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6 Steps to Starting Your Own Laundry Business from Home

 

 

Update! June 2013 Danielle, the author of this post, wrote me a follow up post answering several of the questions readers had asked in the comments below. You will find her answers in
this post.

 

 

With the cost of living always on the rise, many stay at home moms are looking for ways to make extra money and ease the strain on their wallet. This can be a very tricky task as for every legitimate work-at-home opportunity out there, there seems to be 5 more that are scams. I was in this exact situation 3 years ago; right after my second child was born.

 

I went through a gamut of various work-at-home jobs ranging from survey taker to internet evaluator.  All paid very little and were not worth the time I put into them. That’s when I decided to start a home business. I didn’t want to sell a product, so instead I offered a service.

 

I gambled on the idea that there was a market of people who either didn’t have time or the desire to do their own laundry; it turns I was right. Now at a consistent client base of 10 to 15 accounts, I’m able to make an extra $1,200 a month simply by doing other people’s laundry.

 

I’d like to share with you how you can start your own home-based wash and fold service.

It’s a very easy business to start and requires things you already own.

 

Step-by-Step Guide

 

1.) Organize & Sales Tax. You’ll need to check with your state on potential licensing and registration requirements. There most likely will be a sales tax you’ll need to pay on a frequent basis. Contact your state’s tax department for guidance on sales tax.

 

You’ll also need to establish how you will be organized; Sole Proprietor, LLC, S Corp. and file the appropriate documents.

 

2.) Record-keeping. You will need to keep track of several things including; clients, payments received, expenses, and mileage. Expensive accounting software is not needed to do this; Google Spreadsheet does a fine job of keeping track of everything and the price is right; free!

 

3.) How will you be paid? Will your clients pay you before services are performed or after? Will you accept cash only or check as well? These are policies you’ll need to establish prior to taking on clients. Almost all of my clients prefer to pay via credit card. PayPal is an easy to use credit card processer with a reasonable fee (3% of transactions) that you can set up in a matter of minutes.

 

4.) Make a website. Some may argue that this step is not necessary but I’d have to completely disagree. You do not have a brick and mortar store so your website, in a sense, is your storefront. You NEED to have a way for clients to find you and get information about your services. You will accomplish this through a website. WordPress is a free web design site that is very user-friendly. You can easily create a website and find a web host from their “Hosting” section.

 

 

how to start a laundry business from home halloffamemoms.com

 

 

5.) Market your services. There are several online and offline ways to market your services, I’ll begin with online marketing.

 

Online Marketing.

 

When it comes to creating your online presence you’re going to have two options; free marketing and paid marketing. Free marketing includes listing yourself on free directories such as Google Places and >Yahoo! Local. >Craigslist is another great source to advertise your laundry service for free. Paid marketing are the sponsored ads you see on a search engine results pages; the most popular choices are Google Adwords, Yahoo! Search, Microsoft Advertising and >Facebook Ads.

 

Social media marketing is an imperative piece to your marketing efforts.Facebook, Twitter, Google+, LinkedIn are just some of the available media sites. You don’t need (and won’t have the time) to create multiple accounts, a Facebook Page is sufficient to begin. To get clients to “Like” your Facebook page you could offer an incentive such as money off their first order or do a drawing for a free week of laundry service.

 

Offline Marketing.

 

Online marketing requires only time and a computer; for offline marketing you’re going to have to roll up your sleeves and do some real leg/mouth work. First thing you’ll need to do is create an attention-getting flyer. Flyers are a cheap way to promote your business and if there’s a local college campus you can expose yourself to hundreds of potential clients every day.

 

Make sure your flyer has an attention-getting headline and print it on vibrant colored paper. Include pull off tabs at the bottom of your flyer containing your business name, phone number, email and web address if you have one.

 

Business cards are another marketing tool you’ll need for those times when you are talking with a potential client. You can get 250 business cards printed free through Vista (with $5 shipping).

 

Brainstorm the possibilities!

 

Make a list of local companies that could use your service (Spas, doctor offices, daycares, restaurants) and contact them either by phone or in person. I know, I know, everyone loves selling-   you don’t have to use a pushy sales pitch though. A quick introduction about yourself and your laundry service, coupled with how your service can benefit their business is all you need to do.

 

Here’s a little insider information that I’ve used to win over business clients: I let them know I am less expensive than big, commercial cleaners & I don’t require lengthy contracts. Most large commercial cleaners require at least a year’s contract and will charge for multiple items such as fuel, processing, rental of towels/uniforms.

 

Knowing this information can give you something attractive to offer potential business clients.

 

Lastly you’ll need to talk about your business as often as you can. Networking is a very powerful tool. You never know when you’ll run into someone who just happens to need your service or knows someone that does.

 

6.) Ready…Set…Launch! Now you are ready to go live with your business. Please be patient and understand that Rome wasn’t built in a day. You will need Time to grow. I didn’t get my first client until 2 months after launch and believe me I was starting to think I never would. After that first client I grew to 4, then 8, then 12. As a stay-at-home mom I was making great extra money by just doing laundry out of my home. Now I help other stay-at-home parents accomplish the same thing through my company Laundry Care.

