There are several small and medium enterprises that you should consider setting up, especially if capital is not exactly surplus. From freelancing online to grasscutter farming. Today, we’ll talk about a business so simple to set up, and the inputs can be gotten at the price of guess it – FREE you must be wondering why you never thought about it all this time. That small business is Pure water business. Well, not exactly a small business, more of a medium scale business as you’ll soon find out.
Pure water business in Nigeria is a hot cake so to speak. This is not surprising in the least, considering that water is life, especially in our hot clime. You can decide to fast for 40 days, but try to abstain from water for 3 days and tell us your findings-you, yes you, I’m talking to you.
Wether you decide to call it pure water or packaged water, or sachet water, (we’ll use the terms interchangeably in this post), the fact remains that the rate at which people consume this product is quite high. It gets even higher in certain special conditions such as in hot weather, (harmattan and the dry season is coming soon), during occassions such as wedding ceremonies and of course around institutions such as schools, markets, etc.
A visit to any owambe party will confirm the fact that people just love their sachet water.Now go on another fact-finding mission to any major town or city in Nigeria, and tell me how many of them have a functional, potable municipal water system. I can’t think of any right now, what about you?
The lowdown of this entire analysis is simple-There is a huge small business opportunity in pure water business in Nigeria. If you didn’t know before now, or just didn’t care, don’t worry, follow me on this short journey, and let’s dissect sachet water business together. From this point onwards, we’ll just deal with the subject matter directly to make it easy for everybody to follow along.
Reasons why you should consider starting pure water business
1. The raw material water can be gotten freely
2. The demand is super high and relatively consistent
3. The cost of setup is moderate
4. Production costs are relatively modest
5. It’s now easier than ever to obtain NAFDAC certification
6. Packaged water business is very profitable
Requirements for Starting a Sachet Water Business
A farmer going to farm without cutlass and hoe is doomed to fail, okay I get it now, not cutlass and hoe anymore, combined harvester and planter. Before starting out on any new business voyage, you must make adequate plans and take necessary steps to guarantee your success. Some of the things you need to start up a packaged water business include:
1. Prepare Your Business Plan:
A Business plan is simply put a document that includes the details of the business you intend to start, including the operational chart, your objectives of starting the business, analysis of the business environment as well as the potential competition, and finally, your set of strategies with which you intend to penetrate the market successfully. Of course this includes a sound Cost Analysis.
It’s not enough to simply think “oh, I’ve got it mapped out in my head”. Be proactive, and stop being silly. You need to have a written plan charting your path to success (hopefully) in that new business. If you feel that’s too tasking for you, hire it out to proffesionals, or ask a friend you think can to help out. If you mess up this stage, you’re gone, yeah really, really gone.
A well laid out business plan shows potential investors that you mean business. You can even use it to obtain loans from banks. It provides a template that guides your activities and helps you not to lose focus of your grand objectives.
2. Register Your Business Name:
Like we always advise, it’s a good idea at this stage to go ahead and register a suitable name for your business. It’s required for branding and legal reasons to do so. The process of registering for business name in Nigeria can now be done in 48hrs. The longer you wait, the less chance there is that your desired business name would still be available. Don’t worry, it costs less tha N15,000.
3. Choose a suitable Location:
At this point, you should look for suitable locations where you will be producing your pure water. If you have free space already, maybe an adjoing flat, all the better. Otherwise, look for land in a suitable location to site your package water plant.If that’s not possible, rent a small apartment and convert it to make it fit for your pure water business.
The location you choose must be hygieneic and neat. Remeber, eventually you’ll want to apply for NAFDAC certification, and they’ll definitely assess the state of hygiene in your sachet water factory. You don’t need 3 plots of land in Lekki to start. A plot will do for a medium sized pure water business.
After acquiring your land, you need to put relevant structures in place. A small bungalow is enough. This will be used for both treatment, production, and especially sorting and storage of the sachet water produced on a daily basis.
