Does the dry cleaning business interest you? Have you been looking for a guide on how to start a laundry business? Do you know more Nigerians now patronize dry cleaning businesses than before? If you continue reading you will find out more.
The dry cleaning business is one of the low-risk businesses in Nigeria. It can be run as a side business and does not have to be your main business.
Dry cleaning business is also known as laundry business. To start this business, you need a marketing strategy and a business plan. This is a non-negotiable necessity.
Along with washing, dry cleaning business also involves the ironing and proper folding and packaging of clothes. And goes beyond just cloths to rugs and home furniture’s cleaning.
How Profitable is the Laundry Business in Nigeria?
Although, it will be difficult to give an exact range for dry cleaning business profitability because of certain factors, but you can gauge how profitable it can be for you based on number of clothes you can wash daily and monthly.
Use the following parameters to gauge for yourself. A business plan can equally help you determine that.
Forget those claims of figures of profitability. They are simply deceptive and based on speculation. You must know that, no two dry cleaning business can be the same. As these businesses differ, so is their locations, target customers, cost implications and ability to deliver on their promises to target customers.
All these will impact on the business and help determine the profitability for each of the different Dry Cleaning Business, as well as for your own dry cleaning business.
Types Of Dry Cleaning Business
Home Laundry Business
The service is targeted at families with lots of washing to do, like washing kids cloths. The service is rendered at the customers home. You may not even need to have your own working tools.
The customer provides you with everything, including bowls, water, detergents, etcetera. Your job is to do the washing and spray them out to dry. You get paid for the washing on the agreed fee. It doesn’t often require ironing. The contract ends once the cloths are washed and sprayed on the drying lines.
Road-Side Laundry Business
Anyone can start it. It doesn’t require so much capital to start. You can even start it right off your backyard. It’s a lot different from home service.
You reach out to potential customers to either bring their cloths to you or usually you pick it up from their homes or office. Then take it with you for washing. This type of dry cleaning can be operated right from any corner or you can also rent a shop as well.
The main difference with other types of laundry business is that you can pick up from customers and you can also deliver to them after washing and ironing.
Office Dry Cleaning Business
This one is common and operated out of a small shop. It’s actually a smaller version of the modern laundry house. But a better version of road-side laundry business.
Customers locate and drop off their cloths for laundry services, and pick up after washing and ironing at an agreed date.
This can be operated out of a sole rented shop for dry cleaning or shared shop with other businesses combined. There’s really not much difference with road-side laundry, excerpt for the service operation.
Modern or Machine Dry Cleaning House
A modern or machine dry cleaning house provides the best cleaning services to customers. And it requires the use of modern laundry equipment’s and professionally dry cleaning processes.
The services are top-notch with finished products worth the high cost paid for it. This kind of services are targeted at high net worth customers who want the best laundry services.
The location of this kind of laundry business is key to its success. And to embark on such project you will require to hire a consultant and prepare a perfect laundry business plan with full location assessment study to ensure the feasibility of the location before you invest.
Steps to Start a Laundry Business
Starting a modern dry cleaning business should be done professionally. A well planned laundry business will always do well. These steps can help you process successfully.
Have a Business Plan
Your business plan includes how you plan to run your business. It would help you to know the necessary elements for your business and make sure you follow them because you planned upfront.
A business plan indicates how your business would be managed, your marketing strategies and your cash flow.
It explains the goal of your business, shows investors and grant allocators why they should invest time and money into it.
You need to write one yourself or hire a consultant for as low as $100 to write a simple laundry business plan if you are starting on a small scale. If you hope to start a morgen laundry to target the high end of the market a professional laundry business plan can cost you over $500.
How much do you need to start a dry cleaning business in Nigeria?
The start-up cost of your business can range from N50,000 to N50,000,000. This price range depends on your vision for a laundry business.
For example, if you already have land or building for your business, your starting cost would drastically reduce. A modern dry cleaning house is more lucrative and cost more to setup.
