How Much Do I Need To Start A Concrete Block Moulding Industry In Nigeria
Block making (commonly called block industry) business can be a very profitable venture. It is funny to me that some people still think that block making is a vocation for the uneducated and unskilled. To the contrary, it is a lucrative business that can be scaled to become a large employer of labor. Whether you are a school dropout, a graduate, a professional or a retiree looking for profitable business to engage in; block making is a venture to consider
Block making (commonly called block industry) business can be a very profitable venture. It is funny to me that some people still think that block making is a vocation for the uneducated and unskilled. To the contrary, it is a lucrative business that can be scaled to become a large employer of labor. Whether you are a school dropout, a graduate, a professional or a retiree looking for profitable business to engage in; block making is a venture to consider.
Housing is one of the basic needs of man. It is as necessary as what to wear and eat in the form of clothing and food. Like every other needs of man, houses available are not enough to meet the housing demand in the country due to the large and growing population of man.
The increasing need to build new residential houses, factories and offices to accommodate Nigeria’s large population has made concrete block production a very lucrative business in the country. Housing and construction is one of the major drivers of growth in more than 40 allied industries, including the concrete block industry.
Demand for concrete blocks has also risen tremendously as a result of the demand for it in the housing and construction industry. In addition to this, there is also increasing demand of concrete blocks from government and multi-national contractors for other building purposes.
Some Important Business Considerations
1. Power supply should be stable for business growth. Relying only on
the public power supply may adversely affect your output. Therefore, get
an alternative power supply source, in form of a diesel power generating
2. Set up the business on a dry land.
3. Provide reliable and durable equipment for the successful operation of the business.
4. Recruit skilled workforce.
5. Ensure availability of truck to deliver goods to customers’ desired location at the appropriate time.
6. Manufacture concrete blocks with highest quality cement that dries quickly for commercial production.
7. Safety measures must be observed at all times.
Safety Measures You Should Ensure In Your Block Industry
1. Care should be taken to avoid injury because, lifting and handling
blocks is a highly repetitive task. It can also involve twisting,
stooping or reaching upwards. The risk of injury increases with the
weight of the block and when laying above shoulder or below knee height.
2. Protective wears should be worn at all times when handling blocks to protect against cuts and abrasions from sharp edges, and to avoid being injured by flying or falling objects. This will also protect the eye, skin and respiratory tract from exposure to cement dust which causes irritation.
3. Keep routes free of obstructions to prevent slips and trips.
4. Make sure machine guards are in place to protect workers from entanglement moving parts of machinery during operation of the equipment.
5.There should be a suitable place to store your cement. Cement should be stored in a dry place and covered to avoid being damaged by rain or sun. Blocks should be secured from theft and physical damages.
Manpower Needs For The Business
Skilled labourers: A successful block industry will need skilled
workforce to operate the block moulding machine, take charge of mixing
the sand with cement and water, and carrying the block from the moulding
point to the space for the block to dry. The number of labourers you
should have depends on the size of the industry, your output and demand.
Cashier: A cashier may be employed to keep account of how many blocks were moulded, supplied and stored. This is necessary to measure production level and performance.
Supervisor :You will need an experienced supervisor whom all other workers will report to. He could double as an operator and as a supervisor. He should have general oversight role over other areas of the business and report to you as the proprietor.
Truck driver Consideration may be made to hire a driver for the truck, if there is need to.
Here are a few things you should also put into consideration to ensure success of the business:
This is the number one thing you will need to establish a block industry. A piece of land measuring 60 x 120 sq.m will be enough for a beginner. You can either buy the land outright if you can afford to or rent it or even partner with land owners. However, in acquiring your land, you must give consideration to the topography. Don’t site your block making business in a water logged area or swampy environment.
This will affect your business because your block will continually be moist, or can be carried away by erosion and most importantly delivery will be affected because vehicles may find it difficult accessing your site to pick your blocks. For this reason, ensure that your plant is located on a dry land.
The block moulding machine, perhaps, is the most important piece of equipment you will have to acquire to set up your block industry. There are locally fabricated machines that are manually operated. There are also automatic moulding machines and multifunctional machines that can be imported from China, India, Germany, etc.
Standard Source of Power
You will need regular power supply to keep your vibrating moulding machine running. A diesel generator is highly desirable. Most operators use Lister engine. We hope there will be a time in Nigeria where entrepreneurs will no longer need to provide their own source of power.
Construct a Shed
You will have to construct a shed to house your block moulder and your Lister Engine. This will protect this equipment from rain. The shed is a simple structure with four beams and without block walls but covered with a roof. If you have the resources, you can carve out an area with block walls within the shed to serve as your office, changing room for staff and a store to keep your raw materials, particularly cement.
Source of Water
Water is a very crucial material in the production of concrete blocks and you will be needing it in very large quantity and regularly too. Water is needed to mix the cement and sand as well as to sprinkle on the moulded blocks to enhance its hardness. The best strategy is to dig a well in your site for regular water supply. If you have the resources then sink a borehole but a dug well will serve the purpose adequately.
An open pick-up vehicle is adequate to serve as your delivery van. You will need this van to enable you deliver products to your customers at their sites. A serviceable fairly used vehicle can serve this purpose and as you scale up your operations, you can acquire a suitable truck.
