How to start a provision store business in Nigeria

how to start a provision store in nigeria

A provision store is a store where you buy beverages and other provision items like egg, soap, pure water, salt, etc … in your neighborhood. They are so useful that life could be hard in a neighborhood where there is no provision shop. As a matter of fact, if you don’t have anyone close by, you have to the next neighborhood to get what you want which can be sometimes very far.

Not all neighborhood have a provision store and that is where you come in. Grab the opportunity before it becomes too late. How can you get start you might be wondering, that is what this post is all about. Make sure you read the entire post to get the best out of it.

In this post, we will show you how to start a provision store business in Nigeria, the opportunities in the business, the advantages and the disadvantages of the business and the potential profit you can make from it.

1. What is a provision store?

Let’s first of all have a proper definition of the term provision store so you know your expectations in this business.

A provision shop is a retail outlet where goods such as food items (like rice, salt, crayfish etc..) and other goods are sold. It is business that involves buying at a wholesale price and sell it in retail.

2. Why you should start a provision store

This is a business that does not really require a large amount of money since you will be dealing with basic household items that are not really expensive, unlike major supermarkets that cater to various needs of people as can be seen by the different types of goods that are bought and stocked in the supermarket.

All you need for this business is just a good location where the demand is needed.

One of the few disadvantages of a provision store is the fact that you can make 100% profit from what you buy. Be careful not to start taking one or two naira from the store as a provision store can easily fall down due to a lack of cashflow.

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3. The capital required to start a provision store.

For a good start, you might need nothing less than a million. If you have more than this, it is for your own benefit in the sense that it will make your shop or store well packaged which in turn can help you maintain your customers. Why do we say so?

Imagine you go to a store where you ask of one thing and they say it is not available, you ask for another thing and the same answer is given, what would be your feelings compare a store where you can get almost everything you want.

4. The steps to take to start a provision store

Here is a step by step guide on how to start a provision store.

A. The planning process

While you are planning to start the business, please do research and have proper planning on ground. Your research and planning matter a lot for you to have a successful business.

When starting this business, you will have to decide the type of goods and products you will like to sell and this depends on the need of your neighborhood. There are a lot of products you can sell and make money. If you are in a rich neighborhood, you may decide to sell expensive drinks which isn’t going to be the same in a poor neighborhood.

You will need to do a complete  research in your area to find out the kind of products that would flourish the most and stock up on those products.

Another reason for doing proper research is the fact that it helps you in setting reasonable prices after comparing with others.

B. Get a shop and the materials

After the proper research, the next step is to get a shop.

This business can be started in your neighbourhood especially if there are a lot of people living around you.

When getting a shop, make sure it is within a popular location so people can easily have access to you, get a shop that it is spacious.

This does not mean you have to rent an extremely big shop, but it is important to get a shop with enough space to accommodate your goods and products so that your shop can easily be viewed and customers may be able to walk around and pick what they want by themselves freely.

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Keep in mind there a popular say which is “the way you dress will determine how people will address you.” In our context, it means they want we present our store, the way we want people to perceive it will determine the kind of customers we will get and the amount of sale we want to be making on a daily basis.

Having arranged the shop. You need to get the shop fully ready.

All you have to do is to get shelves as much as possible, get bags for packaging, get chairs for sitting, You can add any other thing that you feel neccessary.

C. Get your suppliers and goods.

Since you are going to be buying in large quantities at most, please endeavor to have at least five(5) suppliers so as to avoid failure. This also helps you to get the best deal.

Make sure your suppliers are in good condition and have long shelf life. Buying goods that are close to expiring can make you lose a lot, especially if you do not get much out turn.

Remember the cost of goods is not fixed. Try as much as possible to get the cheapest price at good quality. You should also change your selling price as things change. This means that you should always be on the watch so as to get more profit. Have your suppliers WhatsApp contact or email to stay in touch with them frequently.

D. Keep records

Keeping records in this business is very important. This is because it helps you to see how well you have done, and therefore show you your growth and lapses.

With your records you get to know if you are making profit or loosing.

E. Capture your customers

Remember that you may not be the only one with this business in your locality.

What you have to do is to make everybody that comes to you, to feel at home and welcomed.

Your attitude towards your customers matters a whole lot. You should be totally marketable and friendly.

If you have to employ workers. Make sure that they are of good and trustworthy characters so as to have a good flow of business. This does not mean you should only base on trust, you have to monitor them and see their performances.

5. How to get your first clients

A provision store usually isn’t a big shop that will require a big investment in marketing. Again most provision stores aim a neighborhood, not an entire city. To get your first customers, try to add games like table tennis close to your shop or ludo. Be careful not to draw bad boys.

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You can as well add a sound system, this is so effective as it draws people’s attention easily.

6. How to maintain your customers

Customer relationship will go a long way in maintaining your customers. Everybody likes to be treated with respect so do so all the time.

Small discount or a free gift to someone that purchases a lot of thing from you will also go a long way.

7. How much can you make from a provision store

It depends on your area and how good you are in maintaining a good relationship with your clients.

If you can make 50.000 naira sale a day, 5.000 to 10.000 naira should be your gain. If you are getting such amount on a daily basis, would you be concerned about the unemployment issue we are facing in Nigeria?

8. List of Items you may need to buy

  • Soaps for bathing and washing,
  • Cream
  • Indomitable
  • Biscuits
  • Beverages,
  • Pampers
  • Matches,
  • Toiletries
  • Drinks,
  • Custard
  • Batteries,
  • Chin-chin
  • Detergents,
  • Candle
  • Sweets and candy,
  • Bulb
  • Tissue papers
  • Insecticides
  • toothpaste,
  • Salt
  • Macaroni
  • Spaghetti
  • Sugar,
  • Salt,
  • Noodles
  • Seasoning
  • Relaxer
  • Dettol
  • Hypo
  • Izal
  • Superglue
  • Bread
  • Bleach
  • Cornflakes
  • Baby food. Etc

9. The future of your provision store.

Every businessman’s dream is to see his affairs going higher and higher. If that is the case with you, you probably can’t keep serving your area and achieve your dream. You have to think of turning your provision store into a supermarket. You may have to relocate, change the store, and the rest.

the future of a provision store (supermarket)
A supermarket

The only thing that will enable you to achieve this goal is when you take your business seriously and manage it very well.

To prevent your business from failing, you may like to check our post on the top 10 reasons why small businesses fail.


If you are interested in this amazing business, you really need to start up immediately. Stop the procastination.

Try purchasing more of what is demanded in the market, be open to give discount to customers who buy in bulk. With these in place, i think you are ready for your provision shop business.

We have posts how to start so many other businesses, would you like to check them out?

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About the Author: Aime

My name is Aime. I am an online entrepreneur, a professional web designer/developer, digital marketer. I love anything tech and business. If I am to choose one, I will go for tech because it is in the blood.

23 Comments to “How to start a provision store business in Nigeria”

  1. I have really been looking for such a lesson because I wanted to start a small provision shop and I needed ideas like this to start so may God richly bless you and increase you in wisdom

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