Heyyyyy! Excited you are here again, that’s lovely, and that gives us joy knowing that you are really willing to learn. What if we told you that our CEO and founder have reserved every Wednesday of the week for people like you who are really keen on entrepreneurship to have a free one-on-one session with her. You earned it! You can indicate interest by scheduling here. Now to the deal of starting a laundry business in Nigeria. Recall we started with the must have skill in the last blog. Here we would be explaining the processes of laundry that you must never forget.
Process to remember for your Laundry business
Starting a laundry business is not really a difficult process at all, yet it requires paying keen attention to detail. For the business to keep running, customer satisfaction is of utmost importance. Here are the processes it takes to get laundry done and run a successful laundry service.
This is the period where you visit your customers to pick their laundry. While some customers prefer that you come pick-up at their place, with a sufficient fee for that, some other customers may choose to drop-off their laundry at your place, maybe on their way to the market or somewhere else. But come to think of it, you can be innovative and do yours differently, by partnering with a logistics company to design a pick-up and delivery system. You can go further by creating a schedule for your pick-up, allocating specific days, say, Fridays and Wednesdays for pick up, to make it known to customers.
Create something like ‘express service’ outside of the normal pick-up days. You would find out that this is capable of putting you up there above your competitors ( we prefer to call them allies). Check our video in the app about why competitors are allies. The goal is to make things convenient for your customers, which is the main thing they are seeking in the first place. Your ability to always find a way to make life easier for the customer is always going to be a plus for your business.
After pick-up, the next thing you must do is to tag the collected clothes, you don’t want to start looking for “Oga Yellow’s clothes”. Tagging is very important to keep things organized and easy to find. Meanwhile, you would still have to do this again after washing. A good structure and organization like this will not only help you to easily find clothes but also will help your business grow quickly if you channel it to every aspect of the business. Some tagging system could be as simple as logging clothes description + client ID in a sheet.
This undoubtedly is the peak in the laundry process, it is the period where you clean the fabric appropriately paying special attention to fabric type, texture, colour, dirty areas and also determine the best approach. Here you can either use a washing machine or clean manually, using the most suitable water temperature and detergent/soap. Just as we have discussed earlier in this article, on the must know of the laundry business. Washing is an integral part of the laundry business.
At this stage, you spread the cleaned clothes to remove moisture. This can be done either by sun-drying or using a drying machine. But you must first find out if the cloth doesn’t have a warning that says do not dry with a machine. While drying, you must also ensure that where you are spreading the clothes to dry is clean and free of contamination. Just so you know too, some clothes can’t stay in the sun for too long, instead you just air-dry. Part of the laundry business service is ensuring damages are prevented.
This is the stage after you’ve removed the clothes from where you must have spread them to dry. This stage is very tricky especially if you are not used to ironing or setting iron at the right temperature for different fabric materials. For a starter, ensure to read the label on a cloth, they often put it there. The rule of thumb is to start from a not too hot temperature then increase gradually to identify the best temperature for the fabric.
This is just a beginner thing though, by the time you turn to a ‘Pro’… this laundry process becomes natural. Our recommendation here is that you start with a ‘steam iron’ instead of dry pressing iron. Although they cost a fortune but are worth the price, for the multi-dimensional functions they have. Luckily you can get them at a good price if you buy tokunbo. If you are in Lagos, Lawanson street at Surulere is your go-to place for that.
You can’t joke with this process. This is where you fold clothes to the proper shape. Some do this alongside ironing. Especially to bring out what we widely know as ‘gator’.You have to fold the pressed clothes properly, I say aesthetically. As suggested in part 1 on how to start a laundry business, you can further read up on how to fold clothes; skirts, shirts, agbada, blouses etc.
After folding, the next thing to do is to package those folded clothes in either a branded or non-branded clean transparent nylon. And then gently place the ones in the transparent nylon in a polythene bag a.k.a polybag (If I were you, I would ensure that the polybag is branded shaaaaa!). Please note that the usage of polythene nylon to carry clothes is only suitable for packing a few clothes and by the way Nylon bags are not very sustainable to our environment. Shey you see them lying everywhere and it’s ugly. Research more sustainable packaging that can decompose faster when thrown away. We will share more ideas on this in the next parts where we talk about innovation and growth.
You are wondering why pick-up/drop-off again? yes! back to square one again. Although this depends on the agreement between you and your client. They either come to pick-up or you visit to drop-off their properly laundered clothes with an inviting smile on your face. Recall we have suggested earlier that you could partner with a logistics company to make things faster and efficient.
Is there really money in the laundry business?
Even If you are doubting Thomas, we are certain that after this practical estimate of profit you can make from a laundry business, you will be convinced that there is real money in laundry business. Here we go, let’s use shirts and trousers as our profit marker, say you are washing a shirt for N300 and trousers for the same amount, and you get to have at least 50 shirts and 50 trousers per day, at the end of the day, you would have made N30,000.
Removing expenses like power, wages, detergent from this money, let’s say N5000. If you have 3 employees, two people in charge of washing, you and the other one are in charge of ironing, and you are paying them N4,000 per day. At the end of the day, your expenditures should be N5,000 (service bills) + N12,000 (wages) = N17,000. You should be left with a profit of N13,000.
Business owners must rest, think Sharing economy for maximum efficiency!
Now, if you run the business from Mon – Sun, which most people in the business do and though not advisable, your weekly profit should be N13,000 x 7days = N91,000. Remember to take time for yourself. The fact that you run 7 days a week does not mean you are the one working through. There is what is called a sharing economy. Your laundry business can be developed as a cooperative, where one or two other launderers work jointly in the same space and build their own client base. We would discuss this in upcoming videos in our Joadre app.
Now following the full time work plan of 7 days a week, in a month, you should have N13,000 x 30days = N390,000. Mind you, this estimate excluded other fabric materials and clothes types which laundry price charges are even way higher than shirts and trousers. Imagine, by the time you add the returns from other clothes like Agbada complete, Iro and Buba etc. Your profit will even be way higher than N13,000 per day. You can download a basic laundry price list we put together for you here. We will continue to update it, but the updated version can be found in our app under Data. So you still have left to deduct rent and other operational cost which we will explore in future parts of this blog series.
How Profitable Is Laundry Business
Also, if you bring innovation like a subscription package, where customers get to have at least 25 pieces of fabrics washed in a month for, let’s say N9,000, and you work very well to ensure that you have at least 200 consistent subscribers in a month. You should be making nothing less than N1,800,000 from that in a month. Do the mathematics and remove all expenses, you will still have an encouraging amount left as profit.
To start a laundry business in Nigeria, the estimated cost for a small scale is between N50,000 – N100,00 while that of a large scale can be as high as N3,000,000. In the next part of this blog series on how to start a laundry business in Nigeria, we would shed light on the estimated cost and budget required to start a laundry business. Subscribe to our newsletter so as to be the first to receive amazing business insights from us As in dey hot!
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Joadre Editorial Team