Thursday, February 10, 2011

Bottled Water Tip #4

Bottled Water Tip #4


The bottled water industry continues to experience remarkable growth as the American public slowly weans itself off of soft drinks.

Although this surging market has brought in some big players, like Coca-Cola, Pepsi, and Nestle Waters, there are still plenty of opportunities for smaller entrepreneurs, according to Bruce Kucera, CEO of Norland International.

"From a smaller operator's perspective, they will need to differentiate their product by way of bottle design, bottles produced by an affordable blow molder, and/or by enhanced waters with health benefits or special flavor blends," Kucera said. "If this can be accomplished, higher margins can be gained and niche markets can be established."

Norland International specializes in assisting the entrepreneur market tap into opportunities in the bottled water industry. Kucera said business has been strong over the past 10 years, as Norland International has helped entrepreneurs around the world establish their own bottling businesses.

Kucera believes that, over the next 10 years, manufacturers will work to cater more to the small entrepreneur market, which has been a critical part of Norland International's business.

"Over the course of the next several years, manufacturers will need to design systems with the smaller to medium operator in mind to provide medium speed, affordable equipment," he said.

Kucera offers the following three tips for small- to mid-sized entrepreneurs entering the bottled water market.

1. Make sure you have enough capital. Simply put, an operator needs to have the funding to develop their own market, wait for cash flow to be established, and to afford the cost of adding new customers as the business grows.

2. Understand your market and aggressively pursue it. Let your prospects know you're there. Make sure the community is aware that you offer this service; what qualities separate your product from the competition; why you offer this service; and why they should contact you.

3. Create a marketing plan to generate awareness. In terms of the 5-gallon home and office delivery market, the Yellow Pages are always a good place to start. Budget for a reasonably sized ad in your area and be creative in your design.

You should plan on doing door-to-door sales yourself or hiring college students or others on a commission basis to cover a market area thoroughly.

Other marketing plans should include renting space at malls and high-traffic shopping areas to provide samples of water for direct face-to-face selling. You could also use limited letterbox mailers or neighborhood newspaper ads and displays at local fairs, conventions, home shows and other similar events.

Entrepreneurs interested in entering the bottled water market should visit Norland International online at http://www.norlandintl.com/, to learn about the company's diverse line of product offerings and track record of success worldwide.