An American Billionaire once said the best time to start up a business or acquire properties is during recession because things would be sold at relatively cheap prices due to the economic hardship the citizens are facing and Nigeria is not different, which makes it necessary for individuals with ambition and business minded to tap into this gold mine; Dry Cleaning/Laundry Business In Nigeria: How To Start, Equipment Prices & All You Need To Know
Statistics have proven that some of the richest men in the world today are professional Laundry and Dry cleaners. For you to succeed in this business, you need to throw pride aside and come down to the lowest level to understand the techniques behind it.
Many workers who lost their jobs today are feeding, paying their bills and living comfortably with this business. So what are you waiting for? Get up today and make a move! Please note that laundry and dry cleaning are quite different. While laundry involves the actual washing of the clothes with water soap or detergents, dry cleaning on the other hand involves the use of Fabric friendly chemicals without dipping into water, most often, suits are better dry cleaned rather than outright washing, in the process of reading this article, you would see the chemicals needed for dry cleaning and their prices. Also included are costs of equipment for laundry and dry cleaning business and other associated costs.
READ ALSO: HOW TO START A CAR WASH BUSINESS IN NIGERIA
Laundry business in this time of recession is apparently one of the best businesses to start up either as an entrepreneur or employee as a side business but it is advisable you run it by yourself.
In this post, i will be putting you through on how to start and run a professional Laundry or dry-cleaning business or company profitably, from renting of the space, to items needed, down to human resources and price of doing a complete laundry and all other costs involved in running the business.
I have a Laundry business at Festac Town, Lagos so i am not here for the sake of writing this post but to assist young aspiring business minded youths most especially in getting down to business.
Usually, renting a shop should be the last project when starting up a Dry-cleaning/Laundry business in order to avoid the rent already counting when you are yet to start up.
There are some must have items and things that must be on ground when kicking off a Laundry and Dry-cleaning business anywhere in the world. This post on Laundry/Dry cleaning in Nigeria is going to be a very comprehensive one so you need to be patient when going through or you could bookmark the page so you could read up at intervals if you cannot read it all at once.
LAUNDRY/DRY-CLEANING BUSINESS IN NIGERIA: EQUIPMENT, MATERIALS AND THEIR COSTS
When talking about laundry and dry cleaning business equipment, we are talking about all necessary tools that must be put together for a smooth running of your business.
We have below, a comprehensive list of laundry equipment and resources put together for running a professional Laundry business in Nigeria.
Starting up a dry-cleaning business in Nigeria depends on your start up capital, I have read many blog posts on the cost of starting up a laundry or dry-cleaning business, some are true while are mere duplication of other people’s posts written just to have contents on their blogs.
I started my Laundry/dry leaning business with a total cost of about 850,000 Naira and please note, this was before the fall in the purchasing power of the Naira. Plus i got my space where there was no water and space for washing so i had to construct an extra shelter for the washing machine and the washer man and my generator. So the amounted stated above includes everything from start up to finish plus shop rent, furniture and fittings, though some of the costs were avoidable.
I paid 350,000 for my rent at Festac Town, please note that the area you operate from also has a great impact on the overall success of the business else, you would have to go extra extra miles in getting customers. The irony of this business is that you still can get an area with low shop rent and still do very well by setting the right prices, another food for thought is making sure you do a survey on the caliber or people staying there that its, are there corporate workers there? boarding schools and hotels around? But Ideally you can start up a laundry/dry cleaning with 350,000 Naira with rent aside. You can ask me how?
In this case, I mean the workers; here you need a minimum of two persons for start up. A pretty and smart girl preferably, she is the face of your business, she attends to customers, collect their details, that is phone number and house address for home delivery purposes. Takes account of the recordings, tagging of the clothes, observation of the garments, that is, to find out where there are stains or incomplete buttons, colour of the cloth or clothes and if there is any torn part, she brings the observations to the notice of the customer before he or she leaves in order to avoid stories that touch LOL!
And as for the second person, it is advisable you get a laundry guy that can conveniently serve as a washer man and a presser in order to cut unwarranted expenses as a starter, this is mainly because you have just few clothes to cater for since you are just starting up. I will breakdown, in a tabular form, the amount the front desks are paid plus how much the washer men and pressers charge per cloth in the course of this article.
It is advisable you get a minimum of 6KVA power generating set. I use a 7KVA generating set and it carries my 1.5Hp Air Condition, Steam Iron and Dry iron all at once. But i would advise you use it once at a time in order to elongate the life span of your generator. I use a Sumec Firman Generator which cost about 135,000 as at when i bought it in June 2015 from Konga. Now it costs 173,000 Naira, but if you cannot afford it, you can manage a 5KVA or work strictly with PHCN source of power though this is not advisable. See Pic below
I acquired a 14KG top loader LG washing Machine for my dry-cleaning business. I chose LG because it is rugged and quite affordable, the advantage of using a top loader over a front loader is that as the washing process is going on, you can in the process, open the cover and add more clothes, which makes your work much easier unlike the front loader where once the lid is closed, it remains sealed until washing is completed. The 14KG washing machine can take and wash up to 40 clothes at once. It would be worthy to note that not all clothes are thrown into the washing machine, which is why you need a professional laundry man to help in doing the separations in order to avoid damaging customer’s clothes. The clothes must all be buttoned up to avoid damaging the buttons.
