I love service businesses. A lot.
Not only are they easy to do if you have the required skill set, they are money spinners too. You don’t have to keep an inventory or necessarily tie your money down. Once you make the initial spending to set up the business, you can start earning and can make infinite returns on your investment.
There are many categories of service businesses available, but in this post, I will be discussing the ones that don’t require buying and selling like restaurants and supermarkets.
By essential services, I mean the service businesses that already have an established and booming industry, and services that people can not do without. These services are usually needed on a daily basis and have good cash flow.
So, without much ado, let’s take a look at 10 essential service businesses that have the potential to make you a millionaire in Nigeria.
Salon & Spa Services
Salons and Spas are essential businesses that almost everyone patronizes. It could be in the form of a barbing salon or a hairdressing salon. It is a good service business because people need to cut or dress their hair. As long as you are in a good location, you will make good money.
Most salons that are packaged well incorporate spa and also sell other hair care products, which adds to their revenue.
To make more money in this business, you’ll need to distinguish yourself from the others. Due to how lucrative salon and spa business is, more people are now engaging in it, even on a small scale. There are now many salons and spas on makeshift shops on the roadside, who are willing to deliver the service at a cheaper rate.
So, the competition is really fierce in this business niche. You will have to really package your salon or spa business very well and set your fees to be as competitive as possible.
Convenience is usually a good way to package your salon or spa business. How comfortable do your customers feel in your shop? Do you have an air conditioner? Do you have entertainment? I know a hairdressing salon that made a lot of money during the BBNaija season 3. They had the show on TV throughout their working hours, and this made more female customers troop in and patronize them. The show was the right form of packaging for this salon because it provided a popular form of entertainment as well as topics for discussions.
There are many forms of digital marketing, and almost everyone has their own understanding of what digital marketing is. But the fact is, digital marketing offers enormous opportunities for making money.
The form of digital marketing that I want to discuss here is the one that can give you massive profits and possibly help you make millions.
So, what form of digital marketing is this?
I call it the art of selling other people’s products (OPP) Online. The question you should ask is, how many products can I sell online? And the answer is that there is no limit to how many products you can sell online. You could even be making sales while you sleep.
In Nigeria, the concept of digital marketing is still in its infant stage, and many people rarely use it. I daresay that more than 80% of Nigerian small businesses rarely utilize digital marketing. The only few that are riding on the digital marketing wave are smiling to the bank almost on a daily basis, and they are happy that the vast majority of their competitors do not have the skill or understanding of digital marketing.
One advantage that digital marketing gives to any business is that it puts your business on a different playing field. A business that utilizes digital marketing plays on a different level and is well above the factors that inhibit many small businesses.
So, how do you make money with digital marketing?
Simply help local businesses sell their products with a markup. You help them make more sales via digital marketing and you get some commission for your effort. It’s a win-win for everyone involved. You help the customer find products they need, you help businesses make good sales, and you make your own commission.
There are many platforms where you can start your digital marketing business and help businesses make sales. Digital marketing platforms available to Nigerians include Facebook Marketplace, Instagram, Jiji, Jumia, and Olist.
The platform you choose will largely depend on your digital marketing strategy and your budget. Whichever one you choose, there is enormous potential to make good money.
Info marketing of gurus in Nigeria. It is simply the art of selling information and is often done digitally. I will say that info marketing is another form of digital marketing, but in this case, you are selling your knowledge. A popular information marketer in Nigeria, Ronald Nzemora, who is a big advocate of info marketing would always say, “Sell your brain.”
And he is always right because “selling your brain” can be a very lucrative venture and could make you millions if you know your onions.
Info marketing can be as simple as giving your younger ones some studying secrets so that they could study better and be successful with their education. It could also be as complicated as consulting for a company in the area of solar energy.
Even myself writing this article is a form of information marketing. I am giving you this knowledge for free in the hope that I could create value from it over the long term. I could also pull down this article from this blog, package it as a high value eBook, and sell to you.
To start your info marketing business, you must either have vast knowledge in a specific area, or be passionate enough about a subject that you are willing to dig deep to help people find hidden knowledge.
You could also sell information from your experience. Most industry consultants today are simply high-value info marketers. They are in the business of selling their experience to high value clients who pay top dollar for valuable information.
I regard freelancing as “employment on wheels.” It is the highlight of the rental economy of the 21st century. No longer do companies need to hire 100 staff in one building. They’d rather take a global approach to staffing so as to diversify their workforce and pay less in wages.
This need has leveled the playing ground for the global labor market. People in Africa can now compete for jobs alongside people from North America, Europe, and Asia. This essentially means that the economic reality of many would-be freelancers from Africa, especially Nigeria would no longer be on a local basis, rather, on a global context.
I am both an advocate and a strong believer in freelancing. The benefits are enormous, and you get to learn the working culture of many countries. That experience is priceless.
On the other hand, I would say that freelancing pays well. Very well. If you are serious about forging ahead and you are dynamic enough to evolve with the many needs of today’s clients, you will make millions through freelance jobs. I will admit that considering the money I’ve made so far from freelancing, there is no way I could have made that much from working for a company in Nigeria. There will be no chance of that happening unless I get a lot of industry certifications as well as industry connections.
Freelancing made me good money and is still making me good money without needing a godfather or knowing any company insider. I’ve been hired and paid based on my competence alone and that is quite fascinating. You can do the same.
There are a lot of misconceptions about dropshipping in Nigeria. Some people say that it is not possible, while others admit that it is a very difficult business.
First of all, let me define dropshipping. It is simply about selling other people’s products online in a seamless manner. It is another form of digital marketing that is focused on capturing a product niche via advertising and SEO.
