How to Start a Dry Cleaning and Laundry Business in Kenya

Most Kenyans are always busy in modern times that they don’t have time for their laundry work. In most cases, Kenyans in urban areas look for dry cleaning services to clean their clothes and also save them time. This makes dry cleaning one of the profitable business ideas in Kenya. Today, you’ll know how to start a dry cleaning and laundry business in Kenya.

To start a dry cleaning and laundry business in Kenya, you need a washer, dryer, presser, and steamer. These are the essential equipment that will keep your clients’ clothes faster without any damage or wrinkles. You’ll also need to pay the relevant business licenses from your respective County Government.

In the rest of this article, I’ll break down what you need to start a dry cleaning and laundry business in Kenya. I’ll also give you a breakdown of the cost of starting this business. Keep reading to learn!

Necessary Equipment for Starting dry Cleaning and Laundry Business

List down the equipment you’ll need for the dry cleaning and laundry business and confirm their costs to ensure you’ve enough capital once the business takes off. Below is a list of the necessary equipment for starting a dry cleaning and laundry business in Kenya.

Washer Machine 

A washer machine is used to clean clothes. Buy the one that can hold many clothes for a start. 

Drying Machine 

Purchase a quality drier with a significant holding capacity. A drier is used to remove wetness from the clothes.

Presser Machine   

A presser machine is used to press clothing after cleaning to prepare them for drying.

Steamer 

A steamer is used to remove wrinkles from clothes in commercial laundry shops.

Also Read: Easy Businesses to Start in Kenya

How to Start Dry Cleaning and Laundry Business Step by Step

To make a successful dry cleaning and laundry business, you should take the following steps;

Write a Good Business Plan

The success of every business is based on how well it’s planned. You’ll need an effective business plan if you want your laundry and dry cleaning business to take off and start operating right away.

Write a business plan that outlines accurate and correct details. Have accurate prices of dry cleaning items for your business. Your plan should also include goals and objectives you anticipate achieving within a specific duration.

It should also contain your business’s income projection. Starting a business, you’re not sure the amount it’ll generate at the end of the month is unwise. A solid business strategy will allow you to organize and secure funding for your dry cleaning and laundry business. During this period, you’ll be able to get cash funds for launching your dry cleaning and laundry business.

Acquire the Business Permits and Licenses

It’s a legal business, and you need to operate it legally, which is an advantage to earning your customer’s trust.  Obtaining business permits will help you avoid conflicts with authority officials. 

Contact the authorities involved with these business types to obtain the necessary permits and licenses for business operations. The license cost will always differ depending on the nature and complexion of your business. License and permits for a new dry cleaning and laundry business cost around ksh 10,000 annually.  

You should also contact the Kenya Revenue Authority to obtain an employer identification number, allowing you to hire personnel and open bank accounts for your business.   

Get Business Insurance 

Getting business insurance for your dry cleaning business is critical. Laundry items are very costly, and losing one can seriously setback your business. As a result, you should insure your business against theft, damages from floods, fire, and other calamities. If any incident happens, you’ll be compensated by the insurance company. At least you won’t have to worry about starting over again.

Identify a Business Location

Business location is a significant factor in the success of any business. When identifying a business location, you should consider the kind of customers you’re targeting.  To succeed in the laundry business, ensure its set at accessible locations near offices, homes, and establishments like hospitals.  

Also, ensure the business location is friendly and highly populated. Locating your business in an obscure place is a step toward failure. Your operation room should be spacious enough to provide a room for a reception for sorting, storage room, and cleaning room and a room to hang the finished clothes and other items. 

Purchase Dry Cleaning and Laundry Equipment 

Once you research the equipment prices, visit a reputable dealer for quality cleaning and drying machines and other necessary equipment for the business. 

You can buy second-hand equipment if you’re working on a limited budget. Ensure the equipment are functioning and maximumly efficient.  Also, the equipment should be energy and water efficient to help you save on water and electricity bills.   

