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November 7, 2022
20 min Read
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How To Start a Water Refilling Station in the Philippines – Updated Guide

The Philippines is growing. With a population of 113 million and a yearly growth rate of 1.35%, it’s no surprise that Filipinos are becoming increasingly active in the booming local business community.

This tremendous growth of the Philippines, it turns out, comes with a growing demand for basic supplies – such as water.

As such, a water refilling station franchise may be one of the best investments you can have today.

But is this a good choice? What does running a water refilling station take, and will it be profitable?

In this article, we’ll review everything you need to know to start a water refilling station business in the Philippines. What are you waiting for? Let’s dive right in.

What’s a Water Refilling Station?

Source: Philippine News Agency

You might have seen new subdivisions or houses built within your neighborhood or city. It seems that new people are moving in every year, and the people around your city are growing in number – and as mentioned previously, the statistics support that assertion.

As the population grows, more people need more houses, food, and water, among other things.

This means there will always be a steady demand for basic supplies, especially in metropolitan areas. Water, one of the most essential resources for living a healthy life wherever you are, will always be in-demand.

However, government water distribution efforts aren’t enough to fill this gap. Often, water services grind to a halt in major urban areas, especially in peak-use hours of the day. When it flows, the water isn’t drinkable from straight out of the tap, especially if you’re a foreigner or not used to drinking tap water.

If you want to drink straight from the tap without issues, water filters should be installed – but not everyone has this capability.

Water refilling stations are created to fill that gap.

These stations are equipped with industrial-level water filters and bottle and ship clean drinking water to people subscribed to their services. You can usually see multiple water refilling stations in one barangay and many more in areas with large populations.

If your location has a growing number of people and little competition, you might want to start a water refilling business. There are many advantages to this kind of business, as we'll see below.

Why You Should Open a Water Refilling Station

Now that you understand what a water refilling station is, the next thing you’ll want to know is the advantages of operating this kind of business. This section will discuss the benefits of opening a water refilling station business in your area.

Demand for your product is assured

Water is an essential commodity necessary for everyone’s survival, so you can be assured that there will always be demand for your product. Even though demand will peak during summer and slow down during the rainy season, water refilling stations stay profitable throughout the year.

Your business model will be simple

Compared to other types of business, a water refilling station has a simple business model that might appeal to starting investors. Unlike other companies where you would have to think of distribution, networking, and other logistics, water refilling stations just need to produce and deliver their products.

This can be appealing to new business owners. Of course, it will not be an easy ride, but at least the complexity will be lessened.

Startup costs can be minimized

One of the highest startup costs in any business is the location expense.

Whether you’re buying or renting an establishment, the cost of securing your place of business will generally run in the hundreds of thousands, often millions. This is especially true for companies that rely on high foot traffic, such as restaurants and cafes.

On the other hand, water refilling stations have no such confines. You don’t have to create your water refilling station where prices are soaring, which means you can save precious pesos from your startup costs.

It’s an accessible business to scale

Scaling your water refilling station business is easy; you can simply improve your capacity or create a new location entirely. Because location and appeal are of minimal consideration in this business, scaling is easily achievable.

Very service-area oriented

You directly engage with your local community when you open a water refilling station. This is because the people you serve water to will be your immediate community – the people around you. You will also get to help people from all backgrounds because everybody needs water.

As a result, this business creates many opportunities for networking, which your entrepreneurial spirit can use when looking for a new company to start or for new opportunities to pop up.

Factors to Consider Before Opening a Water Refilling Station

Now that you know all about the potential of water refilling stations, you might want to start your own business as soon as possible. You’ll need to wait a bit, though, because there are still some things you need to consider for that to happen.

Budget

This one is a no-brainer, but you wouldn’t believe how many people get this part wrong.

Water refilling stations are unique because they require a significant initial investment, and depending on your environment, it can take some time before you can recoup those losses.

When opening a new station, you first need to consider multiple financial aspects aside from the usual ones, such as the following.

  • Equipment. Water refilling stations need industrial level water-filters and water processing equipment that can amount to millions of pesos. This can be too high for some beginner investors.
  • Cleaning and maintenance. To ensure that your product is up to the strict national standards, you need to be able to pour time, effort, and money into maintaining your machine.
  • Miscellaneous expenses. You might not have considered other costs, such as delivery fees, franchising fees, etc.

The budget is one of the most important considerations because a water refilling station is not a cheap business. You need millions in startup funds to start a successful water refilling station with all the right equipment and materials, so you must carefully consider your budget.

Water Quality Standard

Another primary consideration for this business is the water quality standard you must put out.

