How To Open A Water Refilling Station
There are two ways to own a water refilling station business:
For Franchising, you need to go to suppliers who franchise their brand name. Some of the prominent ones are Living Water, Aquasoft, and Aqua Best. The pros of franchising are that you have a better initial start because of the brand name (well, it depends on how successful the brand is). If the brand is well known in the market, you’ll have very good sales from day 1.
Cons are that you do not have full control of the franchise’s decisions. You’ll be paying for franchising and marketing fees. Plus, your business lives and dies with the brand.
2. Building your own brand
This is a natural way of starting a business. After all, the ones providing franchises also started this way. Because water is a necessity, building your own brand for a water business and getting it known in the market is way easier than other businesses.
STEP BY STEP PROCEDURE TO OPEN YOUR WATER REFILLING STATION
Picking the right location for the water business is very important. There are many things to take into consideration here: the demand for bottled water, existing competitors, type of market, water source, restrictions on space, rental amount, leasing requirements, etc.
2. Required permits
Go to your local city hall and ask for required permits to start a water refilling station. Since every location differs in ease to process permits, having this information upfront will make the entire process very smooth.
3. System Provider
Finding a reliable system provider can be very challenging. That’s because the market is flooded with “anybody and everybody” building water stations. You do not want to take shortcuts in this process.
The best way to find out if the supplier is reliable is to do a background check. Ask for their existing clients, no matter how few they are, and ask them about their after-sales service experience. If needed, go to a seminar to know more about water refilling stations. Also, learn how water becomes purified either thru online study or contact your approved list of potential suppliers and ask how their system works.
The supplier will have different packages of water stations with the difference in the production of filtered water and the cost of production per bottle. The two well-known water systems are 1.Purified Water Station (TDS - total dissolved solids - is <10) 2.Mineral Water Station (TDS is below <500ppm).
Purified systems are more expensive because they undergo various stages of filtration (10,15,18,24 stages) while mineral water systems undergo basic-moderate filtration. For purified water refilling stations, the supplier usually carries three systems: 1) 3000GPD (gallons per day), 2) 6000 Gallons per day, 3)9000 Gallons per day. The prices vary for each of them. Sometimes, the supplier pairs the purified water and mineral water set-up as one water system.
Alkaline water systems are also available in the market. They are usually paired with purified and mineral water systems.
Suppliers also offer the ease of operating a system. They might offer 1) Manual-backwashing 2) Semi-auto backwashing, 3) Fully auto backwashing system. Backwashing is the procedure in which three of your main filters clean themselves. They have to be cleaned regularly (don’t worry, you only use water) and it requires your utmost attention.
To help you choose the right system, a good supplier will ask many preliminary questions and will also arrange an ocular inspection of the site. They will also discuss the feasibility of the business in your location and give you a fairly good estimate of the potential and viability of the location.
You want to emphasize on ROI (Return on Investment). ROI gives you a good estimate as to what system to invest in. Honestly, you will make more money and have lesser overhead expenses with a bigger machine. Work closely with your supplier as to what makes more sense according to your location and cost of the source water.
4. Source of water and water analysis
Once the supplier has been chosen, their company rep will guide you throughout the set-up of your station.
They start by looking at your location and checking for the source of water. You usually have three types of sources: 1. Deepwell 2. City Water 3. Surface water (lake, river). They might recommend a full water analysis (which will be shouldered by yourself) or test the amount of mineral content in the water with their TDS meter. Inspection of proper drainage/re-usage of concentrate water will also be done at this point in time.
5. Formal system quote, contract signing, and down-payment
Based on the complete water analysis or TDS reading, along with initial consideration as to how much-purified water is needed based on your location’s feasibility, the supplier will design the appropriate system.
Once the contract signing is done, the supplier will usually require a downpayment to start the construction of your system. The construction takes at least 3-4 weeks from delivery to installation. You will also receive a layout design based on the measurements of the store. You can now begin the construction phase.
6. Construction of the store
If your supplier is handling the construction job, you can go to your site for inspection purposes. If you’re the one constructing, make sure you request your supplier to visit the site to make sure there are no mistakes. You can also buy pre-fabricated stainless steel sinks if you want to expedite the process. Make sure you have enough space for the tanks to enter. The supplier will advise you beforehand of this.
7. Complete your business registration
While the construction is being done, you should proceed to complete the required paper works needed for the refilling station. You would need the following documents:
- DTI: Certificate of registration of business name (list at least 5 business names) or SEC Registration for a corporation
- Barangay Permit (requires DTI and cedula)
- Mayor’s Permit (requires Barangay clearance, a bacterial test of purified water, engineering drawings signed by a sanitary engineer, and other documents depending on your municipal office. Remember, you won't have a problem in this process if you follow Step 2)
- Go to BIR and complete the required process.
