One question that keeps popping up on average Nigerians’ minds is ‘what business can I start with little or no capital?’ The present state of Nigeria’s economy has made side hustle a must to survive. Low-cost business ideas are the safest route to go for anyone at all.
Both the employed and unemployed now think beyond white-collar and government jobs. We know that those might never come in the long run. Many people are focused on identifying where their strengths lie and seeing the things they can achieve without working for anyone.
The world is evolving. New ideas emerge daily and the self-employed are continuously recording higher income than those in the government sector. Many make thousands of dollars in the comfort of their home.
So, in this article, you’ll find 7 businesses you can start with less than 50k (Nigerian Naira) and become an employer of labour with time.
7 Low-Cost Businesses You Can Start with Little to Zero Income
To start a dry cleaning business, you need little capital and your potential customers are everywhere. An average Nigerian works beyond the normal working hours and their weekends are lined up with lots of activities. They get so tired and weak to do their laundry which leaves them with no other option than to use the services of a dry cleaner.
Dry cleaning is a low-cost business that only requires you to go from house to house and tell people about what you do. Visit offices and tell friends to introduce you to those around them. You don’t even need to own a shop; your house is more than enough space for dry cleaning. Assemble washing basins, a washing machine (if you have one), detergents, pressing iron, ironing table, generator, hangers, nylons for neat packing, tags, and a register book. Your location is set!
No matter how much you charge, you will make profits. Avoid being greedy or over-generous when charging your customers. You can either decide to have a fixed price or charge your customers based on their pockets, that is, the richer the client, the more you charge.
To have an idea of how to price your services, study the charges of known laundry merchants. Make your charges as pocket-friendly as you can since the price is a huge influencer on people’s decisions. Also, make your services flexible for those who don’t have the time to bring their clothes down to you or come back to get them. Delivery would certainly attract an additional cost, so you should prepare for that.
Be strategic with your location, terms and conditions, and the services you render. Most importantly, tell people about your business.
The farming business is another low-cost business that does not need a huge capital to venture into it. You can use a part of your compound for plants, or a corner in your home for the livestock (preferably poultry or snails).
If your compound is good for planting, start by growing annual crops like vegetables, peppers and beans. These take about three to six months to become ripe for harvest and sales. If you’re considering livestock farming, only think of animals like snails, fish, poultry, and others that won’t require more space than you have.
If you don’t mind the smell, you can use a part of your room for the chickens. That is if you’re not staying alone in the compound and you’re worried about your neighbours. All you need is to take proper care of the compound and the room. With time you’ll begin to make money from the proceeds.
You can also grill or make barbecue from the livestock products and sell them. Or get a freezer and start selling the animal parts as a frozen meat business. The possibilities are endless with small-scale farming. With less than 50K and strong dedication, you’ll be set for a long time.
Read also: How to start a poultry business in Nigeria
Most parents these days are either too lazy or too busy to help their children with school work. Those who fall into this category are always on the lookout for a home tutor for their kids/wards.
Also, Nigerian schools have made after-school lessons a routine such that teachers are too tired to take up any private lesson offer. This particular low-cost business requires your education experience and your willingness to impact young children.
You can either speak with parents directly or speak with a teacher about your availability as a home tutor. Some parents prefer recommendations from a trusted teacher, so make friends with teachers around you. Always chip it in whenever you’re discussing so that they’ll easily remember you when there’s an offer.
If you’re going directly to the parents, get fliers or complimentary cards with the little money you have. Go to malls or places where parents visit with their children for fun/relaxation and distribute your fliers. Don’t go to these places looking hungry and scruffy. You don’t want to scare people off; you want them to trust you.
Guess what? You can also start an online business with little to no capital? Join our WhatsApp community to know how.
The errand business is one people are not paying enough attention to. There are people out there who find it hard to do some house chores. One important thing you need for this low-cost business is ‘packaging’. Don’t knock on people’s doors looking rejected. You will only end up attracting insults, not clients. Even if some people decide to engage your services, they will end up paying very little for it. Your presentation matters.
To attract big clients, dress big, and be intentional with your look. You don’t need to get designer wear or expensive clothes to look big, just look good and smell good.
Design fliers or complimentary cards that clearly state the details of your services and availability. Visit offices, big malls, and every other place you know the rich would always gather and distribute your fliers/cards.
If you’re a friend to any MC, speak with them and see how they can either announce your services at an event or drop the fliers on tables. You can also visit event centres or hotels and see if they’ll be needing the services of a cleaner after an event. This is the most overlooked business you can start with less than 50K, and the market for your services is very huge.
While cleaning the homes of your clients, you can offer to run errands or help them with deliveries. Since you’ve already earned their trust from cleaning the house, it won’t be so difficult to upsell other services.
Another good thing about this low-cost business is that you can grow exponentially within a few months. Once your first client loves your work and trusts you, they will definitely mention you within their circle of friends. Word of the mouth is your surest marketing tool here, so be diligent. With time, you can employ people and designate a house for them based on an agreement between your clients and you.
You don’t have to own a shop before you start the printing/branding business. All you need is someone who already owns one, and a ready market for printing products.
Approach any printer who already has a shop to strike a deal. Tell them you’ll get customers for them but at an agreed rate, so when you add your commission, it won’t be too pricey. Once you reach an agreement, start advertising your printing/branding business.
Note: Do not stick to just one printing house. The higher your connections, the better your income flow.
Become a used car seller
This is also like the printing/branding business. As you take a stroll out of your house, lookout for a ‘For Sale’ sign on any car. You can go to a car repair shop for better chances of seeing used cars for sale. Speak with the person in charge and inform them of your intentions. Ask about the price and negotiate so when you add your commission, it won’t be too high for potential customers.
Take the interior and exterior pictures of the car in a clean state and begin to upload on different social media platforms. Also, make sure to keep in touch with the seller so you will always be aware of a car’s availability status.
Printing advertising and selling used cars are only profitable when you have a large network of collaborators. In these cases, the people around you are way more important than that 50K you want to invest.
If you are a car owner, you can put your car up for a commercial driving business like Uber. Due diligence is very important so you are sure that the person you are giving your car is trustworthy. You both can agree on a daily, weekly, or monthly commission. As a starter, I’d advise that you work with either daily or weekly commissions. Monthly commissions can cause heartbreak.
Either rent out your car, or you find out about those who want to give out their cars for Uber business. As long as you can drive, don’t worry about how many places you know in your town, the google map is there to guide you and you can always ask.
Read also: Tips you need to chase your dreams
The rate at which expenditures rise above received incomes calls for a second and a third source of income. Whether you’re an undergraduate, a recent graduate or a corper, if you have small money and you know you’re interested in business, pick a number and start in-depth research. There are many more businesses you can start with less than 50K. If none on this list applies to you, keep searching and hold on to the right mindset.
Do you know of any low-cost business that is highly profitable and often overlooked in Nigeria? Share your thoughts in the comment box, or connect with us on Whatsapp for an engaging conversation and access to low income business ideas.
About the Author
Tayo Owojaiye is a content writer who creates written content that boosts sales and increases brand visibility. She is presently a content contributor with insight.ng and The Writers Tv.
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