National authorities strictly monitor water quality for drinking water. Many laws in the Philippines are put into place to ensure access to quality drinking water, such as the Water Code of the Philippines, Republic Act 92775, Philippine National Standards for Drinking Water of 2017, and more.

Thus, there are going to be many standards that you have to pass even before you start operating your water refilling station.

You’re even going to deal with surprise inspections that assess the water quality of your products, so you need to maintain your quality constantly. If your water falls below the standard, you can suffer penalties or even closure.

Thus, maintaining water quality is critical to consider when creating a water refilling station business.

Competition

Lastly, you also need to assess the level of competition in your area. Water refilling stations are tricky. It’s not a complex business to start, so anyone with the capital and the drive can easily start their own refilling station.

And there aren’t that many differences between multiple brands of water, so your customers are highly likely to switch to whoever is offering the cheapest product at the time.

Thus, you need to be able to secure a way for you to beat the competition, even with these odds. You can do that by marketing to unlikely places, such as markets, food places, hotels, etc. – not just residential areas that most stations target.

Regardless, you need to consider the competition before investing your money in this business.

Best Water Refilling Station Franchises You Can Get Today

Now that you have a good idea of the business potential of water refilling stations, you might want to start creating one for yourself. In that case, getting a franchise is one of the easiest ways to start this business.

A franchise ensures you have the support and standardization needed to operate this kind of business.

Sure, you can start from scratch with your brand, but people won’t know your logo, and you’ll have to determine quality standards yourself. This adds a layer of complication to the whole thing that some aspiring business owners are unwilling to go through.

Franchising will give you a well-known logo and all the guidance you need to succeed in the business. The franchise can take care of water purification standards, equipment, interior design, and even maintenance, so you can focus on serving your customers.

Thus, here are the best water refilling station franchises you can get this 2022.

Aquahealth

Aquahealth is a water refilling company that has been in national operation for 21 years this 2022. Their long-term function ensures a time-tested and resilient business model, brought about by their high-quality and efficient purification method, which delivers high-quality drinking water at a reasonable price.

They are widely considered to be one of the cheapest water sources in the country despite using advanced filtration technology, so you can be sure that you’ll always have an edge.

Franchise Inclusion

  • Starting price: PHP495,000
  • Water filtration system: Low-cost, high-quality water purification system that delivers alkaline ionized water.
  • Inclusions: Technical assistance during setup, full gear installations, staff training, interior design, twice-per-month maintenance, and marketing efforts.
  • Other features: Includes financial projections for your business to be informed about your business condition.

Ocean Fresh

This brand is another water refilling station franchise that delivers consistent, clean, and quality drinking water to the country. Ocean Fresh by the Ybanez Group also puts their money into low prices and high-quality products.

Their water is attained through top-of-the-line hydro-alleviation techniques that result in cheap but high-quality water. Their franchise also ensures other inclusions that allow you to wash your hands off the pesky technical side of this business and lets you focus on marketing and gathering customers.

The Ybanez group are proud bearers of industry-standard accreditation, such as in the International Standards Office, National Association of Testing Authorities of Australia, and the WHO.

Franchise Inclusion

  • Starting price:
  • Water filtration system: Latest hydro-alleviation program
  • Inclusions: Professional services for setup and maintenance, research study, and business statistics.

Aqua 2000

Aqua 2000 Water Technology Incorporated is another popular water refilling station that has been operating since 1997 and remains firm today. It has 420 water refilling stations across the country and uses US-made water filtration technologies to deliver high-quality products.

Unfortunately, most of its accompanying services are only found in its base area, which is Quezon City in Metro Manila.

Franchise Inclusions

  • Starting price: PHP450,000
  • Water filtration system: US-made water filtration system
  • Inclusions: Free installation services within Metro Manila only, regular support, marketing and operations support, and promotions and advertising operations are included in the package.

BlueWaters

BlueWaters is one of the longest-operating franchises, with over 25 years of experience in the field. Thus, you can ensure that their methods and processes are time-tested, so you can rest assured that your money isn’t wasted.

One of the best things about BlueWaters is its multi-tiered franchise setup, which gives franchisees multiple types of franchises to avail of.

They let customers choose between three water station types: Safe Alkaline Water Station, Safe Mineral Water Station, and Safe RO Water Station. There are various advantages and disadvantages to these types of franchises, most of which affect the quality of the water you will be delivering.

Franchise Inclusions

  • Starting price: PHP80,000
  • Water filtration system: Multiple types – alkaline, mineral, ionized, RO, and more types of water treatment procedures are available depending on your specification.
  • Inclusions: Equipment, complete installation, marketing operations, staff training, and more.

