Why Start a Bamboo Related Business?
What is Bamboo?
Bamboo is a giant woody grass which is grown chiefly in the tropics. There are said to be about 91 genera and about 1,000 species of bamboo around the world. Bamboo is among the fastest growing and most adaptable agricultural materials on the planet. One other great attribute of the humble bamboo plant is that it is very versatile and can be used and made into almost anything, from flooring and paper to clothing and building materials.
The bamboo tree can be planted by the use of its seed. The seeds are difficult to germinate and can stay in the earth for a period of three years before sprouting out to the surface. Because of this, farmers usually propagate bamboo using the stems, and this is usually done in the nursery. This procedure ensures that you get a good sprout quite early.
Once the sprout emerges, the bamboo plant starts growing quite rapidly in height and dimension without interruption over the course of 60 days. It can achieve its full height in less than three months. After the 60-day period of growth, the bamboo cane never grows in height or diameter again. It can grow up to two inches per hour and matures in about 3 to 5 years, thus providing a constant and never-ending supply to the marketplace.
A bamboo tree can grow 18 to 30-foot-tall and it matures quickly when compared to other hardwoods such as oak, which can grow about 12 inches per year and takes up to 120.
- Start a bamboo plantation
A bamboo plantation is where you grow the bamboo tree exclusively. Having a bamboo plantation is quite lucrative because bamboo wood has a lot of application in our world today, hence you will have a lot of people willing to buy from you. Another good thing about bamboo is that it grows and matures so fast, meaning that your investment would not be tied down for a long period of time.
To grow bamboo, you need to understand what is obtainable in your area. Things to consider are soils PH Level, climatic conditions, type of bamboo to grow, how to grow it, how to prepare a nursery, etc. The size of your bamboo nursery can vary from small to large commercial operations, so you should embark on one that suits your pocket better.
The bamboo plant comes in different varieties, so you have to make sure that you go with a variety that is most accepted in your area and in the industry. Knowing every aspect of crop management, propagation, growth and marketing is important. You can grow a large number of bamboos in a relatively small enclosure, and then transplant when they are of age.
You equally have to get a trade license so you can be allowed to carry out your business and pay tax, so you need to find out local government regulations pertaining to the trade in your area. You can sell your bamboo to wholesalers, retailers, builders, landscapers, estate developers and carpenters. Selling retail attracts higher prices and better profit margin.
- Open a bamboo toothbrush factory
While this may sound a bit strange to people, but the bamboo toothbrush would soon be taking over the industry. Bamboo toothbrushes have risen in popularity due to growing interest in reducing plastic, so anyone who is interested in saving the planet would very eagerly get a bamboo toothbrush. Bamboo toothbrushes are very eco-friendly and this is one thing that is helping it thrive.
Another good thing about producing bamboo toothbrushes is that toothbrushes are meant to be changed every few months, so you would always have a market for your product. There are many different directions you can take this business idea. Some have chosen to create a standalone bamboo toothbrush store. However, you can also create a general bamboo store where you stock other bamboo home based dental products like brush holders.
You can market your bamboo toothbrush through your social media handles, as well as through radio and television adverts. You should also consider bundling your products to increase average order value. Simply selling multiple bamboo toothbrushes of the same style can prove to be profitable for your store. Plus, it ensures that the customer is constantly using your toothbrush brand.
- Make and sell bamboo furniture
Bamboo is one reliable and durable product that is used in making wooden furniture. Bamboo and cane furniture are very popular as decorative furniture. This type of furniture is very light in weight making it easy to move around. Cane and bamboo essentially involve manual weaving of bamboo slivers to produce utility products like sofa-sets, chairs, tables, rocking-chair, beds etc.
The bamboo and cane furniture business can be started on a small scale with the owner setting up his or her workshop in his compound or garage, if such is allowed in your locality. You can craft your furniture and then sell on as-demand basis or you take them to a furniture store for them to help you display your craft, though this will cost you a bit. You can equally gather all the furniture you have made and hold garage sales from time to time.
- Pulp and Paper business
Bamboo has a lot of uses in the pulp and paper industry. When bamboo is processed, it can be used to make printing paper, toilet tissue, cardboard, cement sacks, coffee filters and what have you. You can start up a factory or industry that manufactures these products using the versatile bamboo.
Because your raw materials are cheap and can be sourced easily especially if you live near a plantation, you would not have to spend so much capital in acquiring them. To further maximize profit, you can set up your own bamboo plantation. Paper, toilet tissue, cardboard etc. are all everyday products so you would not have to spend much in publicity for you to gain access to the market. You only have to ensure that your products are of great quality.
