What is Laundry Services
A laundry service is a service in a hotel that washes and irons clothes for guests. Almost all hotels have a laundry service. If you hand in clothes one day you should get them back a day or two later. The laundry service will wash, dry, and iron your clothes.
1. You can start with no money (just doing home service)
2. There are always customers if you market your business well
3. The cost to set up is not much. You can start small and grow
4. It is very profitable. You cam make a lot of money from laundry business
5. You can start from your home if you can’t afford a shop
HOW MUCH CAN YOU MAKE FROM A LAUNDRY BUSINESS
You can make a lot of money from Laundry business depending on how you set up and the scale. But for the purpose of this article, let’s see how much you can make from running your own laundry business.
Let’s assume you charge N500 to wash and iron a shirt. You can charge more or less, it all depends on the location of your business. In a day, you wash about 20 shirts. That is 20 x 500 = N10, 000.
Assuming you also wash suits and you charge N1500 for that. In a day, you wash up to 10 suits. That is 10 X 1500 = N15, 000
From the above, washing shirts and suits can make you N25, 500 every day. That will be N175,000 in a week and N700, 000 a month.
But this is just a peek into it. You can make ten times of that or even lower. It all depends on how you run your business. You can make millions a month.
STEPS TO START A LAUNDRY BUSINESS
You can follow the following steps to start a laundry business in Nigeria:
1. FIND A GOOD LOCATION
A good location is very important to your laundry business. Where your business is located can help it tremendously. It is advisable to find a location with less competition. If you can find a place where there is no much competition of big players, it will be good. However, it should not be a write off as you can win over customers with your good service.
Consider locations in open places. Places that are close to the road where people can see and notice your business when passing. That means the place should be a busy place where people coming from work or going pass through.
It should be in a residential areas, that is places where people are living. An estate is a good place but it should be at a place where people pass through a lot.
Also note that the geographical location can influence how much you charge. If your location is in a high income neigbourhood, then you will charge more money. However, your rent will be higher.
2. REGISTER YOUR BUSINESS AND GET ALL IMPORTANT RECEIPT
Operating a dry cleaning business may require that you register your business and get some permits. But this will depend a lot on location. While regulation of dry cleaning business is common in the western world, in Nigeria is it not so. But you may still have to get registered.
Depending on your location, you may have to pay some levies. Like local government levy and all that. Find out and make sure you settle it all to avoid any sort of interference in the running of your laundry business.
4. OFFER ADDITIONAL SERVICES
Apart from washing clothes, you can decide to offer additional services such as washing bed sheets, curtains, rug carpets and other household items to maximize your profit.
5. MARKET YOUR BUSINESS
At this point your business is all set and ready. You should focus on marketing your business. This is what will bring customers to you and ultimately help you make money. Don’t over look it, put a lot of energy into marketing.
Here are ways you can market you laundry business:
- Put a sign post outside the shop to let people know what you do
- Use social media. People spend most of their time these days on social media, why not use it to promote your business?
- Offer promotions and discount. People love discounts, offer a discount like 20% off.
- Print flyers and share in your neigbourhood
- Word of mouth. Tell people you know and urge them to help you tell their friends
- Do home delivery and pick up. You can offer to go pick up clothes and deliver them after washing, all your customers need to do is call you
- Go to offices and inform the workers of your services
- Be fair in your prices.
6. Gain Experience in the Laundry Industry
While running your own laundry business does not require any specific qualifications or experience, it’s a good idea when entering any business to have experience in the industry. With this in mind, it may prove valuable to take a job in a laundry facility, so you can learn more about the trade and what customers want.
7. Carry Out Market Research
Before you begin the venture, conducting market research can be an effective way to ensure there is demand for laundry services in your area. Carrying out market research will help you determine how customers are likely to respond to your new venture.
also read 10 Importance of business rebranding
RUNNING A LAUNDRY BUSINESS WITHOUT MONEY
As mentioned earlier, you can start a laundry business with no money! If you are looking at the cost of starting a laundry business in Nigeria and the equipment needed to start a laundry business but your account balance cannot carry it, you can still start with no money.
You can start small then save up and run a proper laundry business. Starting a dry cleaning business with no money is all about moving from house to house and doing the washing and ironing. Your customers provides everything from water to soap and the basins you need.
This used to be very common in wealthy areas. In Lagos, it is common in premium places. People go weekends to wash and iron for people and get paid handsomely. But it has spread everywhere.
Where I live currently, there is a woman who comes around weekends. Wash cloths for some neigbours. Of course, they provide her water and everything. After she has completed her duty, gets paid handsomely.
All you have to do is package yourself. Approach people. Your target should be families whose both parents are working. Offer to come to the house weekend or any day to wash and iron their clothes. As you find customers, they will tell others.
A lot of people actually prefer this, since it happens in their home and their cloths won’t get lost in the laundry shop.
When you open the business, encourage customers to come to you by offering ‘first week deals’ such as two loads of washing for the price of one.
Start to Market Your Business
Once you have everything in place to open your laundry business, start marketing your venture aggressively. From posting fliers to sending direct mail, and even getting your own website launched, there are endless ways to market your laundry business to different target markets.
Think About Becoming a Laundry Franchisee
Business franchises come with a number of benefits, including the providing of everything you will need to get your business up and running. Systems like Laundry Care partner with entrepreneurs seeking to provide laundry services to local residents and commercial customers and help them build a business.
As the brand and business model are already set-up and established, entering a franchise contract can come with less risk than starting a business entirely from scratch.
you might also like: Step by Step Guide on how to add your business to Google Map
Equipments needed to start a Small Laundry Services
1. Wide Ironing Table: It is very important for your table to be wide enough, at least to give enough pressing space and convenience as you will be handling large quantity of ironing. Do not use small table that will make your work inconvenient and eventually cause you some damages. Get a table that is smooth and wide enough, something like 4×6 feet.
