How to start a bookshop business in Nigeria

We all read books. Everyone has read a book at a particular time in their life. You sometimes read a book to pass a test, write an exam or acquire knowledge to make yourself a better person. Books continue to be in huge demand for different reasons. This is why the bookshop business in Nigeria is a very profitable business. Children, teens, adults and old people read books at every stage of their life.


Steps to start a bookshop business in Nigeria

Here is a detailed guide on how to start a bookshop business in Nigeria.


1. Prepare a business plan

You should prepare a business plan for your bookshop business to ensure profitability and growth. A business plan is a formal written document containing business goals, the methods on how these goals can be attained, and the time frame within which these goals need to be achieved.

A business plan is a written document that describes in detail how a business, usually a new one is going to achieve its goals. Typically, a business plan lays out a written plan from a marketing, financial and operational viewpoint.

A business plan should be used to help run your bookshop business with a more cohesive vision. It is your road-map. By truly analyzing your plan for marketing, sales and customer relation, you greatly improve your chances for success in your bookshop business.

You can write one yourself or hire a writer to do it for you.


2. Decide on the type of books you want to sell

Choose the type of books you want to sell based on your target market. Do you plan on selling to school children, entrepreneurs or professionals in the workplace? If you plan on selling to young children, you will have to sell story books and school books for children in nursery and primary schools.

If you are selling to professionals in the workplace, you will sell books about career development.

And if you are selling to entrepreneurs, you will have to sell books on entrepreneurship and startups.


3. Select a location

Your location is important when starting a bookshop business in Nigeria. The type of books you intend to sell also affects your location. Sell your books near your potential customers.

If you plan to sell books for students in nursery, primary schools or tertiary institutions, locate your bookshop near these schools where students or their parents who are buyers of these types of books can locate you easily.

The building where you sell books should have space sufficient enough to accommodate shelves where the books will be kept on display.

A bookshop requires proper organization such as indexing. That is, classifying and arranging the books such that, books that are alike or in the same category can be found in the same place.

Your bookshop will always look attractive and organized to your customers. You can also do a window display for the books you sell.

Customers can see the books easily, come into the bookshop, and buy books.


4. Raise capital

You need sufficient capital to cover costs in your bookshop business in Nigeria such as rent, books, furniture, electricity and shelves. Write down your costs and prepare an affordable budget.

You can borrow money from friends or family members. You can also save money to start your bookshop business. Another option is to apply for loans from various financial institutions. You can find loan options in Nigeria here.


5. Get Registered

You should register your bookshop business with the Corporate Affairs Commission (CAC). This is important for any business in Nigeria.


6. Buy Books From a Trusted Supplier

Find trusted suppliers for your books. This can be publishers or printing presses. You can also import or order books from abroad if they are not readily available in Nigeria.

One advantage of importing books from the United States of America is that, you don’t have to pay import duties. Books from the United States of America are not taxed.

However, make sure that your supplier abroad, includes the books on the customs form and also indicates what the parcel contains on the form so that you can easily get it through customs here in Nigeria. Importing books from the UK is also as easy as importing from the USA. No import duties apply.

Take for instance, you are importing books worth N596,036.63 from the UK, the shipping cost will be around N32,010, while the insurance will cost like N5,500. Making a total import value of N633,546.63, without import duty and vat.

When you sell the books here in Nigeria, you can make up to N1,000,000. By so doing, you will be gaining around N360,000 with about 37% profit margin.

Buy books in large quantities so you can buy them at cheaper prices. This will increase your profit margin.


7. Advertise and Market Your Bookshop Business

Advertise your bookshop business to everyone you know including friends, family and neighbors. You can do this through different media such as fliers, radio & TV ads. If you sell school books, you can even approach schools in your neighborhood. They will definitely patronize you if you sell the type of books they need at affordable prices.

When starting a bookshop, you need to market and advertise your bookstore. You can write proposal to schools around your location, offering to supply books to their students and to give them discounts upon purchases. You should also set up a banner or a small signpost near your location. This will serve as a form of advert and also create awareness, to prospective customers.


8. Have an Online Presence

Expand your business by selling books online. You can create a website where you display and advertise your books to potential customers. A website where your books can be bought online will further expand your reach to more customers globally. You can also become a seller on platforms such as Jumia and Konga.

You can also create social media accounts on platforms such as Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, YouTube and Snapchat. If you advertise your books on these platforms, you will get massive sales.

If you follow this guide carefully, you will build a profitable bookshop business in Nigeria.


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Blessing Eji

Blessing Eji

Blessing Eji is a freelance writer, blogger and social media manager.
She works as a content creator and curator for brands and local
businesses. Follow her on Twitter @EjiIfeoluwa

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