Franchising Series: How to beat competition in the Water Refilling Business
Here is another business idea that you can think about to have for your relatives in the Philippines or for you to invest in yourself.
Competition is tight in the water refilling business in the Philippines since clean water is a basic need and the business itself is relatively easy to handle. Water refilling stations are more labour-intensive especially with the delivery aspect. But managing it is easy thus making it appealing for a lot of first time entrepreneurs.
That’s where most of the problem is: how to keep the business going. Fortunately, water is essential and you won’t run out of customers. But owners must be ahead of the competition to keep that business going smoothly.
Here are tips to beat competition:
Market your outlet. Water refill stations don’t usually appear on TV and on print ads. This means that they are often spread by word of mouth. To spread word about your outlet, offer fliers in crowded areas in your neighbourhood like markets and churches. You can also go door to door and leave your fliers on the mailbox. If more people know about your outlet, then there’s a greater chance to get more clients.
Offer 24/7 service. We can never tell when our clients want their water delivered. Just to be sure, it would be a good idea to have two shifts to operate 24/7 to provide maximum customer service.
New Technology. Customers prefer their water supplier to be able to provide the latest technology in purifying and supplying them the cleanest water. Research on what is new in the market and see if you can afford to acquire and implement them.
Be friendly. Customers remember a good customer experience, and friendliness can easily be remembered by clients especially if you’re in a business like water refilling.
Respond to orders quickly. A fast delivery process lessens the hassle for customers, giving them better experience as a client. This may entail having more than one motorcycle and driver at a time, but good service definitely helps boost client relationships.
Offer water dispensers. Lending out hot and cold water dispensing machines can make you more appealing over other businesses. Water dispensers can also give added profit if you add a minimum charge for its use.
Offer quality service. Not only should you have friendly and smiling delivery boys, you should also have vigilante employees manning the refilling station that do not go lazy on keeping the standards of cleanliness. Regularly do a random check to see that not a single galloon delivered is contaminated or not properly cleaned.
How to start a water refilling business
Don’t have a water refilling business yet? Have the management tips convinced you to start your own? Here are some information you need to know to start a water refilling franchise:
Water refilling station franchises can be expensive because hi-tech equipment is involved. Franchisors provide equipment and machinery that purifies water pumped by local stations like Maynilad and Manila Waters. Depending on the type, number and size of equipment, the basic franchise cost can run from Php80,000 to Php350,000. This does not yet include the cost or rent of the site and overhead expenses.
Fortunately, most water refilling stations are now on a delivery basis and so accessibility is not an issue for the clients. This means that you don’t have to buy a business space in the most populous areas in the neighbourhood, which usually costs higher.
Costs of delivery are important to consider. A motorcycle with a sidecar is the preferred mode of delivery in the country. One motorcycle is enough as deliveries can be done by bulk. Add the cost of gas and maintenance and you can arrive at a working expense for delivery.
A franchise package includes fully-automatic machines in the form of filters and other equipment. Aside from this, the franchisor can offer services like technical assistance, marketing campaign and training programmes for employees and managers.
Franchise Development Process
Some franchisors require franchisees to look for sites with a specific size so that all equipment, wiring and piping may be installed properly. Most franchisors follow a standard store layout that maximises the purification process and to create an environment that is hassle-free for the franchisor and clients.
To start a franchise, find out if the franchisor requires the following:
- A letter of intent (including site location)
- Application form
- Business proposal
Make sure you also have the delivery aspect of the business covered before sending a letter of intent and application form.
Return of investment can come starting the 6th month of operation.
Water refilling stations sell water at a per gallon basis, commonly in 5-gallon or 10-gallon containers. In Metro Manila, a 5-gallon container costs around Php35. To be competitive but remain in profit, it would be a good idea to do a survey of costs of existing water refilling stations in the area and price your products accordingly.
If a water refilling station manages to sell 100 5-gallon containers per day, that will mean Php105,000 sales a month. Take away Php60,000 for expenses (labour for 3-4 employees, rent, electricity, fuel and maintenance costs) and a station can earn a net of Php45,000.
Here are just some companies that offer a water refilling franchising business to any budding entrepreneur:
Compare all package prices and enclosures to get the most out of your capital.