Currently, a lot of people are desperately seeking ways to increase their finances in order to survive the harsh economic conditions in our country. The unavailability of jobs has made many Nigerians to become self-employed, and to do that successfully, one must be highly skilled in a particular field. That is a big problem for several people. They really want to start their own businesses, but they are confused about what business to start, since they do not have special skills.

There are various profitable businesses to start with little or no money. All you need to do is to discover what you have passion for. What is that thing you can provide for others that will give you joy? In addition, you must be determined and focused since no enterprise is easy to start or run. However, the aforementioned qualities will give your business sustainability.

One great obstacle to overcome when you want to start your own business is fear. I have friends that would have had big businesses by now, but they could not start them due to their fears of failure. They had the money to invest, but they were afraid that people might not patronize their shops, and at the end of the day, their businesses might collapse.

Sincerely, you should not give fear room to stop you when you have the desire to become an entrepreneur. There is a popular saying that states that “nothing ventured, nothing gained”. If you don’t try, how will you know how it will end? Fear should never be entertained at all. Just start that business with faith and be hard-working; you would be amazed at what you would achieve.

20 businesses you can start with little or no money

1. The production and sales of liquid bathing soap

2. The production and sales of dish/car wash liquid soap

3. The sales of perfumes

4. Food vendor business

5. POS (Point of Sale) business

6. Bottled/sachet water supply

7. Cooking gas supply

8. Printing consultant

9. Company/business documents consultant

10. Buying and selling of wears

11. Snacks business

12. Home food delivery services

13. Logistics business

14. Plantain chips business

15. Clothes washing services for homes

16. Real estate business

17. Vegetable farming and sales

18. Home teacher

19. Laundry services

20. Home cleaning services.

How to produce a natural body wash

For this edition, we will focus on how to produce and sell a natural body wash.

A body wash is a form of a liquid bathing soap, which is prepared with special oils to heal and improve the skin. It is made chiefly of organic materials that treat skin infections, including eczema, pimples, acne, rashes, stretch marks, skin tags and so on.

Materials needed for a natural body wash (20 litres)

1. Antisol (1/8kg)

2. Ghana soap (1 big wrap)

3. Ghana pink soap (6 thin slices)

4. Sandalwood powder (3 spoonfuls)

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5. Camwood powder (3 spoonfuls)

6. Sodium lauryl sulfate (SLS) 1/4kg

7. Honey (2 spoonfuls)

8. Perfume (5ml)

9. Shea butter (1kg)

10. Palm oil (2 spoonfuls)

1. Antisol: This is a thickener in the production of liquid soap. It is a whitish substance that dissolves in water.

2. Ghana soap: This soap has natural antibacterial and exfoliating properties. Also, it improves the skin texture and tone. Besides, it heals most skin conditions.

3. Ghana pink soap: This soap helps to improve on any complexion to avoid having a dark complexion.

4. Sandalwood powder: This powder increases skin elasticity, moisture, and prevents wrinkles.

5. Camwood powder: This substance has antioxidants that remove toxic materials from the skin. Moreover, it brightens the skin and clears blemishes.

6. Sodium lauryl sulfate (SLS): This is a thickening and foaming agent.

7. Tumeric: This herb brightens the skin and decreases inflammation. Therefore, it enables the skin to create new tissues.

8. Honey: This substance heals the skin of infections and reduces inflammation.

9. Shea butter: Moisturizes the skin and makes it glow. Also, it has anti-inflammatory properties.

10. Palm oil: This oil moisturizes the skin. Besides, it clears sunburn.

11. Perfume: This substance gives your body wash a sweet fragrance of your choice.

The making process

Step 1. Get a 20-litre container, fill it with water, and add the whole antisol. Then stir and leave it to dissolve. It takes about 2 days (48 hours) for antisol to dissolve to a great extent and 4 days (96 hours) to dissolve completely. Thus, you must soak it some days before your day of production to avoid delays.

Step 2. On the night before your production day, pour 3 litres of the dissolved antisol into a container. Slice the Ghana and pink soaps thinly and add them into this particular quantity of antisol. Also, add the SLS to it.

Step 3. When you’re ready for production, put the shea butter in a cellophane bag, tie it, put it in a bowl of hot water, and cover the bowl. The shea butter should liquefy after 10 minutes.

Step 4. Filter the dissolved antisol into another 20-litre container to separate the yet to be dissolved lumps of antisol.

Step 6. Pour the solution of the Ghana and pink soaps and the SLS into the antisol. Then stir.

Step 7. Add the shea butter, honey, camwood, sandalwood, tumeric, palm oil, lime juice, and perfume. Then stir properly. Afterwards, leave your soap solution for 2 hours to settle. Then add your salt and stir again. Hooray! Your natural body wash is ready.

In case your soap is too thick, add some water. In liquid soap making, you must be careful of the amount of water you add to your soap to avoid having a watery soap. The thickness of liquid soap is quite important since customers prefer to buy thick and foamy liquid soap.

Please note that this soap formation is for any colour. It does not bleach the skin but brings out the best of your natural complexion.

Antisol, SLS, and perfumes can be got from any liquid soap materials shop in any city in Nigeria, while the rest can be obtained from the Yoruba ladies that sell herbs in the market.

How to market your product

The first people you should sell your product to are your family and friends. Show it to them, and let them know its benefits. Furthermore, you should approach your church members or those in your religious group. After they have used and tested your product and you have improved on it, you can now approach shop owners with it.

Production cost and expected profit

It will cost you about N10,000 to obtain all the necessary materials for the making of 20 litres of this soap. Moreover, the cost of an empty 50ml bottle with label is N150. You can sell a bottle of this body wash for N1,000 or more. All in all, you will make a 100 per cent profit on every production.

Now that you have a reliable and useful product, you should get your business name registered with Corporate Affairs Commission (CAC) and then approach the National Agency for Food and Drug Administration and Control (NAFDAC) for product registration.