Quality Online Guides

How To Start A Successful Laundry Services Business

Author: Stuart Palmer

How To Start A Successful Laundry Services Business

Book Series: Start A Successful Business Series

1. Making Money from Laundry Is Possible

When you think about doing laundry, what is the first thing that comes to your mind? More than likely, you think about the work that you might do around your own home, caring for personalized laundry services for yourself and your family. Like many people, you may find that it is difficult to fit in this necessary chore along with everything else that needs to be done in your busy life. Some individuals look at laundry as being a problem and a mundane chore, but others see an opportunity.

Description: Finance Growth Concept 3

This publication is designed for those who are capable of doing laundry and have an entrepreneurial spirit. As a matter of fact, it is possible to start a successful laundry service, and when you do so, you may find that more and more people are taking you up on what you have to offer. After all, they are likely in the same situation as you, overwhelmed with the difficulties that life places upon them and finding that their laundry is stacking up in a corner, rather than getting done regularly. By opening your own laundry service, you are offering them something that will be a great convenience in their life, and they will reward you handsomely for it.

It is important to understand that laundry services are very beneficial, not only for those who may find it difficult to do their laundry regularly, but also for those who open their own business to make some extra money. In reality, there are numerous benefits available by starting such a service, and you will find that you are enjoying those benefits on an increasing level, as your level of success increases. Some of those benefits are directly related to the laundry service itself, while others are related to opening your own business. We will discuss both in the following chapter.

Even though many people consider a laundry service to be a somewhat informal business, it is still necessary to start the business properly. This would require establishing your business in the right way and having a business plan in place. We will discuss those factors in another chapter of this publication, and you should pay careful attention to the material that is provided. Not only will it help you to design a business plan that can be used to get funding or to keep your business on track, you will also find that you are learning what is necessary to start a laundry business properly, so that you don't have any difficulties at a future time.

More than likely, you have a particular style of laundry service in mind and you may want to follow that to the greatest extent possible. That doesn't mean, however, that you should completely ignore any other opportunities that are available for you. There are multiple styles of laundry services, each of which has its own benefits and potential problems. We will discuss some of those different styles of laundry services, so that you can make an educated decision as to which is going to be right for you.

Of course, it doesn't mean that you need to stick with one particular style, once you have chosen it. At first, you may want to keep things rather simplistic. But as you see a need developing among your customers, or if you find that you have extra time to take on additional work, you may want to expand into different areas. The information that we provide you in this publication can be very valuable in that way. It allows you to see the opportunities that are in front of you and to decide which ones you are going to pursue for the long term.

Invariably, an individual that starts any type of business is going to wonder what they should charge. This is also something that you are likely concerned about when starting your laundry business. The fact of the matter is that there is not really any cut and dry way for you to determine how to charge those who are taking advantage of your services. There are a few things that you should keep in mind, however, and we will discuss those in detail in this publication. By understanding those factors, you can feel comfortable with what you are charging and benefit from the profit.

When you see a certain level of success, it is likely to keep you very busy with taking care of laundry for other people. At some point or another, however, something may go wrong and as a result you are not going to be able to stick with your regular schedule. This can be difficult, especially if people count on you on a weekly or biweekly basis to care for their laundry services. It is not a business that you can simply walk away from and then come back a few weeks later and not expect ramifications.

Of course, there are some things that you can do, which will make it easy for you to take care of any emergencies and even to enjoy a periodic vacation. In some cases, it is about scheduling, but in other cases it is about having a proper backup plan. We will discuss those factors in this publication, so that you can enjoy living life, while at the same time, maintaining your level of success and growing it.

As your level of success continues to increase, there may come a day when you need some assistance. This is a time when you will want to consider all of your options carefully, because making the right choice will have multiple benefits, but making the wrong choice could be disastrous. We will talk about the possibility of hiring someone to assist you, and some other potential options that are available, which would allow you to get your work done in the easiest way possible.

