Read this step-by-step guide on how to start a laundry business in Nigeria. In recent times, the rise of the middle class in Nigeria has led to a sharp increase in the market for luxury goods and services such as dry cleaning.
In the past, only the very wealthy patronized laundry services but this has since changed with almost everyone now engaging a dry cleaner at some time or the other.
Coupled with the above mentioned is the sudden popularity of home grown fashion trends amongst young people who now see a well laundered home grown outfit as an integral part of their fashion statement.
These have resulted in a pretty large market for the delivery of laundry services.
The most interesting thing about the laundry business is that it can be easily setup with relatively low capital resources at hand, meaning it is not a capital intensive business.
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Also it can easily be setup and operated by anyone who has the passion for it. There is no need for any special skill or training, all that is needed is the passion and determination to succeed in the line of business.
With the very difficult labour market we have today, setting up a laundry business can be a secure way out of unemployment.
The potential owner will have to be enthusiastic and physically energetic because this business can be quite labour intensive.
In as much as the laundry business is quite easy to start off, you must not be misled into engaging in it without prior meticulous planning. It is also important that to note that the likely challenges one will face include difficulty in raising capital, inadequate or lack of utilities such as water and electricity, stiff competition from existing operators, multiple taxation etc.
The objective of this article is to give a sneak peek into the basic steps towards setting up a viable and profitable laundry business in Nigeria.
Before deciding to invest your time and money, it is important to have done the following;
Investigate Your Potential Competitors
It would be helpful to carry out a study on the practices of those who are already involved in the business you are about to venture into. The laundry business is such that there are quite a large number of people already involved in it, therefore it is most likely that you will already have existing businesses where you plan to locate yours.
A good way to investigate them will be to actually visit their shop and patronize their services. This will give you a pretty clear insight as to how they run their business, pricing and the quality of their service delivery. You can then plan to improve on what they currently offer.
The truth is that for you to be able to penetrate any crowded business environment, you will have to stand out from the crowd by being very innovative and creative in service delivery. Simply put, you have a cut out task to give anyone a good reason why they should leave their current laundry service provider and patronize you.
Select a Suitable Location
In almost every business venture, location selection is one of the most important factors that determines the survival or failure of the business. For a business of this nature, the selection of the location should be based on three cardinal points.
- Demographics: Your laundry should be located in an area that is highly populated with young and middle aged, working class people. This is because they are the class of people that hardly have the time to do their laundry themselves. Also, because they are working class, they are very fashion conscious and usually pay a lot of attention to how they look, meaning they will most likely require your services. Thirdly, young working class people tend to have more cash to spare.
- Visibility: it is often said that there is no use lighting a lamp and putting it under a bowl. This also applies to your laundry business. No matter how good your services are, people will not get to know about it until it is advertised to them, and a good location advertises itself to potential customers. This will save you a lot of money that would have been used on extensive advertisement campaigns. Your laundry should be located preferably along a busy road and not in some hidden back street.
- Accessibility: This is also very key. Your business should be easy to access by both public and private transport, and also easy to identify without extensive description.
In selecting your location, it is also important to ensure that the shop is spacious enough to easily accommodate your equipment, customers and a few shelves.
Provision of Power Supply
Power is obviously an indispensable component in the setting up of a laundry business, given that you will need to iron the clothes and power your washing machine.
With this in mind, there is an obvious need to provide an alternative source of electricity because public power supply in most parts of Nigeria is either irregular or is not available at all.
For a small scale laundry, a 7 KVa generator will be sufficient to power all the equipment.
Source for Adequate Capital
Start off capital is the life blood of any successful business venture and not planning adequately for it could spell failure even before the business kicks off.
You should have a clear idea of the required capital and a plan on how you intend to raise it in order to meet the requirements mentioned above.
It is advisable not to go for high interest loans because this business is not one that has a very wide start off profit margin.
Secure Committed and Dedicated Staff
In order for your business to meet up to customer requirement and expand to better profit margins, it will be necessary for you to employ the services of one or two people who will assisting you handling requests.
This will help you not to disappoint your customers in the event of you not been available for one reason or the other.
Basic Equipment Needed
Washing Machine: It is important to get one as this will improve the speed and quality of your delivery.
There are fully automatic washing machines available in the market as well as manual ones which are a lot cheaper than the automatic ones. For starters, a 7.5KG capacity washing machine will be just fine.
Irons: It is advisable to have at least one dry iron for nylon and viscous clothing and one steam iron for cotton and other natural fibres.
Generating Set: As mentioned earlier, a 7KVa generator will be just fine.
Furniture: Ironing boards, shelves and some chairs for customers.
Tag guns: For identifying clothes.
Detergents and starch
Water storage drums
If you have the capital you can also purchase a dryer or and industrial fan to quicken the drying process. This will also help you to render express services.
The breakdown below will give you an idea of the start off cost implications.
|Washing Machine (Manual)||45000|
|Detergent & Starch||1000|
|Water Storage Drums||5000|
Other items such as rent and taxes will vary largely depending on the part of Nigeria you intend to set up.
After carefully considering all the requirements discussed the next step will be to draw a business plan that suits your specific location and TAKE ACTION!!!!
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