ENTREPRENEURSHIP SERIES (VI): LAUNDRY BUSINESS

Let me start by reminding you that the schemes I am highlighting in these early drives to entrepreneurship are mainly small scale businesses, that one can engage in while still holding on to the days’ job.

Ultimately, the aim is for proceeds from such small scale business to provide for everyday needs, while the workers’ salary can be ploughed into expanding the same business or starting another one, until the much in capital is made to fund that long term business for which one can quit his/her present job to now pursue, on a full time basis.

I will introduce you to another business that I saw an acquaintance doing while holding on to her tasking day job. This job has the same characteristics as the few I had mentioned and expatiated upon in my previous missives, in that there are no extra costs in rent (as it is done in the home), as you would have in established businesses with an office, and all the responsibilities that comes with it.

This female friend of mine runs a LAUNDRY business at home where she lives with her parents, drawing her clientele from colleagues and friends of colleagues at work, network of friends from church, home and everywhere she sets foot, while using social media to great advantage.

Her model is very simple to implement, something even the laziest of men can do and be somewhat comfortable, at least on a subsistence level till one decides to expand; and proceeds are good, so good she hardly scratches her monthly salary.

Because she lives with parents and siblings, sometimes they also help her with the washing for stipends, even just a bottle of soft drinks sometimes, even as they use her WASHING MACHINE to do their laundry.

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This is what you need to set up your own small scale LAUNDRY BUSINESS in your own house, while still keeping your job:

1. WASHING MACHINE- My friend has a 6kg top loader washing machine she bought for =N=35,000 (going rate is between =N=38,000 & =N=40,000).
This type of washing machine is easier to use considering that many Nigerian homes aren’t built in such a way as to accommodate PLUMBING for the typical Side Loading Washing Machines, and like the typical, also has a DRYER compartment which ensures that despite the prevailing weather condition (especially during the rainy season in countries like Nigeria), one can still go ahead unhindered to make deliveries and meet schedules on time.
The only set back, is that the Dryer compartment of such Washing Machines are wont to break down faster than the Washing compartment (which hardly ever does, at least for as long as 4 years), however most outlets where these washing machines are sold, offer aftersales services that include repair of the Dryer compartment, within or outside the WARRANTY period.

2. POWER GENERATING SET- She also has a 6.5KVA Gasoline Powered Generating Set, she purchased for =N=150,000 which ensures she can wash anytime she desires.
She does most of her washing at night (after her “9 to 5”) and weekends, and the Power Generating set guarantees seamless laundry activity in the face of power fluctuations and epileptic supplies, where it is norm rather than exception, in a country like Nigeria still grappling with inadequate power generation, transmission and distribution (with supplies currently put at less than 4000MW at it’s highest point, which is grossly inadequate for a population of more than 170 million).

3. PRESSING IRON- Which she bought for =N=25,000 or preferably a STEAM IRON PRESS used industrially by well established as well as medium scale DRY CLEANING set ups.
My friend found out earlier in the day that she wasn’t good at Ironing, so she simply outsourced that aspect of her business to others at =N=50/cloth, while charging between =N=150 to =N=300 (and even more depending on the clientele and fabric type- the more delicate fabrics costing more, in her estimation) per cloth.

If you do the math, the capital to start up will hover at about =N=215,000. I have discussed the methods an intending entrepreneur currently at his or her “9-5” can save to raise funds for business in the early offerings, and the idea is not to borrow, but to source this entirely from one’s income i.e. for the one who currently has a job. This business can also be done by the unemployed who can convince family and close relatives to “loan” them some money for “startups”, and who knows where and how far they can go with a simple business such as this, especially in today’s environment with an ever growing Middle Class, and lots of upwardly mobile young people who have as the least of their problems, how to go about doing their own laundry themselves. It is this huge gap that the LAUNDRY MAN or WOMAN, even at small scale will come to fill, with extra services such as HOME PICKUPS and DELIVERIES, that many of the established names in laundry business/industry will usually not do.

The cost of running the business will include:
– that of fueling the Power Generator at say =N=3,000 weekly (on the average),
– Power Generator maintenance at =N=1,000 monthly
– Washing Detergent at =N=500 weekly
– and between 16 to 33% of your earnings going to the one that will STEAM PRESS the clothes for you, should you decide like my friend, not to do the ironing yourself.

Revenue at 10 pieces of clothes at say =N=150/cloth is =N=1500 daily, which comes to about =N=10,500 in a week.
While the costs of running the business (assuming your folks pay utility bills of electricity and water) is =N= 3,750 when you “Iron” yourself,
– or with an extra (33% of =N=10,500) when you don’t, which brings the total damage in cost to about =N=(3,750 + 3,465), that is =N= 7,215.

This leaves you with a profit of between =N=3,285 (when you outsource Ironing) and =N=6,750 (when you do the Ironing yourself), in a week.

You will therefore recoup the capital invested within 65 weeks (when you outsource Ironing) or 31 weeks (when you Iron yourself), and these are very CONSERVATIVE figures.

Interestingly, the actual costs is far lower because it isn’t all nights or all weekends, that you get to use the generator (when you want to wash), and the one who lives with parents and siblings may not pay rent, or utility bills like that for electricity and water, though contributing “light” to the house when about his/her business at night and weekends when there are power cuts. For the one who lives on his own, or has his/her own family, such costs will be that as he should normally incur and pay for from his/her income.

The success of this business depends a lot on goodwill and networking, because the more one is able to wash, the more the inflow of cash, which makes offsetting these bills child’s play, conversely the cost is reduced when patronage is low (and of course by extension, profits). Much of the direction in which this business will go depends largely on you, unlike the other types I have highlighted previously, so if you decide to career this path- make the best of it!

‘kovich

N.B.
One Dollar currently exchanges to the Naira at =N=197.00 officially.

PICTURE CREDIT
– Courtesy “Esi Xquisite Inv” on Facebook and on BBM

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