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Nigeria has a large and thriving construction industry. That’s because as the country’s population expands, the demand for living and working spaces continues to increase.

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Construction projects require building materials; so as construction sites multiply across Nigeria, the need for building materials keeps growing as well.

This means that there’s a great opportunity for making significant sales consistently with the building materials business. If you’re able to figure out where the underserved markets are, you’ll make more than a decent income from selling the materials in those places.

How to Start a Building Materials Business

Here are the steps you need to take to launch a building materials business in Nigeria.

1. Decide What Building Materials You Will Sell

There are a lot of building materials you could sellcement, tiles, doors, steel rods, bricks, etc. You should choose which ones you’ll settle for. You may begin with one or a few, and expand your offerings as your business expands. Or you may decide to stick with a single kind of material and become a recognized supplier of that item.

2. Register Your Business Name

Get this done at the Corporate Affairs Commission (CAC), the body legally charged with the responsibility of officially registering businesses in Nigeria. You can do this at any of their branches closest to you.

3. Write Your Business Plan

A business plan is a document containing such things as an explanation of what your business is and does, the products and services it sells, the type of customers it’s targeting, and the cost of the resources it’ll need to start off and grow in its early periods (among other things).

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You need a business plan that’ll serve as a reference for you as you progress through building your business. Besides this, you may find that it’s required by lenders (if you’re going to seek funding for your company).

Your business plan should include reports about the state of the market for the materials you will be selling. This means that you have to investigate it properly, so that you know where there’s more need for your product, and sell it there.

4. Find a Location

The location of your building materials business will (to some extent) determine its success. A smart idea would be to set up in districts that are developing and have a lot of construction sites.

5. Connect With Reliable Suppliers

The best way to go about this would be to find out where people who are already in the business get their supplies from. When you find them, discuss and strike a deal with them that’ll be cost-effective and guarantee maximum performance for your company.

6. Seek Out Customers

Reach out to construction companies and get on good terms with them. Do the same with building site supervisors working in the area you’ve sited your business, or where there’s significant construction work going on. These networks are what you’ll leverage to draw in more demand for the products you sell.

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Of course, you could also have people walk into your store and ask for supplies, but it’s better to have requests coming from multiple fronts.

Print business cards and fliers and share them at events, meetings and other appropriate occasions and settings. Your aim here will be to inform other people about what you do.

Final Words

The demand for building materials in Nigeria isn’t going away anytime soon. So it’s a niche that’s worth exploring for anyone who wants to start a business on the periphery of the construction industry. Follow the steps we’ve run through here, and you’ll be on the path to building a successful business.

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This article was first published on 6th July 2022


Ikenna Nwachukwu holds a bachelor's degree in Economics from the University of Nigeria, Nsukka. He loves to look at the world through multiple lenses- economic, political, religious and philosophical- and to write about what he observes in a witty, yet reflective style.

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