When faced with a mountain of dirty laundry, people today ask themselves: Should I wash this at home or should I look for someone who can do this instead, and quicker?
Sounds familiar? There are a lot who likely choose the latter, and this is probably the reason why laundry shops in the Philippines continue popping up. It is no surprise that for the past few years, the laundry business has become one of most promising (and profitable) SME or small and medium enterprises.
If you want to set up a laundry shop and become one of the service providers in the country, here are the seven things to consider in starting your own business:
- PRICING STRATEGY
Strategies can either be quality-driven, price-driven or capacity-driven. Pricing that is based on quality commands a premium as you’ll put in all the needed inputs and aim for the perfect wash.
Big brands usually follow the price-driven approach, where they capitalize on their reputation to justify their price despite the low rates offered by smaller competitors.
Meanwhile, a capacity-driven strategy offers low-cost pricing which the business tries to compensate by getting more clothes washed in a single spin.
Water is an essential component of the laundry process. To save on the rising cost, launderers are tempted to source from deep wells, using hard water filled with minerals that are actually bad on the cloth as it does not easily dissolve soap. Soft water, on the other hand, requires less chemicals and provides a trouble-free finish.
Launderers need to observe as well the optimal water level in each wash. Rinse can be adjusted either twice or thrice, depending on the need.
Imagine that you are to build a laundry business and you don’t have an assistant to help you out. Although some shops try to lessen manpower involved in the laundry process, having an experienced employee for cashier and customer service are still essential. Employees should be accountable, responsible and are analysis-oriented.
Whether you’re a big or small laundry, expertise produces less errors and rewashes.
Payroll for your workers is also important. Pay them fairly as they work for your business.
Customers judge the best detergents and fabric conditioner by looking at physical attributes, like bubbles and aroma, and also cost and price.
From an operations perspective, launderers should aim for the best wash by avoiding highly acidic solutions. Less chemicals is better. Your supplier also must provide regular technical services.
You have to know which machine you should use in running your business. Aside from the price, you also have to consider the quality (good machines have powerful motors). Remember that it is always about their efficiency, capability and durability.
Laundry shops should also have enough space for the machines. A typical set of two machines will occupy about 1 square meter. With the waiting areas and reception included, the typical shop can be between 20 to 100 sqm with a capacity of two to 10 sets of machines.
- DRIER & HEAT
After the wash, the launderer puts everything into the dryer. There is a certain moisture content required prior to drying. Lint removal must also be regularly done.
Drying gives out heat. And if one would like to save electricity or gas cost, the heat coming from the dryer can be reused by setting up another small room for the pre-drying.
The drying area must be well-ventilated.
In any brick-and-mortar business, location is always key. Location must be strategic and should be near target customers. Finding the right balance of accessibility and cost (lease) for your laundry shop can make or break the business.
Text contribution from Isabel Magsino. Image contribution from Isabel Magsino & JM Abcede