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How to Open a Profitable Printing Business in Nigeria

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Despite the active process of converting data into electronic format, paper products remain in demand in Nigeria. However, the pressing question on how to open a printing business and where to start? How much profit can be made, how long it takes to promote, whilst making a business plan with a step-by-step strategy, are continually eating us and there’s need to address them before plugging to the business.  

The basis of small printing houses is information and promotional materials for small and medium-sized businesses. The remaining orders are given by educational institutions, private clients, industrial enterprises, and the public sector. To seriously engage in the printing business in Nigeria, expensive equipment and materials are required.



Business plan


To implement a project to launch a printing company, you need to follow the step-by-step instructions:

  1. Develop a work strategy.
  2. Assess the risks.
  3. Register a company.
  4. Find a production facility.
  5. Purchase equipment and materials.
  6. Hire staff.
  7. Attract customers.
  8. Calculate the amount of investments, planned income and expenses.



The next thing you need to start opening the printing business in Nigeria is to define the concept of the project:

  • small business;
  • medium scale printing house;
  • large multidisciplinary agency.

Launching a large production only makes economic sense if customers are already lining up. The easiest way, financially and labor-intensive, is to start with a mini-printing house, and then, if successful, expand the business.

According to statistics, advertising products for private companies prevail in the total volume of orders of a printing company. This mark audience should be targeted.

If it is possible to involve an educational institution in cooperation, for example, to print brochures and methodological materials for the university, then a printing house should be launched for this project. Subsequently, you can always buy additional equipment and hire specialists in other areas of printing.


The most economical option at the start is to engage in intermediary printing services: find orders and place them with competitors, setting a small margin for yourself. With the external unattractiveness of the idea, this is a good opportunity to understand the nuances of the business, form a client base and gain experience.

Business risks


For an aspiring entrepreneur who wants to get into printing, it is important to know the most common problems in order to be fully equipped:

  1. The field of printing services in Nigeria is highly competitive, so you will have to spend a lot of money and effort to attract customers.
  2. Prices for consumables are extremely unstable, as a result of which the cost of the same product can vary greatly over a short period of time. For high quality products, imported raw materials are used, the cost of which depends on the exchange rate and delivery conditions.
  3. Moral and physical deterioration of printing equipment affects the quality of services provided. Large amounts of money are required to replace or upgrade equipment.
  4. If insufficiently experienced workers are allowed to work with the machines, this can lead to injuries and equipment failure. Only qualified polygraph examiners have the right to work with the equipment.
  5. Employee turnover negatively affects both productivity and the company’s reputation. Financial and social instruments are used to motivate staff.
  6. Unscrupulous suppliers violate the terms of the contract, deliver printing materials of low quality or late. To protect against such behavior of counterparties, it is necessary to carefully draw up clauses of the agreement regarding guarantees, insurances and penalties.
  7. Summer is the time for holidays, and the number of orders for printing products is sharply reduced.
It is impossible to foresee all the nuances, however, controlling the main problem areas will bring confidence and stability to the printing business.



The bulk of the printing house’s clients are enterprises that, due to the peculiarities of taxation, find it more convenient to work with a legal entity than with an individual entrepreneur. Therefore, it is necessary to register a company in the form of a limited liability company.

This is the most common form of business organization in Nigeria, which allows participants not to risk all their property, but to answer for obligations within the limits of the contribution made to the statutory fund. In order not to keep complex accounting and reporting, it is better to choose a simplified tax payment system when registering with the Federal Tax Service.

Printing does not require special permits and licenses, however, it is necessary to comply with sanitary and hygienic standards:

  • for the location of 1 workplace, 6 square meters are required;
  • the room has good lighting, both artificial and natural;
  • the temperature does not exceed 20°C;
  • powerful ventilation system.

To work with the equipment, you will need to issue permits for employees, certify an electrician and comply with safety requirements.




You can place a small-scale printing company on the territory of a one-room apartment with an area of ​​​​about 40 square meters. m. If an entrepreneur lives in a private house, then for production purposes it is easy to convert a basement, garage, or make an extension. In this case, you will have to additionally open an office to receive clients.

There are two ways to organize the work of printing:

  1. Administrative and production premises on the same territory.
  2. The office is in a presentable location, and the equipment and warehouse are in an inexpensive area.

The first option is more convenient, but it is not always possible to find a room that is suitable in terms of characteristics and cost. The second option is easier to implement, in the industrial zone of any city there are enough free workshops, and in the central part – recently built business centers.

