After Food and Clothing, Shelter logs in as the next basic need of Mankind. Apart from safety and security needs, we must also be sheltered from natural elements such as rain, wind and sun. Most everyday activities take place in enclosed spaces - homes, offices, shops, churches, etc.
As population grows, demand for housing rises. With this ever growing and insatiable need for housing, block moulding business is a sure route to wealth creation that guarantees regular profits all year round.
Can I do this Business?
Are you strong and healthy? Do you enjoy the outdoors? You don't mind jeans and tee-shirt? You don't mind coveralls and safety kits? You don't mind the sun and heat? You don't mind getting your hands dirty? You got a head for a little arithmetic? And you are creative? Then this business is for you!
Understand the Business
Conduct a market survey to ascertain costs - equipment, labour, space, raw materials such as sand and cement, water, etc. Update yourself with relevant information about the business - types of blocks and their rate of demand, other products you can make, mixing ratios, curing, packing, pricing, delivery, etc.
Visit a couple of well-established block industries to gather as much information as you can. If possible arrange to understudy the business for a couple of weeks. Visit raw materials and equipment shops to check on costs and availability. Interact with your prospective clients and users to know what makes them happy about your intended line of products. Go online for more start-up information.
To run this business effectively, you need to employ honest and capable hands. These include mixers (to mix sand, cement and water thoroughly and in the proper ratios), moulding machine operators and block evacuators. Be sure to hire competent and diligent workers. At this initial stage, you'll do well to be your own accounting officer.
On the legal front, you need to register a business name or incorporate a company with the Corporate Affairs Commission (CAC). You may also consult with The National Association of Block Moulders of Nigeria (NABMON).
Next, buy or rent enough space (about 30m x 40m) for the business. This will take care of machinery, sand dump, cement store, equipment store, small office, curing and storage of blocks.
Ideally, your location should be visible and easily accessible by road. Keep away from swampy terrain or land liable to flooding, because this can affect the quality and strength of the blocks. Clean water supply is very essential. Steady power supply is critical for continuous production of vibrated blocks.
For a start, you'll need a minimum of five workers: 1 machine operator, 2 mixers and 2 evacuators. You can always increase your workforce as production demands. Products you can make include solid and hollow blocks, interlocking tiles, decorative bricks, pavement slabs, etc.
Tips for Success
♦ Quality Products
Produce and deliver high quality products to quickly build your reputation, sustain customer loyalty and beat the competition. Quality should be your watchword.
Identify and approach companies, government agencies and individuals who regularly use your product range.
Brand your products and imprint your contact on them to make it easy for prospective clients to identify and reach you easily.
Watch out for new construction sites in your domain, and see how you can be of service to them with your products and services.
Build solid relationships with real estate developers and managers, landlords, contractors and builders. That way they become long-term clients and referrals for your products.
Take advantage of workshops, conferences and trade fairs to network and stay up to date with the latest trends in the block manufacturing industry.
At this early stage, you may have to take charge of cash and other sensitive business activities, to stabilize and ensure smooth business operations.
When your business stabilises, then it's time to open another block moulding site at a different but market ready location.
The price of cement – a major input to block moulding – is dynamic, but such fluctuations should not usually cause big changes in the prices of your products. Price your products to remain profitable yet competitive, despite small fluctuations in price of inputs. As the price of your input materials change, the price of your final products will also change.
The number of blocks to be produced from a bag of cement depends on the specifications required in your area or as per your contract. It also depends on the size of the blocks produced – 9 inches, 6 inches, 5 inches, etc.
There is profit to be made from this business; and you can start at a capacity in accord with your initial capital outlay; and then gradually expand production. But as in most other production businesses, there is a breakeven point below which the business becomes unsustainable.
The building construction sub-sector is a multi-billion Naira business. An Automated (Vibrated) Block Moulding Enterprise is a sure and decent way to partake in the financial boom of this value chain.
Stop procrastinating! Start your own automated block moulding business today. You'll be glad you did. Thank me later!
Related: 2021 Small Business Ideas
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