How to Start a Provision Store in Nigeria

Provision store is an outlet where home consumables such as food items and other goods are sold. It is usually smaller than a supermarket. Provision store business is one of the quick-to-start businesses in Nigeria. And also one of the fastest businesses you can start to make money without much hassle. The business involves renting a shop or store and stocking up the shop with basic house hold items and products that people need and use on a daily basis.

How to start a provision store in Nigeria

Provision Store

Starting a provision store is a lucrative business to do considering the fact that all products sold at provision store are fast selling products. As a Provision store dealer, you can buy in wholesale from trusted suppliers or producers and sell in retail to retailers and consumers. At this, you’ll be making profit daily and also stand the chance of getting annual commissions from your suppliers or producers.

One major challenge that has hidden the success of many provision store business in Nigeria is bad location. You need to site your provision store in a strategic location if you really want to succeed in this business.  Provision stores that are located in strategic areas (highly populated residential area and market roadside) make huge sales on daily basis. This is because; most consumers will prefer to buy their household items from nearby provision store rather than visiting big market places. And any serious supplier or distributor who is out for business will always get to your location to supply products or goods.

Let’s look at how to start a provision store in Nigeria, but before then, we have list of fast selling items you can sell at your provision store. You’re free to start with our list of fast selling provision store items/ products or add more items to them depending on your capital.

List of Fast Selling Items on Provision Store

  • Detergents – Ariel, Sunlight, Viva Plus, Zip, OMO
  • Soft drinks – Coke, Fanta, Pepsi, Five Alive, Chivita, etc.
  • Beverages: Bournvita, Sugar, Milk (Peak, Three Crown, Loya Milk, Nunu Milk)
  • Washing and bathing Soap – Lux, Dettol, DuduOsun
  • Water: Sachet and bottled water.
  • Diapers, Sanitary Pad, etc.
  • Spices: Maggi, Salt, Curry,
  • Mini-stationery – books, pen, pencils, erasers, rulers,etc
  • Snacks: Buns, Egg roll, Fish Roll, Biscuit, Bread
  • Pasta- macaroni, spaghetti, cuscus.
  • Noodles –Indomie, Cherie, Chiki, Golden Penny
  • Toiletries – toilet paper, toilet soap
  • Egg
  • Make-up like powder, perfume, body lotion.
  • Cooking oil (red and vegetable oil)
  • Alcoholic Drinks.
  • Tomato (tin and sachet)
  • Foodstuff in bags – rice, beans, garri.
  • Energy Drinks: Ribena blackcurrant Juice, Lucozade Boost regular drink, Power horse Energy drink.
  • Others like toothbrushes, toothpaste, shaving stick, and lots more.

How to Start a Provision Store in Nigeria

Carryout Market Survey

The first step towards starting a provision store in Nigeria is to carryout market survey. Carrying out a market survey will help you to ascertain those top selling brands in the market and those that aren’t selling. Also, there are some new brands that are still trying to find their feet in the market; these new brands will be ready to offer you huge discounts if you can buy their products in wholesale.  You’ll easily discover these brands during your market survey.

In summary, carrying out a market survey will help you to find out the following about provision store business:

  • Products that are in high demand.
  • The time (of the day, week and month) customers do make a lot of purchases.
  • The demographic of your customers.
  • Common complaints of customers.
  • Provision items that are far from buyers.

Get a Good Location

The next step is to get a good location for the provision store. There is nothing that can hurt sales more than bad location.  I have said this earlier. A good location will increase your daily sales and also give you an edge over your competitors. I always suggest getting a location or renting a store close to where people live. Some good locations for a provision store include:

  • School – especially higher institutions of learning.
  • Streets in residential areas, especially where there is a T-junction.
  • General market – where people usually go to buy those things that they want.

Any location that usually brings people together is a good location for a provision store.

Decide on What to Sell

Deciding on what to sell at your provision store is the next step you’ll take. Most provision stores sell basic domestic or household products that people consume at home. But, it is important to combine all the high demand products and articles that are consumed by the people within and outside your vicinity.

