The world is a global village now, and as such, there’s no limitations to where or when you must carry out your business, even if you trade physical products. In addition to your local customer base, you can make extra profit by selling your products to people abroad. 

Even as daunting as this may seem, it is very possible. You don’t even have to be selling physical products to start a business like this, but you can source products from other wholesalers, export them and make very cool cash.

If this sounds like something that really interests you, then that’s wonderful because In this article, you’ll be discovering the steps you can take to begin exporting goods internationally.


What products can I export?

There are so much local products that have a high demand internationally, so if you’re looking to become a small scale exporter, then you can export products like;

  • Charcoal
  • Cacoa
  • Crayfish
  • Edible chalks (Nzu)
  • Ginger
  • Garlic
  • Spices
  • Fabrics
  • Groundnuts
  • Kolanuts
  • Melon
  • Ogbono seed
  • Moringa seeds
  • Palmfruit
  • Palmoil 
  • Plantain
  • Tigernuts
  • Vegetables
  • Zobo leaves
  • Walnuts
  • Cashew nuts
  • Breadfruit
  • Bitter kola


Steps to start a small scale export business in Nigeria

You can kickstart a successful small scale export business in Nigeria by going through the following 5 steps;

  • Register your business
  • Decide on the products you want to export
  • Find foreign buyers
  • Connect with suppliers
  • Export products


1) Register your business

This is the first step to take if you want to start-up a business like this. As a small/ midsize business, all you have to do is register your business name through the Corporate Affairs Commission in order to become a legitimate business.

On average, it will cost between N10,000 to  N20,000 to get this done and it typically takes an average of 2 weeks to process


2) Decide on the products you want to export

Choosing products that you want to export entails one very important detail; they must be desirable in the international market. If you already sell products that have international demand, then you can focus on them for starters and export them, but if you happen not to have these products, then you have to find them.

In order to decide on products really fit for export, you must do the following things;

Examine trends- Take advantage of social media to discover products that are in the trend internationally and do some research on them

Analyze the competition- You need to discover the players in this industry and find out how they operate. Ask yourself if you want to start exporting products that don’t have as many exporters or if you want to join and export products that already have a lot of people exporting them.

If the latter happens to be the case, then ensure you distinguish yourself by creating a unique selling point for yourself.

Research the products- You must ensure that you carry out adequate research on products that you’re intent on exporting in order to make informed decisions on them.

Identify existing government policies- You must be aware of government policies that are currently in play in order not to be caught off guard. Make enquiries about the export laws in the country and those of the country you’re willing to trade with.

Identify your target market – Know what your ideal customer and your ideal country’s market looks like. You can start off with one buyer and keep expanding your clientele base as time goes on.


3) Find foreign buyers

You would agree that there’s literally no point exporting products internationally if there are no buyers for them, right? This goes to show how important this is. This is one of the most important aspects of this business, and it can be complicated because it’s not just like walking to someone locally and pitching your products/services to them.

However you can find potential buyers by going through online markets like Alibaba, Aliexpress and so on. You could also learn a lot about foreign buyers by visiting their chambers of commerce in Nigeria.

Another alternative to finding buyers is by attending trade fairs/ trade shows. Here, different companies in the same industry come together for exhibition purposes and this aids connecting and networking. 

In order to find potential buyers, you could also take other routes like;

  • Registering with the national export board – they specialize in promoting the business of Nigerian exporters
  • Source for buying agents – these are people that help international companies buy products physically from specific countries.
  • Take advantage of online ads – you can pitch your products and services to millions of people worldwide and acquire customers from anywhere just by running online ads. 
  • Join relevant associations- Associations have a network of people that might be interested in getting the products you’re offering, so join the relevant ones to your niche and network
  • Use social media– Almost everyone is on social media, including your potential customers. Therefore, using social media to strategically find and connect to them will do you a lot of good.


4) Connect with suppliers

You’ll definitely need a constant supply of products to export if you’re not going to be exporting your own products, and as such, the next step to take is to find ideal suppliers. In doing this, you have to ensure that the products obtained from your suppliers are high quality ones because this cannot be compromised if you want your foreign customers to keep coming back to you.

To find suppliers, you can head online to google and type the products you’re looking for and include terms like “wholesaler”, “supplier” and  “distributor” at the end. For example, if you’re looking for someone to supply you shoes, your search query could be; “shoe supplier”, “shoe distributor” or “shoe wholesaler”.

You can also find credible suppliers at trade shows, through referrals and industry professionals. Just make sure you’re intentional about looking for the right supplier, and you’ll be surprised that there are a lot out there.



Just like in the mini-importation business, small scale exporters are making good money from tapping into the foreign market. Whether you’re already an entrepreneur and sell a particular product, or you’re totally new into entrepreneurship, you can become a mini importer by following the easy steps already listed above.

But if you ever need financial assistance to help you scale and grow this export business, then look no further than Shecluded, because we’re all about financing business growth. You can apply for a quick growth loan by clicking here