#10 Tips to Build a Strong Bitumen Emulsion Business
American business Robert Kiyosaki once said, "Starting a business is like jumping out of an airplane without a parachute. In mid-air, the entrepreneur begins building a parachute and hopes it opens before hitting the ground." That is the thing about starting a business. No matter .which field you venture into there will be complications.
Understanding some fields might be a little easier, however some need real-time understanding and in-depth knowledge. One such field is the bitumen industry that can be even more arduous. Bitumen is an essential element in human life and the infrastructure industry heavily depends on it.
When starting any business one needs to understand the basics of business to succeed. To get detailed information about this particular sector, Entrepreneur India spoke to Maziar Rajabi, a Kurdish Iranian entrepreneur and partner at Mattioli S.A.S and Verse Oil Service.
"Building a reputation among locals for quality bitumen work helps you grow your business and rank as one of the top competitors in the industry. When building a business from scratch several aspects like your employees, quality of work, timeliness, trade plan, partnership, and more plays a vital role," he said.
Here are various aspects one needs to plan out when venturing into bitumen emulsions business:
The Usage and Rise:
Bitumen has gained prominence due to its usage in different applications and use of it as a chemical additive in several applications such as solvents and black paints.
"As an additive, bitumen helps in improving the efficiency of paints and coatings. It also improves the viscosity of waterproofing agents. The use of chemically-modified bitumen in road construction and waterproofing, as well as a chemical additive in emulsions, are some other factors driving the adoption of bitumen across several industries worldwide," he elaborates.
Top 10 Things To Swear By:
Do The Market Research And Find Your Focus
This is the basics of any business. Do your homework right before deciding if this is the field of work that suits you. "Before entering or venturing into the crude oil-related business, you need to know the number and understand where the gap is," he said.
As per reports, till 2016 Iraq was known on the international market as a crude country, not other petroleum products specifically bitumen. However, now Iraq bitumen export is about 400k tons which means the market has seen an increase of almost 350 per cent.
"So one needs to understand and identify all essential elements of the business. Determine your focus primarily, you want to target residential areas or expand into commercial bitumen space as well," he explains as he entered the market when bitumen was a product that was still upcoming and the trading market had no idea the profits it could bring.
Study, Secure and Analyse Market Demands
Yet another common fundamental is to understand the demand for the product you are creating. Once you have that clear, you know who much is the requirement and what might be the scope of it in the future.
"Regardless of where your business setup is local or international, you need to have a clear image of market demands. Evaluate and fulfill the necessary mandates. Structure your business design to ensure you meet the licensing requirements," he explains.
Pricing and Understanding Technical Aspects of the Local Products
Understanding the technical characteristics of a product helps you to make sure you do the best sourcing of the product. Sourcing is the main element in deciding the pricing. After all, you ain't the only brand working in the market.
Check out the other bitumen companies around you to determine their offerings and pricing. This will help you in setting your pricing. For longer durability take care of consumers and make sure the way you run your business is satisfactory," he suggests.
Patience is a virtue and nothing comes overnight. If you can ace this one thing, you can surely create a stable business.
"In bitumen business, you need a pile of patients. A lot of back and forth with clients takes place when you are in the process of building the stream to supply your client then switching the source of supply is hard for the client," he said.
Go Small With Equipment and Investments
When starting a business one always gets excited to invest all the funds in one go. However, this is the biggest mistake. "You need to keep in mind that you are dealing with petroleum products and the stock market which is quite unpredicted. So try with a small portion of funds, then raise more and build from that," explains Rajabi.
Talking about equipment, procure the equipment necessary based on the size of the company. If you are planning to have multiple teams of bitumen professionals, you will certainly need multiple setups to function smoothly.
The Right Partner & Ensuring Employee Wellbeing
Just like real life, even business needs a right partner to sail through ups and downs. Find someone who adds value, challenges you, and work towards the same goal for the advancement of your firm.
Teamwork is the key and hence you need to make sure you take care of your workers as well. "Make sure you have set up a 'liability and workers' compensation insurance policies for everyone in your company. This works for the betterment of both. It does not just cover any injuries that employees might suffer onsite, but also protects you from any legal action taken by clients," he explains.
Follow Trade & Marketing Plan
With today's technology, it is easy to test a trading idea before risking a real fund. "In this field, the method of BackTesting allows you to apply your trading idea using historical data and determine if it is viable. Once a plan has been developed and BackTesting shows good results, the plan can be used in real trading," he said.
Marketing is the key and you need to advertise your new business especially in the local area. Direct marketing gives you the chance to connect with them and make a name for yourself. Know your target audience which in this case are commercial builders, contractors, and homeowners.
Careful with the Terms of Agreement on an International Level
Hold your horses! International contracts can be luring but know everything from A-Z when entering the foreign water.
"Be familiar with international terms of trade. Some laws can help you when you enter a deal. The best thing is to hire a lawyer to help you to set up a concrete contract," he suggests.
Choose the Best Logistic Companies
Even if you have the finest diamonds in the world and you don’t have a way to deliver then it's worth zero! Logistics is the blood and the backbone of the bitumen business.
"Finding a logistics company with multiple services would be a great asset to make more weight on your proposal to the clients," he said.
Be Present Online
Trading is a competitive business. It's safe to assume that the person sitting on the other side of a trade is taking full advantage of all of the available technology. "Charting platforms give traders an infinite variety of ways to view and analyze the markets. We often take technology for granted, like a high but it can certainly increase trading performance," he explains.
Using technology to your advantage and be updated with current happenings is certainly fun and rewarding.
Priyadarshini Patwa is the Features Editors of Entrepreneur India and hosts an Instagram show every Friday named ‘Lighten Up’, about people from different walks of life and talk about their work and beyond. She handles the lifestyle, features, technology, entertainment segments and also is responsible for the Digital Covers. Previously she has worked with MensXP, a Times of India entity and Deccan Chronicle.
She’s @Priyanka_Patwa on Twitter and @priyadarshinipatwa on Instagram.