Are you unemployed and looking for a business you can start? Or you are employed but looking for a side hustle to earn extra income, dry cleaning business could be your sure hit if done properly.
This article addresses how you can start a dry-cleaning business in Nigeria and solve that unemployment add to your source of income if you are currently employed.
Nigeria is a developing country with different categories of people. Some are employed and always engaged to the extent that they don’t have enough time for some other activities, such as cleaning, etc. Some with the intent of saving time while they concentrate on more important things, they are willing to pay people to ease their busy schedule.
So many people cannot afford to purchase a washing machine and some other washing equipment that will save time and energy of doing manual washing. So many working-class parents and people with busy schedules find limited or no time to do their laundry themselves especially in a home where both parents are into time-demanding jobs.
The most available option for people in that category is to take their clothes to the laundry shop or site to get it done in exchange for money. This is done in different ways, it could be a door-to-door delivery service, or a workshop delivery service, door to door delivery service could attract extra charges or a form of marketing strategy.
Dry cleaning (Laundry) business is a very lucrative business in Nigeria and below is some reason considered:
- it is easy to start
- It does not compulsorily a huge capital to start it
- You don’t necessarily need a workshop to start a dry-cleaning business, you can start at the comfort of your house.
- It is very profitable if well managed.
- You can run it as a part-time job.
- There is little or no risk.
Here are some steps you can follow to start a dry-cleaning business in Nigeria:
Search for a good site/location:
Before setting up a laundry business in Nigeria, you must diligently choose and determine the location you want your laundry to be situated.
Many factors could influence your choice, such as capital and resources available, type of area, easy accessibility by your patronizers and it could be at home, a shop, rented site, etc. Just ensure it is good enough as the location can affect your dry-cleaning business.
It is not enough to just choose anywhere as a location. The geographical location can influence your dry-cleaning business to some extent. Below are some detailed questions you need to consider before choosing a geographical location for your dry-cleaning business.
- Is it in or close to a residential area? : A residential area i.e. an area close to where people live will be best for setting up a laundry service business as this will give you chances of getting more customer and it would be of better advantage if the residential area has more high-income earners as this would increase the amount you charge your customers per clothes they bring.
- Is it situated in an open place?: You cannot hide in a place where customers cannot see you and the services you are rendering when determining your location, instead, Search for an open place where customers can easily access you, where new customers can locate and patronize you. Don’t go to one corner where passers-by are scarce for them to see your business. If you are opting for a shop or renting an apartment or site, make sure it’s an open place where you can easily find new customers.
- Is the area conducive for customers to patronize you? : Put yourself in the position of the customers when you are about to determine your location, If you were the customer, can you come to a place like this to get your laundries done?. Don’t choose a dirty and unconducive place, for example, if you were the customer, you cannot see a neat and conducive place to get your laundries done and rather go to the shop beside the public refuse dump to get your laundries done, NO, it’s not done that way, put yourself in the customer’s position before you opt for it.
- Is this area more or less competitive?: When choosing your location, you obviously will like to consider an area with less competition as this will assure you of more customers depending on the way you package your services and skills while a place with more competition in the laundry services will have an impact on your business in terms of reduction in customers. But, competition at the same time should not make you less- competitive in rendering your services, competition, or no competition, you must be competitive to get good customers.
- Is it affordable: if you are buying or leasing a structure for your location, your capital will determine what you can get. You don’t have to go bankrupt while starting.
Look into your expenses, costs, and requirements:
In Nigeria, depending on the area, some areas require some levies, you might have to include and look into that if the area you want to set up your business requires it. In addition to that, you are mandatory depending on the scale of your business, but here are some you might need to start your laundry services with:
- Washing machine: This machine makes washing faster and saves energy from manual washing. It comes in different sizes, you can go for the size you can afford and will be good for your business scale, you can also choose ones with a lengthy warranty to save you stresses of repairing.
- Dryer: It ensures that fabrics are not exposed to unnecessary heat. When choosing a dryer, you have to consider the capacity store, and to save utility cost, you have to consider a dryer with a moisture sensor.
- Pressing Iron: A quality iron with safety controls and features to be considered, and also consider an iron that is suitable for ironing different materials.
- Washing basins: you can use it for soaking clothes, to remove stains, to do hand-washing when necessary, and for other uses.
- Constant power supply or generator: You need a good and constant power supply during your laundry hours to avoid any form of delay in delivering to customers as this will make you more trustworthy and reliable for your customers. In view of this, you have to get a generator to get your works done even in the absence of electricity.
- Constant water supply: you have to work toward having water at your disposal always, you can get a tank to store water as this will help your services to be faster.
- Detergent: you will also need detergent to wash, you can be economical by getting it on a wholesale size to reduce your expenses in the long run.
- Other you might need are Shelves, packing nylon, tags, etc.
Note: If you can’t afford the, you can start from a small-scale angle by doing hand-washing or leasing the, then, when you grow and can afford the, you can then purchase it.
Choose a business name:
Choose a unique business name that your customers will easily flow with and remember.
Offer extraordinary services:
When setting up your dry cleaning business, you can put in some skills that will place you on a better consideration for your customers.
You need to make your potential customers see reasons why they need to start patronizing you instead of whosoever they patronized before you came into existence, especially in areas where some dry cleaners are already existing. Here are some skills you can make do with
- Make a positive lasting impression: to thrive in the dry cleaning business, ensure you create a positive lasting impression in your customers that will make them keep patronizing and also possibly refer their colleagues, friends, and friends, etc.
- Be diligent: offer your service with all diligence, ensure you are careful with their clothes, not all customers like some specific odor of a detergent or soap on their cloth. Try to know and pay attention to the likes, dislikes, and allergies of your customers
- Neatness: Make sure you are very neat with your services
- Be customer-friendly: most customers will likely patronize you because of your personalities, and sometimes keep patronizing you. You can keep a customer and make them keep patronizing by showing forth good personality.
- Be trustworthy: ensure your customers can trust you enough to give you their cloth and also give referrals.
- Time consciousness: Keep to the promised time of delivery
- Ensure you are well organized: give tags to customers and tag their clothes as well to avoid mix up in your service delivery.
You can add some additional strategies that will help your business to gain more customers and make sure your prices are fair to them
Implement good marketing strategies:
You have to market your services well to get customers and you have to implore good marketing strategies to attract more customers. Here are some marketing strategies you can try out;
- One-on-one awareness/advertisement: meeting and telling people is a form of one-on-one marketing strategy, while you meet them, you can give them the necessary they need to know about your business. This will also serve as a form of awareness for your business.
- The use of banners, handbills/flyers: You can print posters and banners and attach them to places where it would attract customers and make sure you provide your business contacts and other vital customers might need to locate you. You can also print handbills and distribute it to different people, you can give other people to help you in the distribution. This also will serve as a form of awareness for your business. and make your dry cleaning business go viral.
Note: ensure your, banner or flyer is well equipped with necessary about your dry cleaning business, including your business name, address, contacts, and services you offer.
- Social media: we are in a digital age and as a business owner, you can leverage the internet vis digital marketing to get across to more customers. This is one of the trending marketing strategies businesses are imploring these days and it has proven very effective. You can advertise your services on Facebook, WhatsApp, Instagram, and other social media platforms.
In conclusion, the dry cleaning business is a sure-hit business you can start in Nigeria and if well managed, it will grow and you can make a fortune from it.