A ‘cold room’ is a space in which perishable food products are preserved in cold storage facilities, like refrigerators. Of course, it’s not a business unless there’s money to be made from it. So it’s a cold room business if you’re storing and selling those products for profit.
Cold rooms are in demand because they hold food products that are widely consumed. With this high demand comes a regular inflow of revenue for storage facility businesses from people who are purchasing or storing their products with such facilities.
Most cold rooms store fish, poultry, beef, and other animal meat products. Some add things like yogurts, ice cream, and soy milk to the items they store and sell. They also produce ice blocks which are bought and used by soft drink vendors.
In summary, cold rooms can make their income from several fronts- which explain why they yield a lot of revenue and profits for the people who own them.
How to Set Up a Cold Room Business
1. Decide How Big Your Business Will Be
Your cold room may start off as a small scale business, in a space that isn’t more than a few feet in length and breadth, and with just one or a couple of refrigerators. Or you may launch out with large refrigerating units in a facility that’s big enough to serve as a warehouse for large hauls of sea-food and packaged perishable products. It all depends on what your budget allows you to accomplish.
Note that you’ll require more investment and equipment to start a large cold room than you will if you’re kicking off with a small one. For the former, you will be setting up cold storage chambers, including condensing and evaporating units. Smaller cold rooms will need one or a couple of refrigerators.
2. Find the Right Location
Look out for a place that’s close to, or within a market where people purchase the sort of products you will be storing and selling at your cold room. Or just plan to set up in a location that’ll record high traffic of humans, like a major transit point.
3. Choose the Products You Will Sell
As we’ve already mentioned, the products predominantly sold at cold rooms are fish (of various types), chicken and beef. Prawns, shrimps, and lobsters are also kept there, as is pork, mutton, and chevron (goat’s meat). In addition to this, you may want to store and sell soft drinks, liquid milk, yogurt, and other edible fluids.
Decide which of these products you can handle and which will bring in the most profits for you, and make plans to sell them.
4. Get Your Business Registered
Register your business name with the Corporate Affairs Commission (CAC), and get recognized by the government as a company doing business in Nigeria. Visit the CAC website to find out how to get this done.
You should also register your business and products with the National Agency for Food and Drug Administration and Control (NAFDAC), the body charged by law with certifying food products suitable for human consumption. Visit their website to find out how to do this.
5. Construct Your Cold Room
Hire someone to construct a cold room for you, or purchase the complete setup if you can afford it. If you’re starting a small cold room business, a couple of refrigerators will work for you.
Be sure that you have constant power supply to keep the cooling units or refrigerator functional. If the main grid isn’t reliable (as is the case in most parts of the country), have a power generating unit as a backup source of electricity.
Get other equipment in place as well, including measuring scales, cutting equipment (knives), carton paper, tables, wrapping material (bags), etc.
6. Link Up With Suppliers
Contact local farms and strike deals with them, and get supplies delivered to your cold room. Doing business directly with them will save you the extra cost put on produce by retailers.
7. Market Your Business
Get the word out about your business by speaking with local animal product vendors, sharing leaflets, and informing your contacts about the business you’re running.
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