How to start Laundry Service Business in Nigeria

Have you considered laundry service business as one of the side hustles to make you money?

We all love to look neat and clean. If you work in an office, you are just obliged to wear clean and well-ironed clothes.

For this reason, laundry services will always be needed. A laundry service is another good and profitable venture for any serious hard-working entrepreneur.

Any smart person can make money from the business and it’s very easy to start. As of today, the laundry business is one of the top lucrative businesses in Nigeria.

What is especially fascinating about it is that everyone can start such an enterprise with a little amount of money and experience.

Why You Should Consider Starting Laundry Service Business In Nigeria

Laundry services can be provided to individuals or organizations. Given the fact that Nigeria is the most populated country in Africa, it gives vast opportunities for starting the business from scratch.

We’ve recently published an informative article about party rental business ideas you can start now.

Between work, family, school, travel, and other social engagements, life can get very busy.

That’s why when it comes to housekeeping; we are excited about any innovative solutions that can save us time.

Commercial Laundry Service is an innovation that can save us both time and stress at an affordable price.

Though the business may look saturated, however, you can still tap into the highly profit-making business.

As it is true with some businesses, you can begin laundry business at home which will be a part-time job. It can even be a great chance to start a work-from-home business.

Dry cleaning business

The Services of a Laundry Business

Laundry business refers to such services as washing, drying, and ironing of clothes. The truth is, busy and demanding city life is making more people willing to pay laundry service business owners to take care of their dirty laundry.

A possible way of how to become a successful entrepreneur in the laundry industry is to try to develop only one but highly demanded service.

However, due to the nature of your location, you may need two or more services. These include:

  • Dry cleaning
  • Washing clothes alone
  • Ironing clothes
  • Laundromats (the customers are washing and drying the stuff themselves in the laundromats which is much more convenient)
  • Staffed laundry
  • Fluff-and-fold services (includes washing, drying, pick up and delivery, ironing, and folding services.)

In most cases, laundry businesses will need to be in a location with huge traffic source, but’s not the case with music production businesses, they usually require a cool environment.

Difference Between Dry Cleaning and Laundry

Dry cleaning and laundry involve two totally different processes.

While both terms may be used interchangeably in this article, it’s important to note that dry cleaning is the practice of cleaning clothes with special chemicals (and not water).

Laundry generally involves the use of soap, detergents, and water to clean clothes.

Now, dry cleaning requires technical skill and is preferred when the materials to be cleaned are delicate and cannot withstand the rough and tumble of a hand or machine wash.

Let me quickly take you through some interesting facts about laundry and dry cleaning services and you will also learn which one suits your needs.

Meaning of Laundry Washing

A traditional and typical laundry or washing involves water, laundry detergent, fabric softener, and even bleach to clean the fabrics and to give a long-lasting scent.

This conventional way of cleaning the garments has been commonly and widely done whether it is through hand-washing or machine-washing.

Most people do the laundry on their own, while some people who want to squeeze more time hand it over to a laundry shop.

Advantages of Laundry Washing

Even though some advantages of typical washing are easily noticed, the following are the complete advantages of the conventional machine wash.

  1. In laundry cleaning, it only uses water, bleach, laundry detergent, and a washing machine.
  2. Laundered clothes are chemical-odor-free.
  3. With the help of the universal solvent, water, the laundry detergent is evenly distributed which rids away stains, grease, and dirt.
  4. It is skin-friendly and it does not harm the environment.
  5. It ensures cleaning down to the deepest corner of the garments.
  6. Newly-washed garments and clothes have a new and fresh scent.

Meaning of Dry Cleaning

Dry cleaning, as the name suggests, is simply cleaning the fabrics without using water. However, it does not really mean it works liquid-free. 

Dry cleaning services use perchloroethylene, also known as perc, a liquid chemical that can remove dirt and stains on the clothes.

Most of the time, for materials and clothes that are thick, sturdy, and too heavy to load in a washing machine, dry cleaning is a solution.

This works well for cleaning such materials as carpet, rugs, bedsheets, huge curtains, heavy gowns, and men’s suit. In doing this, the stains and dirt are pre-treated with perc, and then, the garments will be loaded to a machine to tumble dry.

Advantages of Dry Cleaning

Dry cleaning has a lot of advantages that makes it more sought-after for people living a fast-paced life.