 

Danielle is the owner of Laundry Care, a network of stay-at-home moms who provide laundry services from their homes. She has been cleaning clothes for 15+ years and is an expert laundress.

 

Update! June 2013 Danielle, the author of this post, wrote me a follow up post answering several of the questions readers had asked in the comments below. You will find her answers in
this post.

 

Need a cheap, effective laundry soap? Try this one I made at home.

make your own cheap laundry soap

*Linking up at Crystal & Comp and We Are That Family. Titus 2uesdays, Time to Shine,
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Tracy Zdelar

Owner/Editor at Hall of Fame Moms
Trying to keep the main thing, the main thing - in the midst of my busy life. I work from home and as a Classical Conversations tutor so I can stay at home and homeschool my boys. I also write for free coffee and use these :) - alot!

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50 Comments

  1. I have heard of moms doing this, it makes so much sense! You can stay home with your kids and still earn an income.

    • I think its a great idea and something that can work for many moms!

  2. I love washing laundry, I just hate putting it all away so this would prob work for me )

  3. You’re a wealth of information. I am in the same boat, and my kids are 9 & 13. I’m actually thinking of retirement and how to prepare for it. I have my washer and dryer sitting idle most days and really want to have a way to make an income. This is something I can do. I’ve tried to sell my handcrafted jewelry online via etsy and honestly that’s a joke. Now I can make jewelry for fun and have a source of income to boot.

    Thank you very much for sharing your information and being so encouraging.

    I’m seriously thinking about starting an in home laundry service and this helps me tremendously.

    • Thanks for the comment, Melisa. I’ve tried different things from home to earn an income. Its always been a part-time income but its been needed. There are so many ways we can make money from home. Be courageous to take the steps you need to get something going. You may have to buy a vendor’s license (I’ve done that before) and of course, be sure you check into laws about taxes or insurance – depending on the type of business you start.

      There are a lot of ideas here at my blog, ideas already put into action by other women! Look for more ideas here http://www.halloffamemoms.com/category/blog-series/2010-summer-series-wahw/

      Best wishes to you!

  4. Thank you so much for all the info. Very helpful. I am just getting started and this website was just what I needed.

    • I’m glad to help, Patty. Thank you for leaving me a comment!

  5. Your informatns are handful…am a young working guy but always want to do something that will give me independent and a kind of bussiness that has tendency to grow…cos i always wanted to be my own boss..am living in nigeria and i want to know if u can help me with the equipment that i wl need apart frm the information u listed above.

    • Thank you for your comment. No, I am sorry I do not know who in Nigeria you could contact for help with equipment. I would suggest you do a search online for contacts or ask trusted friends. Perhaps a church or missionary organization would know of a place that offers help with starting a business in your area. I would suggest starting there. I wish you the best!

  6. Comment :Thank you sister for your valuable information.lt’s come at the right time. My wife and run a charitable organisation where we carter 4 both vulnarable children and orphans.ln order to sustain our work we decided 2 go into laundry business

    • I hope the info proves helpful for you and your wife, Osward, and I wish you both the best! Sounds like you are doing a good work helping others.

  7. Thanks so much for your helpful ideas, I live in a college town and am thinking of making up some flyers and putting them on windshields to see what kind of response I might get. I lost my job, due to outsourcing, 2 yrs ago and am still trying to find full time work….thinking this could possibly turn into something for me, any suggestions would be welcomed!!

    • Stacy, thank you for the comment. For more work-at-home ideas have you checked my category on it? There’s a link in the sidebar but I’ll share it here too http://www.halloffamemoms.com/category/work-at-home-ideas/ . If you scroll through the pages you’ll see there were 16 women who sent me interviews about what they do – among other topics. Hope that helps some! I may be doing another series on it in the near future.

  8. Hello! Loved your article! I think this is an amazing idea!!!!! :) Do you do pick up and drop off OR do clients drop their stuff off? how much do you charge? just curious as i have noooo idea. thanks in advancE!!!

    • Thank you! This was a guest post so I don’t know what she does. I do appreciate you stopping by to read and leave a comment though. :)

  9. I am looking forward about this business
    My Problem I dont have the Tools to work on Like the Mochen
    I am Stay @ Johannesburg / Soweto
    Thank you for your advise

    • Hi Eunice,

      Its really a great idea to enter in this business, we do provide some of these tools such as commercial washing machine, laundry detergent, etc.

      Please visit our website and contact us if you do have more questions.

      Thanks.

      • JLA, What is your website?

        • Hi Tracy,

          Our website is http://www.jla.com . We’ve been leading the way in commercial laundry since 1973, so we understand more than most that different businesses have different laundry requirements.
          If you have more questions then please feel free to contact us at enquiries@jla.com .

