More and more people are starting their own business every year. Do you have dreams of being one of them? You have a lot of options to do so.
There are countless businesses you can start, including a bottled water business. Americans have consumed about 11.7 billion gallons of bottled water in 2015, with the market due to grow by almost 7% a year.
In other words, you can make a lot of money if you start your business off right. You have to have a good foundation in order to build a thriving business.
Read on to learn how to start a bottled water business that thrives.
1. Branding Matters
Have you gone to the grocery store to buy bottled water? How many different companies offer bottled water? That’s your competition.
You need to be able to set your company apart from the competition. You all sell the same product, so you need to figure out a way to separate yourself from the pack.
When you have a strong brand, you’ll be able to charge more for your product, too. That means a higher profit margin for your company.
That is going to be your brand. This isn’t your logo. It’s the first thing that people think about when they see your company’s name. Your logo is the visual reflection of that brand.
Take the time to think about what you want your brand to be and what you want people to feel about your company.
Fiji Water created a premium brand due to its water source in the remote South Pacific. It also built a strong brand based on exclusivity and partnerships with other luxury brands.
People then associated Fiji with high quality and luxury. That allowed the company to have a powerful brand and command high prices.
2. Register Your Business
You need to make your business official. Since you’re selling water, you have a lot of regulatory hoops to jump through.
Your first step is to understand the regulations set forth by the Environmental Protection Agency and the Food and Drug Administration.
The EPA’s regulations will oversee your sourcing procedures while the FDA ensures that what you sell is safe. You need to register with the FDA and ensure that your bottling labels comply with the regulations.
You also have to register your business with your state’s secretary of state’s office.
3. Find a Source and Bottler
In order to start a bottled water company, you need water. You have to be able to provide water. Ideally, you want to source it from someplace special that provides quality water.
Most companies choose not to take this step because it’s very costly. If you wanted to do this, you would have to purchase land and invest in equipment to source and treat the water for distribution.
What are the alternatives? Turn on the tap. About 64% of bottled water comes from municipal sources, which means that consumers are paying for the convenience of the plastic bottle and the brand.
You’ll need to find a bottler for your water, too. You want to find a bottler that can bottle your water n the materials that you choose.
This is where you have to watch costs and demand. Yes, more people are aware of the damage that plastic does to the planet. Plastic bottles are far less costly to produce, so you can keep your costs down.
The question is whether or not people are willing to pay more to avoid plastic. One recent survey found that two-thirds of Americans would pay more for less plastic.
This is an opportunity for you, but you have to do your research. You have to find out where that price point is for consumers and whether or not you can meet their demands.
4. Transporting Water to the Bottler and Your Customers
How will you get water from your source to the bottler? How will the bottled water reach your customers?
You’ll need to invest in trucks that will handle those types of deliveries. Once you buy the trucks, you can use these vehicle transport services to get the trucks to your company.
You’ll then need to hire drivers to drive those trucks regularly between the source and your bottling company and to deliver to your customers.
5. Write a Business Plan and Find Financing
It’s going to cost quite a bit of money to start your business. How much do you need? That’s what a business plan will tell you.
It’s your chance to understand the scope of the project you’re taking on. You’ll be able to identify the risks in starting your business and what the competition is doing.
It’s also your chance to find out if your business can be profitable or not. In your business plan, you have to come up with your costs to start up the business. This includes everything from office furniture to delivery trucks.
You then need to figure out your monthly operating costs and develop profit and loss statements for the first few years.
Next, you’ll take your business plan to show it to lenders and investors. They’ll scrutinize your business plan to determine your profitability. They want to make sure that if they invest in your business, they see a return on investment.
Start a Bottled Water Business
It’s a long, complex process to start a bottled water business. Your business is really going to depend on the brand of your company in order to have a chance to survive.
Otherwise, you’re going to have to compete on price, which will eat away at your profit margins. You’ll need to make sure that you meet regulatory requirements, too.
Once you have the basic foundation in place, you can then bottle your water and market it to the masses.
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