Laundry business is one business that can be very lucrative, that is if you know how to go about it. Yes, with the right preparation and implementation anyone in the laundry business should be very successful. This article is a guide on how to start a laundry business in Nigeria.
There are thousands of people that need laundry service providers to handle their laundry due to their tight schedule at work and businesses. So, if you are looking to start a laundry business I will be sharing some tips with you that will enable you start and grow quickly.
Though laundry business can be very lucrative, there are basic things that you need to know about it like every other business without which you may not succeed. I also recommend working with a laundry organization for some time before venturing into your own laundry business. This will help you have an experience of what it is like starting a laundry business.
However, there are things to consider before starting a laundry business. As with every other business, it is important to sit down and write a business plan. This plan will give you a direction of how you want your business to be. And the services you will render as a laundry service provider, as your success is dependent on these services. Now, let’s look at factors to consider before veering into a laundry business.
Starting a laundry business may not be capital intensive depending on how you intend to go about it. If you are considering a laundry business, and you don’t have enough capital, you can start with the little you have and grow it to an million – dollar business.
You can start your laundry business with little capital, depending on the area you live. If you don’t have competition in your locality you can become very successful and grow very quickly.
On the other hand if you have a huge capital to venture into this business, you will need to sit down and make a cost analysis to enable you start on the right foot. Some of the things to consider when making cost analysis are
- Land Acquisition: Land is a vital factor to consider when taking a cost analysis for your laundry business, if you intend to start on a large scale. I recommend considering the cost of securing a land before registering your business because as soon as you register your business the government in your country or state will assume that you are already in business and you will be charged the monthly tax and other business renewal fees you need to pay yearly.
- Business Registration: Registering your business is fundamental. So, find out from your country or state on every detail you need to register your business including the fee you need to pay for the registration.
- Cost of Laundry Equipments: You need to consider how much it will cost you to get Industrial washing machines, dryers, polythene, hangers, detergent, bleach, shelves, laundry bags, pressing iron pressing table etc.
- Cost of Water and Electricity Supply: Water and electricity are very important factors to consider when setting out for a laundry business, without which the business is as good as dead. So you need to plan very well for constant water and electricity supply. As a prospective laundry service provider, you will need power generating set and clean water supply.
- Cost of Salary for Employees: If you are considering getting into large scale laundry business, you should consider employing workers to assist you in washing, pressing the clothes, picking up dirty clothes from customers and delivering to them after laundry.
- Cost of Advertising: In order to market your business to a larger population and increase your customer base, it is important to consider advertising in newspapers, create websites/blogs, and print fliers and business cards.
- Miscellaneous: Considering other expenses that may arise in the course of running your business is also important. There could be emergencies that you will need money to take care of. So make an estimate of how much you will need in necessary emergency issues.
These are some of the things to consider when taking a cost analysis for a large scale laundry business.
- Business Location
For any business to succeed, the location of the business is very important. Considering the fact that we are looking at how to start a laundry business, except you want to start a small laundry business at home it is important to search for and get a high profile area for your laundry business. If you want to record a huge success in your laundry business, you must look for a high profile, industrial area as people in such areas are always looking for laundry service providers.
In an industrialized area you will find hospitals, hotels, higher institutions, restaurants, housing estates and conglomerates where there are a good number of people working within that location.
- Wisely Choose the Services you Intend to Render
There are several services that are associated with laundry and if you can render services that are not common amongst your competitors, you will sure succeed.
Now when you are going into a laundry business, if there are people that are already in the same business within your location, you must step up your game by rendering services and doing things your competitors are not doing. In a very industrialized area, you must find out what your competitors are not doing and get in touch with hotels, schools, hospitals and individuals in that location with your business cards and fliers and offer them some incentives that will spur them to doing business with you. Such incentives may include:
- Washing three (3) clothes and getting one (1) free wash.
- Offer discount to new customers: If you are just starting out. Find out how much your competitors are offering for one cloth and reduce your charges to get new customers.
Please note that working with organizations is more lucrative than individuals, if you have competitors, find out what they do for such organizations and offer them better services than your competitors.