Financing may also be an option, especially if you are growing a thriving business and need to purchase additional equipment. You may also need financing, from time to time, in order to afford an automobile that will allow you to maintain a mobile laundry service. Your business plan is going to be very important in this regard, but there are also other factors that you will need to consider as well. We will discuss financing your business in this publication, so that you will know what you can and should do.

Finally, we are going to discuss a problem that is very common in businesses that see a high level of success. Although success is something that all business people strive for, it can also be a choking problem that could cost your business over the long term. If you find that success is becoming a burden, make sure that you pay particular attention to chapter 10, because it will provide you with some necessary answers.

Running a laundry service can certainly be of benefit to you, and it is a necessary service that many people will take advantage of regularly. As long as you have the drive that is necessary to operate such a business, you will find that it is something that can benefit you for the short term and for many years to come.

2. How Can Laundry Be Beneficial?

The majority of people who are trying to start a business are going to try to look for any positive aspects that are associated with it. That is also true for those that are trying to start a laundry service, and it certainly is something that can be of benefit to you, once you get it started. It is also important, however, for you to consider any potential problems that may exist with your business, before you open your doors. In doing so, you will be in a much better position to get your business up and running, and to anticipate any potential difficulties along the way.

Description: Question Mark ?

This chapter reviews some of the benefits that you may experience when you first start your laundry service. Some of these benefits are going to be specific to this type of job, but others are going to be true for many different types of businesses. We will try to expand beyond the basic information, although it is important to consider the basics as well. You will find it to be a well-rounded discussion and it could be very motivational, helping you to get started. Here are some of the benefits that you will enjoy.

Time - Many people recognize that a laundry service can be of benefit to other people because they have difficulty doing their own laundry. Those with a truly entrepreneurial spirit will pick up on this information and start a successful business of their own. Although it can be difficult to do your own laundry because you are busy with your own life, doing laundry for other people as a service is typically going to be done when you have the time to do it. Although it is necessary to maintain your responsibilities to the client, you will find that you have flexibility.

Finances - There are going to be financial benefits in operating your own laundry service as well. Some of these are going to be more easily seen as your business grows, but even from your first client, you can begin to enjoy the financial aspects that your new business has to offer. Although it is important for you to keep close tabs on your finances in every aspect, including the amount of money that you make in comparison with the amount of money that you spend, you will find that owning a laundry service can certainly benefit you and your family in a financial way.

Peace of Mind - Starting your own business can certainly provide you with a level of peace of mind along with job satisfaction. If you work for an outside company, perhaps doing something that you don't enjoy doing; you will do it because you need money, but you will usually hate life as a result. If you want some peace of mind, running a successful laundry service can provide it for you. As long as your customers are happy, you can be happy as well.

Taxes - Admittedly, not everybody is going to think about taxes when it comes to the benefits that they may experience. In reality, however, owning your own business is likely to have tax advantages, and you may experience them from the very first year that you open your doors. In order to take full advantage of those benefits, make sure that you are working with a qualified CPA that can do your taxes for you.

Cleanliness - When you operate any type of a cleaning service, you are going to have to be more aware of the cleanliness of your surroundings. That is also going to be the case when it comes to operating a laundry service, and you will likely have your own clean laundry to wear. In fact, keeping your own laundry clean and well pressed is almost a must, because it can help to promote your business and to keep your doors open.

Scalability - One other potential benefit of operating a laundry service is the fact that you can scale it to any extent that you want. For many people, it is going to be a matter of keeping things simple and earning a little bit of money on the side. For others, however, the focus may be on growing the business and making it as successful as possible. When it comes to a professional laundry service, the amount of money that you make and the time that you spend on it is entirely up to you.

Potential Problems of Running a Laundry Service

This chapter has discussed many different benefits of owning your own business and in particular, operating a laundry service. It is also important to consider the possibility that problems are going to occur as well. By being prepared for those issues in advance, you have a better opportunity of facing them head on and overcoming them. Here are a few of the potential problems that you may experience.