I bought my 14KG Top loader washing machine for 120,000 Naira at an LG Company (Fouani) in Festac town in 2015. Currently, it costs between 100 and 120,000 naira, you can do your verification online.
This is used for hanging already washed clothes or pressed fabrics. You can get this at any market close by. It is the normal hangers we use in our wardrobes. It is sold in bundles. This costs about 500Naira per bundle.
A water tank is need for storing water. If you are fortunate enough to have borehole at your operation base, then good for you, but if otherwise is the case, you will get a water storage tank of about 3,000 litres. I bought a GP tank for 32,000 Naira this is excluding cost of transportation to your operation base. Cost of transportation is dependent on the distance from the place of purchase to your base. Also needed is a tank stand which is to be constructed by a welder. It costs less than 10,000 Naira if well bargained.
Here you need two pressing irons, a dry iron and steam iron. The dry is used for normal shirts while the steam iron is used for suits, wedding gowns, dinner gowns, and some special fabrics. I bought the dry iron for 4500 and steam iron for 5000 Naira respectively. Tokunbo or better put already used steam and dry pressing irons are preferable. See below, photos of both my steam and dry pressing irons for a better understanding.
This should not be a big deal, a 3 by 6 wide pressing table would do just fine. A carpenter can construct a solid table for you. I did mine for 7,000 Naira. I did not incur cost of transportation as my Vehicle was readily available. Though the cost should be quite negligible as if you get a carpenter close by to avoid certain unwarranted expenses.
The towel is firstly placed on the table before the table cloth is placed on the towel. This is to make the ironing process easier and avoid contours during ironing. You can get a good thick towel for 1000 Naira and a white fabric (1 yard) preferably for less than 1000 Naira.
MULTIPLE EXTENSION SOCKET
This is needed for plugging the pressing irons and other electronic gadgets. An original one cost between 2500 and 3000 Naira.
Though negligible, you can acquire it if you have the finance. Starching customer’s clothes and putting it in the drier doesn’t come out as nice as the natural sun heating it up! It emits a lot of heat and consumes a whole lot of power too. Though newer models are coming up! Like i said, this is very negligible. It cost from 200,000 Naira and above.
There are two types, the first is for folded clothes example are collar Shirts, trousers, while the 2nd is for unfolded clothes (Suits, Jackets, Atiku materials, Senator materials, Duvets and Blankets etc). You will buy in different sizes, for example, kids packaging nylons, for Agbada, its a different size, and normal corporate shirts and trousers, it is also a different price.
It is sold in dozens or more. Usually i buy in hundreds; a hundred pieces cost 1,500 Naira, though the more you buy the lesser the price.
Wedding gown packaging nylons come in a completely different size and price, here you can buy in pieces; it is less than 500 per nylon.
This is used for pinning the clothes to the ropes that are tied to the external hangers. As small as it is, it is highly important.
This is also used temporarily storing water used for washing. You can get this at any market. Ideally, 2 Basins and 1 buckets are needed for a start up. Cost of purchasing the 3 buckets should not be more than 3000 Naira.
Here you can also use either cold or hot water starch. For example, i get my starch from Ojota market here in Lagos, There is a chemical market there, where you can get all your drycleaning and laundry chemicals and detergents. The liquid starch is perfumed which gives the customer’s clothes a unique scent. 10 litres of Liquid starch costs 2,500 Naira.
Using Liquid soap is very cost effective; the good thing about this is that it can be used for all fabrics. They mostly come in 3 colours, blue, green and colourless, some call it white. It costs 1,500 Naira for 10 litres and this can last you for more than one month especially as a starter. While detergents like Ariel (Big and Small pack) the big pack goes for 1300 while small pack costs 750 Naira respectively.
This is used for displaying the already dry-cleaned clothes. Asides doing an aluminum glass shelve, you can call a carpenter to construct patterned wall shelves for placing fabrics. Though i used aluminum and this cost me 50,000 Naira, transport inclusive.
Definitely you need a fan for dousing the heat and you could add an ac if you want. I got my OX industrial fan for 18,000 naira and a used 1.5Hp AC from OLX for 30,000 Naira. Though i got the AC after i had already started business.
3 Chairs would be ideal. I started with 3 plastic chairs, each were bought for 2,500 naira respectively and it costs a total of 7,500 naira. One for the front desk, one for you and the last for any visitor who wishes to grab a seat for him or herself.
A potable table is required with locker attached to it for storing safe items and maybe keep items out of the reach of customer’s sight. You can keep your money made for the day before paying into the bank.
BROOM/PACKER AND MOPPING STICK
These are needed for general cleaning of your office space, without being told, everyone knows how important it is to have these items on ground. You can get your broom for 200 Naira, mopping stick set for 1000 Naira or less.
