Starting a Cooking Gas Company with Ease
If you are considering starting a cooking gas company, this article will give you insights on the business. Just like any other business, before you start a cooking gas company, you need to arm yourself with vital information. It is the sum of information that you gather from various sources that will help you succeed in your cooking gas company when you eventually start. Before you continue with this article, I like to state that this is in no way a comprehensive business plan on how to start a cooking gas company. Before you rush into starting a cooking gas company, it is better you conduct your own feasibility study. Having said that, I will quickly take you through few basic steps you should take to get your cooking gas company running.
Conduct a Feasibility Study
There is no doubt that starting a cooking gas company is a good business idea. However, I will never advise anybody to rush into starting any business simply because the business has proved to be lucrative. If you rush into starting a cooking gas company on that ground, this may becloud you thereby preventing you from focusing on what will make the gas company to be successful. Therefore, you need to conduct the feasibility of the cooking gas company in your environment first. You can do this by yourself or you can engage a professional to assist you. If you engage a professional, this can increase the chance that no vital information will be left untouched. But if you want to handle it by yourself, you need to conduct the market research of the area that your proposed cooking gas company wants to cover. You need to consider the market size. Market size does not necessarily means the population of people living in the area. You are only concerned about your potential customers. An area with many middle income earners as residents will be good for siting a cooking gas company. It is also important that you find out if there is any existing cooking gas company within the locality. If there is, what is its current capacity? Is the cooking gas company able to satisfy the needs of the people living in the environment? If you discover that there is always pressure on the existing cooking gas company to meet customers’ demands; that will be a clear indication that you will enjoy patronage if you site your own cooking gas company within the same environment. In a situation whereby there are cooking gas companies competing for customers, it may be difficult for your own cooking gas company to break into the market except you are sure of rendering superior services.
Register the Company
Company registration is not as difficult as it used to be. To register your cooking gas company, you have to visit Corporate Affairs Commission or the Body that handles company registration in your country. You need to decide on the legal structure you want your cooking gas to take. If you are starting a Cooking Gas Plant, I will suggest that you register a limited liability company. This will ensure that your risk is restricted to your investment in the company alone. You will have your personal property protected in case of any liability coming from the cooking gas company. For cooking gas retailing business, many people prefer just ordinary business name. This is because the registration of business name is cheaper and less cumbersome. And it is what you can handle by yourself without engaging an attorney. If you are not sure of the legal structure that is best for you, it is better to contact an attorney or an accountant for professional advice.
Develop a Business Plan
Having determined the feasibility of starting a cooking gas company, you can now go ahead by developing a business plan for the business. The business plan should reflect the type of Cooking Gas Company that you want to start. Do you want to start Cooking Gas Plant or just a small cooking gas retailing business? The scale of your cooking gas company will determine the capital requirements and the approval process you need to undergo. The business plan should cover all important aspects of your proposed cooking gas company. You need to consider how you will finance the business, and other things like staff requirements, operations, sales and marketing plan among other things. You can use the business plan to approach investors and lenders to source for funds for the cooking gas company.
Read Also: How to Write a Good Business Plan
Obtain Permits and Licenses
While starting a cooking gas retailing business does not require rigorous approval process, if you are starting a Cooking Gas Plant, you will need to obtain some permits. The permits you will obtain include Town Planning Permit, Fire Planning Approval, State and Regional Planning Permit. You will also need to obtain Police Report and other permits or licenses from relevant regulatory bodies in your country. For instance, in Nigeria, you need to obtain a license from Department of Petroleum Resources. Before you can obtain some of these licences and permits, the relevant regulatory bodies will expect that you submit documents containing architectural drawing, mechanical drawing, electrical drawing and structural drawing of your proposed gas plant. Also, they will like you to provide evidence that you have carried out the environmental impact assessment.
Apart from these formal permits and licenses, you need to seek for the supports of your community especially if your cooking gas company will be located in a residential area. For small cooking gas retailing business, you may not need all these permits. However, it is important that you obtain trade permits that are relevant to your business.
The ideal location for a gas cooking retailing business is residential areas. This is where the service is needed. Therefore, it makes sense to bring your products/services close to the customers. However, for cooking gas plant, you may not be allowed to construct your plant in a residential area because of the risk of fire outbreak. Nevertheless, you should try as much as possible to locate the plant very close to residential areas. The location of your gas company may be by the side of the major road leading to residential areas. If you want to beat all the approval problems that are usually associated with starting a cooking gas company, you can decide to partner with a filling station. If the filling station is having enough space to accommodate you, this will save you a lot of stress and money. Before you choose this option, you must ensure that the person you are partnering with is very reliable. Furthermore, there is need for you to properly document the terms and conditions of this business arrangement. One apparatus that should not be lacking in any gas company whether a gas plant or cooking gas retailing store, is fire extinguisher. Fire extinguishers should be hanged in strategic and visible locations within and around the gas company. It is not enough to have fire extinguishers around; staff should be trained on how to use them in case of any fire outbreak. You will also need scales to measure the weight of gas cylinders and the volume of gas in the cylinder. For a standard Gas Plant, you are expected to have LPG tank, dispensing pump units and digital scale units installed with proper piping work done by a professional.
Every business has an element of risks. Apart from the general risks, there are risks that are peculiar to specific businesses. The major risk involved in operating cooking gas company is the risk of possible fire outbreak. For this reason, it is important to obtain fire insurance policy and other insurance that will cover personal injury. It doesn’t matter the level of other precautions you might have in place, it is very important that your gas company enjoys adequate insurance cover.
Read Also: Types of Home Business Insurance
Operation and Marketing
Now you are set to start your gas company. One thing you must always guide against is leakage of gas. Leakage of gas can cause fire hazards. It also leads to loss of revenue. Therefore, you must constantly check all your pipes if you operate a gas plant. If you sell gas in cylinders, you must ensure that your cylinders don’t leak.
Marketing starts with the words of mouth within your neighbourhood. You can also print flyers and distribute them within the serviceable areas which your cooking gas company plan to cover. It is important that your gas company is known for good customer service. Your marketing efforts may bring customers to you the first time. It is the quality of your customer service that will keep them coming back to buy from you.