A typical dropshipping business is done via a website that lists products for sale, even though there is no actual inventory. When a buyer pays for a product, the dropshipper simply takes out his commission and then uses the rest of the money to purchase the product for the buyer at a cheaper store, which then finally ships the product to the buyer.
The truth is that even though dropshipping is possible in Nigeria, it takes another form due to the shape of the Nigerian market. It’s a fact that Nigerian ecommerce space is still at an infant stage, and the internet buying behavior in Nigeria is still growing. Customers are less likely to pay for a product they have not seen physically due to the fraud situation in Nigeria.
So, dropshipping in Nigeria is quite different from what is obtainable in most advanced countries. I will say that most successful dropshippers in Nigeria do not target Nigerians. They target mostly foreign markets.
However, dropshipping can be done in Nigeria in 2 ways. Firstly, you can do dropshipping in the form of affiliate marketing. Instead of receiving payments on behalf of the company that is actually selling the products, you simply send the customer to the merchant’s website through a unique link known as your affiliate link.
For every buyer that goes to the merchant’s website via your link and buys something, you will receive a commission. This means that the more customers you can send to a merchant, the more money you can make.
Another way to do dropshipping effectively in Nigeria is via the Jumia Global Program. You can sign up as a global merchant on Jumia and start listing products that you can deliver from abroad. All your products will be tagged “shipped from abroad” and customers will have to pay and wait for the product to be shipped.
This is so cool because you will make your shipping with the assurance that the customer has already paid and your money is secured in the Jumia escrow vault. The price of products sold on Jumia Global include the cost of purchasing the product from abroad, the shipping fees, the custom fees if any, and the dropshipping commission, all priced in Naira.
YouTube is a great way to make money in Nigeria right now. But while you can make money via Adsense advert display, you can also make money by offering sponsored adverts and services to your audience.
In fact, the biggest way to make the most money on YouTube is to offer sponsored adverts and services. That is why I believe anyone can make money on YouTube even if they don’t have original videos. The idea is to hack the growth of a YouTube channel and use the popularity of that channel to make money in different ways.
I know of a particular YouTube channel that reposts comedy videos on his channel. He doesn’t own the videos, but he put a takedown disclaimer that he is ready to take down any video on the request of the original owner. What he does is edit the videos, and then put a sales advert in between each video.
So, when someone watches the comedy videos on this particular channel, they also see the adverts in-between each video. This way, this guy actually makes a lot of money from videos he doesn’t own, by advertising and selling products and services.
SaaS App Services
Over the past decade, mobile penetration has grown steadily in Nigeria. Most people now access the internet and online services via their smartphones. This new change presents a new opportunity to create SaaS apps for selling services online.
But what is a SaaS app?
SaaS means Software As A Service. That means a service that can be delivered via software like mobile apps.
The most popular SaaS apps in Nigeria are dating apps. These apps make a shit-ton of money just by enabling the dating and hookup culture in Nigeria. In many of these apps, you pay to access premium services like having unlimited connections, phone numbers, and privacy.
I know someone who uses such a dating app, and he pays around 3k Naira per month just to have access to the premium features of the app. That tells you that people are willing to pay for a software service if it meets their needs.
To create your own SaaS app, you will need to come up with a software service idea that meets the needs of a lot of people, and then hire competent front-end and Back-end app developers to execute the job for you. It is quite a complex project, so you must bring your project management skills to the table or hire someone with some experience in managing such complex projects.
Real Estate Agency
Real estate agency is a legitimate money maker in Nigeria. There are enormous opportunities to make money in different ways. You could help someone sell or rent their property, make renovations, and procure home service providers.
The problem is that many real estate agents in Nigeria limit themselves to one part of the business and they do not explore the vast opportunities that are available in this business.
You can do it differently by setting up a holistic real estate service that offers landlords and homeowners a bouquet of services that they are looking for. I’ve seen real estate agencies in Nigeria that target a specific region via a website for easy access.
At the end of the day, it’s all about packaging. How do you package the business to attract high value real estate clients? How do you create more access for better and faster access to real estate services? If you can solve these problems, you will be making good money as a real estate agent in Nigeria.
Despite the proliferation of the internet and digital graphic design, the need for physical print is still in high demand. It is absolutely an essential service that spins money right off the hook. Businesses today still need to print flyers, brochures, product stickers, banners, etc. and they need the service of a printing press to do that.
Also, on the individual level, there is always a need for souvenir branding, business cards, and fashion print. The demand for these services is high, but you won’t unless you are in the industry.
However, it is important to know that a printing press business is quite capital intensive and would require you to invest large amounts of money in machineries to get started. But once you are done with this opening phase, you’ll definitely get the money ball rolling.
Logistics & Courier Services
Logistics is an important enabler of different industries. It facilitates the movement of goods from business to customers, and is regarded as an essential service. It is a part of transportation that can never go out of business.
The good thing about logistics and courier service is that you can start as small or as big as you want. You could also decide to serve a particular sector of industry and carve a niche for yourself.
But just like any transportation business, you will need to invest in a vehicle to start your logistic business. Depending on the scale of operation, you could start with a bike or two, or even a pickup van. It is up to you.
Also, it is important to note that there are regulations required before you start your logistics and courier service. You will need to first register your business with the CAC, and then register as a courier service with either NIPOST or your state’s board of internal revenue.
After registering your logistics business, you will then have to start advertising in your locality to get your first customers and kickstart your business. The more customers you serve, the more your logistics business grows.
Essential service businesses are the way to go if you want to build a consistent source of income in this harsh economy. Not only do they have low overhead costs, they bring good cash flow and give room for business partnerships.
If you want to start any of these essential service businesses and you need help in researching your market and coming up with a feasible business plan, you could contact me so we can discuss your business goals.
Also, if you have any other essential service business idea, please let me know in the comments section. It may just be interesting enough to add to this list. Cheers.