What is wrong with a young man running a canteen? Nothing, absolutely nothing.
Men are known to be great cooks. The first winners of food competition in this country are men.
Canteen business vomits money like faulty (kalokalo) gaming machine. But our people will not venture into it except some Igbo guys. One big advantage here is that you will feed free indirectly.
The only thing is you have to make tasty meals. If you cannot and you cannot get somebody to do this for you, forget it. A small shop, two plastic tables and chairs and cooking utensils are all you need.
People will come because you are young. I will prefer to eat in the canteen of a dashy young man to that of an old woman. Besides, because you are educated you will do it better.
Do I have to convince you food is very profitable?
See the lorry loads of money Mr Biggs, Tantalizers and others are making. UAC was being fed by Mr Biggs for many years.
Investigate the woman you eat lunch with, you will be shocked the type of investment she has. You do not even need that.
During lunch, glance around and mentally calculate the amount of money she is collecting and do the arithmetic till evening, you will understand. She may look dirty but she is not poor.
A guy here runs a canteen with his wife and he rolls a neat Honda car. For Gods sake, if a canteen owner slaughters 4 to 5 goats a day, you cannot call her poor.
You do not have to be like everybody. Spice it up.
If they are all making garri, make porridge or semovita or salad and rice. Cut a niche for yourself. Make your place neat and be cheerful to your customers. Most importantly, cook what your clients like not what you like.
Food is good business. It has a large margin of error and you can hardly go wrong if you get your recipe right. I can expand further on other branches of food but this should do for now.
Next we will discuss the first E.
E = EDUCATION
We have discussed F for food. Now we will discuss the first E which stands for education.
Education they say is the first profession. You start learning from the first day you arrive. The territory is large and I tell you there is room for everybody everywhere.
Dr Obazzu Ojeagbese says, identify the gap you want to teach, learn it and teach it.
And he is right. I bet you, that is all he does at SADC in Okota, Lagos for people from all over the country. And I can tell you, he is not complaining, neither are his students.
I am aware you cannot start where he is now but then he did not start yesterday. The idea is, start with what you have where you are.
Like I said, the field is large, from crèche to University level.
The government cannot cope. Do not mind their noise they cannot stop you because they need you. They know all about those unregistered schools but deliberately they close their eyes because they know you are filling a gap.
Just let them know you are there, they will allow you to operate till your outfit is approved.
I can tell you with authority that 50% of schools are not approved and the owners are making money. I know because I am involved.
About 5 schools surrounding mine are not approved and they are operating. Why, because the education sky is big enough for all of us to fly.
With education, you do not bother with light, no raw material. Your cost after setting up is mainly the salary and as long as that is covered the rest is yours. It is so easy to plan ahead.
So how do you enter?
Simple, your fund determines your point of entry. Many of the big schools you see today started in two or three rooms’ apartment. You can even start with a shop. Yes a shop, a big shop.
The easiest way to share out of this pie is to prepare SS3 students for NECO, WASCE, JAMB and the technical exams.
This will fetch you money through out the year. Your staff are brilliant corpers. They are fresh and hot and cheap. A few benches in a big shop are all you need to take off. Your clients are legion.
Look at the failure rate in NECO and WASCE this year. About 8% pass for NECO and about 13% for WASCE. Those who failed have to rewrite the examinations if they want to further their education.
Apart from the little initial capital outlay, the fees will pay the teachers.
As of now you start taking them in for JAMB and June exams.
The joy is that you can combine them together because the syllabi are not so different. Immediately after NECO/WASCE in June or July, you take another batch for the NECO and WASC GCEs in October and November.
After that you take them in for next JAMB and June WASCE and NECO.I know because I am still paying some people for this service.
You cannot lose but your teachers have to be good.
If you don’t have good results that is the end of the film.
Now, if you have average of 50 paying #3000 or more per month, that is beginning of good business. You will still make money from registration and results checking.
Done properly, you are on the way to having a secondary school which is the real money juju.
If you have the fund go and set up a secondary school and get good corpers.
You can start in a three bedroom flat. Forget about the noise on registration. Just apply and your answer is “”registration in progress””
Be honest and make sure you register your students with already approved schools. You cannot lose even if all the witches in your family are against you.
Then you still have the primary school which brings money too but not as much as secondary school. Besides, the competition there is tense.
Everybody thinks he can do that but they run away from secondary schools.
Ok, you cannot afford those, and then start a crèche.Do this where there are high net individuals. Kids they must have, time they do not have. Set up one equipped with TV and CDS.
Treat them well and bill their parents fat. Pay they sure will as long as they are sure their kids are in good hands. Many big schools started like that.
I know your brain would have been thinking of other areas under education. I told you it is vast.
There are states in this country where they do not have vocational schools for artisans like plumber, electricians, fitters and the country needs them.
I have not seen a private NCE school and we need teachers.
There is a private university at Ife in Osun state which started as a private polytechnic and I tell you the Polytechnic was and is still not much to write home about in infrastructure and the guy has made his money.
There is another private university in Owo, Ondo state which started as a professional school of Accountancy and that part time professional school is still there.
Boy, the room is large enough. The decision is yours; but my advice is, start where you are with what you have.
Education pays and pays well.
If you say education is expensive, try illiteracy.
Next we talk about the other E, Is somebody guessing?
NOTE The Two JAMBS have been combined together as one. It is called UTME
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