How To Build a Lucrative Laundry Business In Kenya

Modern living is engrossing people in career development, leaving them with little to no time for what used to be the daily routine. Hence, there’s a rising demand for laundry and house cleaning services. Establishing an efficient laundry business in Kenya can fetch you good profits.

To start a laundry business, you will need an initial capital of Kshs 200,000 and above. With the right marketing strategy, this will earn you a monthly return of at least Kshs 50,000.

As Kenyans try to free up more time for careers and family, they seek help to keep their homes running efficiently. One such primary service is the laundry business, which caters to their needs.

In this guide, I will cover the following:

  • The basics of a laundry business
  • How to open a laundry business in Kenya – step-by-step process
  • Tips to boost your business growth and profitability
  • Common laundry business questions
Laundry Business In Kenya

Let’s dive in!

The ABCs of a Laundry Business

Learning the basic elements of the laundry business and what’s expected in each model can help you optimize your efficiency, success, and profitability in the long run.

So, what’s a laundry business, and what does it entail?

A laundry business specializes in cleaning dirty clothes for domestic and commercial clients. Some of the popular commercial clients you might serve in this venture include hotels, hospitals, and security companies. 

Depending on the needs of the clients in your location, you should provide excellent and customized services that meet their needs satisfactorily. Note that this business may also involve dry cleaning or ironing and delivery of client’s clothes.

Types of Laundry Businesses

A lady washing clothes

The laundry business comes in different models, depending on the mobility, size, and service range of the company. Below are the most popular laundry businesses in Kenya:

  1. Home Laundromat

This laundry business can be set up and operated from home so as to cut costs. Typically, when running a home laundromat, you pick up clothes, clean them, and deliver them to your client’s residence anytime they request your services.

To open this business, you will need the following equipment:

  • Washing machine with dryer 
  • Ironing table
  • Iron box or machine

The success of this business model highly relies on your marketing strategy. You must develop effective physical and online marketing plans. Having a website and a wide social media presence can fetch you a wide customer base.

2. Mama Fua Corporate Laundry Business

Popularly known as Mama Fua, Mama Fua Corporate is the most popular laundry business in Kenya due to its low entry costs and barriers. Typically, homeowners hire individuals(or Mama Fua) who provide in-home cleaning services and are paid an agreed wage between the two parties.

To maximize the profits in this model, you can hire individuals to work as Mama Fua and train them to meet your clients’ needs. You can also brand your business by providing them with uniforms for easy identification by your clients. 

Similar to the home laundromat, this business model heavily relies on your physical and online marketing plan. Hence, you should create first-rate posters and develop a website or an app for easy online service booking.

It is important to note that this laundry business is capital-intensive since you will hire, train, and pay extra costs. For example, PAYE or taxes, NSSF, and NHIF charges.

3. Physical Laundromat

Typically, you set up a physical laundry space where clients drop their clothes. Once you clean them, they pick them up at an agreed date and time. This business performs well in high-foot-traffic areas.

To set up a physical laundromat, you will need the following:

  • A washing machine with a dryer
  • Ironing table
  • Iron machine
  • Business permits

Why Start a Laundry Business?

What are the advantages of starting a laundry business in Kenya?

  1. Rising Demand for Laundry Services: Kenyans work on tight schedules, leaving little time to complete chores. Hence, there’s an increased demand for laundry cleaning services.
  2. Easy Entry: Unlike most businesses, the laundry service industry has few limitations. The multiple models also make it easy for you to penetrate the market since you can start at an affordable level like the Mama Fua Model.
  3. It’s Affordable: If you can’t afford to raise funds for the equipment and supplies, you can start as Mama Fua. Then, gradually upscale to Mama Fua Corporate, home, or physical laundromat.

Challenges of Owning a Laundry Business

  1. Competition: Establishing a laundry business in a location with other laundromats can be difficult. Most new businesses go out of business due to the stiff competition. As a result, you must identify a location with manageable competition.
  2. Legal Requirements: If you open a physical laundromat, you will need business permits and licenses, which are expensive.
  3. Service Customization: Unlike selling products, laundry services require customization to fit the client’s needs, which differ across individuals. 