- If required, go to the nearest DOH office and get the water tested.
8. Delivery and Installation
The system will be delivered to your location once the construction part is finished. It’s better to have the construction phase completely done because it allows the technicians to finish their installation in the given period. Also, any leftover work (especially painting) makes it harder for techs to focus on their work because of the paint odor.
The installation period can range between 2-5 days, depending on the scope of work and the amount of piping required in your area.
Make sure that your water source is available because the testing and commissioning should be done right after installation.
During this period, the supplier will deliver containers and other things that you need in order to start the business. Also, have your signages prepared and start doing “opening promo” marketing.
9. Testing and Commissioning
Once the installation is complete, the techs will explain everything that is needed to run a water refilling station. Request for a manual that will teach you the basics of how to control your system. Also, make sure you personally know how to operate the system. This way, you can know if your worker is following the right procedure or not.
10. Final Turnover and opening of the store
After you are satisfied with your supplier’s work, it’s time to open your business.
Basic Feasibility Study
A. Capital Investment
- Water Refilling Machine – P 250,000.00
- Renovation or new store at least 20sqm size – 75,000.00
- Delivery vehicle (motorcycle with carrier or multi-cab) – 75,000.00
- Business permit & other legal docs (DTI, Mayor’s permit, Water testing, etc.) – 10,000.00
- Initial Supplies /miscellaneous – 31,750.00
- a) 150 Bottles slim – 18,750.00
- b) 50 Bottles round – 7,500.00
- c) heat gun- 2,500.00
- d) Stickers – 3,000.00
- Others – 8,250.00
- Total = P 450,000.00
Note: Actual investment may be increased or decreased depends on your actual resources, example:
- a.) less amount for the delivery vehicle if you already have existing or you can buy 2nd unit.
- b.) less amount for the store building if you have existing.
- c.) increase or decrease the amount on refilling equipment, depends on what type of water product you want to sell ( e.g. Mineral is only P150,000.00, etc.)
B. Sales Income
Check the market price per 5 gals. container. Price may vary depends on the area what type of water product you want to sell:
- Mineral Water – P20 ~ P25 per container
- Purified Water – P30 ~ P35 per container
- Alkaline Water – P45 ~ P50 per container
- PI Water – P200 ~ P250 per container
B1. Monthly Sales – P39,000.00
- 1ST 2 Months: Target is at least 50 containers /day (50 containers x P30.00 selling price x 26days)
B2. Monthly Expenses – P15,600.00
- Manpower/salaries – P 500/ day or P 9,100.00 /mo.
- 1 driver – P200 /day
- 1 re-filler – P150 /day
- Electric bill – P3,500.00
- Phone bill – 500.00
- Transportation / gas allowance – 1,500.00
- Consumables and others – 1,000.00
B3. Net Profit– P23,400.00 (Gross Sales – Gross expenses = Net Profit)
Note: This is just an estimation. Water Refilling Stations make an average of 50-60k Net Profit a month depending on the location. But for computation purposes, kindly go with the above-mentioned pricing.
GOOD TO KNOW
Always buy from a Genuine company. How do you know they are genuine?
1. They have an outlet where you can reach them.
2. They have a dedicated phone line for your service.
3. They are clear in their dealings (Price, Completion Date)
How do you know the system you are about to buy is genuine?
- Ask questions about the system. No matter how weird or crazy questions you may ask, never shy from asking and clarifying yourself.
- Learn about the system (online). The more knowledge you have, the better decision you will make.
- Never buy a cheap system, especially the used ones. Unless you have a thorough knowledge of the RO system. Ask the company about the specifications of the system. IWSI lists all the specs its systems have.
- Question them about membranes. Are they genuine? IWSI guarantees genuine products by providing serial numbers and other key observations to a membrane.
The Bottomline: The more knowledge you have, the less you will be deceived.
What about After-Sales service?
You do not yet know about their after-sales service because well, the after-sales comes after you have bought the machine,
Inquire about the company’s existing clients. They give you a pretty good look inside the company after-sales manners.
How about Marketing?
Your supplier should give you the basics of how to market. That way, you know they value you as their client. The company’s agent has a good idea of which idea may work in a certain condition.
Marketing is all about strategy. The better you value your clients, the better your ideas of serving them will be. We at IWSI, go one step further and help you analyze your market. Everyone’s situation is unique. So everyone’s solutions must also be unique.
“I have seen many water refilling stations close down. Is that because of the competition? or what?”
The number 1 reason as to why a station closes is due to poor management skills on the owner’s part. If the owner is incompetent, the business is doomed to shut down. Also, debt from previous venture and poor cash management skills are other leading factors.
If ever an owner buys a cheap station, they will soon realize that it is giving them a lot of problems. To focus on sales, one must have good functioning running machine at all times.
To know more about how what water purification process we use for your refilling station, click here