Some products that are fast selling in another location may not sell in your location may be due to religious believe, ethnic and other difference. For this reason, you need a good market feasibility study before deciding on what products to sell. A good market feasibility study will help you deciding the best products that to sell.

There are so many products in the market that you can stock in your provision store. We have shown you above some list of fast selling products that are sold in most provision stores in Nigeria. You’re free to copy our list, add or remove items from the list.

Raise Capital

Once you’ve come up with what to sell on your provision store, the next step is to raise capital for buying those items. Unless you’re sure you have enough capital for the start up and a good financial backup, you may not need to border at this point.

Some of the ways you can raise capital to start a provision store will include:

  • Family and relations financial support
  • Partnership – If you can’t raise the money alone, you can partner with someone who is willing to start the business with you. However, care must be taken and agreement signed to void misunderstanding which may occur in the near future.
  • Church financial assistance – you can write a letter to your church appealing for financial support of your business
  • SME Loan – you can also apply through appropriate channel for SME Loan
  • Philanthropist
  • Corporate body or organization grants

The capital needed to start a provision store business in Nigeria will depend on the location of the store (usually more expensive in urban than the rural areas), size of the store (the bigger the size the more capital you may require) and volume or number of products that you want to stock your shop with.

Rent a Store

After you’ve raised a substantial capital, the next step is to rent a store. You can rent a space, construct a shop and partition it for better look. When constructing the shop, you need to put up a well design structure with easy accessibility to on-stock items to help speed up the time of transaction. Placing seats where some customers can sit on is not out of place. When renting and demarcating your store, consider putting in place:

  • Good ventilation
  • Well secured from thieves
  • Easy targeting by customers
  • Good lightening.

The price of renting a shop in most urban places starts from ₦50,000 to as high as ₦1000, 000. The price will depend on the location you have chosen.

On the other hand, you can use a Caravan to run your provision store but this will likely increase the cost of getting the store set up for the business.

Name Your Store (and, register the name)

Naming your store and if possible registering your store’s business name is another step to take when starting a provision store. It is always good to name your store, in other to give your provision store an identity. This will not only set your business apart from your competitors but will also help your customers to spread the message of your business to others.

When naming your store; give your shop a name that is:

  • Easy to pronounce
  • Memorizable
  • Easy to remember – names like De-Best Provision store, Lucky Provision store, Honeycomb, etc are easy to remember, memorize or pronounce.

In addition, you can also register the name of your store with Corporate Affairs Commission of Nigeria (CAC). This will add a plus to your business. With your business name registered on CAC, you’ll have access to apply for bank loan and also have opportunity to supply items or products to government institutions and corporate organizations.

Stock Your Store

Having gotten a store with a name, the next step is to stock your provision store. You can buy stocks directly from manufacturers or major distributors of products that you want to sell. Below are estimated distributor/wholesale prices of major products that you will find in most provision stores.

SOFT DRINKS:

  • Sprite 60cl (12 per pack) ….. ₦2,000 – ₦2,500
  • La Casera apple 50cl (12 per pack) …. ₦1,000 – ₦1,200
  • Teem Bitter Lemon (12 per pack) …… ₦1,000 – ₦1,500
  • 7up bottle drink (12 per pack) …… ₦1,000 – ₦1,500
  • Pepsi drink (12 per pack) ….. ₦1000 – ₦1,500
  • Maltin pet plastic bottles (12 per pack) ….. ₦1,500 – ₦2,000
  • Fanta orange 60cl …. ₦1,200 – ₦1,500
  • Coca-cola 5Alive fruit drink 35cl ….. ₦1,500 – ₦2,000
  • Caprisun 40 pouches (variety pack juice) …. ₦7,500 – ₦8,500
  • Bigi Cola plastic 600ml (12 per pack) …. ₦1,000 – ₦2,000
  • Mirinda Orange plastic bottles (12 per pack) ….. ₦1000 – ₦1,500