  10. Hello! This seems to be a great idea would have never thought of starting a laundry business from home. I alwayed wanted to start my own laundromat but it cost money so Im putting it on hold for now. I might consider starting out of my home. Thank You so much…..

  11. this is really a great idea i am a airwoman i amm thinking of starting of my own laundry business. thank you so much

  12. financial projection: give me an indication of what your stream will be, your expenditure and cash flow. i’m in south Africa

  13. I just want to know about your financial projection

    • Hi Joel, this was written by someone with experience in this business and not written by myself. You may be able to contact her for that information. Thanks for the comments.

  14. I love this idea and my question is, how do you charge? Is it per pound, per item, eyeball a load?
    Also, how do you process the payment? If you go to their door step to pick up laundry, do you tell them right then and there how much it’s going to be and do they give you a credit card right there?
    Please elaborate on how you obtain payment.
    Thank you and have a nice day.

    • Thanks for commenting, Rita. This was written by someone in the business, not myself. But perhaps I can get her to answer here.

  15. am always disappointing my costumers in my laundry business, what can i do

    • You didn’t mention what they are disappointed about. First step would be to identify why they disappointed. Are the clothes clean, dried thoroughly and folded neatly (or on a hanger)? Are you returning their clothes on time (or are you late)?

      Identify the problem area and do what you can, if anything, to fix it.

      • Hi,

        I think this is a wonderful idea. Can you tell me if you use your home washer or a commercial washer? I am really interested.

        Thanks

        • Hi Carol, this was a guest post. I think the idea is to do it in your home, but I imagine you could do it either way really. The writer did a follow up post answering questions. You might check there to see if she addressed that on in any way. Thanks for commenting.

  16. I would like to know more about your business. How did you really start. What was the process. How much did you spend, how much do you charge. What equipment do you need?those sorts of things……I have a sick son with disabilities and am thinking of doing a little business to support him and me…You are an inpiration.
    Thanks

  17. On average besides tax how much should you charge per laundry load etc? Like how would you price it?

  18. I’ve been in laundry for life. This helps my family. Your article is great for mums especially single Wes.

    I have never used any machines but iron. Its great.

    thanks

  19. Happy new year to you. i like the idea of having a laundry service. how can you help please?

    • Thanks for your comment. The writer of this post is a different person that the blog owner who is me. I don’t have experience starting this kind of business. Good luck!

  20. I think its a great idea for any stay at home parent or person that’s out of work. But if things pick up for you and you start doing a lot it might be worth investing in a commercial machine as non-commercial washer machines aren’t built to work as hard/often.

    Just a word of warning, because a broken washing machine due to over use could be costly for you to replace as well as put a hold on your home laundry business!

  21. I would love to start this type of business! I don’t have professional laundry machines at my home; is it unusual to get financial assistance from the local SBA?

    • Hi Debra, I don’t think you need “professional” machines as in “industrial” machines. As for financial assistance I don’t know either, but I don’t see why you would need it if you have a decent home washer and dryer. You would be providing a service so let’s say you start out with a couple customers. You might do a few loads of wash for them every other week, right? I would recommend talking to someone (an accountant maybe) about how to go about claiming part of your laundry room and utilities, supplies and mileage for business expenses to save you money. I think this type of business would require very little overhead. Good luck!

  22. I just want to say am grateful for the information you put across. I owe a laundry business in Ghana, though my client base is not stable, i wish you could share some ideas that will help in this direction. I distributed flyers, sent out proposal letters to individuals and companies, gave out call cards as well. May be there is something extra i need to do apart from d numerous follow ups i have made to these people. Thanks in advance for your help.

    • Hi Edem, I really hope this information has been a great help. Have you looked at the follow up post I did with the lady who started this laundry business? The link is in the post where – she answers questions that readers were asking. Maybe you’ll find something in that post to help.

  23. I want to start own business my biggest problem is the
    machinery.

  24. I want to start a pick up and drop off laundry business from home and my problem is machinery.

  25. hi Tracy,am in Botswana and i really love what you are doing,i v wanting to start up the laundry services but didnt know how to go about with it.thank you for the information you have provided.

  26. How much is equipment for laundry cause I want to start a small business and can I get it

    • I don’t know. You might find some helpful suggestions in the other comments though. Thank you for visiting.

  27. please am please with you plan update me what nest in starting point. good work

  28. Am so happy to av you here,pls it is compulsory to start this kind of business with washing machine and dryer because I av financial break up and pls how do I get original industrial press iron

  29. Thank you so much Tracy,this kind of a business will be great to me,especially as a young person who is looking forward to home based business

    • Thank you for the kind comment, Mmapula. I wish you the best!

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  1. Readers’ Questions Answered about Starting a Laundry Business from Home – Mentor Mondays | Hall of Fame Moms | Ohio Blog - [...] March 2012 I published a guest post from a gal who has a laundry business and she wrote this …
  2. How good can homemade laundry soap work? - […] is awesome!  And, if you’re looking for a way to work from home you might want to consider starting …

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