day celebrations. The varieties of products and service offerings are endless.
Also, you can make extra income by offering additional services like packaging and delivering the gift on behalf of the buyer.
Watch the full video of all the retail business ideas you can start and how to start them here. Also, subscribe to our channel to get more business ideas and insights.
2. Water, Wine, And Beverage
Water, wine, and beverage business are some of the lucrative retail business ideas you can start anywhere in Nigeria. It is a vast business area that can be independently done.
Depending on how you sell, you can be patronized when ceremonies like birthdays, weddings, child dedications, anniversaries, and graduation ceremonies are held in your vicinity.
Pharmacy business is one of the sensitive retail business ideas that can be done on a large or small scale. Often called a chemist or drug store, it provides prescription drugs and other small health-related products.
A pharmaceutical store is sensitive such that it is usually operated by a certified pharmacist or expert in the health-related industry. This will enable them to advise, prescribe appropriately, and counsel patients on health promotion, disease prevention, and proper medication use.
4. Fruit Stand
Owing to the high demand for fruit, having a fruit mart is one of the scalable retail business ideas you can do. It has become a trend worldwide and a business that sells very fast.
Fruit business involves the sales of fresh seasonal fruit and fruit products. It requires stocking up with the available and most patronized fruits and vegetables like apple, carrot, watermelon, pineapple, cucumber, lemon, orange, banana, cherry, etc. They are arranged in a way that attracts passersby.
Aside from selling fresh fruit, it can also involve packaging hand-made fruit juice and fruit salad for sale.
5. Bread, Snacks, And Confectioneries
This is a retail business of making and selling food items rich in sugar and carbohydrates to consumers. The items include cakes, bread, pastries, sweets, chocolate, candies, nut, and other flour and chocolate made products.
It is a business that can begin on a small or large scale. More so, it can be made or ordered in a large quantity from suppliers and sold out in bits to the final consumer within a time frame.
This retail store sells fashionable items like shoes, bags, clothes, jewellery, etc. It involves buying clothes cheaply and selling at a higher price to realize more profit. It is an exotic business such that the environment/outlook commands high-income earners in society.
Boutiques usually have specific styles and clothing unique to a particular group of people. Here, goods are purchased according to brand, gender, or price tags and stocked based on the profile of the target customers. It is one of the most profitable and modern retail business ideas.
7. Stationery & Bookstore
Stationery and bookstore are retail business ideas that sell hand in hand and can be done online and offline. It involves selling books that serve as a source of knowledge, learning, leisure, motivation, or other purposes. Aside from industry books, you can also sell textbooks, biro, cardboard, exercise books, storybooks, charts, and other educational materials.
If you are an aspiring entrepreneur with a passion for books and knowledge of different authors, this might be an excellent retail business idea for you. You must constantly update your store with new editions and best-selling books.
8. Interior Design Store
Having an interior design store is one of the exotic retail business ideas that thrive in big cities in Nigeria. It involves selling items that enhance the interior of a building to create a more pleasing and beautiful outlook.
This retail business is mainly done by a certified interior designer or someone with a knack for art and aesthetics. Aside from selling the design materials, the customers can also hire the seller’s service to decorate the home or office.
These days, the demand for interior design wares is high; therefore, it has made the business more lucrative than in the past. Want to venture into this business? Say yes? You can look to sell curtains, throw pillows, wall designs, lightning, chairs, tables, and standard furniture that fits bedroom, office, kitchen, living room, bar, and every section of a building.
9. Hair, Cosmetics And Skin Care Store
This is one of the largest industries in the world today. The demand for hair care, skincare, and cosmetic products have remained on the high side. It’s a beauty supply business and can be operated independently or with other services. It has to do with getting the right brands that appeal to different people.
Operating hair, cosmetics, and skincare retail stores involve selling a wide range of products like wigs, weaves, shampoos, moisturizers, organic cream, contact lenses, nail polish, makeup, oil control, and all kinds of products that add to human beauty.
10. Food Store
This is a business that centers on selling food items to people. The food items can be either fresh or preserved, can be cooked, uncooked, and always displayed so that consumers can make their choice.
Food stores sell a wide range of food items at affordable prices. They receive different eatables from manufacturers and sell them at a reasonable price.
11. Tailoring Materials
Tailoring material business is a low-cost retail business idea. It is profitable and sells everywhere in Nigeria. Tailoring material sellers are sort after by tailors, schools, fashion institute students, and random persons who need fabrics, needles, etc.
The business can sell thread, needles, fabrics, scissors, and tape rules. They make the fashion business easier by selling important things that matter in sewing.
12. Children Store
This is a retail business idea that focuses on kiddies’ items. It is a baby store that sells clothing items, toys, books, furniture, food, and other children’s needs. In addition, children’s stores can focus on unique designs and products for a particular age grade or center on a specific gender.
Having a baby store is one of the most profitable business ideas that you can start in Nigeria. So if you are an entrepreneur with a keen interest in children, starting a baby store is a great option.
13. Electronics And Appliances
This retail business centers on selling equipment intended for everyday use in homes. It is a lucrative business that thrives both online and offline, with everyone being a potential customer. Electronics and appliances can be used at home, offices, factories, etc.
Some of the high demands electronics and appliances include; washing machines, television, refrigerators, vacuums, microwaves, computers and laptops, gas cookers, mixers, blenders, e.t.c.
