HOW TO START AN ICE BLOCK BUSINESS IN NIGERIA
I think it’s fair to say that the ice block business is one of the oldest business ideas in the country today. It is not really practiced as it was once prominent but it is a business that can help in making some extra cash for entrepreneurs. The business can either be practiced on a part time basis together with one’s other work or as a full time business but that involved going large scale and also having a big shop for the ice block. The small scale capacity of the business doesn’t really involve a long process. It is profitable and sure to bring in profits provided certain things are put in place.
Ice blocks are commonly used to “ice” things or make things to be cold. In Nigeria today, the power supply is still not regular and even in some places, it is so bad that they can’t get to run their appliances at home like refrigerators and get something cold. In places like that, things cannot be stored in fridges or refrigerators as it will most likely get spoilt after a few days. Now, to serve as a temporary solution, ice blocks came in and water bags can be iced and turned into bags of ice that can then be used to make things cold. It served as a very effective method of getting cold things or getting things cold.
One of the places where ice blocks are always used is at Parties. If you’ve noticed, whenever parties are held or social gatherings of any kind, in a bid to get cold drinks served to the guests, ice blocks are bought and used to do this. It is very common and something that is still well practiced today. Another place is at retail shops where drinks and sachet or bottle water are sold. While there will definitely be warm products, cold products are also made available with ice blocks. The market is just another place where ice blocks are well used. The frozen foods markets, to be precise, uses the ice to make the products cold as they can only be fresh when they are cold.
Starting this business is probably one of the few instances where businesses are started without any skill at all. And that’s the truth, you don’t need any skill whatsoever to start this business. No education qualifications too is needed. Just a simple knowledge of how to run a business and research the market is just the little thing needed to start the business. The process of producing the ice blocks is not also hard and can be completed in just a manner of minutes.
Just like mentioned earlier, the business can either be categorized into a small scale set up and a large scale set up. Minimal cost is required for the small scale business while a little more will be required if you’re starting the business big. The cost of starting the business is not really expensive and most times the equipments needed for the business are gotten once and at a one time fee which can then be followed by maintenance cost. The business can easily bring you profits if properly set up and if you’re willing to be dedicated and hardworking. Though the business might sound easy or look easy, it might actually require a little bit of hardwork. It can be started totally by one person without the needs to get employees to take up roles in the business.
In the next sub heads, I’ll discuss the necessary steps involved in starting an ice block business in Nigeria and also some factors that might prove helpful during the course of the business and to be able to attain progress for the business.
This is similar to going around and doing a comprehensive research on the business. There are quite a number of people in this business that can be considered as experts and have been in the business for a very long time and also know the in and out of the business. These individuals have already established themselves very well in the market and are known for the sale of ice blocks. You can visit markets where the ice blocks are sold and meet up with some of the people involved in the business. They are most likely the only reliable option for good information about the business.
You will be able to ask questions and also be aware of some unclear things about the business. All the neccesary things or rudiments required to start up and also the market requirements for the business will be discussed. Also, you can consider taking a short survey of what customers want and taking note of some of the things that will definitely make the difference in the business operation. When meeting up with experts, you can interact with more than one person as everyone has different opinions and experiences also differ especially in a business like this.
After you’ve completed your research or your interaction with the experts, then you can decide if it’s a business that you can do or not.
2. CAPITAL AND LOCATION
For this business, there are two options for starting the business. You can choose to start small and develop from there and move big or just start big and sustain the business to be able to survive over the years. The capital needed for this business is not really expensive. Only a few things are to be bought and even after that you might only be required to spend just a small amount of money. For the location of this business, it is something that can be practiced right from the comfort of your home without any difficulties at all. Most times, the business is always a side business or a part time business so there is no need to get a shop or any location at all to operate from. You’ll be able to do everything from your home.
In cases where the business is started on a large scale, the capital is higher and obviously, more equipments have to be bought because you’re producing in large quantities and it can also be successful with more equipments and materials.
The equipments needed for the business are made available at this stage. Whether you’re using your home as the location of the business or you already have a shop, it’s now time to get to work and really start the business. The main equipments needed for starting this business are the block making machine and deep freezers. The deep freezer is known to make things cold and it is one of the things to be used in the business. Also a generator will be needed. We’ve already talked about how the electricity in the country is one of the reasons behind the business, so yet again, you’ll need to avoid issues regarding power outage, you’ll need to have an alternative power supply unit which is the Generator. It will ensure that even when there is no light, you can still be able to go about your business.
The ice blocks are usually packaged in nylons and it is at this stage that they’ll also be gotten. Remember, it is a business that can be started all by yourself and you don’t neccesarily need the services of anyone to be able to go about the normal ice block production process. Water is packaged into nylons and then stored in a deep freezer at a temperature suitable to ensure the coldness and transformation to ice, and then afterwards, they are taken out when customers need them.
4. MARKETING AND SALES
The most effective method of marketing for this kind of business is through referrals and word of mouth. Inform people about your business and tell them to also refer people wherever they find someone in need of ice blocks. You can also visit markets to advertise your products to people who might be in need of ice blocks for their businesses. Also, choose a price that will be affordable and also give discounts on some occasions.
This business is not really practiced by many but it is a profitable venture that requires no skill or experience at all. It require no stress too and can be started from the comfort of your home and also all by yourself with maybe a little help from family members.