How to Start a Profitable Dry cleaning & Laundry Business

You can Set up this profitable Laundry Business in Abuja, Lagos, Port Harcourt, or your locality because laundry business is one of the least capital-intensive Startup Businesses anyone can venture into.

Dry Cleaning as we know it today is a multi-million Naira earning business which many big entrepreneurs in big cities have used to employ and earn a good living,

If you were thinking of starting a dry cleaning business, laundry services or rather looking for a real-life guide on how to start, please follow this post, I am not a dry cleaner but one of my best friends is into laundry services and have worked in many laundry firms before establishing his own, in a small way, Startup Nigeria is not here for already big Startups but average Nigerian with little or low capital base, So here we go

What You Should Know Before Starting that Laundry Business in Nigeria

Dry Cleaning Business is not fun if you don’t love washing:

Shelve off that idea you have been having that you will do all the laundry with a machine, if you do not like to washcloths please stay off laundry business,

This is not a discouragement because I am reporting this from experience, there are some clothes which you will and can never wash with a machine, it requires hand washing, I do make fun of my friend each time I touch his palms, Men! It’s so strong and thick due to so much handling and washing of clothes!

But one thing that baffles me is that he enjoys washing clothes, you need to see how he talks about different colors of cloths and how to wash them with passion

Location Is very Vital to the Success of your Laundry Business in Nigeria

This is another bummer, Sorry, but you need to know this, even though am sure you will agree that in every business especially off-line businesses Location plays an important role however in laundry business it’s very important, if you are living around  highbrow  areas, then you are going to wash and wash until you start hiring apprentice, but let us not get too excited because there are more than meets the eye in laundry business here are some initial startup tips you should follow to establish a small scale dry cleaning/laundry business in your area on a low scale capital between N100K – N250k

Start Your Survey Around your vicinity or your target Area where you want to Start the Laundry Business

Let’s forget about the big grammar in Business Survey, let’s bring it down to lay-mans understanding, see how you can go about this, and there are things you should look out for,

  • How many Dry-cleaning services are fully operational around that area?
  • Are they Always having jobs, (you can find out this by testing their services, get to give the 1 or two cloths to wash, then try to be friendlier and observe)?
  • How much do they charge for washing a different kind of clothes; You do not need to wash all kinds of clothes to know their prices, a mere inquiry by asking them will give you these answers,

Also, observe the packaging and do your rating.

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How do you wish to Startup Your Laundry Business? In-house or Getting an Office Space?

As an entrepreneur I think you should even start in-house to understand and shake your skills, you can start by doing free and cheap laundry for friends and neighbors, this may sound funny and maybe low class for you, well if you have this kind of pride or you are like me that doesn’t blend so well with my neighbors then getting a small office is the next target. but we aim to cut the cost that was why I suggested you start in-house due to shop rent

Power supply

NEPA or What’s the Name again, Power Holding company of Nigeria, indeed they are great in holding our power especially when we need it most,

Power is life, in This our laundry business, without power you will not be making a good profit, don’t even think that generator is the solution except you are ready to buy a big K.V.A generator which is even more than the startup cost we Agreed on (yes you and I Agreed that we will spend between N100-N250)

When my friend was running his new startup Laundry Service, one major challenge which he is still confronting is the power supply, of course, he bought a sizable generator that can carry his pressing Iron, however the constant usage of Generator to iron clothes will always have a big effect of your  generator,  a good laundry Iron is very powerful and the coil of his Gen Set is in constant fixing at least twice in a month or at worst every weekend

So, ensure you can have up to 6-12 hrs. the power supply in the area

Training is non-negotiable

You remember in the opening lines I told you to do an investigation to find out how others are doing it, but you aim to break into the market and withstand the competition, Professional Laundry service is different from the one you wash for yourself at home, Do I need to even emphasize on this?

Before you nurture this business idea, you must have acquired this skill, hey! if you think that “let me open it and put someone in it” hehehe! It’s not a bad idea but it’s a risky idea, a small business like this requires passion and creativity, this kind of intuitive skills will only come from the real vision bearer, Laundry apprenticeship cannot be more than two months, learn how to do the following

How to Wash your Laundry / Dry cleaning Clothes Well
Proper ways you can Wash your Cloths Professionally

How to Wash Cloths Professionally

How to Wash different Fabrics: It’s not like the way you were at home OH!

How to manage fabrics colors and kind of gentle cleaning agents you can use on any materials without damaging it

How to use the pressing iron: To give nice fabric impressive (I had once given out my cloth to him for ironing, Men it was looking gorgeous when I received it) So learn how to do that

How to Fold Clothes: for me, I find it very hard to achieve that laundry folded style of T-Shirts, I love seeing my clothes like that in my wardrobe, so can you do that?

