Have you ever considered starting a laundry business in Nigeria?
Would you do my laundry if I paid you generously?
Before you start thinking about it, let’s cover some basics in entrepreneurship before we move on to talk about how to start a laundry business in Nigeria.
Often, when business discussions take place, the first thing that comes to the mind of an average Joe is a business idea that requires a lot of financing…
On the contrary, the best business ideas are not always capital intensive, in fact the brightest business ideas with great potential are the ones you can start on your own with little expenditure and grow them organically into something big later in the future.
Rightly so, you aspire to be the next Dangote, or Adenuga (me too), but often we forget the fact that they both had humble beginnings.
Just take a pause and think about it; did you know that Dangote made millions hawking goods to a common man on the street? (technically)… He was a retailer before starting his production company, which he developed in to a lucrative business.
Talking of menial jobs; something like the dry cleaning business instantly springs to mind….
In cities like Lagos and Abuja, where people spend hours navigating the city and are extremely exhausted before they get home from their day job, such people would literally jump at the opportunity of having their laundry done for them, provided that the price and quality is right.
So, Yes! There is a huge market for the laundry business in Nigeria, especially in bigger cities like Lagos, Abuja, etc.
If you’re thinking of starting a business and you need an idea; the laundry business is a viable option that you should seriously consider.
How To Start A Laundry Business In Nigeria
Because the laundry business is not a complex one, I would try as much as possible to explain the basis in three basic stages:
Just like any other business, the most important part is planning. So don’t delay and start your laundry business plan today, because it’s easier to detect a flawed idea during the planning stage.
Speaking from experience, I have lost a considerable amount of time and money on several ventures because I did not plan before executing.
I just went with it, and the outcome wasn’t great.
The most important point is that you should always plan your proposed business before launching.
Planning a laundry business in Nigeria doesn’t have to be a difficult task.
Here is a quick guide on how to plan your laundry business in Nigeria:
- Pick a notebook and answer the following questions GENUINELY:
(a) What’s the goal of this business?
(b) How much can I afford to cough out as investment capital?
(c) Where would the laundry business be located?
(d) Who are my potential customers?
(e) How much will I charge my client per service rendered?
(f) What are the most important Items needed to get started? (More on this later).
(g) What other sources of capital can I access other than my personal funds?
- Draw a business flow chart:
It’s important to draw a flow chart of what your business operations would look like. A typical laundry business might look something like this:
Customers —> Office –> Laundry Room –> Office –> Delivery/Pickup (Client)
You can then take note of the important personnel and equipment required at each stage of the flow chart.
Personally, I would clearly explain each stage of the flow chart so that you have a clear idea of the important people/things needed
Customers: These are the foundations of your business; you should know that there is NO business without your customers. This is an indication of how important it is to get people to choose you, but you have to give them a reason to choose you over your competitors.
The customer represents the centre of your business, without a customer; there is absolutely no show to run! With that in mind, you should focus more on answering question 1 (d) above.
Office: The chart also shows how important an office space is; which means you would need a space where you process orders from customers.
If you intend to run a large-scale operation, you might want to consider hiring a receptionist to look after your customer service and administration tasks. The office space doesn’t have to be fancy, it can simply be a place where customers can drop off and pick up their clothes, wait, make payment and ask questions.
You would also need an area for storage within the office area; you can always partition the same room.
Laundry Room: This is where your core business activity will take place. If you wish to run a reputable laundry business, then you need to dedicate enough time into planning how to make this part of your business efficient, effective and economical.
There are two major items needed in this section; a washing machine and a pressing iron.
Depending on the volume of customers, you have on your list. You can do most of the work here, or at least until customer orders are rolling in more quickly than you and your current staff can fulfill them.
It’s essential that you get a machine that can wash and tumble dry very fast; that way you can process orders in less than 24hours and keep your customers happy.
You can do the ironing as well, or hire somebody to do the ironing and pay them on a performance basis.
Lest, I forget, to provide a consistent service you will need a regular power supply due to the issue of erratic power supply in this part of the world. Getting a medium sized petrol generator can solve this.
Once you’ve taken care of the necessary things, then you can move on to the next stage, which is the actual execution of your laundry business plan.
This stage requires some amount of capital to procure the items mentioned in the planning stage. Once the items are procured, then the execution stage is in progress.
While money can get you the items needed to run the business; and to some extent money can also get you your first customer, but I would like to shed more light on how to “attract” you customers.
Remember I mentioned earlier in the planning stage that you should have a list of potential customers. The execution stage is the right time to target those potential customers and tell them about the benefits of your soon to be launched business.
Make a list of family members, friends, neighbours, and working class citizens in your area that you think will find your service valuable. Arrange a meeting or chat to them in the streets, but most importantly, tell them about your business. Call them to remind them about your business a few days before launching.
It’s easier to sell to those that know and trust you compared to those that don’t, but you still have to give them a reason to chose you. What is your unique selling point?
Now you’ve launched your business, and you have your first customer. How do you make the next step and scale your laundry business to attract more customers and increase your profits in the process?
Understandably, marketing is essential. But aside from marketing, the most important thing is to offer a service that you are proud to promote, offer a service that your friends can confidently and boldly refer customers to.
It’s vital that you offer a service that satisfies that needs of your customers, and delivers everything that you have promised. This is how you turn first time customers to repeat customers, and make them come back over and over again, and eventually they will recommend new customers to your business.
To promote your business, you can make banners and flyers. If you have the money in your budget, you can create business cards and hand them out to people in your church (or mosque as the case maybe), visit your bank, and other local businesses and leave your business cards with the staff.
Another option is to make a list of hotels in your area, find out if they have a laundry department (Most average sized hotels/motels don’t offer a laundry service), reach out to the manager and strike a good deal with them.
Items Needed To Start a Laundry Business:
- Washing Machine
- Office Space
- Laundry Room
Conclusively, the major difference between successful people and the poor people is their ability to take action, and when they take action, they don’t relent until they achieve their goals.
…The offer still stands; would you do my laundry if I paid you?
so what are you waiting for… You can start your laundry business in Nigeria today!