By Moses Nosike
Laundry business is one of the lucrative ventures in the country anyone can start. Although it has its challenges like every other venture, it looks like the kind of SME that will undo what the COVID-19 pandemic is doing to jobs.
Vanguard took the experiences of two men, who have been in the business of washing clothes for a while.
Chijoke Nwosu, who has spent five years in the laundry business in Lagos, said a good location is vital for the success of the business.
He told Vanguard, “first, it requires your passion, techniques and training. It also has its own peculiar challenges like any other business in Nigeria.”
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According to Nwosu, “availability of water is one of the challenges we encounter in the laundry business. You will need a good source of water supply.
“So, you may need to purchase a big tank stand, pay tankers to supply you clean water occasionally, unless you have borehole or tap water.”
Nwosu cited a shortage of power supply as another challenge: “Epileptic power supply is another challenge of laundry business in Nigeria. Most laundry operators in Nigerian cities hardly have constant power supply in a week to do laundry business.
“So, if you must run a commercial laundry business in Nigeria, you will need a minimum of 6KVA power generating set and be ready to fuel it.”
Kunle Lawal is also another Nigerian young man, who is into the laundry business. Lawal said that since his graduation he has been into the business.
His words: “I have been into the laundry business for six years now. After my graduation, I went out to search for a job, but found none.
“After two years of searching, nothing came my way. It was my friend who introduced the business to me. He said while waiting and hoping for any job opportunity, I should start with this.
“So, I attached myself to him and learned how to do laundry work. Here I am today with the laundry business. With it, I got married and I have two kids.”
Speaking on the challenges, Lawal said: “Lack of capital to acquire equipment and materials is a great challenge to starting this business on a commercial scale in Nigeria.
“As a new entrant, you may not afford bank collateral and interest on a loan. So, it becomes difficult, unless you have to borrow from friends, family members or sell off personal belongings to raise the needed capital.
“While you are doing that, you are thinking of location. In the laundry business, a lack of suitable location is another challenge.
“Good location plays an important role in the success of any laundry business. A suitable location for a laundry business should be an open space, residential or high traffic area, where it can easily be seen by customers. It is usually difficult to find such spaces in cities.
“This has made some persons site their laundry business in an unsuitable location. Where you locate your business can make either or mar your business.”
So, while the COVID-19 pandemic “kill” jobs, once a little capital and a good location got, laundry “resurrects” employment.