Met this lady the other day. While discussing how hard things were for her, she let me in on her struggles to make ends meet. I felt really bad for her. So I asked her what she did to generate income and she said, "petty trade". What sort? I asked, her answer was..... perfumes.
She buys cheap perfumes from the market and sells in her area. I was surprised for a number of reasons. The most pressing was the fact that she did not take her neighborhood into consideration when choosing a business to do.
As we talked and she told me about how her business wasn't doing well, I began to make other suggestions of produce that may sell well for her. Some things that came to mind were, garri, rice, oil, Maggi, salt or even firewood or soap?
You see petty trade is a good business. It gives you the opportunity to break down produce into quantities that are affordable to just about anyone. I have seen a 200 naira bottle of groundnut oil poured into 12 little polythene sachets and sold at twenty naira each, a sachet of seasoning (maggi) repackaged into five cubes each and sold to those who only need it that one time.
When you think of a petty business don't just start selling just anything. Do some research, look around you and ask yourself, what the need is? Be creative.
I leave you with is advice.... Petty trade has no class. If you can't do it, invest in someone who can.
I've seen a bag of detergent transform into a provision shop. Start small grow big!
Until next time, remember to stay safe and inspired.