STARTING A BOTTLED WATER BUSINESS IN NIGERIA

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            STARTING A BOTTLED WATER BUSINESS IN NIGERIA

Producing bottle water is a great task but it becomes easy along the way when you become familiar with the concepts. It is a type of business that can only be successful when you have good marketing skill, because the sales can be difficult. That is why you will need to establish good connection with people in order to make a name for yourself so you can be recognized. Without recognition, you will not be able to make good sales because there are so many recognized player in the bottled water business.

Bottle water business is a very good business to choose to do because the essential raw material needed (water ) is a free resource and also because the business is easy to maintain. Also, water is something everybody on this earth cannot do without, it is a needed commodity.

NECESSARY THINGS TO DO WHEN STARTING A BOTTLED WATER         BUSINESS

Before deciding to embark on this business, you must have assessed yourself to be sure you really want to start the business. Below are the necessary things you need to do when starting the business;

CONDUCT FEASIBILITY STUDY AND MARKET RESEARCH

When starting a bottled water business, you need to make a lot of research on how to start it, necessary materials and plants, cost of starting, major challenges to face and every other thing that you need to know about the business. This does not only apply to bottled water business alone as research is key to every business. You can also seek advice from an expert or someone who is experienced in the business.

                               PLAN YOUR BUSINESS

‘He who fails to plan has planned to fail’, After going about researching about the necessary information needed to start your bottled water business, the next step to take is to make use of the information you have gotten to make plans on how you want your business to operate, methods of operation to be used, how it would be different from other bottling water companies. The truth is that, there are so many companies that are into the business of bottled water so you have to make strategic plans on how to make your own products different and unique and how to make it stand out from that of your competitors.

 

MAKE YOUR BUSINESS LEGAL

After making research on everything needed for bottled water business and have made adequate planning, you must ensure the legitimacy of your business before you start producing because producing bottled water outside the law will lead to serious penalties.

The National Agency for Food and Drug Administration and control is the body responsible for issuing license to water production in Nigeria at the national level and they have their set standards. They will inspect all your equipment and machines to make sure it is up to their standard, ensure that the water is safe for drinking before you are allowed to start selling to people. You must obtain a license from NAFDAC after which their will give you a number called NAFDAC Registration number. Then you can proceed to the state and local government for necessary permits or license.

Also, it is very paramount to register your company and your company’s name with Corporate Affairs Commission ( CAC ). You also need to open a business account in the name of your company for proper and easy financial transaction.

                                WRITE YOUR BUSINESS PLAN

Many business start- ups omit this step, writing a business plan is very important as it keeps you going and focus. According to Wikipedia, a business plan is a formal written document that contains business goals, methods on how to attain the goals and the time frame in which the goal will be achieved.

In simple terms, a business plan summarize your business and its goals. A well written business plan also drive investors to invest in your business. A business plan should contain;

  1. Executive Summary : This is the summary of all what is in your business plan. The executive summary must be captivating enough to make people want to read your business plan. It should also contain your vision and mission statement.
  2. Company Overview : This should contain who you are, your business goals, how you intend to operate your business , and everything about the company.

3.Products and Services : This section of your business plan contains or explains a clear description of your product or service, maybe you only want to focus on bottled water or you want to include sachet water as the case may be, the cost of your bottled water and any other relevant information related to bottled water or any additional service you might want to render.

  1. Market Analysis : This describes everything about the market for your bottled water, your market research, your expectation on the market , how your bottled water will strive in the market, your competitors. It also contains your SWOT analysis where you list your strengths, weaknesses , opportunities and threats .
  2. Marketing and Sales Strategy : This section explains how you intend to market or sell your bottled water, how you will promote your business and penetrate into the market. It should also include your selling cost , promotion and advertising costs, e.t.c.
  3. Business Structure : This will contain everything about your business, the structure you intend to run your bottled water business; either sole proprietorship, partnership or limited liability company , the number of staffs you want to hire and the intended salary.
  4. Financial Analysis : After getting your market research, a professional accountant should be consulted to help prepare the financial analysis of your business plan. It should contain realistic financial information, which should include your cash flow statement, projected income statement and statement of financial position ( balance sheet ) for the next three or five years and other relevant information.
  5. Conclusion : This should highlight the key strengths of your plan, remind the reader why your business is in the best position to execute the plan , and the summary of your vision and goal.