Customers - Although the majority of your customers are going to be perfectly happy with the services you provide, that is not always going to be the case. From time to time, it may be necessary for you to deal with a difficult customer, and when you do so, you need to handle it properly. In many cases, news, both positive and negative, is going to spread about your business and the way that you handle it. Make sure that you protect your reputation by giving the customer what they want, even if they are a difficult case.

Accidents - It doesn't matter how hard you try, accidents are going to occur from time to time. These accidents may end up ruining clothing or other laundry, so it is important for you to plan for this difficulty in advance. One way that you can do so is by setting aside some money from every paycheck to ensure that you have enough to take care of any necessary items. You may also want to consider getting some liability insurance to cover any difficult problems that occur.

These are only a couple of the many different issues that can arise when you own your own laundry service. Make sure that you plan for those problems in advance and do what is necessary to ensure that they are kept to a minimum.

3. Starting Your Business on the Right Foot

Although there are many things that need to be considered when you first start a business, one of the most important things to consider is starting a business in the right direction. There is more to operating a laundry service than purchasing a washing machine, dryer and ironing board. You need to make sure that your business is well thought out and planned in advance. In doing so, you are giving yourself the greatest opportunity for success. We will discuss some of the factors necessary for planning your business in this publication.

Description: Run The Race

Many people tend to skip the planning process because they feel as if a laundry service is more of an informal type of business. It certainly is something that often begins by caring for the laundry of family or friends, but it can quickly grow into a larger venture, and you don't want that day to take you by surprise. By taking the time to plan your business now, you will know what you can expect and you will also find it easier to adjust to any difficult circumstances that arise.

What Type of Business Will You Open?

One of the key parts of planning your business is deciding what type of business you will operate. Since a laundry service often starts on a very informal level, it is likely that you will want to keep things as simple as possible. It is still important, however, for you to have your business legally established, so that you don't run into any difficulties at some point in the future.

The easiest, and least expensive way for you to start a business, is to start it as a sole proprietor. This type of business, which is sometimes referred to as a DBA, cost relatively little money to start, but you will still be established legally with the government authorities. As a sole proprietor, you will be your business, so your business life and your personal life are tied together very closely. This is not typically a problem, but it becomes a problem if any liability issues occur.

As a sole proprietor, you do have the option of purchasing liability insurance, and it is always a good idea for you to have it available. The liability insurance charges for a laundry service are likely to be very low, so it is going to have a very small impact on your budget. If a case of liability occurs, however, such as if you damage somebody's clothing, it may be covered under the insurance and your personal life will not suffer as a result.

Another option for opening your business is to do so as a corporation. You can get a corporation started very easily and in most states, you can file the paperwork online and have your tax ID number within a matter of minutes. There may be additional charges that are associated with starting a corporation, but there are also additional benefits to doing so.

One of the additional charges can be related to your business name. As a corporation, you can start the business under your own personal name, and there will not be any additional charges associated with it. If you want to use a fictitious name, however, you will need to pay extra money for a fictitious name search. That search guarantees that nobody else is using that business name, so you won't be liable for any infringement on that name.

One of the primary benefits of owning a corporation is that it separates your business life from your personal life. If something should happen to occur in your business and a case of liability takes place, the corporation is going to be responsible and it is not likely to attach itself to your personal life. This can be of great comfort, but it is still important for you to have liability insurance, so that you are covered in case of such an event.

Additional Licensing and Permitting

Another factor that you will want to consider is if there are any additional business licenses or local licenses that are necessary to operate such a business out of your home. In some cases, it may be very difficult to operate such a business legally because of these types of issues. It is important for you to look into it in advance, however, because it can be costly if you do not have the right license in place.

The same is also true for any permits that may be necessary so that you can open your business legally in your home. Do not underestimate the importance of having all of the paperwork in place in advance. It can take some time, and it certainly is going to take some effort, but if you want to establish your business for the long-term, it is important for you to take these steps.