- Set up a bamboo textile factory
It may be quite surprising, but the ubiquitous bamboo has an application in the textile industry. Bamboo can be used to manufacture things like, clothing, underwear, socks, blankets, towels, bullet proof vests, sheets, mattresses, diapers, pillows etc.
The process required to do this is quite simple. You get your bamboo and crush the woody parts of the bamboo and then use natural enzymes to break it up into a mushy mass. Then, the natural fibres of the plant can be mechanically drawn out and then spun to make yarn. You can in fact decide to handle more than one niche here for you to better maximize profit.
- Sell activated bamboo charcoal
Charcoal has various uses and applications in everyday life, more especially in the alternative health and beauty industry. Bamboo is a source of good industry charcoal, and that is why it is mostly sought after. The good thing about this business is that charcoal can be easily produced. You can even produce some quantities in your backyard grill, for sell in your neighborhood to those who need them to fire up their grills.
But note that for you to sell charcoal that is good for everyday use, it has to be the activated charcoal. You can produce these and sell while making more people aware of its uses. Marketing the product would be based on you vast knowledge of it, so you need to do a whole lot of research.
- Produce biofuel
Bioenergy is the dominant energy source for most of the world’s population who live in extreme poverty and who use this energy mainly for cooking. It is not news that bamboo charcoal and its wood is used for fuel for cooking, but bamboo can be used for a wider range of applications, including producing biofuel that is used for transport and high-temperature industrial processes.
More advanced and efficient conversion technologies now allow the extraction of biofuels in solid form from bamboo, and these fuels have various applications. You can set up a company where bamboo is used to produce biofuels for industrial and private uses.
- Bamboo research institute
As of today, the humble bamboo has over a hundred applications, but that does not mean that those are the only use bamboo can be put to. You can set up a research institute that aims to discover other things that bamboo can be used for. If you venture to discover something very important, you can hold the patent to that discovery and from there make a name and a ton of cash for yourself.
- Sell bamboo firewood
Like was said earlier, bamboo makes a great source of biofuel and the way some people create this fuel is by burning the bamboo wood to create the fire that is used in cooking. This type of fuel is mostly used in Africa and areas where people still grapple with cooking fuel issues. If you have a bamboo plantation, you can package bamboo firewood for export to areas that use it for cooking fuel.
- Produce bamboo beer and wine
Bamboo also has an application in the food and drink industry as its leaves and shoot can be used to make beer and wine. Bamboo beer is said to have the aroma of bamboo leaves as well as a refreshing and mellow taste. The beer boasts of an abundant of bio – flavonoids that help fight free radicals and oxidation. People see bamboo beer as a high-quality healthy beer, which can help lower blood-lipid when consumed frequently.
You can set up a microbrewery or micro winery where bamboo is used as the primary or sub ingredient. Your product would have to appeal to a selected taste as not everyone would love it, but with extensive publicity, you can build a new taste in your locality.
- Produce and sell bamboo tea
If bamboo can be use used to brew beer, it can equally be used as a health tea. Tender bamboo leaves are usually used for this so as to harness its health qualities. You only have to pick the leaves, dry them, then steep the dried leaves into boiling water to leach their contents into the brew. You can package these leaves and sell them as a unique blend of tea.
- Manufacture farm tools and implements from bamboo
One other bamboo related business one can start is to make farm tools and implements out of bamboo. Quite a lot of agricultural implements can be made out of bamboo like fishing traps, fishing baskets, water wheels and pipes etc. Bamboo is also used to make handles for tools like rakes, sickle, shovel, props, support sticks, fishing nets and line to name a few.
When it comes to building farming related structures, bamboo can be used to build beehives, fences, animal pens, greenhouses, containers and carts etc. Bamboo leaves do come in handy as they can be used as fodder to feed animals.
- Start a bamboo importation business
It is a fact that bamboo doesn’t do well in certain areas due to climate, topography and other issues. You can specialize in importing bamboo from countries that have an abundant growth of the wood. You can focus on distributing to companies that need bamboo, to retailers, as well as consumers.
You can buy your bamboo directly from the source, store it in your warehouses, and sell directly to the customer without the need of middle men. This unique approach would enable you to offer the best quality at the lowest prices.
Importing bamboo this way would not only be to your benefit, but it will also benefit those whose livelihood depends on the production of bamboo. Farmers and artisans would now start getting paid above market prices since the fees that would otherwise be paid to agents or brokers are now flowing back directly to the bamboo suppliers.
