Starting a product distribution company in Nigeria is big business.
Most participants or entrepreneurs know this fully well and also the likely benefits which may accrue to them. This gives them the confidence of investing in such a business. However, it is important to note that not every company has a formidable brand. This is the reason why we will provide you with actionable steps on how to become a Unilever (Formerly Lever Brothers PLC) distributor.
You may have heard about Lever Brothers either on the news or from other sources from way back before its change of name to Unilever Nigeria PLC. However, what many Nigerians are unaware of is that products from this company find their way into arguably every household in the country! This is moreso as its products are termed FMCG products (Fast Moving Consumer Goods). You may be shocked, but wait for this; These products are surprisingly popular sundry consumer products which include Close-up toothpaste, Royco, Omo detergent, Lipton yellow label tea, and Blueband margarine among several others.
The deep penetration and acceptance of its products among Nigerians makes it the ideal company to do business with. As a Unilever distributor, you are not faced with problems of product acceptance as the reputation of the company is not in doubt among Nigerians.
Requirements to Become a Unilever Distributor
As with any business of note, there are requirements you need to meet. These requirements are necessary for full take off of business. For Unilever Nigeria PLC, the requirements for becoming its distributor include;
A Good Understanding of the Consumer Goods Market
Becoming a Unilever requires that you possess knowledge on how the market works. The consumer goods market is very dynamic and witnesses continuous changes in consumer behavior. Having an understanding of how this works is an added advantage in your quest to becoming a distributor.
The Financial Resources
This is of utmost importance to achieving your objective. Therefore, it is important that you have the required funding to start this business. How much funding does one require you may ask. The start-up capital needed falls within the range of N9,000,000 to N35,000,000. However, if you will be applying for debt financing, the loans should not exceed 50% of your working capital.
Good Communication Skills
Another requirement for becoming a distributor is the possession of good communication skills. What do we mean by possessing good communication skills? It simply means means you should be able to communicate effectively in English, a local language as well as Pidgin. This is necessary because these are the dominant languages which will likely be spoken by your customers.
A necessary ingredient for becoming a Unilever distributor is to possess high integrity. This is of utmost importance to the company as you will be an extension of the company. Therefore, it is necessary that you are trustworthy and are able to work within the guidelines of company policy. Anything less than this is not good enough and will result in sanctions if found wanting.
Equipment and Staffing
To become a Unilever distributor, there are additional requirements you must meet. These includes equipment necessary for the job as well as being able to hire your workforce. These should consist of a Manager, Salesmen as well as accountants among others. By equipment, we mean having distribution trucks or vans which will be used in transporting products from your warehouse to your customers. The availability of these will facilitate easy conduct of business for you. Wherever you are in Nigeria, you can apply for distributorship rights once you meet these requirements.
Qualifying as a Unilever distributor enables you to be part of a successful brand which has been around for over 7 decades. It enables you to partake in its tradition of excellence in the provision of high quality consumer goods to households. As a result of qualifying as a distributor, you benefit from training sessions meant to help you achieve your best potential.
Although these are provided after qualifying as a distributor, it does not stop, as it is an ongoing process. It must be state here that the profit potential is enormous. Diligence and hardwork in handling your business affairs have the capacity to greatly enhance profitability and projecting you to the zenith!