I owe you all an apology… Mainly because I have kept you in the dark for so long, but that is about to change now. I have been terribly busy with other phases of my life, so busy to the extent that, even though I check the site almost every day, I have been unable to write a valuable post on the importation business.
Nevertheless, all that is about to change. In today’s post, I would tell you what I have been up to, I would also share some awesome information about recent changes in the importation business and how you can still make decent profit from this business, even with the so-called scarcity of dollar.
A little back-story about why I got into the importation business…
I was broke as a student, I was overly dependent on monthly stipends from my parents as a student, but things changed drastically when I discovered the importation business.
The real secret is that, the day I discovered the importation business, it almost became my second nature, I knew I had passion for this thing, because I love being a boss of my own.
And here is a business that gives me the opportunity of being my own boss, it gives me the opportunity of choosing when I work and how I do my work, above all, it’s a business with great potential of paying my bills and the opportunity to afford the luxury of life.
In that moment, I realized what I have always wanted to do, I took advantage of the opportunity, and here I am, almost half a decade down the lane, with zero regrets.
The moral of this story is to inspire you, to show you that it’s important to always do what you have passion for, because it would never look as if you’re working even though others may see it as hard work, to you, it would be fun, because you simply love doing it.
Now, back to the reason why I have been away for a very long time…
I mentioned earlier, that I love the importation business. I really do. But few months ago, let’s just say about six months ago, things began to change.
A lot of things has changed about this business of ours. The current state of economy made it very difficult to make decent profit on the importation business. Because the dollar to Naira exchange rate was over the roof, the cost of importing goods into the country also increased drastically and it affected sales on several levels.
Price of goods has to be inflated in other to make a decent profit, this lead to frustration for most importers. To show you how bad things are, dollar is currently peaked at #350/$ in the parallel market right now. If you’re familiar with the business you’d know it wasn’t as bad as that before.
But as mentioned earlier, nothing beats your passion. All this didn’t stop me from focusing on doing what I love to do, as a matter of fact, it made me think deeper about how to create a long term business model, and in my thinking process, I had my eureka moment!.
This long term business model is what I have been working on for the past few months. It has taken most of my free time, I had to draw a concrete business plan, consult various experts and also create a business mock up plan…. And frankly things are looking good.
So far so good, I have invested more than a million Naira on this my long term business model, and I have had no cause to look back, it’s been happiness all the way.
Because, when you have an idea, a dream that is crystal clear, then you won’t mind investing all the money and time that you have on it. And that’s exactly what I have been doing….
I know you must be “dying” to know what the business model is… Wait for it, I would definitely give you hints, and share some information about what the future looks like for the importation business.
In the business world, it is important to focus on something and be really good at it. In fact, it’s not just in the business world, in about virtually everything in life. Nobody succeeds by doing everything at the same time. The key to success is to focus on something, be good at it and eventually become the go-to-guy when it comes to that thing.
This is the rule I applied to my new venture in the importation business, I am creating a brand of my own, focusing on a single product, and dominating the market for that particular product. I won’t tell you the product just yet, at least not until we’re fully launched, but I will share some brief idea on what the business model looks like.
I hired a seasoned developer to create my own online store for that particular product. Although, selling on Jumia, Konga and other e-commerce website is profitable (I have been doing it for years), but I believe it’s a stepping stone to something greater. It’s a humble beginning, and it gives you the opportunity of focusing on the importing aspect of your business while they handle the marketing and sales on your behalf.
Take for instance, when selling on Jumia or Konga, I don’t have direct access to my buyers, I can’t acquire their email address for future promotion purpose, I can’t send them offers about new arrivals. Beyond all that, the market indirectly decides my pricing. I have to set my price within the range of other importers because I want to make sales. But having my own store gives me the opportunity of choosing my price without being pressurized by other sellers in my category, now I can email my buyers anytime to tell them about my new arrivals and other promotional stuffs.
Back to the business model…
So basically, what am doing is to, order a varieties of product in my chosen niche… I am ordering all my goods from 1688.com (My favorite Chinese store, you can read about it all in my free e-book), when I get the goods, I take pictures of my product and upload my inventory on the store. I currently have huge following on Facebook and other social media, so I share our new arrivals across those platforms and the sales starts trickling in. I invested so much on the marketing too, as I am not in charge of doing the marketing; I contracted the work to a marketing agency of seasoned professionals.
That pretty much sums up the concept am working on right now…
The model is however way much bigger than that, the idea is bigger than just making personal sales. In the nearest future, I would open up the store for other merchants as well. Other sellers would be able to sell their product on the platform, however only products within the niche would be allowed. Because the idea behind this business model is to focus on a particular niche and grow the brand in such a way that it would be the number one destination for the product we are selling.
Now that you know what I have been up to, let me share a quick tip on how to make decent profit from the importation business in this economy. I once wrote about this idea before, but there is every tendency that you might have forgotten, so let me remind you.
The idea is to source your fund from freelancers and affiliate marketers. It’s that simple. Rather than using your regular MasterCard to make purchase online, all you have to do is signup for Payooner card (it’s free for the first one year), then buy Payooner funds from freelancers and affiliate marketers. You can use Payooner card to shop anywhere in the world.
The catch here is that, freelancers would sell a dollar at the rate of #250 to #270, while your bank would sell a dollar at the rate of #330 to #350. You would agree with me that the payooner method is way more cheaper.
In conclusion, I really can’t wait to let the cat out of the bag as regards the niche market am working on. I would definitely let you guys know as I progress. As I would not like to showcase a half-baked product, I am constantly working day and night to make my store the best and also investing lots of time and energy in making it worthwhile for future sellers (merchants) that would be coming on board.