Hire Skilled Personnel 

For any business to carry out its operations, they need staff, and the laundry business is no exception. If you want to provide exceptional services to your clients, you’ll need two or more people to manage the business, particularly if you’re starting with more than one washing machine. 

The hiring process should be efficient to ensure that the staff you employ have the best experience and skills in offering these services. It will help you to win more customers and keep them returning. 

The staff needed may include a delivery driver if among your services are delivery and collection of laundry and alternation specialist.  

Decide How Much to Charge 

Ask around how other laundries charge so that you dont undercharge or overcharge, adversely affecting your business.

Marketing Your Business 

Starting a new business is challenging in the first several days because it does not have customers yet. Hence you need to market it.  Create awareness about your business’s services and product prices in and around your target market.

Remember to mention the brand name and location of your business. You can also make a big step by establishing an online presence for your cleaning and laundry business and marketing it to your target clientele. Increasing your brand’s visibility will undoubtedly enhance your sales.

Cost of Starting Dry Cleaning and Laundry Business in Kenya 

The cost of starting a dry cleaning and laundry business in Kenya is between Ksh. 100,000 and 200,000. The table below shows how you can divide this amount to start the business successfully:

ActivityAmount in Ksh
Washing machine34,000
Furniture20,000
Folding table11,000
Interior layout10,000
Ironing table3,000
Ironing box3,000
Business license and permits10,000
Rent10,000-20,000
The cost of starting a dry cleaning and laundry business in Kenya

Is Dry Cleaning and Laundry Business in Kenya Profitable

The cleaning and laundry business is lucrative once you get a good location. Identify areas where people are busy and working in offices.  

A good flow of clients will bring your dream to reality. The business can generate an income of at least Ksh. 30,000 in a bad month. More promotion, marketing, and better days together with clients’ trust will see you earning even more than this.

Many factors, however, determine the profitability of the cleaning and laundry business, such as your pricing, location, and competition.

Things to Consider Before Setting up Laundry Business

If you’re looking for how to start a dry cleaning and laundry business in Kenya, consider the following:

Electrics, Water, and Gas

Suppose you’re getting a location that wasn’t previously a launderette, like a shop on a high street or a unit within an industrial estate. In that case, you need to consider the site’s electrics, water waste, gas, and water supply.

It’s essential to ensure your premises have sufficient incoming water supply, as is the necessity for ducting the dryers, which must pass through an external wall. Remember that it’s necessary to plan for modification permission.

The minimum incoming water supply for many washer and dryer systems is 15mm.  This is sufficient for running toilets and taps, but it wouldn’t work for running a laundry operation that needs multiple washers to be filled once.  

Your option may include investing in water storage alternatives, like installing a tank or upgrading your premise’s water supply. You may also need to upgrade the outgoing waste pipe. These two are potential problems you need to examine and solve in advance.

Most of the equipment in commercial launderettes requires 3 phase electric supply.

Location 

The secret to your business’s success is identifying a suitable location. You should be able to depend on the local community for business; hence ensuring it’s set in a strategic location can be advantageous to people willing to utilize your facility.

Having a good mix of privately owned homes and rental houses is ideal. Ensure you’re situated in a busy area, and your clients have convenient drop-off and pick-up points. You can easily do this by checking that there is parking access near the proposed site.

Your Competition

When selecting a business location, you should consider the local competition. Knowing what other launderettes provide and their charges for similar services is essential as it will enable you to offer your clientele something distinctive and different.

Although the services and basic concepts may be similar, looking at the nearby laundry shops will spark unique ideas to help you stand out from the local competition. 

Bottom Line 

Dry cleaning and laundry is a lucrative business in Kenya. To make good returns start the business in urban and developed areas, then do good marketing of your business. I believe the knowledge shared in this guide on how to start a dry cleaning and laundry business in Kenya will be helpful in your venture.

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