To export means to send goods or services to another country for sale. It is just the opposite of import which has to do with bringing in goods from another country.
In this article, I am going to take you through the steps to start charcoal export in Nigeria. It is a very lucrative business and can stand the test of time.
Read Also: How To Start An Export Business In Nigeria
Let us get the basics first.
What is Charcoal?
Have you ever taken note of the remains of firewood after it has been exposed to fire? That remains is called charcoal.
I guess that many people do throw them away after burning the firewood because they see it as unimportant. This article will open your eyes to how you can make a lucrative business out of those unimportant remains of firewood. Click on this link for more information making money from charcoal.
It is necessary to know the uses of charcoal so that you will see the need to get involved in such a lucrative business.
Types of Charcoal
There are different types of charcoal based on their grades, among which are:
- Shisha Charcoal
- Hardwood Charcoal
- Charcoal Briquettes
- BBQ Charcoal
Places Charcoal Can Be Found in Nigeria
Charcoal can be found in the following places:
- Omu Aran
- Cross River
Although there are other places, it can be majorly found in the areas mentioned.
Uses of Charcoal
- Cooking: In place of firewood, charcoal can be used to efficiently cook any kind of food. It burns so well that it can cook your food within minutes without smokes like some firewood.
- Warming House in Winter: Some countries experience winter and is characterized by cold that can even freeze someone to death. In countries like that, charcoals are used to warm the house.
- Metallurgical Fuel: Charcoal can serve as metallurgical fuel when it comes to meting metals like irons, steel, etc. Blacksmiths use this more often for their day to day activities.
- Industrial Fuel: Some industries depend on charcoal for fuel. It is used in the production of black powder which is used in manufacturing fireworks.
- Absorbent: Charcoal can be used as an absorbent in industries because it has the ability to soak organic compounds embedded in liquid or gas.
These are just some uses of charcoal and because of this, it is in high demand.
Every business has its own details, so if you run into one without getting the details, you are bound to make a lot of regrettable mistakes.
That is why I am here to help you through the steps you need to take in order to start this lucrative business without much pain.
Ways You Can Be Involved In Charcoal Business
You can get involved in exporting charcoal in different ways depending on the one that suits you best.
- Seller or Exporter: This is the person that sells directly to the person buying outside the country.
- Export-Broker: If you have the money but you don’t have the chance to go into charcoal export business, you can get in touch with someone that is already into it but needs financial support. Liaise with the person and fund the business, then two of you can share the profit out of the business.
- Product-Sourcing Expert: This involves standing as the middleman between the buyer and the seller. You have the duty of looking for a buyer abroad and connecting him or her with a seller here in Nigeria. This removes the stress from both the buyer and the seller but the expert stands to get a commission from the sales and he has the duty of looking out for quality charcoal for the buyer.
Having gotten this knowledge, let us now get to the main business. What are the steps to start a charcoal export business in Nigeria?
Read Also: How to Produce Charcoal in Nigeria
Steps To Start Charcoal Export in Nigeria
1. Investigate: Investigate on anything that has to do with charcoal. Read about the country you want to start exporting to and their views concerning charcoal. Also, check the policies that govern exporting charcoal from Nigeria. When you are well informed, it saves you from a lot of troubles.
2. Get Registered with Cooperate Affairs Commission (CAC): Once you conceive your business, the next thing is to get registered with CAC.
This goes a long way to protect your business and give your prospective customers the right attitude towards you. Needless to say that foreigners outside the countries are afraid to transact business with Nigerians due to the past experiences they had.
But once your business is registered with CAC, it eradicates that fear from their mind while transacting business with you.
3. Register with Nigeria Export Promotion Council Certificate (NEPC) as an Exporter: After registering with CAC, the next should be to register with NEPC as an exporter, this helps to ease stress for you because they offer helps to exporters registered with them.
4. Open an Account for your Business: It is wise to separate your personal account from your business account. This is what every wise businessman should do and it helps you to manage your finance effectively.
5. Get the Account Funded: As soon as you open an account for your business, get it funded. You can take a certain amount from your personal account and deposit there. That serves as your capital. The amount of capital mapped out for the business will determine the level you will start your charcoal export business from.
6. Get A Counselor: Get someone that has been in the business as a counselor. This person knows in and out of the business so he or she should be in a better position to advise and counsel you. He can guide you through the mistakes he had made in the past and save you the unnecessary pains of passing through the same mistake.
7. Get A Good Supplier: After you get the necessary counsels, the next should be to get a good supplier. This is necessary because if you make the mistake of supplying bad charcoal to your foreign customer, chances abound that they would lose interest in your business. This can be done by checking the internet and getting their contacts. Through their contact, you can visit them and discuss face to face with them; this would also give you the opportunity to bargain prices.
8. Get Those To Buy: Concentrate on those countries that have a high demand for charcoal. Countries like Europe and Asia usually demand more than other countries. If you don’t seek for buyers, you will not be able to make sales, so it is necessary to look out for them.
To get prospective customers, search the internet and also attend trade fairs being organized by NEPC that you registered with. You can connect with buyers from places like that. Another way you can get buyers is by contacting agents to help you source for them.
9. Get Ready To Export: The last step is to start the exportation of the charcoal. This means sending it to the countries where they are needed. It can be done in two ways: Free on Board (FOB) basis or through Cost, Insurance and Freight (CIF) basis.
The first one means you have to take care of the product’s cost and other expenses till it gets to the shipping point. While the second means that you will take care of the insurance cost and transportation until it gets to the final destination.
Now you are well equipped with how you can run your charcoal export business, so you can go ahead and prosper in it.
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