‘I make N6,000 daily selling popcorn’

Popcorn business is no doubt a lucrative business. Bright Effiong, 22, a popcorn seller who hails from Akwa Ibom state, can attest to it. ADEOLA TUKURU reports
Generating income from popcorn business, Bright Effiong, unlike other young Nigerians looking for white collar jobs, says he makes over N6,000 daily by selling popcorn.
Bright who is not interested in working for someone else, explained to Business Starter, how he has opened an additional popcorn branch in Saburi, a suburb in Dei-Dei,Abuja and expect to make more than N6,000 daily while it last.
According to him, “After I finished my secondary education, my parents couldn’t afford to further my education and I can’t just start at home, so I have to save money from my business towards getting admission”.
Popcorn is a popular snack people eat as appetizers and sometimes just for the fun of it. It is widely patronised at cinemas, eateries just to keep fingers busy and mouth moving.
While recounting to Business Starter, Effiong, said he learnt his Popcorn business from a neighbour who always make it in the neighbourhood back then in 2014. “I will just sit by her side and watch the way she makes the popcorn and from there I started practicing it”.
“When my Dad lost his job in 2014 and my Mum too struggled to train I and my sisters ,I decided to assist my parent by selling popcorn around my area” .
“Having roamed to the street of Abuja searching for a job, I decided to strategise as to how I will make it through the popcorn business and so I started adding milk to my own popcorn to make it unique”
“Some people under rates this business thinking that one is wasting his time doing it but is not so. It also cannot be argued that this business is an income generating one which cannot be neglected.
As to how he buys his corn, “I buy my Kernel and corn from Lagos with N23,000 per bag and make a profit of almost N28,000 to N31,000 per month after deducting expenses and this gives me over and above what some people earn in a month.
According to him, popcorn business requires small capital to start up. Starting up popcorn business, one needs an ideal space, popcorn machine, Kernel, butter, groundnut oil, sugar, leather bag for packaging, salt, flavour and Milk which is optional depending on the choice of consumers .
When asked how affordable is his popcorn, “I sell some for N50 while some are sold for N100, and so the prices ranges. I have salt popcorn, sugar popcorn while some are made purely with Milk depending on the choices of my customers”
“Some place on orders, in fact I am planning for an events this Saturday and from there I hope to also get the opportunity to introduce my products to other people”
On challenges of the business, Effiong explained that “popcorn making is one that needs constant electricity power supply in order to pop the corn.
“The low voltage of this power supply disrupts production and that is the major challenge encountered in the business.
“When there is no light, we spend much money buying fuel in our generator sets. Also, maintenance of the machine is a big problem.
“The machine breaks down easily and needs constant servicing. This alone takes much money. I meet all my needs with the business, I am the one paying the house rent and footing the home bills as my parents and two billings are living with me,” he said.

How to start popcorn business

Acquiring knowledge
You don’t come into what you don’t know anything about, it very necessary you seek and learn about the process of producing this particular product, if you don’t have money to learn this, you can find someone that can teach you at their own will and it is something you can easily get with proper teaching not hard to handle and learn.

Get a good location
This is a very crucial and important part of any business that is intended to grow and you don’t just raise a business where there’s no good market for it, in choosing this you need to really know your market, set your target. ‎Locations like schools area [be it university, secondary/primary schools], garage, market area, where a lot of people come to always, are a very good point for this kind of market. And if at all you don’t get a particular location in school area, or anywhere else you see, you can just get your location very close to that area, where you can easily transport your goods down to such areas.

Getting necessary materials
This is the machine that helps you in producing the popcorn. Buying one for a start is advisable, you can buy more as you grow in the business.There are varieties of this particular machine, the price ranges from #20,000 upwards, depending on how much you can afford. It is advisable to buy the one that is usable in the absence of electricity, there’s this type that use both electricity and gas, so that you can easily switch if there’s no electricity. To also allow varieties in your business you can get the type that produces both sugar and salt popcorn because you will be having different customers with different taste.

Needed raw materials and ingredient
Corn is the major raw material needed in producing popcorn, it will be advisable to get you corn in a bulk purchase so as to maximize your profit. Sugar, Honey, Salt, Butter, Container Mixer and others are ingredients that will be needed in producing the popcorn endeavor to always your ingredient in bulk so as to maximize your profit.

Having a good marketing strategies
This will also enhance your sale, be kind of unique don’t go as everyone goes, if you desire to sell more than everyone, brand your stuff, have well designed label, choose a unique and easy to pronounce name on your label. If your branding is attractive enough you will be surprised at the increase in your sale. Request for feedbacks from customers so that you will do what suit them and not you, so as not to be the one to always be eating your stuffs.
When you’ve got all this done, seek for what and what is require from the government to start this in any area or location. And make sure you register your business to be on a safer side, especially when the Business begins to grow.
With Good Adequate planning, you can grow it into a very Big Business, especially when you brand the name and make varieties, you can also draw effective marketing system into place, like transporting it to a lot more commercial centers, market square, busy roads, shopping malls, viewing centers, football field, cinema, where a lot of people will come around, adding cold soft drinks too can be a major way to go and increase profits realized.


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