Stories by Bimbola Oyesola
We are already moving towards the end of the year and that means harmattan is almost around the corner. Then it means going into production of petroleum jelly would not be a bad idea. It is equally a product that can sell round the year, as people must cream their body. The market also cuts across the old, young and little children irrespective of gender.
Petroleum jelly product is a skin cream mostly effective during dry seasons because it reduces the dryness of the skin. It is a blend of mineral oils and waxes, which works by creating a sealing barrier between cells in dry or damaged skins thereby locking in moisture and speeding up natural recovery and healing the skin from within.
Even though many creams in stores have been alternatives for petroleum jelly, it is still in high demand all over the world because it reduces painful skin dryness and effect of dry cold winds on the body. It is also used for cracked lips and a specially refined product for babies.
Petroleum jelly prevents inflammation, is used as a repellent and prevents split ends in hair.
As the human population continues to grow, so does the need for this product, which makes it a highly lucrative business both in Nigeria and in other countries. The product attracts good price and a fair amount of profit margin. It is in high demand and there are many outlets that can sell the product.
Another advantage is the simple production process and basic equipment. The ingredients are easily sourced in the open market and are cheap. It is also a business you can start right in the corner of your home as the amount needed to start a small home-based factory is small. You can go smoothly into your business with minimum and affordable equipment and production capacity and start making returns.
The production process is equally easy and less time consuming; it doesn’t take more than 10 minutes. Below are 10 more reasons why should invest in petroleum jelly
•Nigeria is just coming out of recession, so you can make it.
•We are going into harmattan season when petroleum jelly is all that matters.
•It doesn’t cause skin reaction.
•It is used to prevent inflammation in babies caused by heat generated from prolonged use of diapers.
•It is used in the laboratory to prevent air from entering specimen, hence, it is used for sealing cover slip.
•It is used to keep the body warm during cold season.
•It is used to prevent cracked heels, lips and skin.
•It is used as polish to polish surfaces such as shoes and bags.
• It can serve as another source of income.
There are also basic requirements needed to make it big in this line of business, including:
To produce petroleum jelly from home you need relatively small capital. The major investment is the chemicals used in the production. Other expenditure is simple equipment, marketing the product, labels and containers. You don’t need bank loans to start a small petroleum jelly production business. You can raise funds through target savings or soft loans from friends and family.
Register your business with Corporate Affairs Commission (CAC) as a sole proprietorship and obtain a tax identification number. Find out all the requirements before launching your enterprise.
Your product might have to pass a standards organisation test and sampling. You may even need papers from the state government where you are located and product identification number from the national food and drug authorities.
Other considerations are environmental and anti-pollution laws binding the enterprise. Select a good business and brand name for your enterprise and product. Branding actually starts here.
You need an open workplace to mix your product. Because you are handling chemical materials, you need adequate safety gear. The location should be properly ventilated and specially equipped for production. Please don’t use your kitchen to produce the jelly. You must have special equipment, which should be used only for the production. If you want to run a small factory rent a well ventilated workspace.
The product is fairly popular and a household name. Sell your product in stores or in your community. Other places to sell your product are supermarkets, retail stores, neighbours and event venues. Sell at flee markets, open stores or individual homes. To reach customers, launch a marketing campaign through mobile direct advertisement. Hire sales representatives that earn on commissions to reach your customers.
Advertise your product in newspapers and health magazines. Use print media and make handbills, posters and a signpost. Offer promotional discounts on bulk purchase for faster sales. You can reach bulk customers through paid classified advertisement websites. Because the product is common, you need a competitive advantage to reach customers.
You also need to get a clear and simple label that says all about the products.
Ingredients: Lanolin, paraffin oil, perfume, plastic container with lid, paper label, safety goggles and gloves, a cooking gas or kerosene stove.
Paraffin wax (1/8 slab): This helps to hold the mixture together; petroleum jelly (3kg), a nourishing agent that helps to thicken and hold the jelly together; micro wax (1/16 slab), which helps the product stick together; paraffin oil (5 litres), this is the oil that helps to reduce thickness since water is not needed in the production. It has a healing and a nourishing ability, and perfume oil (100ml), which gives it the smell you desire. Colour is optional.
Gas burner or firewood (this is better than stove because it’s faster than stove); stainless steel pot, turning stick, rubber spoon, knife (for cutting of wax), weighing scale, measuring cup and packaging material.
Below are the steps for production:
Step 1: Get your gas burner or firewood ready.
Step 2: Place the stainless pot on the gas burner or firewood.
Step 3: Put the paraffin wax (1/8) into the stainless pot.
Step 4: Put the petroleum jelly (3kg) into the stainless pot on the gas burner and stir properly until it’s all well blended.
Step 5: Get an empty bowl and put 4 litres of paraffin oil into it (keeping 1 litre)
Step 6: Now pour the stainless pot contents or mixture (paraffin wax and petroleum jelly) into the bowl containing the 4 litres of paraffin oil and stir properly.
Step 7: Add perfume and stir properly.
Step 8: Now take a small piece of the mixture into a cup and pour water so that the body cream will float; then feel the floated body cream to see if it’s soft or hard enough. If it’s too harsh; then add the remaining 1 litre of paraffin oil, else keep the paraffin oil for future use.
Meanwhile, the funds required to set up this business will be determined by the size and scope of your enterprise. But make quality production your main target as you go into this business, buy the best quality ingredient and you will create a niche in the business.