Laundry Business in Nigeria: How to Start and Build an Empire

Laundry business in Nigeria is also a lucrative business but it is just that many Nigerians don’t know how to bring this into manifestation.

While some Nigerians that are interested in starting think the problem is starting in the first place others think it is easy an easy business because it is easy to get customers, after all, we all wear clothes and we want someone that will reduce our chores during the weekends especially if it’s done at a low price.

So today on the blog I’ll be sharing tips based on my findings on how to start a profitable laundry and dry-cleaning business in Nigeria from scratch with or without capital to a multimillion naira business.

Doing this is not hard it’s about getting the right info.

But before we start i’ll really want you to drop the previous ideas you had about laundry and dry-cleaning business or put them aside as what I’m about to share with you now might really change your believes and bring you to a different understanding of the business.

And I pray at the end of this article you’ll be able to start your own laundry business with ease and our blog will be a positive reference.

Now let’s get started. what is the meaning of laundry and dry cleaning?

Meaning of Laundry and Dry Cleaning

Laundry basically means the art of washing clothes with detergents, soaps and water while dry cleaning means the art of cleaning clothes without using water. Here what is basically used is organic solvents like benzene and toluene, alcohols).

Laundry and dry cleaning are different.

The difference between the 2 is that laundry is for the overall washing of the clothes because the clothing has probably been used and it is now dirty while dry cleaning has to do with tackling a particular stain on a cloth basically to remove the stain and return clothing back to its original state.

How Much You Can Make From Laundry Business in Nigeria

So I guess your next question is how lucrative is dry cleaning and laundry business in Nigeria? Well to start off let’s look at how much it cost to wash and iron a shirt in the average cities in Nigeria. This price goes from N250 – N1,200.

Let’s assume you charge N250 as a starter for your laundry business and wash 50 shirts a day for a start. N250 X 50 = N12,500. Give or take let’s say you remove daily expenses like power, soap, water and so on your profit can be N10,000 per day.

As the business keeps growing and you keep getting customers based on reference and mouth to mouth if you get to wash 300 shirts per day that will be N75,000 a day minus expenses give or take N10,000 you’ll be having a profit of N65,000.

This might not sound big to you but imagine you’re making this amount at least 6 days in a week. This is N390,000 per week minus expenses.

So if you ask me again if laundry and dry cleaning business is profitable in Nigeria I’ll say yes it is very profitable.

How to Start Laundry and Dry Cleaning Business in Nigeria

Step 1: Visit Local Laundry Business

Yes, you really need to visit a profitable laundry business in your area first to see how they run their business and what makes them stand out.

I’m saying this because asides from all what I’ll be sharing on this article,  you still need to see things yourself. My best advice here is to go on 2 different occasions.

One: On days were the traffic influx is high like on Saturdays and visit every department from the washing department to the drying area to the ironing department, customer service, and accounting, all the departments.

If the business doesn’t allow such; tip someone there (a worker) to give you a VIP tour.

Two: Go on days the traffic is low like a Tuesday and just pay attention to how they attend to the customers and how they take orders.

Doing this gives you a deeper insight into how a regular laundry and dry-cleaning business in Nigeria runs.

Step 2: Write Down all Equipment and Materials Needed

At this step, you need to write out all the tools you’ll be needing in the laundry business.

A good way to know all this is to think back on your visit to the Laundry Company you visited earlier and start to write down all you saw that was being used in the company.

After doing this, you can now start to write down the necessary equipment and materials you’ll be needing to start.

But for easy thinking let’s mention some here.

Equipment to Start Laundry Business in Nigeria

  • bowls
  • buckets
  • pressing table
  • pressing iron
  • extension sockets
  • hanger
  • pegs
  • bench/stood
  • rapper
  • radio
  • fan standing/ceiling
  • Generator

These are the ones I can remember. You can add more to the list or minus from it. It all depends on you.

After writing down all this, you should put the average price of this equipment and get your total. The total money you get is the money you’ll need as your capital.

Stage 3: Write your Budget

You might be thinking that all the equipment mentioned above are the only expenses you have when it comes to starting your own laundry business in Nigeria but this is not entirely true.

There are still what I call hidden expenses like the location – getting a shop in an area where thousands of people pass every day and if you can’t afford money for a shop yet you need to consider expenses if you’re starting from your house.

All you need is just to create a space for the laundry business in your house or apartment. Keep in mind here that there will be expenses for this also like rewiring, setting up a space for drying clothes and the rest.

Write all these expenses map your budget. When you get this it will give a perfect idea on how much you need to gather money. I call this mandatory capital.

Step 4: Check Out Your Perfect Location

When it comes to getting a perfect location for your laundry business you have to be sensitive.

Sensitive in the sense that there are 3 things you must consider first before choosing the location for your laundry shop – if you can afford one immediately.

These 3 factors are high traffic of people, how much it cost for a shop in the area, and standard of living of the people in the area.

Do not choose a place based on the fact that over 1000+ Nigerians pass there every day.

