How to start a soft drink company in Nigeria If you are interested in starting up a soft drinks company in Nigeria, you need to go ahead and start it because it is actually where there are more chances available to you to grow as an entrepreneur and also earn more profits.
This article is designed to help you understand the process of setting up your own beverage company in Nigeria.
Here are some effective tips to guide you on how to start a soft drink company in Nigeria;
Invest in research
Before you start your soft drink company, you must have gathered enough information and knowledge about the beverage industry. A good way to do this is through thorough research and feasibility studies. It is crucial that you have a solid understanding of your competitors, to determine how they’re able to succeed in your intending startup. Try to understand why and how they connect with consumers. Study general trends as well as your intended niche. Aside from that, other factors like capital requirements, basic procedures, manufacturing plan, etc, all need to be investigated properly.
The success of your soft drink company will depend largely on planning. Planning will help you understand how to approach your business.
It is crucial for you to prepare a strong business plan, along with a production plan before you start up. A business plan is a written document that should be able to fully describe your business, its objectives, its strategies, the market it is in, and its financial forecasts.
It will function to help you secure external funding, and to help in measuring success within your business.
In developing your plan; you should factor in the following:
Is your soft drink idea feasible?
There are several companies that are able to help you with recipe formation, ingredient supplies, processing and shelf-life.
Understand that not all packaging is suitable for every type of drink. Consider the following;
- Pack type e.g cartons, bottles, cans, pouches etc.
- Artwork e.g, branding and design
- Intellectual property, e.g trademarks, patents etc
Know your budget
It is very important for you to determine your budget from the start, before launching your soft drink company. You can not start up this kind of business if you don’t have sufficient amount of money to beat your capital requirements. The costs of manufacturing, packaging and all may get tacky along the way, so you want to make sure that you plan a financial budget to cover the first 6 months of your business. This should include, overhead expenses, production costs, packaging costs, business Incorporation, licences and permits, marketing and promotional, salaries, etc. All these should be fully represented in your budget.
Your company registration
Of course you know that you will have to get your company fully incorporated, by registering with an appropriate body; in this case, the Corporate Affairs Commission of Nigeria (CAC). To pick a name for your company; you want to come up with something catchy and easy to remember. Visit any CAC office nearest to you for details on how to register your company, or you could visit the CAC official website at www.cac.gov.ng
The whole process shouldn’t take more than a month for completion; at which time you will receive a certificate of incorporation from the Government.
Licenses and trademarks
A trademark is a symbol or a sign which will differentiates your goods and products, i.e your soft drinks; from other soft drinks and beverages. The importance of getting protection for your intellectual property( trademarks, patents, and industrial designs), cannot be overemphasized. You don’t want other companies to infringe your company’s rights by using your company’s drink formula, trade secrets etc, so keep this in mind as you go about preparing to startup your company.
The commercial Law Department provides protection of trademarks, patents and designs, in Nigeria. Visit the official website of the trademarks, Patents, and Designs Registry, Commercial Law Department, Federal Ministry of Industry, Trade and Investment at www. iponigeria.com
Register with NAFDAC
It is a criminal act to manufacture, import, export, advertise, sell, or distribute a product in Nigeria without registering it with NAFDAC. For you to register your product with NAFDAC, there are quite a number of steps to follow, and it all takes three months Max, provided that you can successfully meet all require.
A NAFDAC registration number on your product will give it a better acceptance in the market. The first step for you to register your product is to have your factory inspected by the Inspection Directorate of NAFDAC. After the inspection, you will be awarded a certificate of Recognition as a manufacturer.
To apply for registration, you will write to:
Registration and Regulatory Affairs
Central Laboratory Complex
The application should state your name, the generic name of the product ( e.g soft drink), and brand name of your product ( e.g MyDrink)
Manufacture your drink
Find the right company to manufacture your drink. Most drink companies work with the Nigerian Bottling Company. This is a great idea, depending on your budget. Still you may want to stick it out on your own. Get information on contract packers with requisite packaging and processing facilities.
You also need to put in place a quality assurance unit or department, that will be charged to look out for product quality and safety, product storage, packaging and preservation.
Some of the basic equipments you will for setting up your factory are as follows:
- A standard filling machine
- Mineral water plant
- Bottle capping machine
- A power plant
Sales and marketing
Once production starts, you need to immediately look for ways to market your brand effectively.
Number one, you want to look at securing distributors. Make sure that you have a contact for distribution enquiry on your website.This ensures that any distributor that wants to get in touch can easily contact you from the website. This is a popular tactic used by most FMCG and consumer durable brand.
Next, you have to actively be on the lookout for distributors for your products; you can do this by reaching out to already existing distributors far and near.
Lastly, ensure that you optimize your promotional strategies to achieve your sales goals.
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