Hire your staff wisely. Also learn to motivate them, not necessarily with money. By simply treating them as humanely as possible, it could be the diffrence between a non-chalant staff and staff ready to run through brickwall for you. Firmness is not the same thing as harshness. Learn to draw the line where it matters.
For smooth and efficient running of your pure water business, you nee:
– at least a machine Operator
– A Marketer
– 2 -3 Packagers/sorters
– A Cleaner
– Driver and loader
Some of these roles can be combined, depending on the size of your packaged water business.
5. Create an Unpolluted, Depandable and Clean Water Source:
Yes, water is free. But that’s not an absolute truth. To ensure that you remain in Business for the long haul, you need to have a source of water that’s:
Boreholes are generally used to serve this purpose. Not just any simple bore hole though. It should be deep enough to be free from the upper water table which gets easily contaminated especially by surface pollutants. The cost of sinking a bore hole of this nature varies depending on location, but averages about N350,000.
6. Select Water Purification System to use:
Currently, there are different methods availbale by which you can purify your water. These include:
– Use of Carbon filters (including activated charcoal)
– Reverse Osmosis
– Ozone purification system
– Ultra Violet Light Purification system
It’s possible to combine all the different water purification processes together in a bid to ensure absolute purity. However, this can get easily cost intensive.Distillatiion and reverse osmosis systems are 2 of the more commonly used systems.
So, distillation purification systems are commonly adopted as it is quite effective in removing germs as well as other contaminants such as chemicals (organic and inorganic ), heavy metals, volatile gases etc. It’s cost effective as well as relatively simple to employ, while at the same time producing good quality, potable water.
You simply heat water up to its boiling point and collect its vapour and cool it down in specialised chambers. Okay, this is not a chemistry class…
7. Automatic Sealing Machine:
This is needed for the massive production of the pure water as it automates the process of filling, sealing, cutting and counting the pure water, hence packaged water. Depending on your production targets, you might need just one or two of this machines. The automatic sealing machine is high in precision packing. Note that there are also semi-automatic machines as well as manual ones. The cost is different as one would expect as well as their effectiveness. A full auto pure water machine costs about N350,000 and can produce about 40 sachets of water in a minute on the average.
8. Supply and Distibution Network:
There’s no use producing pure water if you are not going to be able to sell it to your customers. If you cannot afford a distribution vehicle yourself, you could hire commercial vehicles to take care of that aspect for you pending the time when your finaces allow for that.
Ensure that you try verything within your power to be punctual. Don’t keep your customers waiting, otherwise somebody else will gladly take your place, and I mean GLADLY.
9. Regulatory Body Approval:
The only regulatory body in Nigeria permitted by law to oversee the control of products such as pure water is the NAFDAC (National Agency for Food and Drug Administration and Control). Before commencement of production, you should visit their office to obtain and fill the required forms that would be provided. The certification process takes roughly between 3 – 6 months depending on how qucikly you meet the NAFDAC certification requirements and guidelines.
NAFDAC has regional and State offices and you can get your registration and accreditation done at any of the branches closest to you. You can download the Application Requirement for proper study so as to have a prior knowledge of what it takes to start production before going over to fill the forms. The processing fee is N30,000.
10. Miscellaneous Requirements:
– Power generating sets
– Plumbing works
– Office equipment and stationery
– Packaging nylon and Branding (To create brand awareness and for marketing)
If you like and your finance permits it, you could add a bottled water wing to your pure water business. The production line is similar up to the packaging stage. The machine used for pckaging bottled water is different from that employed in pure water packaging. With this addition, you can offer more value to your customers, as well as penetrate new markets with novel opportunities.
Also remember that it’s possible to scale your business according to the available resources – you could start it as a small venture. In this business, there’s ample opportunity for growth. So you don’t really have to sell all your family land in the village just to start pure water business. Start small, grow big.
So, that’s all for today. Pure water, or packaged water, or sachet water – call it what you will, but don’t forget that people are already making millions from this business, so what are you waiting for? If you have the financial power, go for it. The market is big enough, and there’s some reall cash waiting to be made.
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