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How to Start Provision Store Business in Nigeria



Provision Store Business in Nigeria

So you probably have some money set aside and you are thinking of starting a provision store business in Nigeria or a grocery store business in Nigeria. Or maybe you do not have the capital yet but you are planning towards starting the business? You have landed on the right blog.

In this article, I will be explaining how to can start a profitable provision store business in Nigeria from scratch. A provision store business is a business anyone can start whether male or female. It is not a business for women alone and it is a business that brings daily income to you every day.

It is also for hardworking people who have the ability to pay attention to details and are very calculative so if you cannot do any of this you will need to learn whilst you are in the business. It can be very lucrative if you are selling essential items that people use every day more than items that people barely need.

But the major disadvantage in the business, however, is that the business has been overstretched or should I say watered down. Watered down in the sense that too many people are going into the business thus reducing the high profits you are to make in the business. For example on the street where I reside in Lagos, I have 4 provision stores very close to my house.

This kind of disadvantage will always give the consumers more edge than you the business owner. However, before the end of this article, I will explain to you how you can still make profits in the business even though you have many competitors in the same area as you.

Is Provision Business Profitable?

Yes, it is a provision store business or grocery store business profitable business because it is a business that caters to the daily needs of people. It provides grocery items available for consumers without them leaving their place of residence. It is profitable because they are items people cannot do without.

Provision store business is a profitable business if you are at the right location selling your provision at moderate prices. Depending on how big your provision store business is and how much you have in your shop you can make average sales of #10,000 – #40,000 per day.

Full List of Provision Items

There are many items you can sell in your provision store in Nigeria. Some of which we use daily and some we use once in a while. Here are the provision store items listed below.

Provision Store Lists

1. Soaps and detergents

2. Toothpaste

3. Sponges

4. Tissue (toilet paper)

5. Sugar

6. Milk (tin and sachet)

7. Tea

8. Biscuits

9. Sweets

10. Soft drinks and pure water

11. Fruit juice

12. Wine

13. Can drinks

14. Spaghetti and instant noodles

15. Detergents

16. Bleach

17. Cold water starch

18. Toilet soap

19. Liquid soap

20. Baby wipes

21. Pampers

22. Izal

23. Dettol

24. Body cream

25. Facial cream

26. Hair cream

27. Relaxer

28. Shampoo

29. Face mask

30. Perfume

31. Candles

32. Batteries

33. Insecticides

34. Glue

35. Light bulbs

36. Air freshener

37. Shoe polish

38. Chewing gum

39. Chocolate

40. Peanut butter

41. Milk

42. Jam

43. Margarine

44. Mayonnaise

45. Custard

46. Bread

47. Cereal

48. Salt

49. Pen

50. Erasers

And more. As for the price of these items, it varies due to inflation and other reasons so it is impossible to find a provision list with prices in Nigeria online.

Equipment to Set up Provision Store

There are many equipment needed to start a provision store business in Nigeria. This equipment varies. It depends on how big and the capital you want to use to start your provision store business.

1. Display Shelves

2. Fans or Air Conditioners

3. Electric bulbs

4. Standby Generator – If you are selling drinks.

How to Start Provision Store Business in Nigeria

Steps on how to start a profitable provision store business in Nigeria.

1. Write a Business Plan

The first step in starting a provision store business in Nigeria is to write a business plan. This is very important as it opens your mind to so many important factors you are likely to miss out on starting the provision store business.

Having a business plan for your provision store business in Nigeria helps you know how much capital is enough for you, the size of the shop or container you will rent, the location of the business, equipment needed for the start of business, how much provision items that are needed to kick start the business and others.

With a good business plan, you can never fail in the business no matter how big your capital is and no matter the risk involved because the business plan makes you aware of this risk and the necessary solutions beforehand. The importance of a business plan cannot be over-emphasized except you are not investing much capital into your provision business.

Contact me with our official email if want a business plan on this business and you do not know how to go about it. Our charges are consumer-friendly. Read our guide on how to write business plan in Nigeria.

2. Get your Required Capital

Your business plan for your provision store business will let you know how much you need as capital to start your provision store business in Nigeria as there is no specific capital needed in starting the business. You can start a provision store business in Nigeria with 500k, 700k, or even #1M it depends on so many factors present. 

The most important question is how available is the capital. If you do not have up to any of these amounts I mentioned above you can either save up for the business or seek financial support from friends and family. Whatever you do just make sure you are not borrowing from financial institutions to start the business as the risk involved might be too high.

My best advice here is to wait until you can afford to start the business or start with whatever capital you already have and grow the business gradually.

3. Rent a Shop or Get a Container

In a provision store business having a space facing the road where you sell your provision items is the most important except you are doing the provision store business from home. You need to rent a shop or a container that is big enough to accommodate all your items both now and in the nearest future.

Factors to Consider When Renting a Shop or Container

A. Location

You need to choose the right location when starting this business as location determines the profits you will be making from the business as time goes by. You need to make sure that where ever your provision store business is located it is at a place where people really need your items. And a place that is crowded – where many people pass daily.