ENERGY DRINKS

  • Power Horse 250ml …. ₦8,000 – ₦9,000
  • Red Bull 250ml …. ₦8,000 – ₦9,500

NOODLES

  • Indomie Chicken (70g x 40 pcs) …. ₦1900 – ₦2,200
  • Indomie Onion (70g x 40 pcs) … ₦2,100 – ₦2,300
  • Indomie Super Pack 120g X 40 pcs …. ₦3,300 – ₦3,500
  • Chikinoodles 100g X 40pcs … ₦3,000 – ₦3,200
  • Golden Penny noodles 70g X 40pcs … ₦2,100 – ₦2,300
  • Indomie Hungry Man 200g x 24pcs …. ₦4,300 – ₦4,500

PASTA

  • Golden Penny spaghetti (500g) …. ₦250–₦300
  • Dangote Macaroni (500g) ….. ₦250 – ₦300
  • Dangote spaghetti (500g) …. ₦250 – ₦300
  • Power spaghetti (500g)…. ₦250 – ₦300
  • Bonita spaghetti (500g) ….. ₦250 – ₦300

COOKING OIL

  • Palm Oil 25L …. ₦10,000 –₦13,000
  • Power vegetable oil (3litres) …. ₦2,400 – ₦2,600
  • Kings vegetable oil (5liters) ….. ₦2,900 – ₦3,000

BEVERAGE MILK

  • Peak evaporated milk (x48): ₦8,000 –₦9,000
  • Hollandiaplain sweetness yogurt: ₦2,000 – ₦3,000
  • VitamilkSoya milk (12 bottles) …. ₦4,000 – ₦5,000
  • Nutri-C milk (12 bottles) …. ₦2,000 – ₦2,500
  • Peak powdered milk 400g tin ….. ₦1,150 – ₦1,300
  • Dano powdered milk 500g tin …. ₦900 – ₦1,000
  • Peak milk refill 500g … ₦950 – ₦1,200
  • Bournvita refill 900g …. ₦1,900 – ₦2,000
  • Loya powdered milk 400g tin …. ₦800 – ₦1,000
  • Milo refill 900g …. ₦1,900 – ₦2,000

SPICES (RETAIL PRICE)

  • Maggi (one pack) ….. ₦300 – ₦450
  • Salt (one pack) … ₦50–₦150

COMMODITIES IN 50KG BAGS

  • Bag of rice (50kg) …. ₦17,500 – ₦30,000
  • Bag of beans (50kg) …. ₦30,000 – ₦39,000
  • Bag of Sugar (50kg) … ₦20,000 – ₦21,000

The prices are generally influenced by location. For example, it is more expensive to buy some of these commodities in major cities like Lagos, Abuja, and Port Harcourt, etc.

Offer good Customer Service

In other to drive a continuous sale, you need to offer good customer service. You probably won’t be the only one having a provision store that will be selling what you are going to sell. The way you treat your customers will determine if they’ll return back or drive them away from your provision store.

For best customers’ service:

  • Don’t be rude to your customers.
  • Don’t sell above the general price of commodities.
  • Respond quickly to your customers’ complaints.
  • Ensure a friendly buying and selling environment.

When a customer notices that offer good customer’s service, they will stick with you and attract more customers to your store.

Adopt a POS Payment Option

Being in cashless economy and a digital era, you can add a point of sale (POS) service to your provision store to increase your method of accepting payments for goods. A customer may want to make payments for goods using an ATM cards and whereby it is unavailable, you’ll likely lose such sales. So, in other not to miss occasional sales; add point of sale services to provision store. This will make it easy for your customer to pay and you will also make some commission from the POS usage.

In Conclusion: Provision store falls under the buying and selling category of business that requires a good stock keeping record. Gone are those days, you have to keep thick notebook of your on-stock and out-of-stock products. It is now better to keep a database of your on-stock and out-of-stock.

Follow the above steps to start a profitable provision store. Without doubt, it is just a good template that you can replicate. One good thing about the provision store business is that you don’t need to produce or own some products before you can start a provision store.

To make money in this business; you need to open chains of stores within the same area, ensuring that those stores are not too close to each other. If you must beat your competitors, you have to employ sale person and accountant to assist you.

How profitable is the provision store business?

Most successful provision stores makes ₦20,000 and even more per day. It all depends on the size of your provision store and the location. On some products, you can make a profit of ₦20 for a single sale; while for other products, you can make up to ₦300 and even more for a single sale.

 

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