It is very common for someone to boldly say “I don’t need a mini importation business plan. I am just doing a side business”.
Business simply means buying and selling to make profit. It doesn’t matter whether it is classified as a side hustle, or full-time business.
What makes someone or a brand more successful than the other is their sense of direction to purpose.
I have learnt that most people just decided to join the mini importation bandwagon just because their best friends are either uploading pictures of bags, sneakers, shoes on WhatsApp and Instagram.
That is still good.
And some are already frustrated because what they perceived to exist is actually not what they are seeing.
This is where a mini importation business plan comes into play.
A business plan is like a road-map to your mini importation business’s success. Just like a lecturer to his books and study materials.
He can’t handle the whole semester without having a detailed course outline. That is what a business plan does to your success.
Your own mini importation business plan can be written on a piece of paper, a note app or even well detailed. You don’t need Google to help you with formats on how it will look like.
That is why I shared what is realistic to help you define your business plan. (Download Mini Importation Plan PDF, click here).
Doing this will set you apart from the noise on the internet. A lot of people are already in this mini importation but you need to be unique.
More than 80% of mini importers only know how to copy links from 1688, paste to shipping agents, start collecting money from family and friends in the name of pre-order, finally running in debts.
Posting alone of Instagram, WhatsApp even Facebook won’t make you your first ₦300,000, ₦500,000, ₦1,000,000.
And that’s what most people do. Sadly, no one care to teach that even when one paid for a course.
The beauty of having a business plan is that it is scalable as your business progresses; you’re more likely to see what will work and what will not work.
You see the future of your business with a business plan written by yourself.
Get started to draft your business plan. You don’t need Google or a special assistant to do that.
Understanding who your customers are and what product to sell to them.
Before I started my mini importation journey, I was quite fascinated because I was very sociable with lots of friends on my Facebook and WhatsApp.
I already concluded that once my products enter Nigeria, it won’t take long until my friends buy them off.
Should I burst your bubble? I was disappointed.
Nobody bought my goods. The least they did was to say “Nice this nice that”, “Chuks, please dash me o”. Like seriously?
BEFORE YOU CONSIDER IMPORTING ANYTHING,
You should first consider who your customers are.
This is what I mean.
Someone contacted me one time and asked “Chuks, how can I buy cheap goods from 1688 so that I can make big profits?”
I paused for some moment and started correlating the question to the answer. Obviously, the answer is in the question.
As you have read online about 1688, it is where one can buy the cheapest products in China.
So, the question to where she can buy cheap goods simply means that she’s definitely looking for the least of the least which does not make sense.
In choosing your product choices, customer experience is put first. You don’t just start looking for the cheapest product to sell so as to make huge profits.
Profits are good, really.
There is a school of thought that the higher the price of a product, the higher its quality.
This very perception narrows who you’re likely to sell to.
Let’s say that you bought a wristwatch from 1688 for ₦1200 including landing cost and sold it for ₦15000. Not everyone is going to buy that watch from you.
Some would prefer to buy from roadside that sells at most ₦1500 knowing fully that it may breakup as soon as possible.
While some would buy your watch because they have perceived the value with respect to the price.
So what happens to your customers if their watches finally broke down in less than 3months? Would they still buy from you next time?
It is better to focus on your customer’s experience than the profits you will make.
No customer = No sales == You’re broke!
I have sold more items to my return customers than new customers. It is very easy to sell to old customers than a stranger.
I understand what it cost to get a customer and what it takes to retain them over and over again.
What brings your customers back??
It is the experience your products, your customer service gave them. My products are not cheap – The least I can sell is ₦12,000 to ₦16,000. I sell more of ₦16,000.
The values and experiences my product and my sound customer service give is second to none. I have a bragging right remember.
If you wish to settle for products and customers that bring you ₦3000 and still come back to give you headache, that is your choice.
It is a smart work remember? No headache zone.
Points to take home:
- Find your market, be passionate about being successful in that niche.
- You don’t really need your status viewers to make you fortune in business. Most of them will never give their kobo to you.
- You should entirely remove the mindset that you’re limited with friends and network to sell to. 65.1% of Nigerians are online which is even expected to grow to 84.5% by 2023. (Source: Statista). Spread your marketing to other 130 million Nigerians online that would be interested in whatever you sell.
- Learn customer acquisition and relationship skills. Follow up, after sale services rock in Nigeria. People are afraid to buy online, change their perspective about online shopping with your mesmerizing customer service. Don’t be a regular Nigerian that just sell stuff and disappear.
- Invest more in products you offer. Take yourself to be in the same as your customer. Would you buy that product if it were you? Can you pay that amount? Can you pay before delivery?
I want to draw your attention to something very important.
- Managing your finances and capital to reinvest,
- Branding your product to sell.
Managing your finances and capital to reinvest
It involves how to make good use of your investment capital.
- Where to outsource your products,
- How to order your products – self or agents,
- What shipping method to use,
- Reinvesting into mini importation opportunity.
Branding your product to sell
Since a lot of people simply upload same photos of sneakers, bags, clothes on Instagram, Facebook, WhatsApp, branding gives your products a better shape out of multitudes.
I hope you found this article helpful.