SME GUIDE: Starting A Bean Flour Production Business In Nigeria
Before you can start any type of business, you have to put some things into consideration; that what you want to do and how you want to do it.
Starting a business in Nigeria can be easy and at the same time difficult. This article will open your eyes to how you can successfully produce bean floor commercially in Nigeria.
The first thing you need to do is to decide how you want to start – small, medium or large scale, the best advise a you can get when it comes to production business is you have to start small and then enlarge as soon as you can and as soon as your reach of the market is becoming bigger.
For small and medium scale, you can start anywhere, anytime with a small amount of money. You might have to do practically everything yourself but that is the best lesson you can actually get as a business man.
By the time you have expanded all the things you have learnt from doing it alone will help you to manage the business the right way.
To start big scale, you will have to make use of machines. You can get a sense of the type of machines, and what they cost, from grain-processing.org.
Basically, there are 3 stages in bean flour production
This involves getting raw materials (bean seeds) to start with. Brown and white Beans which are the main raw materials for beans flour are mostly available and grown in the northern parts of Nigeria. You need to make sure that the varieties you use are strong and free from weevil’s infestation.
The difference between making bean flour and preparing bean seeds for immediate use is drying. Processing involves sorting (removing the stones and chaff), de-hulling (removing the outer layer), drying, milling and sifting.
How you package is entirely up to you. The more creative you are with branding and packaging, the better. Search for ‘bean flour design’ and see designs from other producers, improve on that to create your unique brand.
Business Oppourtunity(Where To Sell)
You can package your finished product and sell to local shops, markets and local restaurants. Alternatively, you can produce in bags and supply, wholesale, to small-scale traders who would package and sell in smaller quantities. Exportation is a big deal presently. Apart from local demand, Nigerians living abroad also need bean flour to make their favourite foods. Exportation is a topic for another day but it is one of the major ways to make money in this business.
Making the flour version of any food is usually challenging. The most basic concern is the ability of the flour to go back to its original and natural form when combined with water. You also need to make sure the finished product is of the best quality with high swelling ability and long shelf life. Look, people are already sceptical enough about using flour for cooking anything.
Another major challenge is convincing people to ditch the mortar and pestle. This is a major debate already. I had a hard time the other day convincing one woman in my street that yam flour serves just the same purpose as pounding the yam itself. She refused to believe me. I remember she said something about the extent an old woman would go in accepting technology and she would go no further. Breaking into a market where your potential customers are predominantly old school is often an uphill task. But smart entrepreneurs like Ayoola Foods are already doing that. The ground is already broken and people are beginning to give it a second thought.
The third and arguably the most serious challenge is funding. Of course, you can start small and upscale from there.
WHAT NEXT? Try it out: I hope by now you have realized the massive opportunity in bean flour production. Why not give it a go? The first step is to prepare a mock sample. Use the processes outlined in this article and prepare a little sample for cooking. Have your neighbours try it out and tell you how you can improve.
Research: Do you know anyone who is already into the business? Get closer and find out everything you can.
Plan: Prepare a business plan. You will need to determine the long term feasibility of the business and a business plan comes in very handy when you need to apply for a grant or attract investors. Here is an article on how to create a business plan.
Funding: In earlier articles, we looked at major ways to raise capital for your start-up. You can also find angel investors and make your pitch to get the funding you need from them.
If you need additional information you can drop your comment below.