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Home BUSINESS IDEAS How to Start a Lucrative Mini-exportation Business in Nigeria

How to Start a Lucrative Mini-exportation Business in Nigeria

Nigerian export trade is a very profitable industry, but only a select few astute businessmen have been able to fully realize its vast potential. If you ask Nigerian business owners why they are not enthusiastic about exports, they would either respond that the industry requires a lot of cash or that there are too many obstacles. 

Both claims, however, are untrue. 

If you know what you’re doing, exporting is not capital-intensive and there aren’t many industry bottlenecks. Being a good exporter requires paying enough attention because exporting is a process that demands a lot of serious thought and should never be done lightly. 

In today’s global economy, an exportation is still a secure option for companies and the government to sell their surplus goods or services to other countries at rates higher than those offered on their domestic market. 

Additionally, exporting expands access to a bigger customer base and creates jobs that are beneficial to the economy. We’ll examine just how export trade, or mini-exportation, can be done profitably straight from Nigeria in this post. Although not comprehensive, this article might serve as a guide for understanding how to launch your own mini-exportation firm in Nigeria.

So, let’s get started.

And what exactly is export trade? 

Simply said, import trade is the polar opposite of export trade. 

It entails shipping commodities from Nigeria to another nation after they have been packaged. The number of goods you can export from Nigeria is nearly as much as the number of goods you can import into Nigeria. 

Simply make sure the item you are exporting is not on the Import Prohibition List of the country you are exporting to or the Export Prohibition List maintained by Nigerian Customs.

Here is the Nigerian Customs’ list of exports that are prohibited: 

• Raw hides and skin (including Wet Blue and all unfinished leather)

• Rough or sawn timber 

• Maize 

• Scrap metal

• Rubber latex and lumps that haven’t been treated

• Artifacts and antiquities 

• Products made from endangered wildlife species, such as Crocodiles, Elephants, Lizards, Eagles, Monkeys, Zebras, and Lions, among others. 

Mini-Exporting Enterprise 

Before starting your own export trade firm from Nigeria, you don’t require millions of Naira. Many people who are significantly less financially stable than you are succeeding in the export industry.

To further clarify the foregoing, did you know that you can launch a mini-exportation firm with as little as 200,000 Naira? 

Yes, 200k will work well to start up your mini-export company. The largest obstacle for many is not, in reality, the capital required to begin an export business. Finding the ideal customers to buy from you is the key challenge. 

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How to Launch a Mini Export 

With the proper equipment, you can launch your own mini-exportation company in Nigeria. You must have a few things in place before you can effectively start exporting items out of Nigeria, just as you do when you wish to import goods into the nation. 

Finding the appropriate contacts of buyers

Having the necessary contacts who have a demand for locally sourced items is the first step in launching your mini-exportation firm. In the absence of these customers, there would be no export business at all. This means that you must first locate them. 

Export Agreement 

Businesses make up the majority of your potential customers, and they typically hold off on paying you until you give them an invoice. 

Therefore, it is preferable to have an export contract between you and the other party outlining how payments will be made. If you are unable to reach an export contract agreement with the buyer, you may be able to find a third party to help you with the export process. This third party may be a person who can vouch for the buyer or an export agency. 

Understanding how to find high-quality export products to source 

The next stage is to source the export goods after you have an export contract in place. 

Sourcing gets much simpler if you are the only supplier of the good. Finding more nearby suppliers may be necessary if the consumer requests more produce than you can provide. 

Having the resources to meet expectations

After finding products for export, you must be able to meet customer demand and export the goods. You must therefore be aware of the packaging specifications and the buyer’s deadlines. If you don’t accomplish these things, the buyer might reject your goods, especially if they are perishable exports. 

Nigerian export trade types 

In Nigeria, there are several ways to execute export shipments. The approach would be determined by your temperament and the kind of export contact you have. 

  • Unmediated B2B export 

When you have your own direct contacts who are buyers from abroad, direct B2B export is used. You may use direct B2B export, for instance, if you have a friend who operates a local kitchen abroad and frequently needs to buy local produce. 

