How to Start Laundry Business
In recent times, the chore of doing our laundry has become quiet tedious and time consuming. For some of us, our job demands so much from us that we would rather come home to rest than do the laundry. To some persons like me, doing the Laundry Business is a huge headache; a chore I will so willingly pass on to other people
For these reasons, the laundry business has become another profitable venture in Nigeria. To start the business is not as capital challenging as we all think it is. You can actually start the business in the comfort of your home with just the basic needed equipment and materials. Before you run off to startup your own dry cleaning business, here are a few factors you have to put into consideration first. Note that this is different from this
Laundry and Dry Cleaning Business Plan in Nigeria
Write your laundry/ dry cleaning business plan. This business plan should involve the following details:
- The amount of money you intend to start the business with and the cost analysis.
- Overview of your business.
- Who your management team are.
- Why your business is or will be better than your competitors.
- What your desired location is and your major competitors there.
- Future profit projections (At least for 4 years).
A business plan is necessary especially when you are seeking for loans from banks, investors or just when you want your business idea on paper.
We recommend you get some experience within the industry. This may mean taking a job or becoming a trainee in another laundry business so that you can learn the skills and techniques necessary to run a successful laundry business. Examples are; how to launder different fabrics, packaging, be able to differentiate between when a cloths needs dry cleaning or laundering, time management, basic math, communication skills, etc. Be prepared to spend at least 3 to 6 months learning the nitty gritty of the business so that you will be ready for the challenges of running your own outfit when the time comes. A huge part of your success depends on how good your services are. So go through all the training you can get.
I always hear people say “I would love to start this business but I just don’t have the capital”. Well, the good news is that you do not need a million dollars to start. You can start very small and still be profitable. To reduce cost, you should do the following:
- Starting business from your home (so you will not have to worry about renting a business premises).
- Buy just the basic washing tools, supplies and equipment (i.e. commercial washing supplies, hangers, tags, fabric softeners, pressing irons, ironing table, packaging nylon, buckets, Basins, industrial starch, Garment Conveyor, Stain removing chemicals, medium washing machine, etc.)
- An electric Power Generator Set
- Employ one or two people
That doesn’t look expensive to me, does it to you? If you want to setup a big laundry and dry cleaning business, you will need industrial washing machines, dryer, industrial ironing board and a higher power generator.
To Start Laundry Business it must be located for success! An ideal location should have the following qualities:
- Must be situated close to customers and is easy to access – this includes ample parking and access from a major road.
- You should locate your business in high people traffic areas. A location around housing estates, dormitories, hotels, business establishments, schools is ideal because of its large volume of people.
- This location should be able to accommodate your machines, chemicals and all your business operations (pressing of your clothes, hanging, labeling and packaging as well as your reception too). If you do not find suitable office space to accommodate your equipment and the washing process, then you can use the space you have as reception/front desk of your business. This means that people can drop and pick up their clothing there but the actual wash process takes place in a different location, maybe your home.
- Must not be located in a low income area. Chances are that people who reside there will rather wash for themselves and save money.
- Check if the water supply is adequate and fit to use. Always look out for regularity in power supply.
Register Your Business
Register your laundry business with the Corporate Affairs Commission Nigeria (CAC) by clicking here
Hire and train new employees. Make sure they are well trained not only on how to operate the machines and clean laundry but also on basic customer service. Do not forget that how your employees treat your clients affects your business, positively or negatively.
Tips on how to run profitable laundry business
- Dealing with Competition – if you set up business in a location where there are other laundry services, be prepared to work hard and be unique in your service delivery. Investigate your competitors; find out an aspect of their services that they are not doing a good job at. Perfect on that and you will be exclusive. Example: One major challenge of launderers is delivering on deadlines. If you can make absolutely sure that your client’s clothing is ready when you say it will be ready, in a short while word will get out that you are disciplined, a man of your word and so can be trusted to delivery on time. Another challenge is the irregular power supply from the national grid; you will need a diesel generator to iron the clothes so you will not have to disappoint your customers like so many laundry shop owners do. If you can buy a diesel generator, then you can get your staff to work at odd hours to meet up deadlines.
- Advertising /Promoting your Business – Remember that no business can strive if the market does not know about its existence. Therefore you will need to advertise your business. The best marketing campaign in this industry is word of mouth. Start by doing free jobs for family and friends. This is a very efficient technique as it gets clients and customers to trust in you because your services will come recommended to them by their friends. You can start canvass for your first clients in your neighborhood, church, mosque, office, school, etc. Other forms of advertising may consist of sharing your business card, handbills, brochures and flyers and of course the internet.
- Customer Care – In every business, the customer is king! Your relationship with your clients is top priority. How you treat them generally affects business. Here are some tips that will help you get and retain your customers:
- Offer free services and special promos – if you are just starting the business, thrill your new customers with free services and special promos.
- Home delivery –Pick up clients clothes and deliver after laundry
- Have customer’s clothes ready on or before deadline
- Don’t ever get customers clothes mixed up
- Take note of your client’s preferences and apply them
- Don’t be caught arguing with your customer
- Go beyond business services; develop a relationship with every single of your clients. If possible get their phone numbers.
- Go the extra mile
- Fair pricing – let the rate of other laundry businesses within your area be your baseline. You can charge more but make sure your services is higher in quality.
As much as your customers are important, so are your employees. They are the ones that do all the menial tasks in the business therefore you should take good care of them. I suggest that you pay them on commission basis. That way, they will be motivated to work more and put in some overtime as well.