Establishing a Business Plan

One other important part of planning your business from the start is coming up with the business plan. Unfortunately, many small businesses tend to overlook the importance of having a business plan, simply because they feel that their business is too informal to need one. They may also overlook starting a business plan because they feel that it is only necessary if they need to get a loan for their business. In either case, they would be mistaken.

A business plan is like a snapshot of your overall business, and it can help you to stay on track both for the short term and for the long term. It allows you to see your entire business, including the business structure, your competition, how you plan on marketing your business and even information about financing, if necessary. Another important part of the business plan is the financial projections, and the importance of those projections should not be underestimated.

The financial projections that are included in your business plan should focus on both the short-term and long-term aspects of your business. Most projections are going to include information for six months, one year, five years and perhaps even 10 years. If you are serious about your business, you will include realistic projections and information on how you plan on obtaining those goals. Then, from time to time, you will pull out your business plan and review the information. Adjustments may be necessary if you are not on track.

Another important part of your business plan is in regards to competition and marketing. Believe it or not, you may have some pretty heavy competition in your local area, but they are often buried and difficult to find. Start to look around and find anyone else that is offering laundry services in your area, either legitimately or under the table. Write down information about those companies, including their success levels and how they get their business. You can use that information as a general guide as to how to get your own business up and running.

The marketing aspect of the business plan is also important, because without marketing, your business is unlikely to grow. Of course, you will see some growth because of referrals and "word-of-mouth advertising", but if you truly want to succeed, you will need to market your business heavily. This may include taking your business online, developing a Facebook page or perhaps even paying for some inexpensive advertising. When you market your business and obtain a long-term customer, it is really going to pay off.

This is just a brief overview of how to plan your business, but the aspects that are discussed in this chapter are vitally important. Not only do you need to establish your business legally and properly, you also need to consider any licensing or permitting that is necessary and write a solid business plan. If you take the time to take those steps, you will find that it offers you a greater level of success and provides you with what is necessary to keep your business growing.

4. Choosing Your Style of Laundry Service

Starting your own laundry service can give you a certain level of success, and it can certainly put money in your pocket. Deciding which type of laundry service you are going to start, however, is one of the first things that you need to do when you are getting started. In fact, it can even be incorporated into the planning process that was discussed in the previous chapter.

Description: Take The High Road!

More than likely, you already have an idea of the type of laundry service that you plan on starting. It is important, however, for you to consider all of the options that are available. In some instances, it may convince you that another option is better for your specific circumstances, and it may also give you an indication as to how you can grow your business in multiple directions. The following are some of the more common types of laundry services that are available.

Wash and Fold - Perhaps the most common type of laundry service is one that washes the laundry, folds it and neatly prepares it for delivery. This type of service can be done on a shoestring budget, because most people already have what is necessary to wash and care for laundry properly. It is also a business that can be started part time, and you can even do it in your spare time without quitting your full-time job.

Even if you start the most basic of wash and fold services, it is still important for you to consider the options that may be necessary. For example, are you going to do the laundry in your own location, or are you going to be taking it to a laundromat to do it? In some cases, you may even find that it is beneficial to do the laundry in your client’s home, but this is only going to be the case if they request it.

As long as you are able to get the laundry to your home and you have a sufficient amount of time to get it done, you will find that this is the most convenient option. It helps to save your customers the greatest amount of time, and it is also convenient for you because it allows you to do the laundry, as you are able to do it.

Laundry Pickup Service - Although this type of service could be incorporated into the wash and fold services mentioned above, it can actually be a different service altogether. You may find that it is profitable to simply pick up the laundry and drop it off at a laundromat, where they will care for it for you. You can then pick it up from the laundromat and deliver it to your customer’s home.