Pressing/Ironing bench is the best choice for pressing cloths and it is the most convenient, more convenient than regular tables. You can get it very cheap in the market or from electronics shops.
2. Good Pressing Iron: Invest in quality pressing Iron for the sake of efficiency, and don’t forget you are handling people’s fabrics. Inefficient Iron could cause more trouble than gain by raking havoc on your customers cloths. Go for high quality, brand new Iron from known makers like Philips.
3. Garment Conveyor: You will need a garment conveyor for hanging finished clothes. Just get a nice locally made by furniture makers, but let it be wide enough to avoid stuffing cloths. The conveyor I am talking about is just a hanging stand, not the ones that convey cloths used by bigger dry cleaners. A local furniture maker will help you design your locally made one if you do not have money to buy standard conveyor.
4. BIG Washing Basins: You will need many of this to soak different colors and different types of materials separately. Be careful how you handle people’s fabrics so that you don’t go about paying for damages rather than making profits. Soak Jeans separately from other materials, soak whites cloths separate, and other colors too. Do not mix colors!
5. Industrial Laundry Detergent: Cleaning is technology, you need to master it with all sense of seriousness. Good cleaning detergent will go a long way to assist you in making thorough cleaning, and that in turn will bring more customers. Do not go for just any washing soap, go for high quality detergent that comes in quantity – you will be needing much quantity of it.
6. Space For Ironing: Spacious ironing environment will not only make your job faster and more comfortable, it will give you sense of balance and relaxed feelings. Devote big enough part of your home for it.
7. Other Items Like:
- Laundry detergent: Don’t just buy any the detergent, buy the ones used by dry cleaners
- Washing machines: There are different grades, look for the one you can afford that is quality
- Washing Basins: You will need it to soak clothes and for other uses
- Pressing Iron: A quality iron that has good customization features for different materials
- Ironing table: Where you can comfortable iron clothes
- Garment Conveyor: This is what you use to hang cloths. Get a carpenter to make one
- Starch: A lot of customers will request for it to add beauty to their cloth
- Water: You will need a source of water. If there is no water supply, you can buy a thank and store water
- Power Generator: As electricity is not reliable, you will need a good generator that can carry your equipment just in case
- Nylon and tags: You will need nylon to package the ironed cloths. You will also need tags to tag the clothes so you don’t mix things up
- Shelves: You will need shelves to keep the ironed and packaged cloth in order.
Common Challenges found in Laundry Services
Issues of Missing Clothes
If you are not careful when handling peoples’ clothes, you are going to have a lot of issues of missing clothes. This is the most common of the challenges of running a laundry business. This is common when you have a good number of customers. There is the possibility of misplacing a client’s shirt or trousers or under wears.
To avoid this, adopt effective documentation of items (proper labeling and handling) at every stage of the process of dry cleaning the clothes.
Issues of Stained Clothes
If you are not careful, you will have a lot of stained clothes. It does not augur well for you and your customers. It could happen while washing or while ironing. It could be the clothes staining themselves. You are expected to read the labels on the clothes and follow the instructions. This gives you clues on how best to handle the cloths without staining them. You don’t want to keep replacing customer’s clothes.
Rainy / Wet Days
A rainy day is a pain in the ass for drycleaners. It is one the many challenges of running a laundry business in Nigeria. To worsen it all, you can’t eliminate them because they are natural.
What you can do is to make sure you have an alternative. Drying machines were invented for this contingency. They are meant to mitigate the effects of rainy season to your laundry business.
If you are not careful when using industrial pressing iron, you are likely going to get your clients’ clothes burnt. You should read the label on the shirt clothe to know the heat that is suitable for ironing it. You can’t use same temperature to iron clothes made of silk and clothes made of pure cotton as I assume you already know.
- Clean Water Supply
An essential part of your laundry services is having clean water supply. When you own a laundry business, you are expected to have access to clean water supply. The lack of clean water supply is undoubtedly one of the challenges of running a laundry business.
You can’t afford to wash your customer’s cloths with dirty water so you must sort that out. You have to situate your business where you can get clean water supply.
Electrical Power Supply
You need power to survive in laundry business. You need power for your washing machines, drying machines and electric pressing iron. When opening your business, factor in electricity or you end up spending the little money you have on generator sets and diesel. On the other, you need to also have the generator sets because Nigeria can be funny.
Meeting Up With Delivery Time (Set targets)
Very important to this business is delivery. It is one of the challenges of running a laundry business in Nigeria. Delivery here refers to meeting up with the time set with customers or getting the cloths to the promised destination. Set up a strategy to meet up with the delivery time.
Sourcing for Clients
This business is for people. You have to have clients so as to make money from it. You have to overcome the challenge of attracting customers. You must attract them. Once you have a loyal customer base, you are good to go.
Enough Space (Bigger Facility) in Good Location
The space you will use should also be considered. You need space for sorting out clothes, washing, ironing, packaging and storing the clothes. You have to get a sizeable location or you will need to get another one along the line.
Equipment breakdown in the form of tear and wear is one of the challenges of running a laundry business in Nigeria. It is inevitable that your equipment will breakdown at some point as a result of consistent usage. You are therefore expected to factor it in and have enough backup now. You don’t want to get stranded. You should constantly service the serviceable equipment regularly.
Laundry business is a very lucrative business that you can make money from. You need a good location and a good marketing approach, you can make a lot of money from it. Decide the scale you want to start. Do your feasibility studies and know the cost of things in the environment you want to set up, in additional, to be able to grow a successful laundry business make sure your Pick-ups and deliveries are fast with a very neat job, dont forget that first appearance in Customer Behavior matters alot.