Ice block business may seem not too lucrative but I can authoritatively tell you that it is a gold-mine especially when operated on a large-scale industrial level. Sometime last week in Lagos, I had an appointment for 2:30pm. I arrived the neighborhood at about 1pm and decided to find a place to relax while I prepared mentally for my appointment. I noticed a number of businesses like road side bars, barbing salons, e-currency agents, sports-bet shops, super markets and some others. The bars caught my fancy because I was thirsty and needed not just a bottle of water but also a bottle of beer to cool off with. After all, it was a hot afternoon.
I entered the first bar and asked for my favorite brand of beer which, I was told, was not cold. There was no way I would settle for a bottle of drink not served chilled, not in that weather and in my current state. This is Africa, we live under a hot and harsh weather condition. I needed something to cool off with and not just to fill off with.
As an entrepreneur, I immediately saw a need like earlier mentioned in an article published on this blog a while ago. They needed ice-blocks to cool their drinks if they could not afford to run their generator for long enough to get their drinks chilled. With the epileptic power supply and high cost of fuel in the country, it is next to impossible to achieve this feat without extra exorbitant running costs which may likely put an entrepreneur out of business. This brings us now to the topic of this article; Ice Block Business.
We live in a very hot environment and so we consume lots of liquid/drinks. Except on medical grounds, every Nigerian would prefer cold drinks to warm drinks any time any day. People who run businesses that deal on drinks will attest to the fact that customers will always demand for chilled drinks and when you can give them chilled drinks at every point, then you will be their first port of call as long as drinks is concerned.
For the purpose of this article and due to the fact that our focus is on start-ups, we will be discussing ice block business on a small-scale to encourage budding entrepreneurs and let them see that they have no excuse not to ACT NOW.
What you need to start ice block business
Ice block business is one that is lucrative even on a small-scale and a large budget and not much preparation. It is unlike most other businesses. To start with, you need to find the times when the blocks are needed most and understand how your refrigerator works or how effective it is. Then you need to get transparent nylons. I assume you already have a refrigerator or a deep freezer at home and then as a Nigerian, you also have a generator capable of powering your freezer. You do not necessarily need a shop at start-up as your customers will always trace you to your doorsteps to place orders. This could be your stepping stone to becoming a successful entrepreneur.
To start with, you need to fill up the nylons and make sure it is water-proof for as long as it can remain liquid till it changes to solid state. Some people sell their drinks in the morning probably to school kids and to some workers who want to fill up before facing the day’s job ahead. To be able to meet up with orders from this group and save up on your fuel usage, you might have to run your generator from probably 3:00am depending on how fast your freezer is in freezing the water. Your target should be the 6-7:00am customers and another round of orders will come by 11-12 noon in preparation for those going for lunch and then at about 4-5pm for those who would want to get their drinks cool for the evening. This category is mostly the bars.
This calculation is based on the premise that there is no power supply at all but when there is, you just replace any that is sold out immediately so it could be freezing till the power supply is out. This will also help reduce your fuel consumption rate.
Depending on the size of your freezer, say a small one that can contain ten pieces of block or even more. Let’s do a mental summary of this; if you have to sell for two hundred naira (N200) per block and you sell all which is very possible and happens most times due to high demand for the commodity, you have a total of two thousand naira (N2,000). You have to repeat this process three times a day which gives you six thousand naira (N6,000) just being at home. Let’s say you spend two thousand naira on buying fuel to power your generator, you have a profit of four thousand naira (N4,000) for a day. Multiply it by 28 days and see your earnings for the month just sitting at home.
Don’t forget that this business will also give you constant power supply to do other business ventures at home and relax while you watch your favourite shows on TV, not also forgetting that you phones and laptops will also be constantly charged so that you can always catch up on this blog as we reel out other small business ideas. I await your comments and questions.