AquaSoft

AquaSoft Water Systems Inc. was established on December 1, 1998, and is still in operation to this day. They have about 115 branches around the country and offer many other franchises besides water refilling stations.

One of the best things about this company is that they include many features in their franchises, which maximizes the value the investor puts in.

Franchise Inclusions

  • Starting price: PHP400,000
  • Water filtration system: 16-stage water purification
  • Inclusions: Brand name usage, layout, and design, ocular inspection, signage, installation and maintenance of equipment, appliances such as hot and cold dispensers, foot pumps, etc.
  • Other features: It also includes free pre and post-installation water analysis services.

Easy Steps to Open a Water Refilling Station in the Philippines

A water refilling station might be one of the easiest business ideas to start, but that doesn’t mean you can just go into it without some sort of plan. However, it does mean that these plans can be taught so that you will have an easier time running your business.

There are multiple phases to opening a water refilling station in the country, so we’re going to go all over this one by one.

Phase 1. Do Your Homework

The first phase of any business endeavor should be research. Unless you already happen to know everything there is to know about the water refilling industry, you need to conduct various kinds of research to ensure that you can run your business correctly.

There are different kinds of research that you can do to get the proper knowledge to aid your decision-making. Here are some of the most important ones.

1. Conduct research on the industry

Before you can even think about opening a water refilling station, you need to know the industry. The following items are some questions to ask about this.

  • What needs does it fill?
  • How do other businesses in the industry make money?
  • What are the people’s perceptions about that particular business and industry?
  • What are the technologies behind it, and how is it changing with the times?

You need to be knowledgeable about all of these and show interest in your business.

You don’t need to be passionate about water, but you do need to keep your business running. A little interest in the technical side of things can go a long way if you plan to keep this business for a long time.

2. Know the ins and outs of the business

Knowing the industry is good, but you should also take a step forward and become an expert on the business itself. This is quite different from learning about the macro-trends of the water refilling industry – here, you’re going to research how water refilling stations make money.

Like most things, you can do this through online research. If you know anyone with the same business (preferably someone not in direct competition with you), you can also ask them about their experience and opinions about the business.

Plus, some franchisors will hold lectures and seminars about this, so you will have plenty of material to study.

Another aspect of this step is that you should also know what kind of products you’re planning on selling.

There are three different types of products created from water refilling stations:

  • Purified water. This product removes all impurities, called “hardness,” from the water. This is created through reverse osmosis and is a very beneficial form of drinking water.
  • Mineral water. This water is filtered through large-type filters that remove impurities seen by the naked eye. It’s also usually passed through ultraviolet rays to kill biological matter in the water, making it safe to drink.
  • Alkaline water. Also called alkalized ionized water, it’s produced by removing the acids in the water, thereby increasing its pH levels. This product has many health benefits, and a unique water filtration system is applied.

Having an intimate understanding of both the business and the products allows you to make better business decisions regarding your water refilling station.

3. Do a Feasibility Study

A feasibility study is the culmination of all the necessary research efforts. It combines everything you know about the industry, the business, and your immediate location to see where you stand regarding trade in your area.

Moreover, a feasibility study is also something that investors will look for.

If you’re planning to ask for investments from family, partners, or even firms, a feasibility study is one of the first things they look for. After all, it’s a detailed analysis of your proposed project, what your business will be, the business environment in the area, and how you propose to make money.

In short, a feasibility study will tell readers (and yourself) whether or not your business is worthy of the time and resources it takes to run it.

There are many components of a feasibility study, and there are many ways that these components can be arranged in a coherent format. But in general, these are the things that this kind of study will include.

  • Executive summary of your project
  • Existing marketplace analysis
  • Marketing strategy
  • Required staffing needs
  • Technological considerations
  • Project timeline
  • Financial planning and projections
  • Findings and recommendations

Phase 2: Franchising vs. Self-Made Brand

In this phase, you will be delving into your basic business strategies. One of the biggest questions you face will be whether you’re going to business bringing the name of an established brand or trying to make your own.

Both options have their pros and cons, and it’s important to deeply consider what you want to do in this step because it will affect your direction from here on out.

When you franchise, you get the benefit of an established brand. You will also get many inclusions, such as what we displayed above. You don’t have to worry about setting up your machines and equipment; in some instances, the franchisee takes care of things like staff training and marketing.

However, franchising will give you much less freedom. You’re going to split your profits, and you might be required to make decisions in favor of your franchise when you want to go otherwise.

Phase 3: Planning

Now that you know your business's general direction, it’s time to start planning. This phase will lay the foundation of a smooth-sailing business opening; as the saying goes, “Fail to plan, and you plan to fail.”