How To Start a Laundry Business In Kenya

Neatly folded shirts arranged on a table

What do I need to start a laundry business in Kenya?

Below is a step-by-step process expounding how you can set up a laundry business

Step 1. Conduct Market Research

A thorough market research helps collect information about your target market, customer behaviors, and economic situations. Hence, you can develop strategies that will help you drive your business success in the long run.

Some of the key factors you should focus on during this step include:

  • Regulations and Legal Requirements

Each business category comes with unique requirements, which, if not fulfilled, might end up on the wrong side of the law. Thus, you must familiarize yourself with the hygiene and disposal regulations.

In addition, you should consult your county government offices about the business permits and licenses necessary to start a laundry business. This will prevent constant disruptions by hygiene and safety officers.

  • Target Market

What’s the income level of your target market?

What types of services do they need?

Having commercial clients is different from individual ones. How? Commercial clients like hospitals, hotels, and security companies need professional clothes-cleaning services, while individuals seek help with household garments, including personal attire, school uniforms, and bedding. 

You should understand your target market to provide fitting services. Check their income level to understand whether their budget meets your pricing. You don’t want to make losses while accommodating budgets below your charges.

  • The Market Size

The compounding growth rate of the laundry and dry cleaning industry is projected to increase by 6% by 2025. This confirms there is a high demand for laundry business services. 

More Kenyans are embracing high standards of hygiene since the pandemic. Moreover, the increase in disposable income and tight schedules force citizens to hire laundry cleaning professionals for the best results while maximizing their time.

  • Competition 

Are there existing laundry businesses in your preferred location?

What can you do to stand out from the competition?

You must research your competition so they don’t outdo you in your offers. Learn the range of services they provide, their pricing strategy, and marketing plans to assess whether you can operate at or above their level.

In addition, identify the market gaps they’ve overlooked. Then, try to develop a strategy to cover this to make your services more fitting and appealing to your target market.

Step 2. Develop a Laundry Business Plan

A business plan development process

Now that you understand the market and what is required to set up a laundry business, you should write a business plan. You’re perhaps wondering why you need one; this document comprises fundamental information that allows you to position your venture in the best way possible for success.

Some of the key things you must include in your business plan include the following:

  • The Initial Capital: This is the money you need to set up your laundry business in Kenya. It caters to the rent, business permits and licenses, equipment and supplies, and the first staff salary.
  • The Working Capital: The working capital refers to the money that covers daily business expenses, including electricity, water, and garbage bills. 

You should include the two when computing the capital for a smooth operation.

  • Location: Your location influences your business profitability. As a result, you should identify a location with security, utilities, and easy accessibility. 
  • Marketing Strategy: Marketing is a crucial element in your business as it increases your reach and returns. Thus, you must develop an effective marketing strategy that will attract more customers to your business.

Step 3. Get The Necessary Legal Documents

The government expects you to complete several legal processes before you start running your laundry business. Here is a list of the legal requirements you should adhere to

  • Business Registration: Registering your business is a must if you want to have a smooth business journey. The government of Kenya has made it easier by providing the entire process online.

All you need to do is visit eCitizen and follow the simple steps to register your business as a sole proprietorship, partnership, or limited company, depending on your preferences. 

  • Business Permit and License: This document is usually available at the county level. Typically, it takes two weeks to process at the county authority offices. Depending on your location, the cost varies, with densely populated areas featuring higher charges.
  • Certificates: To ensure the safety of your staff and clients, the authorities inspect your premises for certain standards and provide you with certificates to permit you to operate your business. Some of the key things you will apply for certification include fire and hygiene.

Step 4. Purchase Laundry Equipment and Supplies

Operating a commercial laundry business requires the use of machines due to the intensive work involved. Hence, you should budget for washing machines with dryers, ironing machines, ironing tables, and supplies.

Nevertheless, if you’re operating a Mama Fua Corporate or starting as a Mama Fua, you don’t need to purchase these items. 

