The bottled water business arena has been steadily growing all across the world. This is due to a plethora of reasons which vary from place to place. For instance, big beverage companies have diversified into bottled water as one of their products over the years. Due to their wide reach it means bottled water has increasingly become more available than ever before. In some parts of the world the surge in mineral water businesses has been triggered by lack of access to clean and reliable water. Thus for drinking purposes or other related uses people there now prefer to use bottled water. Another interesting factor is global warming which has seen temperatures getting much higher in most parts of the world. This has resulted in the increased demand for commercially produced mineral water. All this is meant to show you that starting a bottled water business is a noble idea.
Regarding bottled water there two types of service providers, namely, large-scale and small or medium scale. The large scale ones tend to be companies already established like Coca Cola as an example. This can be an approach to take i.e. starting large-scale but this is not a smart move because it is costly. Most preferably you must start small or medium scale by targeting reasonably-sized markets e.g. small towns. Then depending on the performance of the bottled water business you scale up operations in due course. In order to push sales there is a unique strategy one can use for their bottled water. You can always have an eye out for big events such entertainment or corporate events. You go ahead and pitch up an idea to supply them with custom-labelled bottled water. Many people will jump onto that since it would give an exclusive flare to an event. In terms of sales you can also enter working agreements with big clients such as food outlets, hospitality spots (e.g. hotels, spars) and so on. This will be strategic in that you guarantee a steady and consistent flow of repeat purchases.
The most important aspect you will look at here is finding out about existing players to draw insights from them. The market for bottled water is usually available anywhere but it is important to know of any competitors beforehand. Your focus will be to learn how they conduct their businesses paying particular attention to scale of operation, water sources, processing methods, target clients, pricing, marketing approaches and so on. Knowing these things will be central to your ultimate unique selling point. Things like packaging and pricing can put you over your competitors if well considered. As much as many players already exist and more are entering the bottled water business field, there is always a market segment that is unattended or insufficiently attended. Thus it essential to have a detailed bottled water business before you start.
Make Sure You Have A Comprehensive Bottled Water Business Plan
The failure to plan is the beginning of business failure. The bottled water business plan must be clear and succinct enough to give your potential partners, clients and investors an overview of what your objectives are. At the same time, it must be detailed enough to explain the operations of the business that you propose. At the very minimum you need to have the following included:
- The mission, vision and operational strategy
- Market Analysis And Customer Segmentation
- A business case showing that the business is financial viable and sustainable
- A marketing and customer care plan
- An organizational chart and human resource policy
- A three-year expansion outlook
- A risk and rewards Analysis
You will need to make an informed decision about the business type that you will adopt for your mineral water business. Each of the different business entities requires very specific application processes for permits and registrations. The business type you select will determine who owns, runs and supervises the operations of your bottled water business. It’s also better to have a fully functional website for your bottled water business.
Location And Premises
In your choice of location of the mineral water business, there are some considerations that you should make. Since any bottled water business entails the need to have a seamless distribution framework it is a factor to consider. This means you must chose a location with a/or connected to strategic road networks for easy accessibility to clients and suppliers and the ultimate distribution of the bottled water. How secure is the location you are choosing? – That is another important factor to consider. Proximity to prospective clients, suppliers and human resources is also very vital.
The core thing you must work on from the onset is a water treatment plant. It is basically comprised of several items that overally constitute a water treatment plant for this business. Some of the basic inclusions are bottling machines, purification and treatment machines and a water source (preferably a borehole). Though there is room to outsource but it might expedient to have a small lab onsite to test water samples. As for the building you can purchase, build or remake which, of course, will depend on your financial standing. Some of the specific equipment needed is treatment tanks, chlorination tanks, filters, reverse osmosis plants and disinfectant machines, just to mention a few. The costs of all the equipment should be catered for in your mineral water business plan.
Staff And Management
This depends on the scale of operations and level of sophistication of your bottled water business. Anything from 10 employees going up will do for a small-scale factory. The idea is there are pertinent areas that needed to be manned e.g. management, production, financial management, sales, distribution, and housekeeping amongst other areas. Your bottled water business plan should cater for the wages and employees of all your employees.
Do not be hesitant to start a bottled water business because it is not that difficult to start one. The demand for bottled water is very high and will always be so you can always carve out your own niche. Just adhere to strict codes of quality assurance and integrity – do not be one of those frauds who package unsafe water as bottled water yet it is neither treated nor purified. It is wise to take insurance cover and to make sure you have all the required certification or licenses that might be mandatory. Find out about this from local authorities, health inspection boards, environmental agencies and the like. Earlier we mentioned that packaging and pricing are crucial but to top it off you must have a robust and active marketing strategy using all available channels.