The logistics business is a booming business sector in Nigeria. Since the outbreak of Covid-19, which has resulted in limited movements; more people are turning online to purchase the goods and services they want. Thus, as the e-commerce business thrives; the logistics business becomes highly crucial as people MUST get the services and products they have paid for.
The history of logistics can be traced to the military; particularly during World War I and II. Here, logistics was used as a means to transport foods, weapons and other supplies during the course of the war. But when the war ended, logistical didn’t end, rather it became a full-fledged business that has become a source of livelihood for thousands of people today.
Basically, logistics businesses are a part of the supply chain management responsible for ensuring goods and services from companies get to their final consumers. Some call it a delivery business while others call it a transportation business. Either way, at the heart of the logistics business, is moving goods from manufacturer or supplier to the final users.
As the logistics business continues to be in high demand, more people are seeking to venture into starting a logistics business of their own. The process is not so difficult. In this article, I will show how to start a thriving logistics business in Nigeria.
But first, let’s consider how profitable a logistics business is.
How Profitable Is A Logistics Business
When you consider the likes of big logistics firms like GIG Logistics, United Parcel Services (UPS), FedEx, etc, then you will agree that the logistics business is profitable. However, the profitability of a logistics business is dependent on a lot of factors. Some of these are; how many customers you can acquire per time, your pricing strategy, and delivery efficiency.
For instance, let’s say you have 30 customers whom you handle their logistics needs and these customers make up to 200 deliveries per month. This means that at the end of the month, you would have made 6000 deliveries. This demonstrates that the logistics business is profitable, it’s all about devising a good strategy to attract new customers and retain them.
Step By Step Guide To Start A Logistics Business In Nigeria
Determine your mode of operation
Will your logistics business operate with bikes, trucks, cars, or buses? Will you be involved with interstate or intrastate delivery? Are you going to focus on a particular industry or sector? Do you want to begin as an agent, transporter or contractor? These questions will help you answer your mode of operation as a logistics firm.
The beautiful thing about kick-starting your logistics business is that you don’t necessarily have to start full-fledged, especially if you don’t have the capital. You can begin as an agent, transporter or contractor. As an agent, you stand as an intermediary between a Logistics business and a business. Here you get a commission on every business you bring. As a transporter, you are involved in the delivery of goods and services to the final consumers. As a contractor, once you receive the contract you can contact a transporter
Research on other logistics firms
The essence of this is so that you can learn from them and what right strategies to implement in your logistic business. The Logistics business is becoming competitive, hence, you need to stand out. Standing out means you must bring in something unique from what others are offering. The best way to find these out is to research them. You should also research how successful Logistics businesses started so that you know how to plan, stay patient and motivated, and be profitable as well.
Draw out your business plan
Your business plan should be a comprehensive document showing how you intend to run your logistics business, your goals and objectives and how you intend to achieve them. A well-written business plan also opens you up to funding opportunities. The information that should be in your business plan are:
- An overview of your logistics business
- Executive Summary
- General company description
- SWOT analysis
- Market Research
- Your Strategy
- The Team
- A marketing plan
- An operational plan
- Financial projection
- An appendix
Get sufficient funding and capital
Most businesses require funding to start. If you are not starting out as an agent or contractor, then you need to get enough capital and funding to acquire the equipment and manpower you will need. The mode of operation of your logistics business will determine how much you need to start. Advice is, if you don’t have robust capital, rather than buying brand new buses, trucks, or motorcycles, you can opt for fairly used until your business becomes profitable and you can afford one.
Acquire the necessary equipment
Once you have secured funding or have the needed capital, then go buy the equipment you need. Equipment needed for a logistics business includes;
- Bus/Truck/Cargo Bike
- Computer System
- Mobile Phone
- Accounting and other Software
- Dispatch Box
Register your business with CAC
In Nigeria, registering your logistics business with the Corporate Affairs Commission demonstrates to your potential customers that your business is structured and credible. This makes it easy for you to secure customers in large organizations. In addition, you can’t open a corporate account with your business registration certificate.
Set up an official website
In the 21st century, a website is crucial for your business growth and expansion. It’s a potent way to attract more customers as you become visible online. Via your website, you can also attend to customers that need your service by including a spot where customers can make delivery orders. Your contact details, office address and email should also be mentioned on your website.
Get an office space
As your business grows and expands, you will need office space where clients can meet with you face to face. Also, let your office have a welcoming warmth and enough space to park your delivery cars/bikes/trucks. Don’t forget to brand your delivery cars/bikes/trucks with your business name to create more awareness and attract more customers.
Hire trained staff
Your staff should be those who are qualified to do the job you employed them to. Ensure your transporters or drivers are those who know the nook and cranny of the areas they are to make delivery to.
Market your business
Without marketing, you are limited in the number of customers you attract. Advertise your logistics business both online and offline. Here are some of the marketing channels you can explore:
- Word of mouth
- Social media advertising
- Newspaper publications
- Google advert
Starting a logistics business is simple and quite straightforward. While you are in the process of running your business, ensure to be patient and not give up at the slightest show of setback. Follow the steps itemized above to Kickstart your own logistics business.
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