In addition to the equipment area, the following departments are required:

  • warehouse for storage of materials and finished printing;
  • accounting;
  • change house for workers.
When designing an office space, it is useful to apply a creative approach and use samples of printed products of our own production for wall decor. This will partially save money on repairs and advertising.


Equipment and materials


What equipment to buy for printing depends on the planned range of services and the availability of finance. It is possible to get by with a universal machine only if one direction is chosen, for example, printing business cards, postcards, leaflets. For full-fledged printing, even a small scale, you will need:

  1. Offset machine for the production of color and black-and-white images in the amount of more than 1000 pieces.
  2. Duplicator for replication of small volumes (up to 1000 copies) of forms and documents. This machine uses screen printing.
  3. Plotter for drawing and cutting patterns, drawings, stickers of complex configuration.
  4. Large stapler for creating brochures and staple sheets together.
  5. Thermal press for printing images on various objects and surfaces – cups, glasses, T-shirts, accessories, stationery. There are mechanical and electronic.
  6. Cutter.
  7. Film laminator.
  8. A computer.
  9. Color laser MFP (scanner + copier + printer).


In a difficult financial situation, you can purchase used printing equipment. At the same time, there is a risk of installing worn-out equipment that will stand idle, make defects and the saved funds will be spent on repairs. If you buy new machines, then the payback period of the project will increase significantly.



The following software is used in the printing industry:

  • CorelDrow for vector drawings;
  • Adobe Photoshop for processing photographic images in raster mode;
  • CuttingMaster for plotter.

Consumables are usually purchased under a specific order. However, it is better to have some stock of the most demanded raw materials:

  1. Paper of different formats, textures and colors.
  2. Paint for printing equipment.
  3. Film.
  4. Springs, clips, magnets.
In addition to production equipment for printing, the business plan must include the cost of furniture for staff and customers, an electric kettle and a microwave oven.



For the operation of a mini-printing house, at first, few employees will be required, however, it will be difficult for the owner to independently search for and fulfill orders, which may include such printing operations:

  • design development;
  • processing of initial data;
  • purchase of materials;
  • seal;
  • drawing an image;
  • cutting, assembling, stapling;
  • package.

It is also necessary to maintain equipment, make financial calculations, submit reports, pay taxes. Therefore, the entrepreneur should hire assistants:

  1. manager.
  2. Designer.
  3. Printing Equipment Specialist.
  4. Adjuster.

When the printing house is fully loaded, work is organized in shifts and more employees will be needed.



The main way to attract customers used in the printing industry is calling the customer base. The following advertising methods have also proven themselves well:

  • website on the Internet;
  • groups in social networks;
  • contextual and outdoor advertising;
  • distribution of leaflets, business cards, booklets;
  • promotions, discounts.

An advertising campaign needs to be launched in advance and paid for a few more months to promote the printing business. Once you have repeat customers and positive online reviews, you can cut down on marketing costs and keep your site alone.

Economic calculations


To plan an investment in a printing business, you need to make a list of all the initial costs:


No. expenditures Amount, naira.
1 Room for rent 40 sq. m. (for 12 months) 240,000
2 Repair work 150,000
3 Legal registration 60,000
4 Printing equipment 2,000,000
5 Furniture, office equipment 500,000
6 Advertising 120,000
7 other expenses 500,000
Total 3,570,000


The list might cost more or less, depending on your location and the economy of the country when you decided to plunge. It takes 1-2 months to prepare the opening of a printing company from scratch.

The monthly costs of a firm with 3 employees are:

No. expenditures Amount, naira
1 Room for rent 40 sq. m. 200,000
2 Communal payments 40,000
3 Salary 90,000
4 Taxes 25,000
5 Expendable materials 80,000
6 Advertising 30,000
7 other expenses 10,000
Total 515,000


It is difficult to predict the income of the printing business; for this, the average statistical indicators of the industry are taken:


No. Name of income Average price, naira. Quantity, pcs. Amount, naira.
1 Printing forms, flyers, manuals 10 10,000 100,000
2 Printing brochures, booklets 100 2000 200,000
3 Making business cards 3 8000 21,000
4 Development and assembly of calendars 50 400 20,000
5 Souvenir products 100 400 400,000
Total per month 741,000


Urgent, complex or non-standard orders are paid at increased rates. In the pre-New Year period, the demand for greeting cards, calendars, souvenirs with logos increases sharply.

The printing business is often viewed by advertising agency owners as a development of their core business. Despite expensive equipment and high competition, there is a high level of economic efficiency in the field of printing services.

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