How to Start a Bookshop Business in Nigeria. The importance of books cannot be overemphasized. With the continuous increase in the population of Nigeria, the demand for books has continued to grow year on year. This means that there is a viable market out there that is waiting to be explored. This article is aimed at showing you how to start a bookshop business in Nigeria.
The last population census in Nigeria showed that the highest population group in Nigeria are the youths within the school age bracket. This means that there are a lot of people who will need books to be able to pursue their academic endeavour.
Anyone can start and run a bookshop in Nigeria. However, I must note here that if you want to be really successful in this business, you must have or develop a passion for reading and acquiring knowledge. The truth is that you cannot recommend something to a customer when you have little or no idea about it.
A bookshop is a very convenient and lucrative business that can be operated by both the unemployed and employed who are seeking for an extra source of income. Before embarking on this journey, there are some things you need to get clear.
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It is important that you decide on whether you want to focus on school books or novels or motivational books etc. For a start, I would advise that you start off with areas that you are quite familiar with. For example, if you enjoy reading novels, things would be a lot easier for you if you decide to start off a bookshop where novels would be sold. This is because you would know the authors, genre, and other important things to look out for. This will also give a potential customer a clear idea of what you are specialized in whenever they walk into your shop.
This should not be a hindrance if you decide to start a bookshop where all sorts of book will be sold.
You can also decide if you intend to sell brand new or fairly used books, or both. Ensure that you factor in your available start-up capital when making this decision.
Your location is of very huge importance when setting up a bookshop. The type of book you also intend to sell will have an influence on the location. For example, if you intend to deal mainly on educational books, then it is advisable to locate your bookshop in a school environment such as a university campus. This will put you right in the midst of your potential market.
This is where you need to make use of the knowledge that you have of your city. If need be, conduct a feasibility study of your area to find out the best possible spot for your bookshop.
The building where your books will be housed has to be spacious enough to accommodate shelves where the books will be kept on display. For a start, it is not necessary to get a very big place. Anywhere that has sufficient space for a few shelves and a small store will be okay.
After making concrete plans on the types of books and location, you should now have an idea of the capital that you will need to start your bookshop. Your major capital investment will be in the purchase of books and renting of a good location. You might also need to spend some money on employing someone to manage the place for you if you will not have the time to do it yourself.
Apart from the above mentioned, you will also need to spend a bit on constructing shelves, buying furniture and some electronic appliances. Fans or air conditioners are very important in bookshops. This will help protect the books by preventing moisture from forming on them.
All these expenditures will vary a lot from location to location and also with taste. In all, ensure that you keep your expenses in check. It is better to invest more on the books than on the furniture.
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Register your bookshop with all the necessary authorities like the Corporate Affairs Commission (CAC). Remember, this is a pre requisite for the granting of loans from financial institutions.
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It is often said that failure to plan is planning to fail. It is advisable that you have a clear plan on how you intend to run the business on a day to day basis. A clear plan will keep your business afloat even when you encounter some challenges along the way.
Although the bookshop business is quite lucrative due to the large market that exists for it, it is not without its own unique challenges.
The major challenge facing bookshop businesses in Nigeria is piracy. Some dubious people have been able to find a way to illegally duplicate original copies of books and go ahead to sell them at very cheap rates. This makes business difficult for those who will not partake in such illegal activities. This is most prevalent among educational books.
Another challenge is the current trend of people not wanting to read hard copy books. Most people now prefer to read electronic copies of books from their hand held devices.
In order succeed in this business, you have to be creative, determined and endeavour to build and sustain the passion and drive you have for the business.
I will conclude this piece by sharing some useful tips that can assist you in your path to success
You will need to pull attention to your bookshop. Do not forget that yours is not the only bookshop out there. Your advertisement campaign can include flyers and posters. Do not also hesitate to leverage on your social network. Let your friends and family know what you are into. If you stock school books, you can even approach schools in your neighbourhood with the offer of supplying them books.
Ensure that you develop and maintain a good supply network for your books. Also ensure that you keep your supply cost to the minimum. If you intend to import books, it is cheaper to import from America than the United Kingdom and Europe.
It is no longer news that the world has gone digital. Having a website where your books can be ordered online will further expand your reach to more customers. You can even enlist your bookshop on any of the online stores in Nigeria.
Please Read: How Website Can Boost Your Business
It is my belief that this few tips will help to enlighten you on how to start a book shop business in Nigeria.
If you have any questions or suggestions, please use our comment section and we will gladly respond to them.