Saturday, 19 September 2020 11:22

How To Start A Computer Business Center In Nigeria

Written by Hafiz Mukhtar
How To Start A Computer Business Center In Nigeria Photo by CDC on Unsplash

A copy shop, popularly referred to as a business center or computer business center in Nigeria is a shop that provides basic office printing and photocopy services at the township it is located in, and starting a computer business center in Nigeria can provide those needs for a community and earn a person a lot of money. 

Table Of Contents

Starting A Computer Business Center In Nigeria

Factors Affecting A Business Center

Complete List Of Business Center Services

What to buy

You Need A Website And Google Maps

Market Analysis

What Makes You Different

Management Of A Business Center In Nigeria

Future projections and conclusion

 

Starting A Computer Business Center In Nigeria

Introduction

A business center enables people to get access to photocopying, printing, online services, scanning and other similar tasks. 

Although the general public contribute to the growth of the business because at one point or the other they all need to photocopy bills and print papers, etc., it is, however, the office workers and students who provide the bulk of this business’s revenue because of the nature of their work, which is mostly dealing with papers. 

The services provided by a copy shop is a modern necessity, but it’s still not very often that one sets up a whole computer village for his own personal use when he could get what he needs in a copy shop around the corner. That very fact, is why the computer business center is always in serious demand anywhere there is an average to above-average population. 

The business gives a high return on investment (ROI) compared to the capital it requires to start, about ₦360,000 minimum. With a profit margin of nearly 66% on average, it is one of the most profitable businesses in Nigeria.

You should note however, this is not a guide to starting a cyber cafe business in Nigeria, they are similar but in a cyber cafe, people go there to connect to the internet and use it to browse, whereas a photocopy business simply provides computer-related services such as printing. 

Computer training schools are not far off the menu in a business center, sometimes the patrons or the business owners also provide this service if they have the space to accommodate it. 

Moving on, let's talk about the factors affecting starting a computer business center in Nigeria. 

Factors affecting a business center

A few factors affect the outcome of this business and determine its success. Factors include;

Location

Location is key. Photocopy business thrives in a city or suburban setting, where the population is considerably large and not sparse. Like Bauchi as it is now is perfect. 

The photocopy business does well near schools and office buildings because the traffic is that of those that genuinely require the services of the shop almost on a daily basis. 

So universities, government secretariats, plazas in the middle of town are ideal places to establish this business. Take note, a copy shop doesn’t do well in markets. 

Customer service

The business is a service based business, it means it relies mostly on being good to the customer. One has to put in the work to have high customer retention rates, and to encourage customer loyalty. 

Detailed tactics on how to achieve that should be part of the marketing objective. 

CAC Registration

Like any legal enterprise, the business needs to be registered with the Corporate Affairs Commission (CAC), a business name registration under a sole proprietorship would be fine. It costs about fifteen to twenty thousand Naira and a few weeks or days to actualize. 

Services provided by a business center in Nigeria

The services provided by a business center includes the following:

Complete List Of Business Center Services

  1. Photocopying
  2. Typing
  3. Scanning
  4. Printing
    1. Colored
    2. Black and white
  5. Online services
    1. Result checking
    2. Checking of email
    3. Online applications/registration (school)
    4. Job application
  6. Digital passport photograph
  7. Laminating
  8. Spiral binding 
  9. Disc burning

 

What to buy

This is a list of items required for the business. The first table is a list of the capital intensive items needed when starting a business center in Nigeria, and the second table is an estimate of the monthly cost of running the business. 

The highlighted rows are secondary items that the shop could do without (at least at the beginning). You can simply select ones you need and leave out ones you don’t need. 

Table 1.

Item:

Type:

Notes:

Price (Naira)

Annual rent

 

Could go as high up as 200k.

60,000

Electrical wiring

 

If necessary. The wiring may include a connection for generator power and PHCN. 

10,000

CAC registration

Sole Proprietorship/Business name.

 

15,000

Sign post

 

Made of metal. 

7,000

Painting

 

Including cost for paint and service charge. 

10,000

Furniture

Plastic.

Table and 5 chairs.

35,000

       

Laptop

Mini. 

Second hand. Minimum 2GB RAM, 500GB Storage. 

35,000

Printer 3 in 1

Hp Inkjet (All-in-one). 

 

18,000

Photocopier

Sharp AR M-series.

 

60,000

UPS

   

15,500

Generator

Sumec Fireman 1.1KVA or higher. 

 

38,000

Backup Gen.

Elepaq 1.3KVA

 

33,000

Digital camera

   

19,000

Photo printer

Canon selphy

 

32,000

Webcam

   

3,500

Spiral bind machine

   

15,000

Laminating machine

   

14,800

Sim card

 

Business number. 

200

Cheap smartphone

 

For business number.

13,000

USB flash

   

3,200

Mifi

Huawei

 

15,000

External CD drive

   

5,500

       

Paper perforator

   

2,000

Mouse

   

1,500

Extension wire

   

2,200

Scissors

   

200

Stapler

   

300

Stationeries (math set)

   

300

Notebooks

   

200

Software package

   

1,000

Paper cutter

   

6,000

2 Plain fabrics (passport background)

   

300

Fuel container

   

250

       

Consumable Items

     

Laminating film

   

2,500

Binding materials

   

2,500

Blue hard cover paper + transparent paper

   

4,500

Stapler pins

   

500

A4 paper

   

3,500

Ink toner

   

13,000

Ink cartridge

Tri-colour. 

 

9,000

Photo paper + Ink

Canon Selphy photo paper. 

 

10,000

   

Total =

517,450

 

Table 2. List of monthly expenditures (Estimates).  

Item

Price

Notes

Internet subscription

3,500

Mtn data plan. 

Electricity bill

7,000

 

Marketing

2,000

Advertisements, etc. 

