Let cement be sold for N3000 a bag, people will still build houses and government will keep improving the present infrastructure. For now, cement block has not gotten a replacement.
Block making is a lucrative business and the evidences are around you. One advantage here is that the labor is not permanent; you do not pay them when they are not working.
They are paid according to the number of bags of cement used. Location is very important in this business. It must be on a major road that is easily accessible.
There are reasons for this. One is ease of transportation of both raw materials and the finished products. The second reason is that block business is self-advertising. It has to be in a place where potential buyers ply so they can see your set up as they pass by.
It is very usual to site block making in a developing area for people constructing houses. The economists call this nearness to market. This is Not to say that you cannot get an order from far away places depending on your networking.
In fact, you must look for orders at construction sites or orders to supply blocks for government projects. Only be sure of payment.
The block-making machine is constructed locally and the Lister engine to drive it is sold in all cities. You will also need pallets to be constructed by carpenters.
Normally, owning a tipper lorry makes the job easier and more profitable but that may be too much for a starter. As your business improves, you will get one.
Blocks are not easily stolen and prices are about the same in the same locality. Therefore, there is no price war and you can calculate your profit ahead.
With about N250, 000 one can take off, that is assuming you are leasing the land. Ultimately, you will need to have your own land. This is a reason why those in this business find it easy to own houses.
They think ahead and buy land in anticipation of future business. Before their present location gets tight, they would acquire land in a virgin area at usually ridiculously low prices. When the place is being opened up, they are the first set of people you see.
Water is important. If you are not where water is readily available, you must factor the cost of water into your price. Skill you will get from the labour you hire. It is not impossible for a labor team to work for different block makers. It is an open business, no secret recipe. Your block and marketing will stand you out.
MARKETING. Locate in a conspicuous place and be friendly to the bricklayers. Give them some returns to recommend your blocks to their principals. It is no bribe, it is sales promotion.
CAVEAT. Do nut cut corners. If you make 40 blocks from a bag that issupposed to give you 35, it will affect the quality. Be nice to your labour hands, they can also get orders for you. Replace blocks that are broken between your office and the site. It is not the buyers fault. Usually you add extra to take care of this
Otunba Jide Omiyale(MBA,FCIM)