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The Secret of a Successful Laundry Business in Nigeria

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We enjoy that feeling we get when we don nicely washed clothes; but we are too lazy most times to do our laundry.

The busy schedules of the workforce working a 9 to 5 routine daily, keeps them totally busy, which makes performing basic tasks like laundry a huge task impossible to perform.

On weekends which signify having all the time to do what they can, most of them end up cleaning their homes and visiting friends.

Only few of them really take time out to wash their clothes.

This large group of lazy individuals in Nigeria, Africa and the world in general has made the laundry business a very profitable niche to venture into since the demand for it is always available.

What Is The Laundry Service Business?
The laundry service business involves professionally washing clothes and linens for people via the use of washing machines or the traditional method of washing with hands.

This service is paid for, after which the individual later picks his/her clothing from the dry cleaner after a certain number of days.

Benefits Of Starting A Laundry Business in Nigeria
1). Laundry service is easy and convenient to start

2). It is neither capital nor management intensive

3).You can start a laundry business in Nigeria from home and grow commercially from there

4). It is very profitable, since most people don’t have the time to do their laundry. Many people constitute the workforce; which comes with tight schedules; hence they consider doing laundry a waste of time.

5).You’re your own boss. One of the many wonderful benefits enjoyed from establishing your own laundry service business is that you’ll always have freedom to do things at your own pace and in your own style. You won’t be taking orders from any superiors.

6). It improves the personal hygiene of the customers.

7). Protects the quality of clothes.

Facts About The Laundry Service Business
1).The prices are determined by the cost of doing business

2). Not all stains can be removed.

3). Damage (which atimes can be irreparable) to clothing happens often.

4). Dry cleaned clothes last longer than hand-washed clothes.

5). Clothing can shrink.

Business Opportunities In The Laundry Service Business in Nigeria
1). Dry Cleaning

This is the most profitable niche in the laundry service business industry in Nigeria and across the globe. Since most people in every locality see dry cleaning as a domestic problem, it continues to become a revenue spinner because it affords people the opportunity to dry clean their clothes and other items at their convenience.

2). Ironing Clothes

While dry cleaning generally involves ironing the clothes after washing, some individuals bring in their rumpled clothing to have them ironed. This therefore, reduces the revenue stream of the dry cleaner since their main focus is on straightening the clothes. Dry cleaners can charge as low as 100 Naira per clothing ironed, and at 1,000 Naira for 10 ironed clothes. This business opportunity can bring in as much as 100,000 Naira extra monthly, from just ironing clothes for people.

The Different Types Of The laundry Service Business
1). Laundromats:

A laundromat refers to a self-service laundry business which allows customers to wash and dry their clothes in the washing machine themselves, and totally operated by a coin. It is also called coin wash, coin laundry, launderettes, or wash-a-teria, and popular in America and Europe.

2). Staffed Laundries:

This type of laundry service business employs staff to provide dry cleaning services to customers. Very popular in the United States and the United Kingdom, the duties of staffed laundries range from sitting over the counter to sell detergents to offering change, monitoring clothes to ensure that they don’t get stolen, and sometimes, doing the laundry on behalf of the customers.

3). Fluff n Fold Services:

This is the most popular type of laundry service in Nigeria and other parts of Africa. Here, the laundry business accepts the dirty clothing from the customer, wash, dry, iron, and fold the clothes. Some even offer a pickup and delivery service. This laundry service is also referred to as the Wash-n-Fold, Drop Off, Bachelor Bundles, or a Full –Service Wash.

Challenges Faced In The Laundry Service Business
1).Clothes occasionally gets missing or misplaced.

2).Some clothes get burnt.

3). Inadequate/poor electricity supply.

4). Lack of properly trained staff.

5). Short of almost-impossible delivery times.

6). Access to clean water.

7). Clothes can sometimes go from bad to worse.

8). Absence of sunlight on rainy days.

9).Enough space/bigger facility in a good location.

10). Equipment breakdown

11). Building a loyal client base amongst a sea of fierce competitors.

Setting Up A Laundry Service Business In Nigeria

Laundry Services business in Nigeria
1). Consider Your Financial Resources

Depending on the scale you want to start on, setting up a laundry service business may or may not be capital intensive. You might even decide to get a franchise to lessen the level of business risk; however; it’s important to note that getting a franchise leads to lesser control over your business and additional overhead in the form of royalties and other expenses.

While a franchise boasts of marketing and operational benefits, running your business from home might also be a good idea if you have little or no money.

Conducting a detailed cost analysis is very essential when starting a laundry business in Nigeria. The cost analysis will give you an idea of the total cost of starting and running a laundry business in your preferred location. The report from your cost analysis will help you set a realistic financial goal for your business.