You can also offer a specialized laundry pickup service, where you pick up their laundry for the dry cleaner, have it dry cleaned locally and then drop it off at their home when it is completed. This could be of great benefit because you can often strike a deal with the dry cleaner for discounted services. It helps to increase your profit, and at the same time, allows you to build a relationship with the dry cleaning service as well.

Commercial Laundry - Although any type of laundry service could really be classified as a commercial laundry service, I'm specifically talking about offering your laundry services through outside businesses. If you are able to do this type of work for a few businesses in your local area, you may find that you have as much laundry as you are able to handle.

In order to operate this type of service, you will need to provide the bags for the laundry, so that you can pick it up easily. Make sure that the bags are durable, reusable and that they are clearly marked, so that you get the right laundry back to the right people. This is especially important if you're going to be working with multiple people at the same time that work in the same environment, because you would not want to mix up their laundry and jeopardize the account.

You may also wish to offer a dry-cleaning pickup service to those businesses as well. They will often offer it as a convenience to their employees, although you will need to charge the employees separately for the services. Working through a business, such as this, is a great way to get multiple customers at one time.

Special Needs Services - One other option that you may want to consider is offering some type of special service to your customers. For example, you may want to only use organic and non-toxic cleaning products when washing clothing. Most people will appreciate the extra service that you offer, especially when it is done in an environmentally friendly way.

There are endless ways to specialize the service, but it really comes down to making yourself stand out from the competition. Regardless of whether you are offering a fast turnaround, using organic cleaning products or even offering a referral fee, when you stand out from your competition, it can lead to your success.

These are only a few of the many different options available for starting a laundry service. You should consider the needs of those who live in your area and discern if there is anything special that you can offer to them that would make your services stand out among the rest. When you find something that works well for you and you begin to see success, simply push forward in that direction until you have the success that you desire. Washing laundry does not need to be an extreme science, but when you apply yourself to the project, it can work out well for you.

5. Expanding Your Services to Care for the Need

The vast majority of those who start a laundry service have something very specific in mind. More than likely, they are going to offer a wash and fold service and they may offer both pickup and delivery, so that it gives the most convenient options to their customers. Although it certainly is possible for you to be successful by pushing forward in this singular direction, there may come a time in which you find that your efforts are leveling off. What can you do when this type of situation occurs?

Description: Color Arrows 1

There is something that is known as the law of diminishing returns. This type of law is often applied in marketing, and it can also be applied in the marketing of your laundry service as well. When you first get started, putting a certain amount of effort into your business is going to yield a certain amount of result. It is often measurable, and you will know in just a short time, what to expect when you continue in that particular direction.

It would stand to reason that expanding your efforts would expand your business as well. Most people feel that putting in twice the effort is going to result in twice the business, but that is where the law of diminishing returns comes into play. As you continue to put more and more effort into your business, you will find that the additional effort is resulting in a lower degree of success. That is especially true if you have a singular purpose, focusing on one particular aspect of your business and never stepping outside of the lines.

One way for you to beat the law of diminishing returns and continue to see great success for your effort is by mixing things up a little bit. Rather than focusing all of your attention on one particular part of your business, such as the wash and fold laundry service, you can begin to offer additional services in your area. Perhaps you could begin offering a pickup service for dry-cleaning, or you could even begin focusing on businesses and trying to obtain an account to care for their employees’ laundry. When you do so, you will find that it benefits you to the greatest extent possible.

Considering the 80/20 Rule

Another law that is applied in both business and life is known as the 80/20 rule. This law states that 80% of your benefit is going to come from 20% of your efforts or 20% of your customers. If you look at your numbers, you will likely find that it is true. By focusing on the part of your business that provides you with the greatest benefit, you will be able to grow your business with less effort. It truly is a win-win situation that you will appreciate.

In order to put the 80/20 rule into effect, you really need to analyze your business. Perhaps you are offering services in a number of key areas, such as a pickup dry cleaning service, a wash and fold service and working with businesses, as was discussed above. On the surface, each of them may seem as if they are benefiting to an equal extent, but more than likely, the effort that you put into them is not equal. By analyzing it, you will be able to find the part of your business that is working the best for you and to focus your efforts in that direction.