Get a carpenter to construct wooden pallets, as many as possible, depending on the capacity of your plant. The pallets are used to carry the moulded blocks to the drying place.
Other equipment you will need to work include shovels and head pans. The quantity you will buy will depend on the scale of your production and the number of hands working on your facility. These items are easily available at any hardware of building material market around.
A key success factor in this business is to locate your industry in a rapidly developing area with a lot construction works going on. This will not only ensure regular demand for your products but also make delivery easy because most of the people that will be buying from you are those building around your location.
It is also essential to locate your block making factory on a dry land to avoid flood destroying your blocks and other raw materials, such as cement and sand. So it is important that before you set up your factory, you do a detail study of the environment to ascertain both the commercial and technical viability of your project.
Your success will largely depend on your organization skills, your capacity to reach out to bricklayers, building contractors and other people in charge of building projects. Reach it to these people and get them to patronize you with whatever incentive you can offer.
You will also have to make arrangement for regular supply of the materials you will need, especially cement and sand. There is nothing as bad as not being able to meet order because you are not able to source materials. You should develop good relationship with cement and sand suppliers so such that you can get these items on a single phone call whether or not you have the money to pay immediately.
Though many of the workers you will have will be daily paid labour, you will need to hire experience workers to operate the moulding machine as well as the sand and cement mixer. For these process, you will need people who have some experience to know the right mix of material to produce the quality of blocks required.
Depending on your scale, you will need an admin and account staff to help organize things around and liaise externally on corporate matters as well as keep the books. A marketing person may be required to manage relationship and develop business. These functions can be handled by you the entrepreneur if you have the necessary skills and operating on bootstrap.
Carry Out a Survey of Your Locality
It is important that you have a good idea what the demand for blocks is like in the locality where you intend to set up your block industry. The reason for this is because of the high cost involved in transporting blocks from one location to another.
If there is no high demand for blocks around you, then you will end up not being able to supply your blocks to customers at a good price. Make sure that you understand the dynamics of the business in your locality before investing your money in this business.
Coupled with your survey, it will also help to undergo some form of basic training in block making. This is because block making could involve quite a bit of technicality. While you might not be the one physically mixing the mortar to make the blocks, it is important that you understand what is going on so that you can effectively control the quality of your products.
Register Your Block Industry
It is important that you register with the government and all other necessary authorities so that you can be fully recognized as a legal entity. Endeavour to register with the Corporate Affairs Commission (CAC) else you will not be able to access government loans or bid for any federal, state or local government contracts. Proper registration with the tax authorities will ensure that you are pay the right taxes.
Start Up Capital
This business can be regarded as a capital intensive one. The start-up capital will be mainly invested into securing a good location, purchasing of equipment, purchasing of block making materials, registration etc.
The following equipment and facilities would be needed for a block industry;
• Block Moulding Machine: For moulding the cement mortar into blocks.
• Truck: The truck will be used to deliver blocks to customer building sites. However, if you do not have enough funds you can skip this one.
• Concrete Mixer: This piece of equipment will be used to mix the sand, cement and water. Concrete mixing can be done manually, but using a mixer will save you a lot of time.
• Head pans, shovels, trowels and other hand tools.
• Storage Shed: You will need a secure place where you can safely store your cement away from sun and rain. A small shed with a good roof will properly serve this purpose. Alternatively, a lot of people make use of disused shipping containers as their storage room.
• Wooden Palette: The moulded blocks will be placed on the palette while they dry in the open. This will prevent the blocks from having direct contact with the ground. An alternative to this is to pour a layer of sharp sand on the floor of your block industry. The idea is to have your blocks on a platform that does not retain water.
1. Maintain a High Standard: Maintaining a high quality of output will help to retain customers and also win new ones. As earlier stated, it is important to embark on training before starting this business. In the training you will learn the ratio of cement to sand and water that will give high quality blocks. Having this information handy will help you to properly monitor the quality of your output.
2. Market Your Business: Do not hesitate to tell people about your business. You can also approach building sites around you to let them know about your business.
3. Seek Information: Interact with people who have vast experience in this business. You will definitely learn a trick or two from them.
4. Identify a Good Source of Materials: The main materials needed are sand, cement and water. Ensure that you have reliable suppliers that can guarantee consistent provision of these items. Remember, not all cement types are suitable for block production. Block production is best done with Portland cement.
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Uses of this Business Plan (PDF and Word)
This business plan can be used for many purposes including:
• Raising capital from investors/friends/relatives
• Applying for a bank loan
• Start-up guide to launch your business
• As a business proposal
• Assessing profitability of the business
• Finding a business partner
• Assessing the initial start-up costs so that you know how much to save
• Manual for current business owners to help in business and strategy formulation
Contents of this Business Plan (PDF and Word)
This business plan include:
• Marketing Strategy
• Financial Statements (monthly cash flow projections, income statements, cash flow statements, balance sheets, break even analysis, payback period analysis, start-up costs, financial graphs, revenue and expenses, Bank Loan Amortization)
• Industry Analysis
• Market Analysis
• Risk Analysis
• SWOT & PEST Analysis
• Operational Requirements
• Operational Strategy
• Why some people in this business fail, so that you can avoid their mistakes
• Ways to raise capital to start your business