How To Start Laundry/Dry cleaning business in Nigeria

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I will start by saying every business is lucrative but the success of a business depends on the technical know-how, dedication and the effort put in place to attain it. Dry cleaning business is exceptionally very lucrative, it is a small-scale business that can be grown over time, it is one business you can start with little or no capital. Many people don’t have time to wash clothes, some are just plain lazy, while others live sophisticated lifestyle as such will keep patronizing dry cleaners.

The key to laundry business is to get a good location. Also look around your environment if nobody is doing it or you have few persons into it; then you have a good business opportunity. Be your own boss today by venturing into this business. The proceeds from it is enough to pay bills and provide good savings.

THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN DRY CLEANING AND LAUNDRY

Dry cleaning is a process whereby a cloth is washed and dried by the used of fluid to remove dirt and stains from fabrics (clothes). While laundry is everything that has to do with dry cleaning this includes; adding of starch, stain removal, ironing of fabrics etc. In a nut shell the treatment a fabric goes through before drying is called laundry.

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WHY YOU SHOULD VENTURE INTO DRY CLEANING BUSINESS

  • Clothes are always available to wash because we change outfits every day. People are already heaping dirty clothes waiting for available dry cleaner to engage their services.
  • It is a business that you can start with very little investment and grow to a standard, recognisable dry cleaning company.
  • The charges for washing clothes is not much thereby making many people to require the service.
  • It requires little or no experience.
  • Dry cleaning services is a lucrative business
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HOW MUCH IS REQUIRED TO START DRY CLEANING BUSINESS

As a matter of fact you can start dry cleaning business without capital, just fetch water, use your house soap for washing, collect or borrow iron; business has started.

On the other hand you can start with #250,000. Here is a rough estimate excluding rent

  • One 12kg washing machine (fairly used), #50,000 – #60,000
  • Drying machine  (one)- #50,000 – #60,000
  • One big 7500Kva generator #95,000 (new)
  • Two tables for ironing and washing – #10,000 (new)
  • Buckets, gallons, big bowls, brush and other things  #15,000

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Miscellaneous – #20,000

MATERIALS NEEDED FOR DRY CLEANING BUSINESS

  • Washing machine 12kg size is good for a beginner
  • Generating plant 7.5kv for a start
  • Dryer
  • Pressing iron (2) steaming and ordinary
  • Tables (2) one for washing the other for ironing
  • Shelf for hanging clothes
  • Industrial fan (1)
  • Spraying can (1kg)

Others thins are; tagging gun, buckets, brush, hangers, laundry nylons, wrappers, fragrance (natural), soap/detergents, starch, stain removers and bowls.

Dryer is needed for urgent work. In case someone brings clothes and wants to wait and collect, you quickly use dryer and hasten the work within 30 minutes the cloth is ready for ironing.

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Steaming iron is used in ironing plain suits and trousers; the ordinary iron is used for other clothes.

Spraying can: water is filled inside the can which is sprayed on clothes for easy ironing and smoothing of the clothes.

Tagging gun or garment tag is used for tagging identities for easy identification of customers’ clothes.

STEPS FOR SETTING UP A DRY CLEANING BUSINESS

Location: this is very important because to a large extent the success of a laundry business depends on the location. Position the business close to your target clients. For a beginner I will advice you set up the business in a population where you have people with average standard of living

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Customer density: diversify your laundry business by engaging office and home delivery, to build up your customer base.

Effective service delivery: make sure you put in your best in delivering dry and clean clothes;. This will include employing good hands to help if the work is too much for you. Find out what others are doing right and introduce them into your business. People will patronize you depending on; how fast, reliable and efficient your services are. Ironing and packaging also goes a long way in retaining customers.

Price setting: do not charge too low because it might be difficult to change the price when the business has grown. Or too high because you will chase prospective customers away. Set a moderate price or at most give discounts to attract customers.

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Record keeping: keep a book to record all your daily transactions so you can be able to know if you are doing well or not.

NOTE

Stain removal:  apply stain removal according to the material and degree of stains. Do not introduce stain removal to the cloth without washing the cloth first. You can use unique stain removal it is said to be environmentally friendly and can work on any coloured fabric. Others are mucor A and B, ink, rust, whitener etc.

Permanent marker: use permanent marker to write the identity of the owner on the label before tagging it on the cloth.

Tips

Understand or have a good knowledge about clothes before applying any soap on it because some clothes select soap. Suede and leather garments should not be cleaned like other clothes such as linen, cotton etc. Get to know the special additives and the procedures others use that help in retaining the colour and texture of clothes. There are dyes you can use only on request to revive the colour of clothes even though it can never be 100% the original appearance.

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Use hot water starch, the one that looks like pap, it is more economical and also very effective on clothes.

It is best to wash clothes with hands first this way it will be easier to wash off all stains before putting them into the machine to wash and spine.

For a good quality service put clothes in  hangers after ironing .and wear a transparent nylon on it. Iron hangers coated with rubber are preferable with few plastic hangers.

It is not every cloth that should be dried or spread in the sun, find out which type should be spread under the sun then hang the others in the room with the help of industrial fan under 30 minutes the clothes will be okay for ironing.

If you are employing someone pays the person on commission. 30-35% commission is good.

MARKETABILITY OF DRY CLEANING BUSINESS

Start by washing for friends, family and neighbours. Print flyers and distribute them all around your neighbourhood. Decide to wash some for free, you can say ‘pay for three and get one washed – free’. Go to different offices, institutions even markets and advertise your business.

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