While a student at Daystar University Athi river campus, Max Mburu identified an opportunity out of his fellow students’ biggest challenge, laundry. Most of the students disliked doing their laundry and within the environ there were no available laundry services at affordable rates. He took it upon himself to set one, Hamoo laundry which he launched in 2016 to meet this need.
He started by charging per bag of laundry, but later changed to charging Sh100 per kg of laundry. He figured that to keep his core clientele, he had to charge an affordable rate.
Close to two years into the business, Max has employed one permanent staff and two casuals and aims to set up a branch within Nairobi. To help him with nuggets in the laundry business, I linked him up to Grace Mwakesho of Lorenzo dry cleaners that has been in operation for close to six years. Mwakesho has established her brand amongst the elite through its positioning within major malls in the city such as Village market, Muthaiga, Nextgen mall. Here are some nuggets shared by Grace.
Encourage employees to cross-sell and up-sell
The customer service team within the laundry business need to invite customers to buy related or complementary items i.e. cross-selling and also encourage customers to purchase a comparable higher-end product than the one in question i.e. up-selling in order to increase the value of business from customers. This is vital as a business from a customer is periodical - weekly or monthly.
Have a strong value proposition
A business is only as strong as the value proposition. Lorenzo brand picked up fast in the market as a result of its two-hour service value proposition, which entailed customers having their laundry ready after two hours of submission. This was a first in the market at the time.
Uphold a strong work culture
A business thrives as a result of the culture nurtured within. When on boarding any new employee to the business, the business owner has to ensure that the employee has been brought to speed with and encouraged to embrace the culture within the organization.
Learn all aspects of the business
An entrepreneur within a business should not only concentrate on bringing in new business but also know all technical aspects involved in the business. Through this the entrepreneur is not only able to cater for gaps when the employees are unavailable but also serve as motivation for the team.