Every aspect of your business should already be planned so that you won’t get any nasty surprises down the line.

In this section, we’ll talk about the things you should be planning for first and foremost.

1. Write a business plan

A business plan contains everything that you need to make your business work. Various research has discussed the importance of developing a business plan.

For one, it helps the founders (in this case, you) make decisions about their business, balance resources, and turn goals into concrete steps. It also details how much you’re going to spend, outlines a timetable of your construction project, and talks about how your water refilling station will generate income.

This type of document will most likely be sought-after by investors and banks you might borrow money from. Aside from your feasibility study, your business plan is proof that you’ve done your homework and know what will happen in the next few months.

2. Pick the best location

In this phase, you should also look for the best location for your water refilling station.

As mentioned previously, location isn’t as crucial of a factor when it comes to this type of business – but not just anywhere will do. You still need to be able to choose a site that is accessible, that is not overly expensive, and that has all the resources you need to run (such as water and electricity).

3. Take care of legalities

You might have all aspects of your future water refilling station business laid out, but if you don’t get the correct permits, you won’t ever get it off the ground.

In other words, you need to sort out all the legal aspects before you even start constructing your water refilling station. After all, building a business property is also a legal matter: you might land in legal trouble if you start building your station without the proper permits.

Some of the essential permits to secure are the following.

  • DTI Registration for your business. Whether running a personal brand or a franchise, you first need to register your business with the Department of Trade and Industry.
  • Mayor’s permit. This type of permit is issued by your municipal office and is the authorization from your permit to build and operate a business. It’s going to include other files, such as the following.

Water potability analysis (bacteriological, physical, and chemical tests)

Engineering drawings

  • BIT registration and tax files. You are taxed for many aspects of this business, so you must ensure that you have the proper permits for the government to claim its due. Otherwise, that’s significant ground for getting closed down or slapped with a costly legal suit.

Phase 4: Execution

If everything is going well, you’re on your way to being a successful business owner. It might still take a bit of time, though, and you have to go through many steps. Let’s quickly go over each one.

1. Building your water refilling station

If you’ve followed the proper steps, you should already have the plans to create your station. The best time to execute these plans is by constructing your water refilling station.

Just ensure that you have the budget to finish your building and internals beforehand so that work on your new building won’t be delayed.

2. Installing equipment

Installing the necessary machines and equipment is also a significant factor in opening your water refilling station.

This part can be somewhat technical and highly crucial to your operation, so it’s essential that you either hire professionals to do the job or let the franchise take care of the installation. Either way, don’t DIY anything that involves an expensive piece of equipment, or all your hard work might just go down the drain.

3. Hiring employees

Lastly, you should begin hiring the employees needed for the functioning of your shop. Ideally, you’re going to be looking for the following jobs.

  • Front liner
  • Technical Assistant
  • Delivery man
  • Manager
  • Bookkeeper
  • Administrative assistant

Phase 5: Marketing and daily operations

If everything is ready, then congratulations! You now have a fully functioning, legalized, and profitable water refilling station. You can start your daily operations by purifying and pumping water for your community.

In the first few months, your time will be spent ironing out the kinks of your operation and gathering loyal customers. Don’t neglect to advertise and network for your business; making new relationships is critical for a service-area business such as yourself.

Conclusion

After reading this article, you should have a better understanding of what it takes to open and run a water refilling station franchise in the Philippines.

Keep in mind that while there is potential for profit, you need to do your due diligence in research and preparation before taking the plunge. Once you've done that, it's up to you to take action and make your dreams of owning a business a reality.

FAQ

How much is a water refilling station in the Philippines?

You can buy a franchise for a water refilling station in the Philippines for as low as PHP 80,000. However, the actual investment that will go into it will cost about PHP 400,000 and may vary wildly, depending on factors such as land price, construction materials, and more. Thus, it’s safer to assume that a water refilling station business starts at around PHP 400,000 to 1M.

How do I get a business permit for a water refilling station?

It’s relatively easy to get a business permit for a water refilling station business in the Philippines; you just need to follow the proper procedures highlighted by the proper authorities. You also need to secure typical business permits, such as registration to the DTI, BIR, and your municipal hall.

What are the benefits of a water refilling station?

A water refilling station is an appealing business type because it has a constant demand. People will always want fresh drinking water, so there will always be people looking for your product. Moreover, it also has a simple business model that can be easy for beginner business owners to follow.

Flona
Flona / Customer Support Team @GMO

A Boss Level Tech nerd. Her interests range from all things web hosting to swiping food from the pantry. As she says, free food is the best food. You can't out nerd her and your food is definitely not safe when she's around.

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