  1. It keeps the sturdiness and thickness of thick and heavy materials such as curtains, gowns, and carpets.
  2. It cleans well and does not make the garments shrink.
  3. It reduces discoloration.
  4. It removes grease and oil stains effectively.
  5. It does not make the fabric crumpled.
  6. It protects and keeps the original texture and color of the fabrics.
  7. Increases the life span of the garments.

It is a notable fact that laundry and dry cleaning business is fast growing and there are good reasons why many individuals are looking into starting one.

The following are a few reasons:

  1. City lifestyle is the main reason for the rising demand for convenience services like dry cleaning and laundry. Nowadays, some people who work 8 hours a day, some 12 hours and some others do 2 different works per day or run their own businesses are often too tired and can hardly find the time to do their own laundry. Even on weekends, there may arise various reasons not to have time doing their laundry themselves. That is where laundry businesses come into action.
  2. In the present-day world, there are so many much more exciting things than doing laundry. Now, let’s picture your dirty clothes washed and dried for you with no effort on your part. So, why worry about doing laundry if you can delegate this task to laundry specialists at an affordable price?
  3. Most households in the city are now more likely to have two working spouses. Unlike in the past when most women were considered full-time housewives, many women now work at jobs or run a small business to support the home and share in the economic burden of their partners.
  4. Another reason for the rising demand for these services is the high proportion of white collar workers in the city. White collar workers are likely to wear formal business clothes like suits and jackets which cannot be washed by the usual traditional methods because they require professional dry cleaning to maintain their form and life span.
  5. The most interesting thing about the dry cleaning and laundry service market in Nigeria is that every one, including the rich and not-so-rich, are willing to pay to enjoy the convenience of having someone else do their laundry.

Depending on the market you wish to target, price/affordability will be the major factor for some customers (in poor neighbourhoods) while quality of service, convenience and timely delivery will be the main deciding factor for many others.

Before cleaning, garments are inspected and classified and the amount of time spent on them depends on how dirty or stained they are.

Warning that every laundry service entrepreneur should note:

Some heavily stained garments may go through a stain removal process before washing and some sort of strong spot and stain removal chemicals are used.

Disputes can arise in this business and can often cause problems. Before you accept garments that are heavily stained, you should check with the customer that they’re aware that you don’t guarantee a total percent perfect result. 

In addition to the laundry shop, most businesses have a collection centre where customers can drop off their dirty clothes and pick them up after cleaning.

These centers are usually small shops located in residential or office areas where the kind of customers you target live and work.

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Benefits and Challenges of the Laundry Business

As mentioned above, the laundry service business may be quite very lucrative. However, there may also be many challenges in setting up a laundry shop in Nigeria.

Let’s start with the things that can be considered beneficial for developing a laundry service business in Nigeria:

  1. Washing of clothes in the laundry shop is affordable and convenient for the customers, especially, in big cities. Laundry is usually done quickly, and clothes can be even picked up and delivered at an affordable price. So, if you are doing your job well, you will always have many loyal customers.
  2. Highly professional laundry service implies careful washing and protection of the quality of the clothes. It makes a laundry business highly lucrative
  3. Laundry business is easy to set up when it comes to startup capital. Many Nigerian people in business start their business with no money by doing home service, so you can start small and grow fast.
  4. This business allows working with a flexible schedule and staying in control of your time. It is another reason why you should set up a laundry shop if you are not able to work at the office.

However, there are some challenges associated with laundry service business but they are not without a solution.

The essence of bringing them up in this article is to prepare for them and know how to tackle it by including it in your business plan.

Here are some of the most significant of them:

  • Poor electricity supply: It is a well-known fact that Nigeria suffers from a lack of electricity. For this reason, businesses are even closing. To save your laundry business, you will need to purchase the power generator to keep the washing machines and pressing iron running.
  • Unprecedented Damages: Clothes occasionally get burnt, damaged, coloured, shrunk, go missing which often causes customer dissatisfaction.

The truth is damage to clothes and missing clothes happen when you are careless or stressed up.

So you will need to exercise caution while working and pay attention to details and instructions regarding washing and ironing of different types of clothes and also you will need to have good records and proper recordkeeping.

You can also develop and use a unique identifying code for each customer to prevent delivery to the wrong customer or missing clothing.

You wouldn’t want your clients to get mad because of poor services.

