Are you thinking of starting your own concrete block industry anywhere in Nigeria? Do you know you can earn up to #800,000 every month from molding concrete blocks? If yes I want you to consider setting up a cement block molding industry as a viable business.
Shelter is widely known as the third basic necessity of life after food and clothing. Every man needs a place to hide his head in order to be protected from harsh weather conditions and to be able to protect his families from unnecessary external intrusions.
The recent increase in rents in cities and the increasing need to build new residential houses, offices, churches, mosques, shop, schools, etc. to accommodate the needs of Nigerians have led to the boom in the block making industry.
The increasing need to build new residential houses, offices, churches, mosques, shop, schools, e.tc to accommodate the needs of Nigerians, these has made the cement mold ling business a very lucrative business in the country. 15 bags of cements will produce about 500 cements blocks with these you will be making about N30, 000 per day, and N800, 000 monthly income as you sell each 9 inches block for N220. Starting a block is not difficult in starting it depends on the scale you want to operate. Here are some few tips needed
TYPES OF BLOCKS
There are basically three types of blocks, the 9 inches block, the 6 inches blocks and the 4 inches blocks but the 9 and 6 inches are the fast moving ones. These sizes can be achieved by different sizes of molds used.
In starting this block molding business, apart from normal business and bank registration for any serious business, here are the needed tips.
Acquire a piece of Land for your Concrete Block Industry
To start this business you need to acquire a piece of land and you need it in a good location. The minimum land you require is a 60ft by 120ft (18m by 36m) of land which is a plot. You need to get this close to new developing areas where new houses are being built. This will be of great advantage to you for the following reasons; you will be the first point of call for anyone who wishes to buy anything to build the houses.
If you don’t have money for land yet, no problem, try to get anybody who owns land in a good location in that area and offer to rent the land for a year or two at a reasonable price to pay every month, before they start building. You may need to approach a number of them but I am quite sure they will happily oblige because you would help them secure the land from the hungry land grabbers and also help them make the land suitable for construction. During that time you would have made enough money to buy yours.
Water is a necessity for this business
Adequate supply of water is also important, you may need bore hole or well to be dug on the site. However since it is not your land in the first place, it could be difficult. Never mind, what you have to do is to make arrangement with some people to fetch water for you in the area, since you will be needing about five drums per day on a continual basis, then you really have to negotiate well with them to get a good bargain. You may also be fortunate to get somebody who already has a borehole in that area, and then you can then buy this large reservoir (GP tanks) and hose to get the water at a reasonable price as well.
Source for a Delivery truck
This also is a very important factor, because you will need to deliver your finished product. However, this is very expensive, what you have to do is to get a strong wheel barrow for delivery to nearby customers and you make arrangement with available truck drivers nearby for delivery at N10 – N20 per block depending on the distance. This cost is factored to the price of each block.
Materials and Equipment Needed For Concrete Block Molding
- Cement: This is also one of the most important materials required to make blocks. The average price at present goes between N2450-N2600 per bag. You will need it in large quantities, so try to strike a good bargain when buying bulk purchase. You need a place to store your cements it must be dry and well covered to avoid rain and sun. Note, not all types of cement are good for commercial block production; you need the type that dries quickly.
- Sharp Sand: This is also very essential. There are various types of sands but the best is the sandy clayey type.
- Labour: This is a very important factor in the business. You can either decide to use manual production method. To use this method, you have to rely on the expertise of the labourers. These labourers have bosses and associations under which they work. So their conditions of service are uniform. They pose very serious threat to the business especially in terms of crises. They work in a team of three or four:one or two mixers and two carriers. Their charge ranges between N700 and N800 per bag of cement they mold and they have to be treated to a square meal per day.
- Mould/vibrating machine: A locally fabricated molding or Vibrating machine goes for about N120,000 or N130,000 while an imported machine can cost you about N500,000 or more. You will require a diesel Lister generator to power the machine. The advantage is that it produces block at a faster rate than the manual method of molding.