Bring in your Packaging Idea

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My fellow Entrepreneur, Every Idea is not new what is new is how you package the idea, but while I am saying packaging doesn’t mean you should spend all your money doing that, As “ABA boy Wey I be”, I can walk into some commercial area get a small graphics or artist do  a small sticker containing my business details which I can paste on the polythene / Nylon pack I used in packaging the cloths

As an idea, I can make my business stand out from the crowd, there are some nice smelling cloth perfumes I will sparingly spray on them before packaging, don’t be afraid of customer complain then you may exclude spraying it on those that don’t want it, start it first and see how your business will attract more clients

Home Delivery Is BAE!

Pardon me for using that Slang, but its something we call value-added Service (VAS) some busy business or civil servants will see you as a lifesaver on this, but you and I know that “Better soup na money kill am” so you will make x3 of the normal charge

Now that you have known the basics can we do an estimate of how much it can cost you to start a small-scale dry cleaning / Laundry Services?

Business Budget is 250k (let’s add extra 50k)

Industrial Steam Pressing Iron (you can start with one or buy London used) = N 12000

  • Water Storage can ( 3 kegs and one 250 liters drum )  N 13,000
  • Detergents and cleaning Agents (in Bulk)   N5000
  •  Starch (Hot and cold Start)    N4000
  • Nyon for Packaging (in Packs with your label on it)     N5000
  • Shop Rent (location Matters)     N70,000
  • Washing Machine (for A Start we buy a small one)     N40,000
  • Flyers and Complimentary Card (You Must bargain)       N8,000
  • 4.5 K.V. A Generator      N60,000

Other Stuff Such as Shop painting, Wood Shelve, Table    N20,000                                                                       Total  N237,000            

Are you seeing this? With Just N237k you can Start a Standard laundry business in a Small Scale But other things I did not factor in are

  • Cost of CAC Business Name Registration which is around N15k
  • Cost of paying PHCN Bill (LOL) Yes be prepared to pay NEPA Bill oh
  • Cost Stuffs like Electric fan, TV or Ac for your comfort and bulbs too
  • A washing basin to separate and soak different materials and colors of clothing
  • Clothe hangers.
  • Basins for Washing the Cloths

The Shop rent is something you can try to work it out with your landlord, do not use a high costly shop or locate your business in serious busy  areas that demand cut-throat rents,

Find a less competitive zone where middle- and low-class people resides but not a village, Places in Abuja like Durum, Apo village, Dutse, Airport Road, or any zone where civil servants reside to cut the cost of housing will be the idea

 

Other Things you may Consider doing or adding to your laundry business is Barbing and Hair Salon, Serious this two combo will generate big revenue. And any fashionista would want to look good in clothing and body appearance!

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This is how you can become an entrepreneur owning your small Startup Laundry and Dry cleaning business!

Promotion of your Newly established Laundry / Dry Cleaning Business

The life of every business is patronage and the higher the business inflow the more likely you can make more revenue, did you remember I told you to survey around? This is where the business maneuvering will come to play, you can start offering big discount such as 60% discount in already existing market price, if others are billing N400 per fabric you can cut it down to N200 or even N150, Your aim here is for them to have a professional feel of how your services are.

Share your Flyer’s, give promotion like ” wash 2 and get one free ”

Don’t forget we are in the digital world, Whatsapp, Facebook, Instagram will play a vital role here

Ensure you have a small signpost or billboard in front of your shop with clear information of what you do

Here Are Some Challenges you will face in Opening your own Laundry / Dry Cleaning Business

Power Outages: There are times you will have jobs but your Generator cant kept on working and working, yet there is not light, NEPA can disappoint for Africa

SEASONAL CHANGES; Since you are a Small Startup owner, seasonal variation like during the raining period, clothes will not dry faster and will affect your delivery time

Delivery Period: As a laundry owner you need to make sure that you will deliver customers clothes as when promise, imagine if I was waiting for my cloth to attend one big function but all I get is ” Sorry sir, your cloth is not ready”

Colour/ Stain Management: This is one challenging task you will surely face, some clothes have a system or tips on how to wash them and any mistake from you can ruin it, get ready for war because you will see a customer requesting for huge sums for damaging their clothes. This was why you needed at least 2 months mentorship from already established laundry owner

Iron Burning Clothes: it will occur once in a while but try to be very observant on the kind of cloth and the kind of head require, in order not to burn it

So if you think of Opening a Laundry business, this post was gotten from real-life interviews from someone who runs a laundry / dry cleaning service. If you have any more question regarding how to startup A laundry / dry cleaning business use the comment box to ask and I will answer you

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