Lagos is one of the largest cities in Africa and with a growing population of about twenty million people; Lagos remains one of the best places to set up a business not just in Nigeria but in Africa.
A lot of people travel to Lagos from around the world daily for various reasons and the largest amongst visitors to Lagos are people who come from all around Nigeria and even Africa for commercial reasons. People flood Lagos markets daily looking for one item or the other to purchase. In fact, there is a popular creed that goes:
“If you can’t find it in Lagos, you will never find it anywhere else.”
If you critically analyze the statement above, you will understand that there is an atom of truth in it. Lagos is business hub, the commercial nerve centre of Nigeria. It has a large market that can absorb any product or services you have to offer.
As a smart investor, you can take advantage of the growing population in Lagos and make money for yourself by meeting certain needs of its residents. Some of the hot businesses you can do in Lagos include-:
Top 20 Small Business ideas & Opportunities in Lagos, Nigeria
1. Start a Food delivery service
More than half of the population of Lagos is made up of working class people and with the traffic situation in Lagos; residents barely have time for themselves. I am talking from a personal experience here. Lagos is often referred to as the city that never sleeps and this is true.
In Lagos, most people find themselves rushing off to work as early as 4:00 am to meet customers demand; and also coming back as late as 10:00 pm at night due to the heavy traffic. Such people barely have time to cook their meals themselves but they have to eat, don’t they?
As a smart investor, you could make money from a food delivery service that would cater to the working class. You can create a website where they can subscribe to a monthly food delivery service and you will supply them three square meals daily. On the website, there would be menu options where they can select their preferred meals for each day.
A good way to tap into this food business is to start a food truck business, or a food cart stand. During the time I was dealing on clothes at Martins street in Lagos Island, I remember looking forward to the food trucks coming everyday to meet our needs. Due to our tight and ever busy schedule to meet customer needs, we often don’t have time to go out to get something to eat.
The food truck guys came, eliminated this problem, made money off us and still left us feeling happy and satisfied. And I can tell you that the food truck entrepreneurs were lifesavers especially during the rainy season.
Everyone loves a clean home and environment but because of the busy lives of most residents of Lagos, there isn’t much time to thoroughly clean their homes and even the surroundings; as they would have loved it.
Honestly, I don’t think I have the time to clean my environment especially during the environmental sanitation periods which holds every last Saturday of the month in Lagos; and I believe a lot of people share my view too.
This is why home cleaning services is now a hot business in Lagos. You could make a minimum of N1, 000 daily from cleaning just one home. So let’s say you are able to clean 50 homes daily (of course you will need extra help), that’s like N50, 000 in a day.
3. Start a Cab service
With the number of people trooping in and out of Lagos daily, you can never go wrong with setting up your own cab service. Cab drivers in Lagos make about N10, 000 daily. The good thing is that you can start with just one car and gradually build your fleet and if you cannot drive the car yourself, you can employ a driver who would give you daily returns.
It all boils down to the busy nature of most Lagos parents. Well, while they get busy with their works and businesses, you can cash in on the opportunity make money for yourself by offering home tutoring services to their kids. You will help children who are weak at certain subjects in school get better and also help them with their home work.
With the use of under aged children as house helps becoming seriously frowned upon by the law, smart entrepreneurs have found a way to create a solution to the problem and make profit too. Nanny/Errand services employ adults who are at least 18 years old and above to help people with their house chores and errands.
You can also start your own babysitting network and make money by helping parents eliminate a problem. However, you must bear in mind that this business is based on trust and reputation; so you must preserve your integrity.
You will need to take a trip to somewhere like Computer Village in Ikeja Lagos to appreciate the viability of this business.
People flock in from all around the country daily searching for one phone or the other. Selling of mobile phones and accessories is one of the hottest businesses in Lagos today. You could also add phone repair services to it for more streams of income.
Most companies give their female staff just three months to nurse their babies after childbirth and then it is back to work. These new mums have no choice but to look for a good crèche to keep their babies while they are at work. In a similar situation, some parents also need a place to keep their kids after school or during weekends. You can start a day care center that would also work on weekends to cater to this category of people.
There is always one event or the other in Lagos every weekend. In fact, statistics published by the Lagos state government revealed that Lagosians spent N1billion (One Billion Naira) on parties (Owambe) in 2013 alone. You can make money from helping people plan and organize some of these parties.
9. Establish a Dating Service
Setting up a dating service means that you would help to link single people who are willing to date together. You would make money from making people pay for subscriptions for this service. You can refocus and narrow your niche by targeting Christian singles, single students, Muslim singles, etc.
10. Become a Business Broker
With the number of commercial activities going on in Lagos, you could make money from acting as a middleman and linking buyers and sellers together or helping businesses source for scarce commodities or raw materials. You can connect importers with retailers and distributors; you can connect exporters with local suppliers or farmers, etc
11. Launch a Mobile Supermarket
A mobile supermarket is another innovative business idea to cater to the needs of busy people who need to purchase one item or the other. With a fancy looking truck stocked with goods, you will take your goods to people’s homes and offices and allow them shop conveniently.
There are a lot of showbiz people and celebrities living in Lagos and one trend that is common among this category of people is the need to be fit and fabulous. A lot of people would not mind parting with some money monthly to hire a personal fitness instructor who would help them achieve that goal.
If there is one group of professionals and non-professionals that hold the ace in Lagos, then it is the real estate agents. As is the case with most overpopulated cities, accommodation is a huge challenge in Lagos and estate agents are banking on this trend to rip off desperate home seekers. You can become a real estate agent and make huge commission from genuinely helping people get their dream homes.
This is a business opportunity that I don’t need to stress much on, as you already know the unemployment problems Nigeria is facing; with Lagos holding the highest number of unemployed people (graduates and non-graduates). With your own Lagos-based employment agency, you will make money from linking job seekers with companies that are looking for capable employees to fill vacant positions.
You can also start a digital photography or video recording business. You can visit event centers to take pictures of guests who would love to capture the moment. If you have enough money to invest, you can take it a notch higher and open a photography studio.
Most tourists coming into Nigeria come in through the Lagos international airport. You can become a tour guide and help tourists enhance their holiday experience.
Helping Lagos residents train and groom their pets is also another smart business idea that you can start with little or no capital.
You can also make money from offering ticket booking and reservation service and visa assistance to people who wish to travel out of the country.
19. Hair stylist
Residents of Lagos are fashion conscious. You can set up a unisex salon that would cater to both men and women hair grooming needs.
20. Cosmetic sales
Selling of cosmetics and personal grooming items is also a very good business opportunity for people interested in investing in Lagos.