How to run a squeaky clean, no dust speckles business

How to run a squeaky clean, no dust speckles business

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Back to our squeaky business

How innovative and intuitive are you? How well can you shape demand and ideas into the perfect business?

Silas is a dry cleaning business owner and graphic designer from Lagos but runs his business in Ibadan. A recount of how he built his business idea from a problem he faced. Here is a chat with Silas Ajao on how he runs his squeaky clean business.

Introduce yourself and the kind of business you run?

My name is Silas Ajao, and my small business is a dry cleaning service that caters to your laundry needs within 1 hour. Alagbafo1hour is a business that has been standing for 5 years. We run a physical store where customers can walk in and wash their laundry themselves in the washing machines at the store.

My business aims to make dry cleaning easier and more convenient for everyone; we also render extra services such as cleaning apartments.

Tell us your business story?

"It was 5 years ago, and I had travelled to Ibadan for a certification exam—because I had zero time for anything but studying, I took my clothes to the dry cleaners there. The first person did such an awful job and messed up my laundry I moved on to try someone else. I had requested express delivery on the clothes; this person came back with my clothes poorly drycleaned, with the excuse that the express request caused him not to do his job well. The third and final person I tried outrightly told me he couldn't deliver, that it'd be a waste of his time.

Before this ordeal, I had always been a business-oriented person; this made me think that, okay, I'm facing this issue—how many other people are in my shoes? I realized that the hotel I was lodged in with other students had 35 rooms with 2 students in each room. So I found a way to pitch my service to them, and yes, that was how Alagbafo1hour came to be."


Amazing, that is very innovative; so far, what challenges do you face in running your own business?

The fuel scarcity, the issues with Nepa and so on. But what we have done with Alagbafo1hour was to revamp certain aspects of the business to make do with the current situation. So, for example, now we only take your laundry to clean for you; we don't do walk-ins anymore.

How did you manage your finances as a business owner?

I use Kippa to manage my account. Funny enough, before, I would just whip up an Excel spreadsheet and input all my information. But with Kippa, I could record my inputs daily and tell where I was with my business's finances anytime-It was so hard to forget to record my daily transactions, because Kippa has this funny way of reminding you with funny notifications.

Although I don't have to do much accounting anyways because I have an accounting team that has that aspect covered for the business, my main priority with my finances is how much is coming in.

What counts as income and expenses to you in your small business?

The money I make from rendering my service to customers is my profit, and expenses are our reusables, electricity, rent, security, data subscriptions and staff payroll.

What lesson's have you learned with respect to your money and business?

I had to learn the hard way by tracking my finances—you have to know how much you're spending and how much you are making. I find that there's this lie that many business owners tell themselves, "I'm making money", .but in reality, they are not. You may have an influx of customers day in and day out, and you could still be running your business at a loss. So never spend more than you bring into your business; if you don't, you limit your upscaling chances. So many expenses may seem urgent, but you know that they are not.

What tip would you give to a person about to start their own business?

This is a straightforward but difficult tip to take note of—separate your business from yourself. Separate your finances.

Finally, What business strategies have helped you in your business journey?

Running a business on credit is one of the quickest ways to run your business into the ground. Picture this you think you have made a profit of 100,000 naira, but you only have 40,000 naira at hand, and you don't get the reminder until months after. How do you survive? Always do your math.

Another strategy I tried was to try as best as possible to understand customer relations. Understanding that every customer is not the same, everyone has a preference as to how they are served and treated.



Address: Ring Road, Ibadan


With Kippa,

You can now create a free account number for your business. An account number that carries your business name will make you look very professional and let your customers see that you mean business. (or don’t you?)

Scale With Kippa is a weekly series where we discuss the peculiarities of running and scaling businesses in Nigeria. This month’s episodes focus on the lives of small scale roadside in different industries who are growing year on year using all available resources.

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Get an Account number for your business
Hafeedoh Balogun

Hafeedoh Balogun