SOURCE FOR FUND

Bottling water business is a type of business that is capital extensive, that is, it requires a lot of money to start. Though many start up on a small scale, but no matter how small you determine to start, there are still some plants and equipment that are compulsory you get, they can be improvised.

To start this business, you need a plot of land with a building on it, although some people make use of old buildings, it is not always advisable. You also need a bottling and water treatment plant; this machine is often times gotten from China and it has the capability of making out bottles from PET plastic ( polyethylene terephthalate ), rinsing the bottles, filling them with water, capping, packaging of the bottled water and labelling it. This machine is very important to a bottling water company and it cost nothing less than seventeen (17) million naira.

Another equipment needed again is the storage tank, this is where you store the water pumped daily. You also need a delivery truck that will transport the finished products to where they are needed, a generator set , you also need money for NAFDAC and CAC registration. To cut the long story short, you need a whole lot of money to run this business and you might not have all of it. Below are some of the ways in which you can source for fund;

  • Loans from family and friends : You can obtain loan from your family and friends.
  • Microfinance banks : They lend out money to loan seekers with interest. You must make sure you draft a very good business plan.
  • Commercial banks : They also give out loans at a particular interest rate if you have the necessary requirements.
  • YOUWIN programme : The YOUWIN programme is an empowerment programme set up by the federal government to provide jobs for youths of Nigeria. Note that YOUWIN is a grant and not a loan and it has its own requirement, some of which are, you must have a good business plan, you must be a Nigerian citizen between age 18 and 40, you must have a valid ID card e.t.c.

SECURE A LOCATION

After researching, making plans, writing a business idea and sourcing for funds, the next step is to be on the look out for a suitable location for your bottled water business. Some people do say that since water is a natural resource and can be found anywhere, so they can locate their bottled water company anywhere but this is definitely not true, there is a need to consider a land that can easily locate water from the soil, you won’t want to buy or lease a land in a very dry area where you have to put in much effort to get water from it. Apart from the availability of the raw material, some other factors also need to be considered when locating your bottled water company. Some of which are;

  1. Nearness to the market /Availability to meet potential customers : One of the factor to be considered when securing a location for your bottled water company is the nearness of your location to your potential customers, your business should be located where your customers can access you easily.
  2. Competitors : Another thing to look out for when determining the location of your business is the nearness to other bottled water companies. For a start up, if you have two or more bottling water company around your vicinity, it might not be good enough as you may not be able to compete with them.
  3. Costs : You must also consider the cost of establishing your bottled water business business in a particular location.

5.Neatness of the Area : You can’t afford to locate your company close to a cemetery, a sewage deposit, waste dumps or anything at all that can terminate your water source. In this type of business, you need to be very neat because you are feeding a whole lot of people and you would not want to spread cholera or any water-borne disease so you have to be extremely neat, your surroundings and your workers.

Also, factors like road accessibility, steady power supply should also be considered.

                                 HIRE PEOPLE

After you have successfully secured a good location and installed the necessary plant and machinery, the next step is to hire people that will operate them.

Bottling water business is not a one –man business, that is, it is the not the kind or type of business only one man can operate. Though it can be owned by one man, it obviously cannot be run by man so you need to employ people.

Employ people whose values are aligned with yours, who are capable, who are easily teachable, trust worthy people and train them often to produce the result you desire.

START PRODUCING AND SELLING YOUR BOTTLED WATER

After all measures listed above have been put into place, then you can start producing and selling your bottled water . As the owner of the business, you have to take this stage serious because as earlier said in this article, there are many bottled water business in Nigeria, and to make plenty sales, you have to create a name for yourself. A very good way of doing this is to promote your product, by advertising them on mass media, engage in billboard advertising ( make sure they are located in strategic places like highways, commercial areas,, e.t.c,), make enough business card and distribute to as many as you can, talk to retailers about your bottled water, organize a product launch as it will create the brand awareness you need ( don’t just take your bottled water to the market like that without first launching it ).

    GROW YOUR BOTTLED WATER BUSINESS

In order not to be wiped off by your competitors, you need to grow your business. Think about strategic ways in which you can improve your business, improve the quality of your bottled water, improve sales, and increase revenue e.t.c.

 

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