The world is getting to the point where every home will have a computer, it is no longer an option but a necessity with respect to the global village status it has attained. Millions of offices and homes are now having one form of computer or the other while millions are being added every year.
The use of the computer in Nigeria has grown beyond imagination. Nigerians in the public sector, private sector, and homes in cities, towns and villages now need the computer in one form or the other in most things they do. Students make use of computers/laptops for research and project work, website design, ICT training classes while many government offices and private companies’ business depend on internet to get things done by way of the computer. Computers are here to stay. That’s why starting a computer related business is a brilliant idea.
The world of Information and Communication Technology has become quite large in the country and this has made the “computer accessories” business a profitable venture. Computer peripherals and accessories are devices that connect to the system unit using cables or wireless technologies. They connect to a computer system to add functionality. Examples are a mouse, keyboard, monitor, printer and scanner. These peripherals and accessories often go bad and will need replacement.
There are many different peripheral devices, but they fall into three general categories:
- Input devices, such as a mouse and a keyboard
- Output devices, such as a monitor and a printer
- Storage devices, such as a hard drive or flash drive
- Some devices fall into more than one category. Consider a CD-ROM drive; you can use it to read data or music (input), and you can use it to write data to a CD (output).
Peripheral devices can be external or internal. For example, a printer is an external device that you connect using a cable, while an optical disc drive is typically located inside the computer case. Internal peripheral devices are also referred to as integrated peripherals. The concept of what exactly is ‘peripheral’ is therefore somewhat fluid. For a desktop computer, a keyboard and a monitor are considered peripherals – They can easily be connected and disconnected and replaced if needed. For a laptop computer, these components are built into the computer system and can’t be easily removed.
The parts and accessories that often need replacement are:
– Hard disks.
– CD and DVD Drives.
– Flash drives
– USB cables
– Graphic tablets
– Bluetooth adaptors
– USB hubs
– Photo/printing papers
– CD stomper
– Toner/Ink cartridges/refill kits.
– – — Blank CDs /DVDs.
– PC Speakers and headsets.
– SDRAM/ DDRAM memory mod.
This business is one of the low-cost opportunities in the computer industry. Additionally, the peripherals/accessories sometimes fetch more profit than the main products. You can start this business not only in metro cities but also in small towns. It involves buying computer accessories in bulk and selling to customers who need such items. This is a business that has a high success rate as there are a lot of people that need peripherals/accessories on a daily/weekly/monthly basis.
How to Start:
Knowledge of computer peripherals/accessories is required for this business, it is important you know all the names of computer spare parts, peripherals, accessories etc. and their market prices. You will need to undergo some form of training through apprenticeship in a computer store selling accessories/peripherals for some time. This will enable you to learn –
- names of the accessories and how much they are sold to the consumer;
- the brands you need to buy (or those that move fast in the market);
- the price to buy them and where to buy;
- customer relations’ skills and how to scout for clients and maintain them.
So that you will not end up wasting/losing a lot of money!
2. Business Plan and Registration
You need a business plan to run this business successfully. This will give you an idea of the financial implication; marketing strategy and a sneak peek into
- Fixed cost and Working capital;
- Long & medium and short-term Financial estimates;
- Total capital involvement/ Return on Investment;
- Cost of computer accessories and peripherals etc.
Then you can and should register a business name with the CAC (Cooperate Affairs Commission) and fulfill all the requirements needed by the authorities to start the business. Registering your business is a very important step you must take to bring your business idea into reality.
You will need to rent a shop to start selling the accessories. Get a shop in an area where you will be close to your target customers like companies and organizations or places where computers are sold and repaired. Construct and build the necessary showcases to host your products (stock up, open and start selling).
You do not need a lot money to start this business. Approximately (i.e. to get a space and some products) =N=500, 000 should be enough to start off your business. Start small and grow running a lean business! Depending on your financial standing, you may meet friends, relations and silent investors to raise additional capital.
Try running a lean business and avoid financial excesses to minimize the amount of money you’re borrowing. This will enable you focus your efforts and attention on sustain and growing your business and not spend your precious time and effort repaying debt.
6. Marketing Your Business:
The next thing is to find a way to reach out to customers, let people know of you and your business by marketing your business every day. Come up with a marketing style that works for you. Try the following:
- Community advert: visit companies, offices, schools etc.;
- Flyers/pamphlet drops;
- Web marketing via Jiji, Instagram, Facebook, WhatsApp etc.;
- Networking among fellow sellers/traders;
- Radio advert.
Consider hosting a Business Website – It could be a good idea to have a website where customers can easily place order on your items from anywhere, any day and at any time.
- It is a fast selling business;
- Comes with high profit margin;
- Accessories/Peripherals are not perishable;
- It is not a seasonal business, i.e. it is an all year business.
You need to be watchful and patient with this business though; as lucrative as it seems, like any other business there are pitfalls. The unstable exchange rate and the speed at which the prices of computer components fall makes it a business that requires careful study and right connection to good suppliers. Also, be careful of rodents eating into the cable/connectors.
Start small and establish a reputation for superior customer service and quality with your first set of customers before making bigger commitments to your business. Oral promotion (referrals) cost you nothing but brings in new and repeat business!
Remember the three P’s: “Patience, Persistence and Perseverance” is the Key to success! Good Luck.