You have to think creatively of location cost – how much it will cost you to get a shop in that area and finally, you have to consider the kind of people living in that area if they will be able to afford the price of your laundry services.

All of these are important factors. No one is important than the other and no one is a minority. When you get this, you’re one step ahead in building your business into a multimillion naira empire.

Step 4: Start Getting Customers

Here even though you have not gotten money to rent a shop at the preferred location, you should still start from your house or apartment. Waiting for the perfect time to start will make you postpone everything if you’re not careful.

Just start!

Remember you have already written down all you need for the laundry business. Go to the market and buy some of them if not all. Then start telling people about your business preferably family and friends first.

The best trick you can use in convincing them to patronize you is to tell them you’ll be willing to wash their clothes at an unreasonable discount. Let’s say their laundry customer wash a shirt for them at N250 tell them you’ll wash that same shirt at N100.

And tell them you’re doing this just for them to try you out. Use this trick for all your friends and tell them you’ll even give them cheaper discounts if they introduce your business to their friends also.

With this, they’ll be able to make free adverts for you and it will be easy for their friends to patronize you because they trust their friends’ advice.

Do this for a while until you can afford other forms of advertisements.

Remember it’s not only about getting your customers, but it’s also about how well you keep them, making them tied to your business. And the only way to do this is to satisfy them (quality services).

Step 5: Carve Your Price List

Yes, I never talked about price up to this time because I feel you don’t need it at the early stages of your business. Price is a no-no if you’re just starting out.

You don’t want people running away even before they get to know how good your business is but now is the perfect time for you to fix your price.

We usually have different prices for clothes depending on their thickness, sensitivity, and dirtiness. The price of washing a jeans trouser is different from the price of washing normal trouser material. The price for washing and steaming suits are also different from the price of washing native clothes.

We also have a price for washing bed sheets and curtains. All these vary; you just have to look for a middle ground. My best advice here is to bring your price down to attract customers because everyone wants goods service at cheaper rates – even the rich do.

Step 6: Register Your Company

To register your company, you need to look for a unique name at the same time an easy to remember the name. Please avoid something like Chukwumerije Okonkwo and Sons Laundry Services rather go for simple names like JustClean Laundry Services.

After doing this approach the CAC to register your business. Your business should be registered in 24 hours less or at most 2 days but if you are not in the mood for all the stress you can simply look for an agent that can do this for you.

Get your business registered and al necessary document needed.

Step 7: Start Keeping Account

They say the shortest ink is better than the most powerful brain. This is said because anything written down can never be forgotten unlike storing it in our brain.

Like I usually advise business starters – it is always important to keep accounts of everything about your business. From the total customers, you have down to the day to day expenses and how much you make every day. Doing this will help you track your business and see future loopholes where you can make adjustments.

With these accounts, you’ll know if you’re progressing with the business or you need to rearrange some things like increasing price or cutting avoidable expenses to boost profit.

You’ll also need to know if you need to increase your customers or simply manage the ones you have.

When it also comes to looking for investors for your laundry business keeping accounts is also important because you’ll need evidence (something) to show (statements of account) that your business is doing well.

No bank will ever invest in a business that does not have accounts. I’ll share how to prepare account soon for those of us that don’t know how to do this yet.

Just keep visiting us!

Step 8: Start Branding

It is hard to operate any business these days without branding. Asides from customer satisfaction, branding (packaging) also take a business to the next level.

For those of us that don’t know what this is it has to do with the colour of your laundry company, logo and every other detail you left out earlier that you want to add to your business now.

You need to take all these into cognizance.

A good way to come up with yours is to visit a graphic designer (not necessary an expensive one) and suggest some of the things you saw when you visited that laundry company in your area.

I’m not saying copy this company’s ideas into to. You can be sued for this. All I’m saying here is that you come up with some of the ideas related to what you saw.

Step 9: Reinvest Profit into Business

At this point, you should have started making a good amount of money. Do not get carried away by this and go on a spending spree to impress girls or family. Reinvest all the profit you’ve made back into your business.

I call this ‘the Dangote principle’.

If you were washing clothes with your hands before get a washing machine(s) to make work easier for your workers. If you’ve not gotten a shop due to lack of enough money (funds) then, now is the time to get a shop.

If you don’t have a delivery van or bike to deliver clothes to customers now is the time to buy one. Just make sure you look at your business very well and check out for how you can reinvest into it.

The stage you are will determine how and where you should reinvest.

Step 10: Expand

Finally, expand beyond your limits. At this stage, you should be looking for how you’re going to establish more branches possibly in another densely populated area. And there are many ways to do this for a start so you won’t have to spend too much.

You can share a shop with someone in another business or get a container with a salesgirl just for gathering of clothes before they are taken to the main branch. This is also called a satellite branch.

All these methods look small but it matters because it’s taking you somewhere.

The most important thing here is that you expand without looking for a perfect time for this. Do it immediately you have the opportunity. You can also get investors if you’re limited by founds but you have to be careful and watchful.

From there keep on expanding and follow my few tips and the sky will be your starting point.

That’s all on this article.

What else did I miss?

Let me know in the comments.

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