As one of our customs, we always bring you business ideas to ponder. It is beneficial if you stay abreast of what is trending at any point. In Zimbabwe, there are many opportunities to make money.  Develop a culture of critically observing and analysing your surroundings. Always have an eye and ear out to note what is trending. Next time you get to your nearest shopping centre or central business district, observe. Let’s delve into a business venture you can start right now.


The general business idea is to source US dollar airtime at wholesale and resell it. Chances are you have seen airtime vendors selling such airtime cards. You most probably have bought such airtime from them before. Have you ever stopped to ask yourself why they do so daily? Do you honestly think they are just killing time? They are conducting a business, and given how more and more people are doing it, there is something there. By studying airtime vendors, you can see it is a simple model. You source the airtime, find a strategic high-traffic spot, and resell the airtime. You can copy the blueprint, or you can tweak your specific approach.

Distribution System You Choose Is The Key

We have just mentioned the traditional vendor approach. If you are up for it, you can do just that. However, there are infinite distribution systems you can use. For instance, you can choose to sell the airtime from home. That will depend on the airtime demand and your catchment’s general population. It will be much easier if you already have a running business, e.g. a shop, supermarket, butchery, bar, restaurant, and the like. This is because you already have a distribution network of potential airtime buyers. Instead of being the fixed spot vendor, you can go mobile, i.e. going to where the people are. I noticed there are prospects in going to colleges and universities.

There generally is a high demand for airtime amongst tertiary students. In fact, if you are a tertiary student, I highly recommend that you consider this airtime business venture. If you are a public service vehicle operator or driver, you can take advantage of that. Going to sell the airtime at events is another option. You can also have more than one distribution channel. You have to choose a distribution channel that captures maximum volumes. This is particularly easy to achieve if you offer superior convenience. As in, buyers typically want airtime readily available to them. There must be consistency in terms of volumes. That is why the distribution system you choose matters.

Game Of Numbers

Selling airtime is a game of numbers. You have to push volumes. It is, after all, a retail business venture. Retail thrives on pushing volumes. You have to plan how you will push volumes meticulously. Some might want to argue that the market is flooded. As such, they would want to argue that pushing volumes are complex. Sure enough, it can be challenging in some cases. It usually indicates that you did not do your homework if it is hard. The nature of any market is such that there will always be gaps.

The challenge I often see is that when people enter a market, they want to sell to the same pool. They all want to sell from the same spots. Airtime vendors are an example worth noting. More than five airtime vendors are selling from the same point in town. Surely that can complicate the goal of pushing volumes. If you are to push volumes, you need to be innovative; think critically. The truth is that you can consistently push volumes. It is doable!

Profit Margin To Expect

The cost of buying wholesale US dollar airtime cards is US$90 for US$100 worth of airtime. After selling the cards, you get US$100. This means you will make a gross profit of US$10. The extent of how much of that US$10 ends up being net profit is up to you. The idea is to endeavour to eliminate any related costs. Thus your gross profit margin is about 11 percent. For small business ventures, that is considered to be a healthy margin. The general goal should be to push at least US$100 worth of airtime cards daily. That is the bare minimum, but I am sure many can do way more than that. You surely can rake in some additional income through this.

That is what you need to know about physical US dollar airtime cards right now. If you are looking to make some additional income, this is an option. It is not that sophisticated. There are no particular prerequisites. It is just you, your capital, and your energy. It may seem simple and undignified to some, but lots of money can be made from this. I keep telling people that you should never despise what you see others doing. Many people are doing what seems menial or undignified, but they are making money.