Location Assessment Is Important
Think about the location of your business. You cannot build your enterprise anywhere. It has to be located in a residential area where people would pass on their way to work and back. So, it should be within easy reach.
Your building should contain your equipment and also portray the future you envision for your business, even if you have not gotten there yet.
The building should have enough space so that people can move freely. This way, it would provide customers with comfort when they can sit and relax.
How to Find a good location:
● Residential areas are a good spot.
● It should have enough space to allow customers to walk in and rest their feet.
● Check for the pros and cons of each location you assess and check your requirements off your list.
● Have a list of necessities your building should have. The one with the most checks on your list, if not all, is the one.
● It should be easily accessible. Your customers would be discouraged if they gave to climb hills and cross valleys before they find your building.
● You should hire a consultant to conduct location assessment for you if you are planning on modern laundry business setup.
Register Your Business
Registering your business with the Corporate Affairs Commission makes your business distinct and exude professionalism. Your name should not be a mouthful. At least, one should be able to hold on to a word from your business name.
Your business should have a website registered with the business name which can be located when it is entered in the search box. Your business name should not be the same as another business so that yours can stand apart.
How to Register your business
Register your business with the corporate affairs commission to make it legit in Nigeria. It makes your business trustworthy and is a starting block to building your customer’s faith in you and your work.
Make connections with other dry cleaning businesses to get information, help and find out if there is another license to get or certificate.
Get The Right Equipment
Quality equipment set a standard for your business. Good quality materials yield good quality service in return.
Some minor equipment’s that are needed for a start:
- Washing machine
- Ironing table
- Washing bowls
- Packaging materials: bags, nylons.
- Laundry soap
- Stain remover
In a case where you do deliveries to doorsteps, a delivery van would be necessary with the business name and logo imprinted on it. It would also increase the charge and therefore increase your profit.
Home Delivery Option
Delivery to homes is a superb way of getting the hearts of customers and making them stay loyal to your business. What is not relieving about one’s clothes getting washed and then delivered to their home?
Dry Cleaning Rate
Costs inputted into the business along with finding out how much others price their services by doing market research would guide you to set the rate for your services.
You may charge at a reduced price in the beginning but not too low that you don’t gain or that people think your business is too good to be true.
Also, make sure you keep accounts. This would clearly reflect whether your business is progressing or not.
This depends on whether or not you need help especially in the beginning and if division of labor is required.
Do you need help? Get employees. If your business is small and you can do all yourself, do that too. However, for a modern laundry business you need an employee handbook to help you articulate the kind of employees you need, the educational qualification and your job description for them.
Create a Brand
The standard of your business, what only you offers and what sets your business apart makes up your brand. Learn how to brand your local business.
Your brand is how the public would perceive your business and what your business stands for.
A unique brand would keep your business apart from that of your competitors and make it stand out so that customers see you clearly and recognize you.
Choose cleaning products that would not cause allergic reactions on your customers and would not be harmful to the environment. Choose eco-friendly cleaning products that are more organic.
Marketing: Make it public!
Your marketing strategies would come into play here to get more customers and keep the ones you already have. How do you find your target customers?
A sign in front of your company that says your business name and what you do is an attractant. So also is the social media, flyers, newspapers and quality customer service. Also, have a sign on your building that shows the price of dry cleaning a single shirt.
Good customer service would encourage your customers to spread word of your business.
Also, a delivery service to homes not only brings you profit but also bring customers with comfort. Their clothes are brought to their doorstep and the hustle and bustle of the roads is avoided. Who would not love that?
Welcome your customers with a friendly smile on the faces of your staffs. Give your building a homely feel that would make anyone who enters feel comfortable.
Make sure to call your customers when their clothes are ready for pick up. This would ensure communication and pass on an enviable customer service.
A dry cleaning business or laundry business is one that takes from its customers the stress of washing clothes. It also makes sure that clothes are treated the right way and given the treatment that they need.
I hope you were guided on how to run a successful dry cleaning business.
Well… what are you waiting for? Check business plan samples and formulate a plan for your dry cleaning business or hire a consultant to package one for you quickly.