Even in Moscow, eagerly perceiving everything new and modern, no more than a third of offices today use drinking water delivery services. For comparison, their average indicator in the USA and Europe is from 70 to 90%. And this means that this segment of the services market in our country has great potential. Moreover, the deterioration in the quality of ordinary tap water also works for companies that organize the timely delivery of water to those who are thirsty. How to profit from ordinary water is the topic of our article.
Tip 1 - decide: download or deliver?
From the very beginning, decide which direction you will develop. You can invest in a “long-playing” production - which means you can start your own well and set up a bottling line.
And you can focus solely on delivery, provide, in fact, intermediary services, buying water on the side. “Pumping” water, pouring it and delivering it is, of course, troublesome and expensive. Investing in such a project needs at least 100 thousand dollars. But for the organization of delivery, 10-20 thousand will be enough.
Just do not forget that the water producer (the one who produces and spills it at the well) today has a much greater chance of surviving in a competitive environment and becoming a monopolist in the growing regional market!
Tip 2 - Predict!
Water is a natural resource. Its production is somewhat akin to oil production. Accurate data on the potential of a particular well will not be given to you by any research institute, however, it is possible to predict certain indicators at the laying stage. Based on expert assessments, it is possible to predict a business development strategy, water sales volume, equipment capacity and planned sales volume. It is also necessary to take into account the shelf life of water, because the buyer wants to get it fresh and only fresh. That is why companies involved in the delivery of water to offices, as a rule, limit the shelf life to three months.
Tip 3 - fight for quality
Quality is the cornerstone of the whole enterprise. Ultimately, commercial success depends on the composition of the water. The water that you intend to give your customers, according to all indicators, should be certified and approved for use as a table drink, and also meet the hygiene requirements of the Ministry of Health. By the way, the unique natural composition of water is not all. The quality of the final product is affected by filtration and disinfection equipment. Depending on the source and composition of the water, cleaning of different intensities is required.
To minimize the impact of the human factor, it is preferable to use automated lines for bottling water into “classic” 19-liter bottles. Since the container in our business is constantly turning around, the task of workers on automatic lines is to install a used bottle on the conveyor and get the processed, as they say, corked product at the output. Such equipment, of course, requires considerable investment (the leading manufacturers here are American and German companies). The main thing is not to spare investment in development.
Tip 4 - promote the service
A client in this market segment is still not as spoiled as in other segments of the B2B services market. Therefore, a full package of documents on the composition of water and its origin is required only by the largest and most wealthy companies. Most, as a rule, are primarily interested in the price and delivery time. In this sense, the corporate culture of water consumption is not high enough. And yet with every passing day it grows.
People are learning more about water, it is becoming easier to explain how high-quality water differs from low-quality. It is not so difficult to do this: you can always give an example of an analogy with ground and greenhouse vegetables, freshly squeezed and packaged juices, illustrating the difference between natural and prepared water.
Tip 5 - Have a Tasting
In order for a potential customer to feel the difference and turn from a potential customer into a regular one, experts advise arranging a tasting of your water. First, they bring one bottle to the office. If you like the taste of water, a cooler can be installed for the client for the period necessary so that he tastes not only the water, but also the “service” itself, its convenience for employees. Such promotional tastings greatly contribute to the expansion of the customer base.
Tip 6 - Expand Your Product Range
The undoubted advantage of this business is its off-season. However, this does not mean that you can relax. Experts advise expanding their assortment and offering related products - for example, tea, coffee and sugar bags. As in any other segment of the corporate services sector, “creeping” or “viral” marketing works best when the information about you is passed on by the customers who are satisfied with the service. A good return, if you spend about 10% of the turnover, gives advertising in the press.
Well, recently, the Internet has become an excellent marketing tool. However, getting your own website is not enough to fill it with useful, fascinating information about the benefits of "living" water. Often it is high-quality and interesting site content that leads new customers.
Tip 7 - Be Punctual
Water delivery is a service, and not ordinary, but corporate. What is usually meant by a service? Timeliness of delivery, appearance of forwarders, voice of the dispatcher taking the order. Ultimately, the quality of service depends on many factors. The number of applications is usually large, and customers require delivery on the same day. That's just to achieve this is not so simple.
Firstly, customers have returnable packaging, which must be provided with the appropriate equivalent from the company.
And secondly, the entire fleet of cars from early morning is almost always on orders.
Nevertheless, one must certainly strive for “day to day” delivery, because this is exactly what the client wants! It is imperative to coordinate the delivery with him in order to avoid idle departures and, especially, if the car is delayed for some reason. But, the service is not limited to timely delivery and installation of the cooler. The condition of the cooler must also be monitored, the cooler needs sanitization and sometimes minor repairs.
Tip 8 - Design a Route Map
And for companies that have their own fleet, and for those who work with drivers for hire, the main thing to pay attention to is logistics. Therefore, to ensure that there are no problems with the delivery, it is recommended to develop a route map. Each crew is assigned a specific area, and the logistics department, based on the conjuncture of orders, builds an optimal route map.
Tip 9 - take an individual approach
The formula “each client is unique” is also valid in the segment of bottled water delivery to offices. After all, all transactions are completely individual! Not every company can afford to give employees enough expensive water - it is easier to install filters.
Therefore, often - with the deterioration of the situation with customers, there is a certain outflow of "trusted" customers. An individual approach is necessary. Sales managers discuss delivery terms with each specific customer separately.
The price may depend on the volume of the transaction, and on other factors - for example, on the degree of reliability of the client. And finally, since coolers cost $ 100-150, it’s best not to install them at all to “unverified” companies.
Tip 10 - Connect the imagination
It is sometimes difficult to find consumers of bottled drinking water in the regions. Therefore, in order to create a customer base, connect the imagination. Look for non-standard needs and opportunities for using drinking water. Think about who else can use clean and high-quality water - for future mothers, families, with a newborn baby ...
Often they prepare food on the water, wash dishes with it, water the flowers. Such customers need a high-quality product and service, and financial difficulties do not scare them. Many decisions have long been implemented. So, watch, search and adopt the finished experience!
Based on materials from an interview recorded by Ekaterina Chinarova for the magazine Business Magazine
* The article is more than 8 years old. May contain outdated data