How To Start Your Own Laundry & Dry cleaning Business
It seems everyone is getting so busy these days and having a bit of help with handling seemingly less important daily chores will be welcome.
That is why you have to set up your own laundry business to help this category of people and make money doing so.
A laundry business offers a valuable service many people are looking for. Moreover, your laundry or dry cleaning service can be simple and profitable at the same time, despite the scale of your startup.
However, knowing how to start your own laundry business from scratch sounds difficult especially when you are on a budget.
Nonetheless, as an advocate of the lean startup business model, you can surely set up with minimal resources then gradually grow your business to cover more grounds and reach new levels of profitability.
Another challenge is the difficulty in building credibility for your brand when there are other big names in the market. But don’t worry; once you grab a smaller portion of the market it gets easy.
So, if you’re thinking of starting your own laundry business, here are:
How to start & Run A Successful Dry Cleaning Business
1) Laundry business is beyond cloth washing:
Many people just want to start a laundry business and make the cash without considering that laundry business is beyond just washing of clothing.
Before starting your own laundry business, attach yourself to an existing dry cleaning service provider for a short while. This will help you to gather valuable skills and information regarding the way to run your business.
You are expected to learn the following:
- The different equipment and how to operate them
- How to know and wash the different types of fabrics
- The best soaps and chemicals for washing various clothing
- How to quick dry the different fabrics
- The best temperature for ironing various fabrics
- How to Package and deliver the clothes
- The minimum staff strength to run a successful business
- The day-to-day operations involved in running a laundry business
Bonus: The LAUNDRY PROCESS
a) PRE-WASHING: The soiled clothes are collected and then sorted on three bases i.e. by the type of fabric, color of the fabric, and degree of soiling/dirt. After sorting the clothes, they are weighed according to the washing machine capacity and are put into the washing machine for the wash cycle.
b) WASHING: The washing depends on 4 things which vary as per the fabric: – Fabric washing temperature, best water level, optimum wash time and degree of dirtiness.
c) RINSING: Done using hot and cold water.
d) HYDROEXTRACTION: Hydro means water & extraction to remove. Extraction removes at least 80% of the water from the linen used in the rinsing process. It also reduces the drying time.
e) FINISHING: Drying, ironing, folding, storing and delivery.
2) What are your options?
Your laundry business can come in various formats. It could be:
a) A home-based laundry business
b) A mobile laundry service
c) A pick and delivery laundry business
d) An industrial laundry business
You will have to research and decide on what your laundry business will look like.
These decisions will be based on your allotted budget and target customers.
If you choose to make your business a delivery service, you’ll need a reliable means of transportation and staff to do the delivery.
Whatever the choice you make, ensure that you choose your business district wisely.
Note: I strongly discourage putting up laundry shops in an area where there are already existing laundry shops except you have something new that you are bringing to the table.
Also, if you set up shop in a neighborhood where 90% of the population prefer to do their laundry themselves either due to lack of funds or because they have sufficient time to afford the luxury of washing, then you may be climbing a steep hill and success will be far difficult to achieve
3) Register Your Business:
In Nigeria, you should register your business with the Corporate Affairs Commission. While many home-based laundry businesses don’t register their businesses, it is difficult or almost impossible for such businesses to get patronage from corporate clients such as hotels, boarding schools, hospitals, government-owned facilities, etc.
4) Get your equipment:
The equipment to be purchased is largely dependent on the type and scale of your business- home based, pick up & delivery or industrial scale.
While a N10,000 pressing iron will be sufficient for your home-based laundry business, you may need to spend up to N1,000,000 to purchase your pressing iron for an industrial scale laundry business.
So, if you want to setup a big laundry and dry cleaning business, you will need Industrial washing machines, dryer, industrial ironing board and a higher power generator.
For your home-based laundry and dry cleaning business, you will need the following:
a) A 5kg or 8kg front- or top-load washing machine. If you have the capital, it is probably better to buy front-loading washing machines because they use less water and electricity. With no agitator in the middle, they are gentler on clothes.
b) At least, a 5kv generating plant.
c) Drying machine: You can decide to get a stand alone dryer or use a washing machine with a dryer compartment.
d) Two pressing iron; steaming iron and ordinary iron.
e) Garment Conveyor
f) BIG Washing Basins
g) Industrial Laundry Detergent
i) Items Like Clothespins, Lines, tags, ironing table, packaging nylon, buckets, starch, Stain removing chemicals and drying space.
5) Have a Fixed Pricing Plan:
Give options for your customers to take part in your service.
- Customers can sign contracts with you to get regularly scheduled service. More like a membership offering for your repeat customers.
- Customers can choose payment either at the time of each delivery or by monthly billing.
Let the different fabric types (shirts, towels, native wears, bedspreads, blankets, suits, etc.) have fixed costs to prevent unnecessary disagreements.
6) Offer superior services:
There is no replacement for good customers services. Happy customers will evangelize your superior business practices and invite friends and family to do business with you. Ensure:
- Urgent and very quick service.
- You have Highly trained and professional staff
- You have a Clean, quiet and convenient facility
- Delivery on Promised Date
- New and innovative offerings
7) Market your services:
There are several online and offline ways to market your services, I’ll begin with online marketing.
- Create a website for your new business. This will serve as a means for clients to find you and get information about your services.
- Get your business listed in business directories like TrustOrRun, Google Places, etc.
- Create business profiles on any social media site of your choosing. (Especially a Facebook page)
- Advertise your business on websites that your customers visit.
For your offline promotions:
- Hand out business card
- Make a list of local companies that could use your service and contact them either by phone or in person
- Create and distribute attention grabbing flyers that contain your business name, phone number, email and web address.
- Ask for recommendation from your current customers
Now that you are ready to start your laundry business, remember that Rome wasn’t built in a day.
It might take a while to land your first client, but with time, the floodgate will open. Have a successful business lunch.