Gen. fuel

8,000

 

Gen. service

3,000

 

Staff salary

35,000

For the two staff.

Staff feeding

9,000

For the two staff.

Transport money

12,000

For the two staff. 

Consumable items

26,500

From the previous table.

Total =

106,000

 



Website & Google Maps

Building a website for the copy shop will be a grand development. Just a simple website explaining and listing all the services and their corresponding prices. 

Free website builders that provide free hosting and domain such as Wix, WordPress, Weebly and Joomla will suffice. 

The website needs two things; 

  • Good SEO - so that it will be found on google searches quickly. Anyone looking for a business center nearby will come upon the website.  
  • It should be mobile optimized – because mobile usage has grown 500% in daily media consumption since 2011. 

 

A website will directly affect growth in revenue in a positive way, and it will excite you to know that a copy shop website is non-existent in most states as at the time of this writing, which means having a website now will keep your shop ahead of the competition. 

Also, add your website to Google maps, it will expand your reach considerably. When adding the store to Maps, make sure you identify it as a ‘Photocopy’ or “Business center”, that way whenever someone searches for a business center nearby your shop will pop-up. 

Market Analysis

The market analysis is a description of the market research and how this guide applies to the business in real life. 

It answers fundamental business questions like ‘What makes you different?’, it provides stats and figures where necessary. it also gives an overview of a course of action for the copy shop, and provides practical suggestions on measures to be taken if the plan wants to be realized, specifically in Arewa. 

Below is the market analysis, researched from online sources and from asking people in the business and so forth. 

Location

Location is of utmost importance, it could make or break the business, and as we have pointed out, a regular town (or suburban town) will suffice and generate good amounts of profit for the business. 

The ideal shops should be located in busy areas or near government offices or buildings and near schools, and it should be easily accessible by road. Somewhere close to a university campus for example, is great business. 

Target market

We have discussed this earlier, that students and office workers provide the bulk of the work. 

But the business will bring you in contact with people who need online services, such as checking email, online registrations such as N-Power, etc, and residents who need to simply copy bills and other documents.

Students usually bring in more work than office workers because the facilities in their schools are lacking and inadequate most of the time, and normally where office files just need one copy of a file made, every student needs a copy of his/her own to carry around. 

This however, all depends on where the business is located, between residents, workers, and students you should pay attention to who patronizes you the most, and focus marketing efforts on that group, they are your target market. 

Marketing

Marketing is defined as bringing awareness of a product or service to the attention of the public. It is a necessary tool in business. 

Traditionally, a copy shop doesn’t require much marketing but in this case it does, specifically brand marketing. 

Marketing strategies that need to be observed includes these 4 items;

  1. Social media marketing.
  2. Brand marketing.
  3. Word of mouth advertising.
  4. A big sign board to be placed outside. 

 Sales and earnings

Reports associated with earnings on this business are usually from the actual business owners themselves, found on forums and from comments feedback online. Revenue ranges from ₦5,000 to ₦15,000 Naira daily, on a normal day. During school registrations, the revenue skyrockets. 

The earnings depend on location and how many different services a business provides. 

After expenditures such as staff salary and restocking of paper is removed from the gross earnings, you will end up with about 66% gross profit in return. That is equivalent to earning ₦66 for every ₦100 you make from the shop. 

Staff and salary

Due to the rigorous effort needed to run a copy shop and the need to have someone on-call all the time, an extra staff to serve as hired help is needed to fill that position.  

At the beginning, one extra staff will suffice, but as the business grows more people will need to be hired.  

Here’s what you need to do when hiring; i) find and hire someone with a knowledge of computers and customer service, ii) create a salary contract for who will be staying at the shop and the extra help. 

Competition 

The photocopy business is not saturated in many places in Nigeria. Despite mediocre service in a lot of the business centers, people have no choice but to go to them for photocopying services, and also, many do not take any special marketing measures such as social media marketing to grow their business. 

Surpassing the competition in this business is easy, all you need is a little creativity. 

What makes you different?

What you need most to be different in this business is to have a unique brand, online marketing, and provide great customer service. 

Management Of A Business Center In Nigeria

The following section describes how the shop can be managed, to generate sales and profit efficiently. 

Opening hours - will be from 7am to 7pm, 12 hours daily. Run by two staff. 

Transport money - must be provided for the staff if there is a distance between the shop and their places of residence. It is not necessary if they live close by. 

Feeding – staff feeding for afternoon meals should be part of the plan. About ₦150 for each person, they could buy from the surrounding area. Cooking from home and bringing to work is also an option.

Repairs and maintenance - service for generator and printer repairs/check-up will be required regularly, ideally it is to be done monthly. If any computer equipment reports an error it should be dealt with immediately.

Future projections and conclusion

In a few years some of the provided services of the copy shop will see changes, as it is common in the computer/tech industry. One such service is ‘online services’. 

Online applications such as school registrations are one of the major revenue sources of this business, but it is likely to decline as mobile data penetration is increasing every year in Nigeria. 

Mobile data penetration rose by 6.4% in 2018, to put that in perspective for you, that was an additional 10 million internet subscribers. So, more people will be doing it themselves, and the need for online services may decline. 

Therefore, printing will be the major selling point of the business (so is scanning and photocopying). Those aren't going anywhere anytime soon, people will continue to print and scan, mostly because they don't own a printer at home. 

Point is, for as long as paper is still physically distributed, a business center will thrive.

Business centers in Nigeria could also grow to become a computer hub, that on its own is a topic of discussion. A hub is a creative space where people are taught skills, for a computer hub it would be learning computer related courses such as graphic design, programming and coding, etc. Learning seems to be the future of industry 4.0. 

 

Read 140 times Last modified on Sunday, 20 September 2020 14:35

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