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A nice illustration of mini-exportation is this. 

  • Purchasing for an Export Agency 

Export agencies are organizations that collaborate with significant foreign importers to locate export goods from a number of modest exporters. 

These export companies frequently use their own logistics to ship goods in container loads. In Nigeria, you can work as a procurer for an export agency and earn well. However, you will initially require a contract and license with them. 

What goods are exported?

You can export a wide range of commodities in addition to those that are prohibited by Nigerian Customs. 

Nigerians export primarily agro-related goods because their nation is a wealthy one in terms of agriculture. 

Additionally, the majority of the ingredients and condiments used in our regional cuisine cannot be obtained elsewhere. 

Consequently, Nigerian exporters are the main source of local produce for restaurants serving Nigerian specialities.

Here are a few of the most popular export categories from Nigeria: 

Exports of flowers, processed meat, vegetables, fruits, processed foods, cashew nuts, bitter kola, cotton, shrimp, spices, melon seeds (Egusi), wild mango seeds (Ogbono), and wild mango are only a few examples. 

Goods Exported From Nigeria 

Nigerian exporting is a straightforward procedure. All you have to do is locate a logistics partner and adhere to their handling and packaging instructions. 

FedEx is the primary logistical partner for the majority of Nigerian mini-exporters. This is so that FedEx can deliver rapidly and widely. Once the items are properly packaged, Nigerian Customs rapidly clears them

 at both the export station and the import station of the recipient nation.

Given that there are hundreds of FedEx agents operating throughout Nigeria, you can find a FedEx center wherever you go. 

If you simply Google “FedEx center near me,” you will find a ton of results. Depending on the weight and size of your shipment, you may have to pay a logistical fee for your exported goods. 

How to Find Nigerian Buyers for the Export Trade

You must have access to customers who are prepared and eager to purchase your products if exporting is to be effective. 

Sometimes, an exporter cannot sell their goods to known foreign customers. In this case, he or she must conduct extensive advertising on well-known social media sites like Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and even Whatsapp. 

This will connect you with potential clients by helping spread the word about the existence of your products. The exporter must select a route of export in addition to getting in touch with a required exporting business. 

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You must make these decisions while taking delivery time and cost into consideration. If an exporter doesn’t have a relative living overseas, their preferred means of delivery is either NIPOST or air travel.

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Do not be anxious about the price of flying travel. The additional costs, which also comprise sub-charges like packing costs, must include transportation expenses. Customers will refer you to other companies who require the kind of service you offer after they understand that you consistently meet deadlines. 

A design and packaging kit is also required for your products. It enables clients to distinguish your products from those of other companies. The goal of packing is to offer clean goods and demonstrate your respect for customers. 

For instance, a stockfish exporter should carefully clean and package the stockfish before exporting them. Although you’ll never know exactly how the packaging for these food items will go a long way toward bringing you more deals in the future.

Wrapping things up

Mini-importation and exportation are both lucrative businesses. In contrast, the majority of individuals focus on importing while ignoring exportation another side. 

Another important point to be aware of is that when you export, you make money in other currencies, diversifying your income streams and offering a fantastic hedge against local currency inflation in your own currency. 

Across two or more borders, exporting is a business that is subject to numerous regulations, laws, and specifications. 

For instance, you must meet the Nigerian export standards and the Chinese import requirements if you export cassava from Nigeria to China. It is crucial to remember that Nigeria is quite fortunate when it comes to its agricultural sector; starting a small-scale export business is, therefore, always a wise decision.

If you have questions or comments., you can leave them in the tab below. I would love to hear from you. 

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Usman Atanda
My name is Usman Atanda - the man behind I'm a serial hustler from Lagos, Nigeria. Here at, I cover topics such as Business Ideas, Side Hustle Tips, Business Tips, Side Hustle Ideas and much more. My ultimate goal is to make the building legitimate and lucrative small businesses and side hustle to be achievable.

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