14. Kitchen Items
Kitchen items are also one of the profitable products you can sell. It is a wide business area that involves selling bowls, cups, spoons, plates, knives, grater, etc., used for cooking and serving meals. Kitchen items are in high demand at home, bars, hotels, catering schools, and everywhere cooking activities are carried out.
15. Cooking Gas
Without a cooking gas, kitchen utensils will not be useful. In this modern-day, virtually every home in Nigeria cooks with gas. You can start by buying in bulk from the filling plant and selling in kilograms to buyers.
16. Frozen Food
The frozen food business is a retail business idea that buys, stores, and sells meat like chicken, fish, turkey, etc. It is a common business that can be large or small scale.
In this business, almost everyone is your customer. So all you need is a good storage facility and make sure your frozen food items are fresh and free from foul odour and taste.
17. Paint Business
This is a retail business idea where you sell paint and painting equipment. It goes hand in hand with a house painting business. This business requires buying paints from manufacturers or distributors and selling in retail to the final consumers. Your major customers can be painters or individuals, or companies buying on behalf of the painter.
18. Building Materials
This involves selling building materials such as roofing sheets, iron rods, pipes, doors, electrical materials, windows, ceiling materials, etc. It is a very lucrative business that sells more around new construction sites.
19. Animal Care Store
Animal care store is a vast business area that deals with medical supplies for pets, cows, goats, poultry feeds, fish feeds, etc. It can be operated by an entrepreneur who has full knowledge of animal life or a veterinarian.
Animal care stores can offer specific services for a particular animal like dog, chicken, or fish, or comprehensive animal care.
Congratulation! Now, you know some of the business ideas you can start. Next, I will provide you with steps to follow to start the business and become successful.
Step By Step Plan On How To Start A Retail Store
Before you start a business, conduct market research and plan. Research and planning should involve identifying your target audience and their needs. Also, you need to know the product that will solve their problem. In addition, you need to understand the market and the competition.
This understanding will help you create and sell products that are relevant to your audience. Let’s then move forward.
Step 1: Register The Business
Registering your business with CAC is the first step to structuring your business. A business can be registered as a sole proprietorship, private, or limited liability company. You can complete your registration yourself on the CAC website.
Alternatively, you can employ the service of ReDahlia. ReDahlia offers business support services tailored to entrepreneurs.
Once the business is registered, request your Tax identification number and open a business account with any bank of your choice.
Step 2: Write A Business Plan
Whatever retail business idea appeals to you, having a good business plan is important. A business plan is a written document that serves as a guide from the startup phase through the business’s life. It is one of the ways to make your business ideas a reality. Also, with a business plan, you can seek financial support from investors and financial institutions. Entrepreneurs.ng will help you prepare a business plan tailored to your location and the funds available to you.
Step 3: Plan For Finance
To keep the business running smoothly before profit starts coming in, there is a need to plan for finance. This can involve sourcing for investment to cover startup and running costs for at least the first few months of operation.
For a retail business, you can bootstrap if you have the funding. Also, you can borrow from friends and family, banks, or seek out investors. There are also grant opportunities you can apply to. We publish funding opportunities on the opportunities section of Entrepreneurs.ng, so you must keep a tab because it might just be what you’re looking for.
Step 4: Choose Location and Set Up
A retail shop is fit for public spaces like bus stops, markets, roadside, or residential areas with a sizeable number of people. It should have a parking space and be large enough to accommodate customers to move around.
Also, there should be adequate security, light, and water. Then, the shelves should be structured so that customers can see varieties of products.
You can lease, rent, or buy a building, depending on your financial capacity. Just ensure the location and the space is fit for your business offering.
Step 5: Source For The Goods
Your choice of goods is what will set you apart from your competitors. Therefore, you must choose products that customers want to keep them coming back.
You can work directly with manufacturers, wholesalers, and importers to source viable products. You can also produce by yourself as long as you have the skill to do so. Before you make any purchase, do due diligence on the products and sellers.
Some of the best places to source goods include; trade fairs, exhibition networks, online business directories, certified manufacturers, wholesalers, or dropship. Also, keep abreast of what is happening in the industry; changes in taste and price.
Step 6: Hire Employees
The number of employees you need will vary depending on the size, type of product, opening hours, pattern of trade, business location, etc. More so, as a business owner, you can start alone and employ more hands as the business grows.
In hiring employees, consider people with experience, problem-solving skills, or those willing to learn. This is because their services can impact customers’ views of you. Hence, they must show a certain level of expertise in product features, options, usage, etc.
Some of the employees to hire for a retail store include; a manager, storekeeper, cashier, cleaner, accountant, sales personnel, etc.
Step 7: Promote The Business
Getting customers for your business is key. Hence, you need to be strategic and creative in promoting your retail store.
Firstly, social media is a great place for retail stores to promote their products. In order words, you can use the platform to your advantage by promoting your business and adding value to customers.
Social media channels often used for business promotion include Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Youtube, and Pinterest. Also, list your store on online business directories.
Secondly, you also need to invest in offline promotional materials like flex banners and flyers that can be distributed to prospective customers.
In addition, offer periodic discounts, coupons, and promos. This is a great way to entice new customers and get them to buy more. As you grow, you can contribute to your community by being socially responsible. This will increase your store’s reputation and attract new customers.
In conclusion, retail businesses are easy to start. However, to succeed in it, you must follow all the outlined steps. Do you have a retail business? We will like to hear how you started it and your experience in the comments.
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