- Wheel barrow: There is a special locally made one for carrying blocks and this cost about N11, 000 for delivery of goods.
- Shovel: for mixing of sand and cement. This cost about N1200 per one and you will need a minimum of two.
- Tarpaulin: this is to protect the cement and sand from rain.
PRODUCTION COST AND PROFIT ANALYSIS
A bag of cement with sand will produce fifty five (55) 6 inches blocks and forty (40) 9 inches blocks (though not the COREN’s Standard of 40 and 33 respectively). 6 inches block is sold for N170 while 9 inches is sold for N200 to N250 depending on the location.
Let’s do some calculations;
1 bag of cement @ N2500 will give 55 bags
Average of 12 bags per day will give; 12*55 = 660 blocks
Average cost per 6 inches block = N170
Sales per day = N170 * 660 = N112,200
labour per day (N800* 12) N9,600
labour meal @N800 per day N800
Water required 6 drums @ N500 N3,000
Cost of cement (12*N2500) N30,000
Cost of sand N28,000
Cost of transport @ N10 N6600
Total Expenses = N78,000
Net Profit N34,200
On a monthly basis; (N34,200 * 30) N889,200
If you have let’s say 2 centers (N889,200*2) N1,778,400
Hire Experience Workers
To run your block business effectively you need experience people who have experience in this business.
Below are the categories of workers you need to start this business:
You will need a blocking molding machine operator
Labourers who can mix cement, sand and water properly
MARKETING AND PROMOTION.
- ENSURE QUALITY: To market your business successfully, you need to make quality your watchword. Let your product stand out from the others by the quality of your production, when you do this, the product will advertise itself.
- LABEL YOUR PRODUCTS: I have seen some block industries do this. When people see your product anywhere they can contact you as long as it is the quality one. Never produce any one without a label detailing your contacts.
- BECOME A BUILDING CONTRACTOR YOURSELF: when you are a builder yourself, you have a double advantage; you will be making money as a building contractor as well as a block producer.
- MAKE BUILDERS YOUR FRIEND: If you cannot learn how to build then make friends with builders and real estate managers around you. They will be the ones to direct customers to you or even be your first customers.
- MAKE FRIENDS WITH LANDOWNERS: the land owners , when they sell lands often know those who like to commence construction immediately. So when you are their friends you will be their first referral if your product is good.
- ATTEND BUILDERS’ FAIRS AND TRADE SHOWS: To know the latest trends in the business and to distinguish yourself from other concrete block makers, you need to go out of your comfort zones by attending these programmes. You will learn how to increase productivity, cut cost, make new friends and networks and work more efficiently.
- ESTABLISH MORE LOCATIONS: As time progresses, you may need to establish more outlets to make more sales. Always be on the lookout for new developing areas, that is where you make more money.
- WRITE AND SUBMIT PROPOSALS : often times an average concrete block maker often make do with the market they build around their factories alone, however, if you stick your neck out more, you will realize that there are more and better deals outside. There are government agencies, private companies and construction companies looking out for those who can supply building materials. You may have to look into newspapers, government tenders, magazines and even work on your networks to make these deals.
CHALLENGES AND RISK FACTORS
The risk associated with this business and how to control them include the following;
- Rainfall: blocks cannot be made during rainfall. All the materials most especially cement must be protected from rain. Construct a shade where you can keep your cement and get tarpaulin large enough to cover the heap of sand you want to use for production. When rain beats the sand, let it dry for about two or three days before you produce with it.
- Workers: Loyal workers are hard to find, treat the ones you have well and also try to develop some others. They are your best bet to deliver on your objectives.
- Breakages: the concrete blocks must be handled with care to avoid excess breakages but more importantly your sand suppliers must also be watched closely. Don’t let them supply less quality sand or soft sand to you and also watch your mixing ratio. Customers are easily put off when their blocks break too easily.
- Avoid questionable deals.
- Debt and improper cash flow can kill this business in a few days.