Ice block making business is very lucrative in Nigeria and in many African countries because of the hot weather and erratic power supply we experience. What makes the business interesting is the fact that as long as you have ice block you certainly will have buyers.
No human being can do without water; many people will want it cold due to hot weather and in raining season too. To make it big in this business you have to position your factory in a good location where it can be easily seen and accessible.
Ice block making business doesn’t require a large space; with a room, corridor, under stair etc. you can start the business. The prices of the machine is gradually coming down. Before now to start ice block making business you will need from one million naira and above but now with hundred of thousands you can start the business comfortably.
That the business is lucrative doesn’t mean you cannot fail if certain things are not put in place. In fact you fail big time. The main reason you should draw out a business plan on how to run the business effectively. In this post we shall look at; the process of starting ice block making, the type of machine to buy, prices of machine, how not to fail, reasons why you should start ice block business etc.
In case you don’t have enough money to buy ice block machine you can start with a deep freezer, my Aunty actually started this way we got good money from it.
HOW TO START ICE BLOCK MAKING BUSINESS
The few things to put into considerations are:
Set the business up in a high brew traffic area and where transportation is accessible. Examples; areas closer to motor parks, institutions, markets etc. A place that street hawkers can quickly dash in to buy when they have a rush in the market. Consider the competition in the area to know if the market is saturated. Do a market survey to know whether potential buyers in your area will like to buy from you and if not why.
ITEMS NEEDED FOR ICE BLOCK MAKING BUSINESS
- Block making machine
- Diesel generator (leister)
- 2.5kva stabilizers
- Compressors (2)
- Deep freezers
- Water ( you can dig bore hole if you have the money if not employ someone who will be supplying you water everyday
- Nylon (big transparent nylon is used for the block. Also if you have money you can buy nylon cutting machine it is not costly #15,000 can handle that. You can then be cutting the nylon by yourself if not approach people who are into the business make a deal for a discount price for bulk purchase.
To enjoy ice block business go for the slow defrost freezers like that of thermocool HTF-319H freezer. This is because it preserves block better; make the block to stay longer without defrosting (melting). Some freezers drop water very fast after power outage which in most cases need manual scooping of water if the outage is longer than 2 hours. Another recommendable deep freezer is West Ministers (300 litre size) is a good value size.
THE KIND OF MACHINE TO BUY
When buying your machines watch out for the compressors. Although, almost all the compressors produced now have aluminium winding for its motor but the ones made with copper last longer than aluminium. Buy generators that can drive a battery of the kind of machine you bought. Also buy machines whose parts are available from a reputable company who are ready to respond within 24 hours whenever there is a fault.
Chemical based machines form fast but also melt fast and retailers don’t like them. What local market like is ice block in sealed nylon bag.
THE PRICES OF ICE BLOCK MAKING MACHINE
Ice block machine prices varies according to market forces. But it can be started with #300,000 including installation charges, 15KV cost about #170,000. Foreign machines such as UK, US, GERMAN cost from one million and above. Fixing them is a kind of trial and error thing when faulty. That is why when it breaks down it becomes a concern. Some people will tell you this and that machine freezes faster but the truth is that no manufacturer will give you the exact freezing time but machines freezes faster in cold weather especially during raining season.
Keep your machines in a shaded airy place to speed up the process of freezing the water. In case you are using enclose place such as room ensure it is well ventilated. If you site the machine in the sun, 8 hours – 10 hours time that it would have used to freeze will extend to 18 hours.
PROFITABILITY IN ICE BLOCK MAKING BUSINESS
It is a very profitable business, lets assume you are able to produce 300 ice block in a day. One big whole block goes for #100. Now, 300 ×;100 = #30,000 if you deduct expenses, lets say #10,000 then you will be left with #20,000. Making #20,000 profit in ice block business is a good venture especially in this present economy crises. You can imagine the profit for a month.
The more ice block you produce the more money you realise.
Sales drops during raining season but you have to target villages because they most times don’t have light at this period.
CAUSES OF ICE BLOCK BUSINESS FAILURE
Without a strong ice block making machine and good location you will fail in the business. Diesel is ideal for ice block production business because it is economical. If you are using fuel to power your generator it might consume your profit.
WHY YOU SHOULD DO ICE BLOCK BUSINESS
- As said before weather is one of the reasons, ice block business will thrive.
- Apart from water or drinks that needs to be cold; foodstuff, meat and other things that can easily get spoilt needs to be preserved with blocks. Meaning you will always sell.
- Some people cannot afford generator to power their refrigerator
- Epileptic power supply will force people to buy ice block from producers since they don’t have light to do so.
- The demand for it is growing by the day due to population increase and also due to their growing use.
- It is a sustainable business because event happens every day and those in charge of food or food handlers will always need ice block to preserve food.
- For instance people employ to serve Nigeria Chapman in an occasion will need ice-cube block at the event venue to serve chill drinks.
- Those into drink business, sellers of drinks on traffic needs ice block to keep their drinks cold for higher patronage likewise those selling pure water.
- Patent medical store use ice block to preserve certain medicine as such will always patronize ice block companies.
- The buyers of ice block determines the price of the product in the market.
- Decide how many ice block you want to make in a day, the weight of the ice block; how many kilo for each piece.
- Try to sell fast before the ice turns to water.
- When the ice block forms transfer them to refrigerator so you can stock new ones.
- Get means of transportation, to use in transporting ice block to customers who orders for them.
You can add the sale of both chilled pure water and block ones. Instead of the people who sells pure water to go and buy then start cooling them; they will rather buy already cold ones for direct sales.
As a new person in the business you have to reduce the price for resellers, these are people who will cone as early as 6am to buy all your ice block. Other buyers are pastry makers they will not come every day but will want you to bring it to them whenever they need the ice block.. Another set of buyers are; ice water and soft drink sellers, restaurant, hotels, food vendors, bars, events organizers etc.
You can start your own ice block business today as a side business. Check out somebody’s portfolio:
I am a civil engineer.
A metal fabricator
A Snail farmer
I run a family owned ice factory
And I have a football viewing centre
If one person can do all of these then you too can.