Pick up and Drop Services will also give a boost to your business. To do this you can add this service to your fliers and business cards to let your prospective clients know the unique service you render that your competitors are not rendering. To effectively do this, you can get a logistics company to do it for you or you employ a dispatch rider to do it.
- Advertise your Business:
To succeed in your business, publicizing your business is one thing you cannot ignore. Today almost everything sells online and laundry business is not an exception.
I strongly advice that you create a website for your business and publicize it on the entire web including social media like Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and other forums and online marketing sites.
You can click here to take advantage of my free web/blog set up.
Now, when you create a website for your business or print fliers or hand bills, you should state the specific services you render and include promotional offers to customers.
Placing bill boards and sign posts is another way to advertise and get more clients.
Don’t also ignore house to house and office to office advertisement if you are just starting out. Though it may be tedious from the beginning but as your business grows and with the quality services you render, you will be able to maintain your customers. This implies that, you will no longer visit them one on one. They will continue to come back with new and innovative measures you will put into your business.
Challenges of Running a Laundry Business
Laundry business can be very lucrative but it is not void of challenges, it has its own challenges just like every other business.
It is therefore necessary to find out challenges faced by other laundry business owners, map out strategies to tackle the challenges or possibly minimize occurrence of such challenges before kick- starting your business.
Here is a list of possible challenges with laundry business.
- Stained Clothes
Since you will be rendering service to different clients, there is a likelihood of some clothes running and staining others in process of washing. It is therefore necessary to always read instructions on the colored clothes before washing. There are clothes that may not have washing instructions on them, in such cases it is advisable to always wash them separately with hands so as to avoid losing your clients because of issues of stained clothes.
- Missing Clothes
The issue of missing clothes is another challenge you are likely to face as a laundry owner, knowing that you will have hundreds or thousands of clothes to wash, dry and iron for your clients you should take proper record of clothes you receive from your clients, label them properly and keep track of all the clothes you have with you.
To avoid this issue of missing clothes, you should come up with a plan and have some of your staff take proper recording and labeling of the clothes.
- Burnt Clothes
This is another challenge that you might face as laundry business owner, so to avoid getting into problem with your clients, you have to read the instructions on the clothes on how to iron them. This also depends on the fabric used for the clothes. Silky clothes need low heat when pressing them while cotton clothes need higher heat.
So, to be on the safe side, instruct your staffs to always read the instructions on the clothes before ironing them.
- Meeting up Delivery Time
As your laundry business grows, you will likely face the challenge of meeting up delivery time and since it is important that you meet up the time when you are given clothes to take care of, it is important to deliver the clothes to your client on or before the date of delivery, this is another way to keep your customers coming back. If you are not able to keep to your promise on the delivery date, you might lose some of your customers.
Always set targets to enable you meet up delivery time, and if possible employ more hands to make the work faster and easier for you.
- Rainy Season
Wet days are inevitable for the survival of all on planet earth, and cannot be avoided. As a laundry owner, you will need industrial dryer to successfully run your business during the rainy season.
But if you don’t have money to buy an industrial dryer, you can buy a smaller one to start with, and acquire a bigger on as your business grows.
- Electric Power and Water Supply
As I mentioned earlier while I was talking about the factors to consider when starting a laundry business, electric power and water supply are two very important factors and are eminent challenges faced by business owners, so your success also depends on these two factors and to avoid or minimize the effect of these challenges, you need to find a way around them.
If you have the resources, you can buy power generating plant and provide a means of clean water supply for your laundry business. But if you don’t have the resources, you can buy clean water and use coal iron or get an old condemned electric iron to use with gas or stove iron. This is enable you start small and grow your business. But be careful not to stain or burn your customers clothes with charcoal.
Please don’t ignore the days of little beginning, if you live in a non-industrialized area, where there are is no competition, you can start small and grow big.
These are some of the challenges that you are likely to face as a laundry business owner.
The Bottom line is always find time to talk to your staffs and train them on customer care and other necessary information they need to make them do their work effectively.
What is your take on this article? Place your comments and questions and suggestions here.
Also like our Facebook page and share this post using the icon below.