Things to note before starting bulk SMS Business

Do you want to start an SMS business in Nigeria and make fortunes?
Industry expert reveals everything you need to get started…… the right way


One of the most lucrative online businesses you can do in Nigeria today is theBulk SMS business. With a little work on your part, you will realize that the sheer numbers of people who will require your services are many. This is because more and more SMS messages are sent as days pass by and in about a year, some SMS website owners have grown from about 20,000 monthly SMS volume to over 8 million monthly SMS volume. When you sell at N5 per SMS unit, you make an income of N10,000 to N1Million per month.

As easy as it may sound making money from the business, your success depends on a lot of factors which may be out of your control especially if you don’t know how to develop the application and manage a website of such technical complexity. The real cost of developing an application and managing a paymentgateway for SMS website is huge and is not affordable if you are a small business owner. That is the reason a lot of SMS business owners simply buy a reseller option as this is more pocket friendly.

A reseller option offers you a cheaper entry into the business, but your choice of Reseller platform is very important to your success. That is why I recommend that anyone starting bulk SMS business should make sure their SMS provider can provide satisfactory answers to help you make the right decision. I have put together the following tips to prevent you from falling into the wrong hands when starting bulk SMS business.
Here are a few questions to ask your would-be SMS provider:

1.      Will I have complete control over my website?
This is because you need to enjoy complete control of your website. A good reseller platform will provide you with access to your c-panel and database as well.

2.      Will my site look exactly like yours?
If yes, run! You should always strive to have a unique looking website. Nobody likes a photocopy of the original.

3.      Will my site have a mobile version or mobile theme?
This is important because as at today, 62% of people in Nigeria access the internet from their mobile devices. And if your website is not accessible on their phones, they will go to another person to do business. Aside from your normal site, there has to be a mobile optimized site for your mobile phone users.

 4.      Is it simple as a-b-c, If I choose to, can I edit my website and add other services?
E.g. if you decide to sell other products, expand it into a dating site or add a forum.

You also want to know if:
1.      There is an application that can allow members to send SMS easily from their desktop without opening their browser?

2.      There is a mobile app that can allow members to send SMS from their phone without opening their phone’s browser?

3.      There is a way you can track the credits of clients and the debtors on your portal?

4.      You can accept online payments on my website? If yes, how much would it cost?

Here are a few questions to ask yourself.

1.      Can I make it easy for my clients to make payment for their purchase on my website?
If your buyers have to physically go to the bank or come to you before they pay for your SMS services, you will be out of business in no time. Hence, your portal should support a method for online payment.

2.      How easy is it for me to make payment to my provider?
As a reseller of SMS credits, you will want to enjoy an easier way to buy SMS from your provider. You want your provider to provide you an easier way of making payment so that you can deliver to your client with comfort and without stress. If you have to go to the bank every time before you buy SMS, you will be out of business very shortly.

3.      Can you conclude that the delivery rate of their SMS is satisfactory? 
SMS messages are delivered on priority. The good ones guarantee immediate delivery of the messages. That is what you need to make your clients happy

Why are all these questions important to your new business?
The truth is you are about to invest your own money on a business system and you must carefully look for a provider that can provide all the basic requirements and even surpass your expectations. Also, you do not want to experience break down in your service delivery and want to satisfy your clients. These questions should serve as a preparatory guide that would save you a lot in terms of money and clients in the long run. There’s no substitute for preparation.

When you successfully answer these questions, you will have covered the two basic business systems needed to run your SMS business, namely (a) SMS gateway and reseller website and (b) Online payment platform.
If you already have a bulk SMS website and you feel the need for a better portal or SMS Provider, I suggest you take a courageous step now than regret later. You should demand for these features from your provider, or better still, talk to another provider and begin preparation for moving your portal.

Leke Ojikutu is the CEO of Afrisoft Interactive Limited; a company that develops softwares for business solutions, including the most widely used Bulk SMS software in Nigeria. You can find more details about the bulk SMS application for SMS resellers website at

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