Exportation business is a big business around the world. When you see the volume of imports into Nigeria, you would see how much business people in other countries have made by selling to customers outside the shores of their lands. No country has it all, hence there’s bound to be trade among countries. It is no exaggerating when we say Nigeria is blessed with loads of resources in demand around the world; Palm Oil, Cassava, Sugar cane, Charcoal, Maize, Cocoa, etc these are resources in abundance in Nigeria that have ready markets outside Nigeria. With Exportation projected to be worth $30 billion according to Nigerian Export Promotion Council (NEPC), and with the recent economic downturn faced by the country in which many have blamed it on our sole dependence on oil export as Nigeria’s only source of economic sustenance, it is expected that Nigeria move towards more exportation of non-oil resources. Having said that, how we go about getting foreign buyers is a tough task as one has to consider tough factors like trust, and tedious activities like logistics and paper works This post is to give you options on how to locate foreign buyers for your Nigerian Export products, so let’s get to it right away:
- National Export Boards
Pics Credit: NEPC website
The NEPC is committed to driving the zero-oil export in Nigeria. Registering with the NEPC allows the agency to confirm your status as an exporter on any inquiry and also refer you to buyers on inquiries and facilitate global partnerships. This is mostly done by conducting events like trade shows in which sellers connect with prospects for their products. They are encouraging business people in Nigeria to export more. As a registered member you benefit things like Market entry research to foreign countries, trade information, dissemination of both domestic and international commodities prices etc. The good thing is you can register online on their online portal
- Countries’ Chamber of Commerce
There are Chambers of Commerce for different countries in Nigeria. We also have bilateral Chambers of commerce to help foster trade between Nigeria and other countries. Nigeria has trade relationships with countries like India, China, Holland, United states, etc. These days it is easier to reach these centers from the comfort of your home by visiting their web portals. A simple google search can help you locate their web address. When contacting these people you have to have all necessary information they need to convince them you are a genuine business.
- Buying agents
Buying agents are procurement agents. They represent businesses from other countries looking to procure the necessary resources. Most foreign Buyers work based on research and knowledge that the resources they need is present in the country. So they go about sourcing these resources. You can contact their buying agents in Nigeria and let them know of your products. Some of the private consultants can be buying agents for other countries in Nigeria since they know more of the markets than the companies abroad do.
- Online Search Engines
There millions of searches on google everyday while you’re thinking on how to get buyers, a simple positioning yourself for your prospects to find your business on google search can even do the trick for you. If you’re familiar with SEO, It is all about ranking well at the top of any search i.e. when browsers input certain keywords related to your business anywhere in the world, they can find your website among the search results. Some level of investment is needed here to come up with a web page and also to hire SEO experts who can help your web page rank high on the first page. Let’s say for example a company in Europe has identified Nigeria to be cocoa rich, and they need establish connection with suppliers, in the course of their research online, they would probably have visited google to type something like this “cocoa in Nigeria” let’s see the result below:
When you click the first search result, it takes you to the following web page of a business which sells agro-products somewhere in Nigeria:
So imagine you had created a nice blog post relating these keywords on your web page, what happens is your blog post would appear on the search and it directs your prospects to.
In coming up with your own platform, you have to worry about cost of developing the platform, maintenance, and constant update of content- this can be time and resource consuming sometimes.
- Online social communities
You can get busy on social media platforms like LinkedIn and Facebook. I have seen people contact me on LinkedIn from other countries about what product they have and how they’re looking for distributors for their products. Of course there are trust issues, but you should be able to approach people in such a way that it gets their attention. A lot of things come to play when connecting with people on social media for the purpose of getting quality business network; you should be able to show your business is built with integrity. So starting from you profile information, they all have to be up-to-date and genuine.
- Online ads
Google and Facebook ads are most suitable. Depending on your budget, you can run online ads to target several audiences. This is a useful tool to get your products in there for customers to see you. Although it might cost you, but you can really use this means to get quality leads for your products online. Once you get these prospects, be sure to put things in place where your prospects can contact you- if possible get their email address for further follow-up.
Issues with this method is you can spend much and still fall in the hands of wrong people who can scam you off your money. Also, most buyers already have proven network through which they are relatively safe getting buyers and suppliers, they wouldn’t want to try something new. So you have to be really persistent and patient over period of time to see dividend for your effort.
- Online marketplace Portals
In the world of eCommerce, sourcing and connecting with businesses across the globe just got easier. It seemed to be the easiest way to do business these days especially when you think of global trading. Instead of travelling across the world to meet or connect with business people, you can do full business transactions and make your money. The beautiful thing about these eCommerce marketplaces is; for a monthly subscription fee, they amass huge amount of traffic to your online store which helps you get more buyers to do more business.