2). Draw Your Business Plan

Just like humans need oxygen to survive, a business plan is very crucial when setting up a business. When drawing up your business plan, list the service(s) you’ll provide. Here is a sample laundromat business plan template to start with.

You should also put into consideration your target market and demographics when drawing up the plan. Are your target customers university students, busy professionals or apartment residents? This and researching on how well other laundry businesses in the locality you intend to operate are surviving should also be included in your business plan.

Examples of niche service ideas in the laundry industry include: home pickup and home delivery, hotels and motels, boarding schools, hospitals, churches and seminaries, sales, repair and servicing of laundry equipments.

3). Select A Good Location

Except you intend to operate your laundry service business from home, your business location shouldn’t be handled like a pinch of salt. When searching for an appropriate location, ensure you pick an area that’s accessible and close to apartment buildings. This will help attract customers who don’t have washing machines at home or those who don’t have the time to wash their clothes because of their busy schedules.

The best locations are usually in high trafficked areas. When you establish a laundry service business beside a road plied by a lot of motorist, with a bold sign board advertising your service, your client base will grow quicker than that of a dry cleaner located in a quiet neighbourhood.

Another great location idea is within a private estate, but close to relaxation spots. The regular influx of people to such area will make them notice your business, and in turn, increase your patronage.

However, it is not recommended that you open your business near a competitor; unless such competitor has low patronage or you feel you have a competitive advantage.

4). Secure A Permit And Register Your Business

Running a laundry service business could involves getting a special kind of permit. Find out from the corporate Affairs commission or start on a very small scale (which may not require a registration).

To apply for a business permit or license, visit your city clerk or government secretariat.

You also need to find out if you’ll have to pay for other licenses like a health department license, water pollution control, fire department permit, and other forms of licenses. You might also need to make payments for any sewer connection and waste water fees required by your city clerk. After that, you can proceed to register your business.

5). Buy The Necessary Laundry Equipment And Resources

After registering your business, the next step to take is to buy all the equipment and resources that would help run your business smoothly. Some of these include:

Washing machines.
Laundry carts
A washing basin to separate and soak various materials and colours of clothing.
A generator set in case of power outage.
A garment conveyor to hang the clothes after washing and drying.
An ironing table to straighten and fold the dried clothes with the aid of an industrial steam iron.
Laundry detergents specifically favoured by dry cleaners.
A water storage or tank.
Wooden shelves.
Clothe hangers.
Nylons for wrapping the items.
Buckets
2-3 employees
And a whole lot more!

You can ask around or search for online auction sites for deals on used laundry equipment. Alternatively, you can acquire top-load washers to help save some money. Or better still, you can rent or lease equipment and run your business until you’re financially buoyant to purchase your own equipment.

6). Market Or Promote Your Laundry Service Business

After your laundry service business is up and running, you can promote it to attract customers. However, this can’t be done without the help of a good laundromat marketing plan. A good way to start is by placing door hangers on apartment buildings. You need to include your list of services and offer deals to new customers. Other forms of advertisement include:

Bonus Services: Offering bonus services is one sure way to boost patronage to your business. Since most people like bonuses (including those who can afford to pay for the services without batting an eyelid), you could offer to wash and iron two clothes for free for every dozen of clothes a customer brings in and pay for.

Create Customer Loyalty Competitions &Reward Systems: Introducing customer loyalty competitions and reward systems can help boost the revenue stream in your laundry service business. This is how it works: give every customer a special card when they patronize your business, and ask them to return the cards once it has accrued to a certain number; say 12 or 24. And then, reward them by exchanging the cards with free services, gifts or even coupons.

Offer Discounts: Another method of advertising that could help grow your laundry business is offering discounts from time to time. Customers will flock to your business when they know they are likely to pay less for your services. You can start with a little discount when starting your business and increase it as your business begins to grow.

Emphasize on specialized services or perks your customers can enjoys, such as free wireless internet, televisions and couches. This will help set you apart from your competitors.

Putting a large/bold banner outside your dry cleaning office.

Sharing flyers in the neighbourhood.

Promoting the business via social media (Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, etc) and during social events in your locality.

Branding a vehicle to be used for pick-up and drop-off services.

Pricing your items moderately.

Going the extra mile in your customer service.

Visit offices, workplaces, corporate organizations and let them know the type of services you offer.

Place a directional post at strategic locations within your neighbourhood.

Conclusion:
The laundry service business constitutes one of the largest small business industries in Nigeria and around the world. With a high customer base, it has continually proven to be highly profitable for existing and new entrepreneurs.

With an appropriate location, highly trained and skilled workers, excellent customer service and a superb delivery business, the sky is just the beginning for your laundry service business.

If your brand is generally accepted by the people in your locality, you might need to open various outlets of your laundry shop in different parts of the town.

This will make it easier for customers far away from you to easily connect with your business. Who doesn’t like convenience? You bet almost everyone does

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