Here is how much it will cost you to acquire all the necessary items for the initial set-up:

  • Commercial washing machine – Kshs 300,000 
  • Ironing stands and boxes – Kshs 10,000 
  • Furniture – Kshs 10,000
  • Premise customization – Kshs 30,000

Assuming you’re starting as the sole Mama Fua, you can do away with the washing machine, furniture, and premise customization since you provide services at your client’s doorstep.

Step 5. Hire Qualified Staff

Once you acquire all the necessary equipment and legal requirements to start your business, you should focus on hiring skilled employees. This will help you eliminate training costs while providing your clients with a great customer experience.

If you find it difficult to recruit staff, collaborate with a reliable recruitment agency to search for top talent. This will save you time and the daunting process of endless interviews. 

Step 6. Launch Your Laundry Business

Time to launch your laundry business!

Now that you’ve completed all the fundamental steps in your set-up process, it’s time to invite people to your business. To accomplish this, you need to reach out to your target group online and physically.

Then, invite a local media company to showcase your top-notch services. This will attract the masses to your business. 

Tips To Boost Your Business Growth and Profitability

Make money from laundry services

Realizing your business goals is crucial in driving long-term business success. Below are some tips you can apply to accomplish exceptional growth in your laundry business

Tip 1. Develop an Effective Marketing Strategy

Marketing is a basic ingredient for any business’s success. Think about it; we constantly interact with big brands on TV and online regardless of their exceptional performance in the market for the longest time.

A good example is the detergent companies, which have existed for decades, but they always continue promoting their products every day. You must develop a suitable marketing plan to enjoy worthwhile growth and returns in your laundry business.


To market your laundry services, you must study your target audience, their needs, and their favorite online chilling spots. Then, create a marketing campaign that will sell your services on these platforms.

Tip 2. Customize Your Services

The service industry is distinctive, with every client asking for something unique. One client’s favorite detergent is another’s worst, meaning you have to tailor your laundry services according to each client’s needs and preferences.

So, ensure you train your employees to take note of each client’s specifications and provide a unique experience to meet their needs. This will give you a competitive advantage, fetching you repeat clients.

Tip 3. Get an Insurance Cover

New entrepreneurs tend to overlook the need for insurance. However, some unpredictable occurrences can disrupt your business for a short while or, worse, close down your venture.

For instance, theft, fire, and natural disasters like flooding can damage your equipment. If you don’t have insurance in such situations, you will be forced to acquire all this equipment again or close down if you can’t raise the capital. 

Ensure you plan for the same to keep your business running smoothly after such happenings.

Also Read:

Frequently Asked Questions

1. How Do I Price Laundry Services In Kenya?

You can apply the following pricing strategies to your laundry business

  • Competitive Pricing: Here, you price your laundry business in Kenya based on your rivals’ charges.
  • Penetration Pricing: The penetration pricing strategy provides services at a lower price to attract more customers, which then increases with time.
  • Value-Based Pricing: When applying this strategy, you charge your clients according to the value they appropriate the service.

Nevertheless, when applying any of these strategies, ensure your business does not bear losses in the long run.

2. How Do I Start a Small Laundry Business In Kenya? 

A small laundry business can be an affordable way to lay a robust foundation for a big commercial laundry business. To start a small laundry venture, you can do the following:

Step 1. Provide Mama Fua services in people’s homes. Request your clients for referrals if their friends or family ask for laundry cleaning services.

Step 2. If you have a washing machine at home, provide laundry pickup, washing, and dropping services.

Step 3. Collaborate with Mama Fuas and link them to homeowners in need of laundry services.

Want To Start a Laundry Business In Kenya?

The laundry business is growing at a high rate due to the increased demand for laundry services. Setting up a laundromat that meet your clients’ needs can help you fetch massive returns. You can also boost your business growth through an effective marketing plan and customize services to customers’ needs.

Feeling uncertain or stuck with your financial goals? Check out Centwarrior shop for expert budgeting and debt clearance guides.

Written by Alex

Written by Alex

I have passion in helping people Make, Manage, Multiply & Protect Wealth.Download my Free Guide to Financial Freedom >>[ GET IT HERE]<<