  • Lack of well-trained personnel: While Nigeria is a densely populated country, it has not as many highly professional workers as needed.

Therefore even after recruiting qualified staff, find time to train them and take them through the processes your company is operating on.

  • Lack of access to clean water: This factor can negatively influence the laundry service. However, it applies only to small-scale businesses.

To curb that problem, dig a well in your compound if you are operating from your home and if not get the services of water truck pusher.

If you are operating on a larger scale you may likely not have this problem as a source of good water supply would have been taken care of while you are at the planning stage.

  • Building a reliable client base: Marketing is one weak spot in the Nigerian laundry industry which may cause a lot of trouble for beginners.

As you continue with this article you will get to know different marketing strategies that can be employed.

Equipment and Resources Needed For Starting a Laundry Service Business

Equipment for starting a dry cleaning laundry service business

The most important thing you need is strong desire and a lot of patience. Besides these personal qualities, you need to buy equipment and other resources.

If you feel confident enough in achieving your dreams of starting a laundry business in Nigeria, look at the list below where you will find things you need to buy to start this venture and make it as profitable as possible.

Here are the equipment and resources needed to start a laundry business:

Industrial Laundry Detergent

This is one of the most essential materials you will be in need of constantly. Cleaning is technology; you need to master it with all sense of seriousness.

Good cleaning detergent will go a long way to assist you in making thorough cleaning, and that in turn will bring more customers.

Do not go for just any washing soap, go for a high-quality detergent that comes in quantity – you will need much quantity of it you can’t afford to have it exhausted before you refill it.

The better you clean the clothes, the more clients to get in turn.

Big Washing Basins

You will need many of this especially if you can not afford a washing machine at this time.

Before you wash the clothes, you need to soak different types of fabrics in separate washing basins.

Soak and wash whites clothes separately, and other colors too. Do not mix colors. To avoid paying for damaged clothing, be careful enough when handling people’s items.

Washing Machines

If you cannot afford to buy a few washing machines, you can start with one but a good one.

It should still be high-quality as clothing is often torn in washing machines.

Clean Water 

Possessing a source of water is no less essential for running a successful laundry business.

Starch 

If you have a lot of wealthy clients, they will ask you to add beauty to their clothes by starching them.

Good Pressing Iron

A high-quality pressing iron that suits for ironing different materials is worth investing for the sake of efficincy. The thing is you are handling people’s clothes.

Inefficient pressing iron can cause a lot of trouble and havoc. It is advisable to purchase a qualitative iron from a reliable maker like Philips to avoid stories that touch the heart (lol).

Wide Ironing Table

 You need to feel as much comfortable as possible. A wide ironing table has to be wide enough to give you enough space for handling large quantities of clothes.

Do not use a small table that will make your work inconvenient and eventually cause you some damages.

Get a table that is wide enough and make the top smooth by covering it with a thin sheet of foam and smooth clothing material.

A wide ironing table can be bought in the market, from the electronics shop or market at quite an affordable price or you can have it made for you by a good furniture maker.

You will also need a spacious space for your work. Spacious ironing environment will not only make your job faster and more comfortable, it will give you sense of balance and relaxed feelings. Devote big enough part of your home for it.

  • Garment hanger: It is used for hanging finished clothes. Remember that it should be wide enough. Otherwise, the finished clothes will be stuffed. A local furniture maker will help you design your locally made one if you do not have money to buy a standard ready-made hanger.
  • Power generator: As the electricity supply is not always reliable, you might need a good generator to produce energy in case you will run out of it.
  • Other items: Clothespins, Lines, Garment bags and drying space should be put in place as well.

In most cases, at the start, most of the entrepreneurs have no money to purchase a piece of expensive equipment.

For starters, you can wash the clothes with hand and later purchase washing machines, more expensive detergents, a wide ironing table, and other items.

If you wish to start a dry cleaning and laundry shop, more startup capital will be required to take care of rent, utilities (electricity and water), consumables (soaps, detergents, hangers, chemicals, etc) and other equipment.

Since most customers do not pay for the service until the clean clothes are returned, you will have to set aside some working capital to take care of staff salaries and other expenses.

Additional capital may also be required to get a shop that will serve as your collection point at a location where your customers live or work.

If you serve your customers well, they are more likely to continue using your services and will recommend you to neighbours, friends, colleagues and family.