- Manufacture sports related equipment
With the versatility and strength of bamboo, it can be comfortably applied in the sports and recreation related industry. You can set up a business that manufactures skateboards, surfboards, skateboards, snowboards, polo balls, bicycles, ski poles baseball bats, golf tees, inline skates to name a few.
Being that other companies are already making waves in this industry, you have to come up with a very unique marketing pitch that would help you get a place in the industry.
- Install bamboo flooring
Bamboo just like other types of wood is perfect as a flooring finish depending on where the flooring is to be installed. Anyone that installs wood flooring can take it a step further to install bamboo flooring. First you need to make sure that this type of flooring is allowed in the industry you operate from, then you inform your clients of its availability and its merits. Before long, you would start getting people who would be making inquiries of your services.
- Start an online business that sells bamboo made home items
Bamboo made items have started getting some increase in popularity with people being ever conscious of the things they use to make sure that they are not polluting the environment. This set of people should be your target market when you set out to start selling bamboo related home items. To start this business, you have to first create a customer friendly website so that your clients would have no problems navigating through your offerings.
You then have to source for the products you intend to sell which may include, towels, blankets, beddings, mattresses, clothing, toys and baby things to name a few. If you do not have a warehouse to store all these things, and you don’t have the capital to buy them in the first place, you can start your bamboo online business on a dropshipping basis where you become a link between the manufacturers and consumers. If you are diligent enough, you can start raking in six figures by the end of one fiscal year.
- Make bamboo related accessories
With the versatility of bamboo, one would expect it to be used in the crafting of fashion accessories. Indeed, this is true as the bamboo wood can be used to make accessories like necklaces, bracelets, earrings, and other types of jewelry. If you are quite artistic and creative, you can start making beautiful jewelries out of the bamboo tree. You sell your crafts online through your social media platforms.
In order to enlarge your product offerings, you can also start making makeup brushes, combs, hair pins, etc. and before you know it, you would start getting more offers than you can handle and you would then need to employ people to help you out.
- Sell bamboo vinegar
The Bamboo vinegar or pyro ligneous acid is a liquid that forms during the process of producing bamboo charcoal. This liquid contains 400 different chemical compounds and can be used in the production of a lot of things including cosmetics, insecticides, deodorants, food processing, and agriculture.
Bamboo Vinegar is said to have the ability to activate cells, improve blood circulation, smoothen skin, and fight bacteria. It is ideal for dry, sensitive, and mature skin types and people who are prone to have pimples and freckles. It is also used in foot spa to kill bacteria, eliminate odour, soften aged keratin, and it is ideal for athlete’s foot. In Japan, organic bamboo vinegar is often diluted and used as a skin toner and hair conditioner.
With all these uses, one can see that bamboo vinegar is a well sought after item. You can start a business where you import bamboo vinegar and sell to businesses or individuals that have need for it.
- Make bamboo utensils and tableware
Utensils and tableware can equally be made out of bamboo. If you are a carpenter who is skilled in your trade, you can start making little things like cups, saucers, spoons, ladles, knives, chopping board etc. to add to your other products. If your utensils are beautifully crafted, you would easily attract buyers for your products.
- Import and sell bamboo rugs
Bamboo can be made into anything including rugs. Even if you cannot make the rugs by yourself, you can choose to import them and sell in your state or country. To do this business, you can start by locating a wholesaler in the country of your choice, then you can now look into the modalities of the importation business.
You also have to get the various licenses and permits required by the industry before you can now start placing your orders. You should also know who your target market are and even start making contacts with them so that you do not import a product that would just sit in your warehouse or garage tying up your capital.
- Become a bamboo exporter
If you can import bamboo, then you can also export it. But this business is reserved for those that live in an area that supports the growth of bamboo. To start, you have to first of all locate countries that need the kind of bamboo specie you would be exporting. After you have made deals with middlemen in the countries you would be exporting your bamboo to, then you now have to source for where to get the bamboo at a cheaper price.
Note that it would be to your advantage to deal directly with bamboo farmers so as to reduce your operational cost. You should then acquire the required licenses and permits and fulfill other conditions required of you before you an start exporting bamboo.
- Become a bamboo scaffold builder
One of the original uses of bamboo was as scaffolding. The bamboo culms are gotten and tied together with bamboo ropes to enable builders get up to structures that are higher up. Though bamboo scaffolding may not still be allowed in developed nations because of safety issues, but they are still very much in use in other countries.
If you reside in a country that still allows the use of bamboo scaffolding, you can train to become a scaffold builder. With construction works going on at a fast pace in developing nations, you are guaranteed to have steady jobs.
Published by: Agric Innovation Hub(Ghana)
Find Us at: www.agricinnovationhub.com