B. Safety

You also need to consider safety in this business. You do not want a place where you can be robbed of your money in broad daylight or a place where your goods could be stolen in the night. You do not want a place where your customers cannot also guarantee their security. If your shop area is not safe people will not come in to buy your items.

C. Electricity

Power is another factor you should consider as a factor in the area you are planning to start a provision store business. Although we know power is not perfect yet in Nigeria you should consider renting a shop in an area where the power supply is on the average. This is very important for your drinks. If your drinks are not cold many Nigerians might not buy them often.

4. Furnish the Shop or Container

After renting a shop on a budget for your provision store business, the next step is to furnish the shop or container to your taste. Paint the walls if you need to and install display shelves where items are placed. Also, do not forget to install electric bulbs in the shop. This will help you locate items easily especially when it is dark.

You need to install fans or air conditioners for the cooling of the shop too. All these are necessary for your comfort or the comfort of your staff and most of all your customers.

5. Register your Provision Business

Depending on the size of your provision store business you might need to register the business under the CAC (Corporate Affairs Commission). This is to make sure you avoid any legal issues from the government. If your provision store is a small business like the container size business or a small shop you might not need to register your business.

But if the business is a big store like a walk-in provision store (mini supermarket) you might need to register the business. Asides this, there are other registrations you might need to do depending on your locality or the states you are in Nigeria. You need to ask other store owners around you to know the exact registrations and how you can go about it.

During these registrations, you will be asked many questions about your business. This is where your business plan will help you. You will also be asked for the name of your provision store business. This is commonly known as a business name – a name that is unique to your provision store alone (brand).

You will need to figure out a name that is unique to you and unique to your brand. One of the advantages of registering your provision store business under the CAC is that it makes your business recognized under the government – your business becomes a legal entity. Read our article on how to register your business name in Nigeria.

6. Buy your Provision Items

When it comes to buying your provision items for your provision store business there are a few things you will need to consider. Some of these are where you can buy your provisions items cheap, the other is the distance from this place to your store.

If you can be able to get a good place or market where you can get your items at the cheapest prices and the distance where you get them is not far from your shop you are on your way to making big profits in the business.

Where to Buy Wholesale Provision in Lagos

If you are in Lagos State one major place where you can get your provision items at the cheapest prices is EKO market in CMS. This market is like the one-stop for all provision items – from the soaps down to assorted wines. You just need to plan for yourself when you are going there.

If you have your own personal bus you can go on your bus but if you do not have one you can book one for easy transportation of your items after you bought them.

7. Start Selling your Provision Items

There should not be a day appointed to start sales at your store except if you want to have a grand opening. You can start selling your items immediately after your customers start coming in to buy. One of the mistakes people usually make when they start selling is to sell below their selling price.

I have seen this happen to one of my friends who own a provision store. Despite the fact that she is not new to the business she still makes mistakes at this. To counter this you can put price tags with sellotape on the items or better still have a book where you write the prices of all your items. So you can simply refer to it anytime you cannot remember the prices of your items.

8. Dealing with Competitors

In this business, it is common to have competitors – these people sell almost the same thing as you do and worst of it all they are in the same street with you. Well, there are many ways you can deal with them without really dealing with them if you know what I mean. How to Deal With Competition in the Provision Store Business

A. Branding

This is important for you if your provision store business is a medium-sized store. What I mean by branding here is to be unique. This could be the way you attend to customers or any other thing that your competitors are not doing but you know your customers will like. The best way to do this is to look at what your competitors are not doing and simply implement it.

B. Open on Holidays and Close late

When your grocery shop is always open during holidays or close late it makes people know that you are serious and reliable about your provision store. This will make them buy from you more especially when other provision stores are not opened when they need items.

C. Sell Cheaper Items

This technique is only good if you have found balance in the business and you are bold enough to take risks. Although it reduces profits it does not reduce that much. All you need is to reduce the prices of your items and voila people will leave your competitors to buy from you.

9. Profits in Provision Business

There is only one way you can increase profits in your provision store business and this is to increase sales. If at most 50 customers come in to buy from you there should be some things you can do to make more people came in to buy thus increasing profits. One of these things you can do is to inform more people about your provision store.

Here you can inform your friends, families, co-workers, and church members. All these people combined will increase the traffic in your store thus increasing profits. Earlier, I talked about you making sure you are buying your provision items for your provision store business from Wholesalers.

Doing this is very important as it helps you to make profits too. Let us say a sachet of peak milk is #45 if you buy it in dozens. From the wholesalers it might be way cheaper – it might be sold at #42. You will make more profit if you sell at retailers’ prices at #50. I also talked about opening on holidays and closing late this also increases your profits in this business.


Provision store business is a lucrative business for so many reasons asides from the fact that it is a daily income business. It also takes care of the daily needs of people thus making your store a place people cannot stop visiting to buy items. Provision store business will make money for you whether the economy is smiling or not.

It is a business that is rarely affected by its environment. That is all in this article. As usual, let me know if I missed any part of this article.


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Ralph Bamigboye is an Accountant. He is the owner of, and Finance Naija YouTube Channel. He has helped many individuals to start their businesses and make money online. How can he help you?

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