This article is not an academic approach or something out of the blues. It is feasible, practical and within the reach of every Nigerian. I will give you the complete step-by-step approach to starting your own very lucrative laundry business with less than N100k and making huge profits. Launching a business could be a herculean task but starting a laundry business is an exception as it does not need much other than your time, a little brain work and some sweating if you do not own or cannot afford an industrial washing machine.
Doing the laundry could be one dirty, tasking and tiring chore some people dread especially those with very tight working schedules. By starting a laundry business, smart entrepreneurs who identify the need for this service can cash in to make a very profitable living while making others happy and helping them look good.
Starting a Laundry Business
To succeed in this business, you need to understand fabrics, how to care for them and types of detergent/soap that will be suitable for every kind of fabric. It is not so difficult getting resources on fabric. Information abound on the internet, so you do not need a degree or special sessions in learning about fabric care. Even without being an entrepreneur, you already know a thing or two about washing your own clothes and proper washing detergents.
What You Need to Start a Laundry Business
This article is targeted at that entrepreneur who has no dime in his/her pocket. Having no money in your pocket is not an excuse because everything you would need to start this business are probably already available in your home. Let’s list them out:
- Big washing bowls/buckets
- Laundry detergents/soaps
- A working pressing iron (preferable industrial)
- An iron-pressing table
- Hangers/wooden hanger
- Washing machine (if you own one or can afford one, not necessarily a requirement to start as long as your hands are strong enough)
- Power Generating set (only if you own a washing machine)
Launching Out, Marketing Your Service and Things to Look Out For
Your first set of clients could be your immediate family, then your friends and neighbors. Draw out a marketing plan because you will never break even if you do not market your business properly. There are lots of laundry businesses in Nigeria so I will recommend you put your creativity to work and fashion out a marketing strategy as you need one that sets you apart, something that makes you unique, something that will make people from the other end of the town come looking for you, something catchy. I leave you to your own imaginations.
Like I stated earlier, you need to understand the best detergent/soap for every fabric so you do not ruin people’s clothes. For a start you could charge an average of two hundred Naira per piece (#200) but most dry-cleaners charge an average of five hundred Naira (#500) in urban places. This price could vary with place and city so you do a research and find out the going rate in your area of interest.
It is important you note that cheaper prices with no compromise in quality of service delivery will ensure continued patronage and a steady increase in your client base. Clients will see how good your services are and compare your prices with others. One of your best adverts is the recommendations of your clients.
If you already own a washing machine, that’s a bonus because it makes your work easier but you have to inspect each piece of cloth and go over them again and again to be sure you get a perfect result. Some clothes cannot be properly handled by washing machines and so need to be hand washed.
You need to offer customized services – ask clients if they have special instructions or exceptions to the service you are rendering to them. Some clients might specifically ask you use a particular soap/detergent due to the fragrance and effects on the clothes.
To save yourself hours of embarrassment, explanation, dark purple face and possible loss of clients, mark and tag customers’ clothes the moment you receive them. This makes them very easy to find and prevents misplacement of clothes.
On the premise that you charge an average of two hundred Naira (#200) per piece and you have to wash about 20 pieces per day which is very possible, you will be making an average of 200×20=#4000 (four thousand Naira) per day.
An average worker has about has more than five shirts but uses an average of five shirts in a week assuming he uses one a day for the five working days, six in most cases because most firms work on Saturdays. Nigeria is a hot clime and so we sweat a lot in spite of the air conditioners in offices. If you have an average of ten clients, that translates to 50 pieces; 50 pieces x 200 = #10,000 which could be your profit for just the weekend.
By any calculation you decide to go with, it is very obvious you will never suffer losses as long as you are hardworking and smart. Not forgetting home pick-up and delivery which attracts an extra charge.
Go out there and make the contacts. Be your own brand ambassador, dress smart and clean. The second calculation I gave is premised on the working clothes of your clients and does not include native wears and other ceremonial dressings and household fabrics like table covers, curtains, etc.. There are other instances where some clothes will come with terrible stains and these will also come with extra charges as well. You have no excuse not to succeed. I await to read your success story on our top business stories feature. Your comments, contributions and suggestions are welcome.