In this article, you will learn how to start elubo business also known as yam flour business in Nigeria and how you can make profits from it. Elubo also known as yam flour is a well-known staple food in Nigeria. It is a food that was made or should I say invented and widely consumed by the Yorubas and other western parts of Nigeria but as time goes by began to be embraced by all Nigerians.
Elubo is a food that is gotten after yam has been dried and grinded into powdery form. This yam can be small yams or big yams that are sliced and dried before been grinded. The small yams used in making elubo (yam flour) are called gbodo in Yoruba. These are the main yams used in making elubo.
Cassava can also be used to make elubo as long as they pass through the same process. This kind of elubo made from cassava is called lafun in Yoruba. While elubo after been made with hot water becomes brown in color famously called amala, elubo made from cassava will become white or grey amala after passing through the same process.
Amala was gradually introduced to other tribes in Nigeria gradually through Nigerian restaurants and through other ceremonies like weddings and burials hosted by the Yorubas in Nigeria. And is now eaten everywhere in cities (urban areas) and in villages (rural area). So it is now a profitable business especially for any youth whether male or female that wants to venture into the business.
Capital Needed to Start Yam Flour Business
Depending on how big you want to start your elubo business or how small you can start with #50,000 – #500,000. But you should take note that you will also need some equipment to store and measure your elubo when you finally start.
Some of these equipment are bowls, paint plastics also known as Ike oda, garawa – a big tin used for measuring elubo and packaging nylons. So some of this capital will go into the purchasing of these equipment except you already have them.
How to Start Yam Flour Business in Nigeria
Here are the steps to start yam flour business in Nigeria.
1. Get the Required Capital
Before you start anything in this business you need to get your capital first. The capital you get will determine how you will start the business. If you are starting with a small capital this means you will not be able to rent a shop instead, you will get a space to display your elubo.
If you are using a big capital this means you will be able to start big – renting a shop and buying your elubo wholesale. So the kind of capital you have will determine how your elubo business will start. But I can assure you that you will make profits from your elubo business.
Whether you start small or big as long as you know what you are doing and you do follow some of the tips I will be giving in this article. Read our article on how to get funding for your business in Nigeria.
2. Understand the Elubo Market
You see when it comes to selling elubo/yam flour; you need to understand the market first before going into the business. Every business has its trends meaning some parts of it move faster than the other. You need to know which part of the yam flour business that moves faster from the other.
You need to know if it is the yam elubo (Amala isu) that moves faster than the cassava elubo (Amala lafun). Most people say it is Amala isu (yam flour) that moves faster than cassava flour(Amala lafun). But this is not always true. There are times and seasons when one dominates another.
You need to be able to understand this. You need to be able to understand its market. You need to also know which of the elubo sells faster – the grinded elubo or the elubo that is not grinded. If it is the elubo that is not grinded that sells faster you will need to buy a grinding machine to grind the elubo after customers buy.
3. Get Space or Shop to Sell
Depending on the kind of capital you invest in this yam flour business you will need to rent space or shop to display and sell your elubo. Yam flour foods do not like water so you will need to rent a shop and if you are going to be getting a space you will need to buy a large umbrella to protect your foods from rain.
Any which way you need to make sure the shop or space that you are getting is located at the right place – a place where customers can easily locate you and buy from you. The place should be close to bus-stops or should be popular streets in the area where thousands of customers pass through every day.
4. Buy Yam Flour in Bulk
When it is time for you to buy your elubo you need to find out where you can buy them at the cheapest prices first before proceed in to buy. If you reside in Lagos you can get your elubo at the cheapest prices in markets like Ketu/Mile 12.
But if you are not in Lagos and you can get your elubo at any cheap food market close to you. You just need to take your time. After buying your elubo you can then transport it to your shop or space to start selling to customers.
Be current and put your ears on the ground so that you will always make profits and not losses in this business. If possible get the contact of your elubo seller or other elubo sellers in the market and always call to know when prices of elubo increases and when it decreases.
If prices increases in the market increase the price of your elubo too even if you did not buy them costly and if the prices of elubo reduce you can reduce it to encourage customers to always buy from you. It is up to you. Also, always make sure you restock your elubo before they finish totally in your shop as availability is also very important.
5. Profits in Elubo Business
Asides from knowing when prices increases and decreases as a way of making more profit in your elubo/yam flour business, you also have to be tactical in other ways. Tactical in the sense that you have to know when there will be scarcity of yam (amala isu).
Since yam is used in making elubo and is not available at all seasons in Nigeria, there will be times when it will be extremely scarce in Nigeria. You need to be able to know these periods and if possible buy your elubo/yam flour down to sell during the times they will be scarce.
At these periods you can increase the price of your yam flour/elubo to any price that is suitable for you for easy profits. Another way you can make profits from elubo business in Nigeria is to sell in small quantities. Yes, buy your elubo in large quantities and sell them in #300, #400, #500 prices and so in.
– Employ people to help you in the business only when you can afford it and when there are checks and balances that will not make them steal from you.
– Get an account book and always write down what you sell each day. This will make you always be sure if you make profits daily or losses.
6. Risks in Elubo Business
I stylishly mentioned this earlier when I talked about water and rain being the major loss in elubo business. So you really need to protect all your elubo products from water as this will make them spoil. Another risk you can encounter in this business is buying what we call fake elubo.
Although this is not common in elubo business it can happen especially if you buy in a haste majorly if your customer did not open and you really need elubo to buy and sell. If you are someone who takes this kind of risk you need to be really sure that what you are buying is legit.
If you are not sure you can simply wait till your customer is around to buy. Not selling your elubo on time can be another risk you can encounter in elubo business. Yam flour is a kind of food that must be eaten after a certain period it has been grinded.
If your yam flour is not bought and eaten during this period it will be infested with ticks or beetles and this will reduce its quality making customers not to buy again. To escape this you need to always sell your elubo/yam flour on time.
7. Growing your Elubo Business
In yam flour business or any other kind of business in Nigeria when it comes to growing the business fast there are always two options.
And these 2 options are:
1. Being a slave today and be a king tomorrow
2. Being a king today and be a slave tomorrow
This decision is not taken by anybody except you. You can either decide to not spend the profits in the business and always re-invest it and grow the business on time or spend the profits now and make the business stagnant.
You will have to choose one as you cannot eat your cake and have it. Picture where you want the business to be in the next few years and how much you want it to worth financially and plan ahead on how you will get there. If you want to have another branch in a short while plan for it.
8. Connect with the Rich Buyers
Connecting with rich people in Nigeria can also make you make more profit from this business as you can sell your elubo to them at increased prices. You just need to connect with one rich person. If you treat him or her well she will introduce you to her friends which means more profits into your business for you.
Elubo business in Nigeria can be a profitable business for you if you are very industrious and you are willing to try new things as regards the food business in Nigeria. Start the business now if you are passionate about it and watch it prosper beyond limits.