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Is cold store business profitable in Ghana?

The cold store business involves the storage and preservation of perishable foods which are packaged and stored in refrigerated rooms at low temperatures until they are ready to be sold. 

The cold store business is one of the most rewarding businesses in Ghana because most of the foods that are consumed by Ghanaians are perishable. Therefore, these perishable foods need to be stored in cold rooms to keep them fresh.

A refrigerator can not always be found in every home in Ghana, so starting a cold store business in Ghana is a very good idea.

Advantages of owning a cold store business include: 

  • High yield/returns.
  • It does not require a lot of knowledge and experience for someone to start.
  • You do not need a lot of capital to start.
  • There is a high demand for frozen foods in Ghana.

The cold store business is more successful in urban areas where it is usually busy and there is a high demand for fresh food. Some of the most common markets for the cold store business are hotels, event caterers, etc.

How to Start a Cold Store Business in Ghana 

If someone wishes to start a cold store business in Ghana it would not be a difficult job if proper preparations are made.

For someone to start a cold store business or any business they need a business plan. When creating a business plan for a cold store business there are several things a person has to consider like:

  • Industry overview
  • Market analysis 
  • Target market
  • Products and services 
  • Pricing strategy 
  • Startup budget
  • Maintenance and expansion strategy, etc.

It is important to know that the cold store business in Ghana is capital-intensive, for that reason you have to take your time to come up with a good business plan. 

When starting a cold store business in Ghana, there are several factors to consider before starting.

When starting a cold store business you would have to consider your finances and have a budget. The average cost of starting a cold store in Ghana ranges from GHC 8,000-GHC 40,000. The amount mentioned previously could vary depending on several factors such as the size of your cold store, location, etc. The amount you will need also mostly depends on how big or how small you want to start your business, it will cost you more to start a large scale cold store business in Ghana than a small scale cold store business in Ghana.

When starting your business you would have to invest in certain things like buying or renting space, purchasing equipment, water, electricity,  buying food items, freezers, etc.

Another factor to consider is the location of your business. Some foods are not always bought by certain groups of people. When deciding on a location you have to do background checks on the location you are interested in. This can be done before deciding on a profitable niche.

The success of a cold store business in Ghana is highly dependent on the location of the business. Getting a location near busy or residential areas, restaurants and so on, will be very helpful for your business.

fish in the cold store

A cold store can sell chicken, pork, goat, ice cream, ice, beef, fish and other seafood, etc. Getting ideas and advice from other cold store business owners will help you decide on a niche that is profitable for your business.

Selecting a niche for your cold store is important to consider. The number one goal for every entrepreneur is to make a profit and to be successful in the cold store business you need to decide on a profitable cold store business niche. The cold store business does not have a lot of options to choose from like other businesses, but you can limit yourself to selling a certain kind of frozen food. Conduct a market survey to help you in deciding what the highest paying niche is. When selecting a niche, think about the gains that could possibly be obtained. Some of the highest paying niches for a cold store business in Ghana include poultry, fish and other seafood, fruits and vegetables, etc. 

It is not all food products that you store in the same cold room, different food items need different cold rooms, for example, there is a special cold room for preserving meat and there is a special cold room for fruits and vegetables.

Another step is renting or purchasing a space or structure and setting it up. After deciding your cold store business location the next thing to do is to set up your cold store. In most cases, it is better to rent a shop for your business. 

There is a high chance that you will face several challenges when building your structure from scratch. Finding and purchasing land or space is quite difficult these days. This is why it is recommended that you rent a space to start your business.

This is a very important step especially for those who are looking forward to starting up a large scale cold store business. There are ready-made cold storage facilities available for large scale cold store businesses, but they are quite pricey. If it is not affordable for you then it is advisable that you construct an appropriate cold room storage facility for your cold store business. 

Acquiring the necessary tools and equipment is also very important. Once you are done with finding and setting up your space you can then purchase all the important tools and equipment that you would need for your cold store business to run smoothly. 

The scale of your cold store business will depend on the kind of equipment you will require. If you are getting involved in a large-scale cold store business you will require equipment that will take care of imported or manufactured products. If you are getting involved in a small scale cold store business, you will require fewer and simpler equipment. A small scale cold store business would need refrigerators, deep freezers, butcher knives, cutting boards, bags for packaging and so on. It is advisable to purchase your tools and equipment in bulk to avoid high prices. Some cold room and cold store equipment include:

  • Compressors,
  • Led lightings,
  • Shelves,
  • Humidification,
  • Deep freezers,
  • Walk-in refrigerators
  • Cutting boards 
  • Butcher knives
  • Packaging bags
  • Electronic control box,
  • Cold storage door,
  • Various steel panels fold inside and outside the wall,
  • A pipeline connecting refrigeration,
  • Air-cooling condenser,
  • Ceiling unit cooler, etc.

Buying food items for preservation and storage in order to start selling. After your cold store is fully set up it is time to purchase your food items for preservation, storage and sale. Purchasing from wholesale stores is advisable. 

How to promote your cold store business? You have to plan it in your business plan!

Advertising and promoting your cold store business is essential. For your child store business to run successfully, it is your responsibility to let people know that you are selling something good. You can use both modern and traditional methods to advertise and promote your business and reach your target audience. You can make use of any of the following procedures to advertise and promote your cold store business:

  • Social media,
  • Creating a signboard for your business,
  • The use of posters, flyers and banners,
  • Word of mouth,
  • Radio,
  • Television.

If you fail to properly promote your business you will not be successful in your job. As soon as your business has started you need to do a lot of advertising to expand your chain of customers.

Registering for your business is a very compulsory thing to do. Being a law-abiding citizen is important. It is necessary for all business owners to get their business registered with the Registrar’s General Department, also at some point and depending on the scale of your cold store business, you will most likely be required to register your business with the Food and Drugs Authority of Ghana. For example, if you are running a large-scale cold store business that deals with storing imported food products then you are required to register your business with the Food and Drugs Authority of Ghana.

Recruiting staff members once your cold store business has started to gain more attention. You can recruit people to assist you with operating the business days if you believe that you can not run the business all by yourself, but if you think that you can run your cold store business alone then this step is not necessary.

Record keeping is also very essential. You need to keep track of everything that occurs in your cold store business. The importance of record-keeping in the cold store business can not be overlooked. Some of the record-keeping books you should have available at your cold store business includes daily sales, stocks, expenses, staff salaries, suppliers record and so on.

Building your logistics is an important factor. Having the option of delivery for your customers could be a big advantage for your cold store business. This can get you more customers for your cold store business, but this could mean that you have to spend more money. It also means that you mostly have to pay more attention to clients who order in bulk.

In conclusion, the cold store business is a very profitable business in Ghana. The cold store business, just like every other business, has its own difficulties as well. However, with a good business plan, you are on the right path to becoming a successful entrepreneur.

Jakub Borowiec
Jakub Borowiec
Financial markets enthusiast. I studied management at the University of Economics in Wroclaw.

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