Especially for the pickup and delivery business, it’s essential that you pick up and return their clothes on time and ensure that the clothes are spanking clean.

You could also provide your own garment bags for customers to use. These garment bags can have your company name, phone number, and website address printed on it.

This serves as a convenience for the customer and can also serve as a good marketing tool.

Choose A Good Location

Selecting the right place in your area is very important for this business as it directly depends on the influx of customers.

Just like the daycare center business, The best location is one that attracts a lot of traffic, for example, a city centre, underground stations and so on.

Establishing your shop near the main road can help to grow your customer base much faster than if you set your business in a poorly populated area. An excellent place to locate a shop is near the relaxation spots where a high influx of people is observed.

If you set up a large scale laundry business, it doesn’t really matter where your washing and ironing location facility is.

However, you may need to open a collection center in a prime location that’s close enough to your clients and can serve as a means of advertisement.

Pricing

Target the rich upper-class professionals who place a higher priority on the quality service and the convenience you offer over the prices you charge.

The price you charge for your services will depend on how much your customers can afford and the value in your services. Do a little bit of research to find out how much the existing laundry services charge.

Do a quick survey to size up the market and find out if they are satisfied with their current services.

If the information you collect reveals that the market is underserved, it may be an opportunity to provide a faster, high quality, and more affordable service. The price may change depending on your area.

As you go about your business, make sure you don’t over charge you customers. Moderate pricing ensures continuous patronage and sustainable venture.

The real money comes from rendering good laundry services at affordable prices that will make the customers come back again and again.

Customers want convenience. They’ll prefer a service that comes over to the house or office to pick their laundry and deliver it back to them once they’re all neatly washed, starched, pressed and ready to wear.

The sort of people who are likely to sign on to this service is busy career professionals (bankers) and uniformed servicemen (like the military) who work long hours throughout the week and spend a lot of their evenings in traffic.

They have a need to look clean and smart at the office but hardly have the time or energy to do their own laundry.

This segment of the market values convenience, timely pickup and delivery and well-washed and ironed clothes.

Marketing

The cheapest way to market your newly established laundry business is to spread word of mouth.

Today, it is almost effortless to promote business on social media platforms like Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, Whatsapp.

You can also entrust promoting your business to digital marketing specialists who will send customized emails to the whole bunch of new customers who will possibly become your stable clients.

Another way is to create beautifully designed flyers with the use of Microsoft Word or other specialized programs.

Include a list of your services and offer coupons to new customers. Even if dropped at neighboring houses or schools, offices, shops, these flyers can bring you, stable clients, with ease.

As the business grows, you can add more items like home delivery. Many dry cleaners give presents to their stable clients with every 5-10 clothes they wash for them.

The gifts may include a pan, a pair of free socks, a tie, and many more. A good tip is to launch a reward program for the clients referring their friends or relatives.

What is 100% truth is that building a profitable business requires the owner to be honest with the clients about prices and services.

You can also place advertisements in print or online newspapers or website with highly populated traffic.

Laundry Service Business In Nigeria (summary)

To summarise, laundry business can bring a lot of money to someone who is working hard.

To set up a successful business in Nigeria, you have to possess some professional skills and knowledge about marketing and establish good constumer relations.

It is essential you find a good location, develop a strong marketing strategy, and find highly skilled workers and so on.

While it is essential to have some capital at the beginning, it is possible to start from scratch with a little amount of money.

The laundry business in Nigeria can be both beneficial and challenging. If everything goes well, you can surely build a lucrative laundry services enterprise in a short period of time.

The amount of money you make depends on you and how many regular customers you have.

Providing high-quality services at affordable prices can make your venture sustainable and give you a lot of loyal clients that will come back again and again.

If you are serious about starting a business right now, laundry services may just be one of the business you should give serious consideration.

Besides, dry cleaning business is a very clean business that is respectable and dignifying and still brings good money.

The businesses that make millionaires their millions in most cases are not necessarily big businesses that take millions of naira to start. Such is the laundry service that has been explained in this article.

If you find that this business interests you, start working on a business plan and take action as soon as possible.

More people are bound to need this service as they demand for more convenience in their already busy lives.

Since almost nobody likes to do their dirty laundry, smart entrepreneurs can carve out and dominate lucrative niches in this market.

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