Apart from the perfume added to the starch upon preparation, adding conditioner to the water being used to rinse the clothes would is an added advantage to your business. I have had many customers tell me how much they love the way their clothes smells! And which is one reason they keep bring it over! It is another means of customer retention. It is sold for 1,800 Naira
A towel is needed to be placed on the table before a table cloth is placed on it. It simply makes pressing of the clothes easier.
This is used to identify and distinguish customer’s clothes in order to avoid mix ups and confusion. This is highly necessary in the smooth running of your dry-cleaning/Laundry business. It costs about 3,000 naira to get one good one. Not many know how a tagging gun looks like. See the photo below
This pin is attached to the tagging gun, it is used for piercing attaching the tagging paper to the fabric with the aid of the tagging gun. It is sold for 1,200 Naira. There are usually 4 pins in the pack. Take note!
It comes in light green colour usually, it is a one centimeter wide paper that comes in a roll, it is a paper that can be written upon to identify the name of the customer. It is used alongside the tagging gun, that it, the tagging gun is pinned to the paper and the customer’s label on the shirt and shot to attach to the cloth meant for dry-cleaning. It is sold for 1,500 Naira. See Photo of a tagging paper below.
A welder can construct one for you for hanging customer’s clothes, it is highly needed. My welder constructed one for me for 10,000 Naira.
ROPE: This is tied to the external hanger. Used for spreading clothes. The distance between both poles would determine the length of ropes to be purchased.
STAIN REMOVING CHEMICALS
There are different chemicals for stain removal, Perclum (used for dry-cleaning suits), Ink removal, mucor removal, Rust removal, oil removal and the likes. You can get these chemicals from the wholesalers at Ojota Market
This is needed for storing customer’s clothes already tagged and ready for washing. You can get it at any local market for less than 500 Naira.
As the name implies, it is used for storing waste items and must be disposed off daily. It cost less than 300 Naira.
WASHING TABLE AND CHAIR
For clothes that require hand washing, the washer man needs either a washing table for placing his washing materials like buckets on it for convenience sake. Not all can bend for so long. Or you could construct a chair for those who wish to sit down while doing their washing.
Fliers and banners are BTL (Below The Line) form of advertising. For a starter of this business, it is advised you share fliers concerning your Laundry/Dry-cleaning business stating your phone number, address or any promotion you wish to use in luring customers to your base. Banners must also be placed at the exact spot of your office showing the location, you could place it at bus stops not too far from your office. Advertising is key to letting the world know about your services, tap into it. I printed fliers (500 Pieces) and banner (2) for 5000 respectively. This cost me about 15,000.
ESTIMATED PRICE QUOTES FOR LAUNDRY BUSINESS IN NIGERIA
This dependent on the area your laundry business is sited. I will tabulate the clothes and their prices for you to have an idea of their prices. Usually it is best you have an idea of the prices in your area of business in order not to shoot yourself on the leg. Do not set your prices too low, and too high too, do a survey of prices within the area to have an idea. You can go as far as giving some of your clothes for dry cleaning within your area of operation to get first hand info on your competitor’s strength and weaknesses.
|FABRICS||PRICES IN NAIRA|
|Suits(Jacket & Trouser)||1,500|
|Chinos and Jeans Trousers||350|
|T-Shirts and Polos||300|
|Atiku Natitve(Up and Down)||600|
Setting your prices can mar or make your Laundry/Dry cleaning business, asides setting good prices, back it up with calculated promotions, i say calculated because there are some promotions that are injurious to the business, you embark on promotions like wash 6 get an extra one free, or wash 50 clothes in a month and get at a discounted rate. There are many promotions that helps in building a solid customer base
Your ability to deliver with the expected time boosts customer’s confidence in your business. The earlier the delivery time, the better for your business. The ideal delivery time is usually 2 days after the customers drop their clothes. But if you can do the laundry same day and get it all done in one day, then thumbs up to you. It is possible!
This is another way of customer retention and satisfaction, you can attach this service to part of your business though it comes with extra cost of transportation if you do not have a vehicle. I do home delivery for some of my customers personally with my private vehicle though i included it as part of running cost.
RECRUITMENT OF STAFF FOR YOUR LAUNDRY/DRY CLEANING BUSINESS
Though I talked about number of staff for your Laundry business for a starter, the ideal number of staff needed is 1, that is, a pretty young and smart girl precisely, her duty would be to take down records of customers details, record the customers clothes and take down observations (Stains on the clothes, any torn part, inks and all that) observe and supervise the washer man and presser to make sure the clothes are well washed and pressed
You do not need a permanent washer man or presser, the secret of this business is you pay them per what they wash and iron. So it is when you need them, they are called upon.
They usually collect 50 Naira for washing and 50 Naira for ironing. This method cuts down drastically, cost of running your laundry business.
TAKE HOME POINTS
- Never argue with a customer but tell them the truth!
- Treat them with utmost respect
- Take responsibility for any mistake you fail to observe from your end even though it is their fault, that is why your front desk must pay close attention to all fabrics brought in for laundry
If you have any question(s) as regards Laundry and Dry Cleaning Business in Nigeria, the costs of setting up and everything you need to know about, scroll down to the comment section and get instant feed backs.
Hope this piece was informative!