Most people have difficulty focusing on their business in this way. They simply want to operate a business that maintains itself on a day-to-day basis. Admittedly, it does take some extra effort for you to see the growth that you desire, but it really is possible, if you put forth the extra effort. Identify what is working for your business and put your efforts in that direction. It may seem simplistic, but it works consistently.

Can You Identify a Need?

When most people start their own laundry service, they are really only focusing on the typical services that are provided. Many of those services were discussed in the previous chapter and more than likely; you are applying one or more of them in your business.

Although it can work in many cases to run your business in this way, you may also be able to identify a need among your customers and take advantage of it. Finding that need is something that requires some effort on your part, but it is relatively simple, if you just ask. When picking up or dropping off the laundry to your customers, ask them what their biggest challenges are when it comes to laundry and their life. You may find that there is something else that can be offered in conjunction with your laundry service that will work quite well for you.

The bottom line is that you should never be afraid to step outside of the lines and to offer something unusual to your customers. It doesn't need to be a permanent switch, and you will know very quickly if it is something that is going to work out well for you or not. As long as you are pushing your business in the right direction and continuing to look for avenues to expand your business, you will find that it offers you the success that you want.

6. What Should You Charge for Your Services?

One of the most difficult problems that many people face when starting a new laundry service is what to charge their customers. This is not an issue that is specific to doing laundry, however, as many people that open their own businesses are concerned about what to charge. After all, they want to make sure that they are being paid fairly for the work that they do, but at the same time, they don't want to charge so much that they are keeping people from taking advantage of their business. That being said, what is the best price to charge for laundry?

Description: Money Matters

The first thing that you need to do is to look at the different services that you may be offering. For example, you may offer to pick up the laundry, wash it, iron it, fold it and deliver it. This type of all-inclusive service is obviously going to be more expensive than if they drop the laundry off to you and pick it up once it is completed. Along the same lines, if you are picking up a few shirts for dry-cleaning, you need to make sure that you are being covered adequately for both your time and for the gas.

The majority of people that charge for laundry either charge by the pound or they are going to charge by the load. The price may vary, depending upon the part of the country where you live and the amount of inflation that is seen in that area. It is not unreasonable, however, to expect to pay $10 or more per load for laundry, which may be the equivalent of anywhere from $4 to $6 per pound. You can also charge an additional fee for pickup and delivery services.

Some people may be uncomfortable with charging this much money, but you need to make it worth your effort if you are going to make it a business. The best thing that you can do, if you are uncomfortable about charging money, is to do the laundry for some of your friends and families for a few weeks. Offer to do it for free or for a deeply discounted price, just so that you can get a feel of how much time you're spending on doing it. More than likely, you will come to recognize that your time is very valuable and that it is also worth that amount of money to pay you for that time.

Some people start their laundry service by offering discounted prices in order to attract new customers. Although this can be beneficial to get the ball rolling, it can also be difficult if you fill your laundry ticket (so to speak) with all discount customers. You may find that you are using all of your time working on discount customers, so you never get the opportunity to expand your business with higher paying customers. How can you get around this difficulty?

One way to get around it is to offer discounted services on a temporary basis. Make sure that it is worth your while to do so, however, or people may simply take advantage of your services for a temporary period of time and then stop using you once your prices go up. It is also important for you to be very upfront about how long they will receive the discount and how much the price is going to be, once it goes up. In that way, there will be no surprises when they suddenly find themselves paying extra for the conveniences that you provide.

If you are having difficulty finding new customers because of the prices that you are charging, it may be to your benefit to offer additional perks at the same price. For example, along with doing a wash and fold service, you could also offer to take their dry cleaning to the laundromat for no additional charge. Of course, you would want to recoup the dry cleaning fee, but the delivery could be free. This can be a benefit in a number of ways. First of all, you may be able to arrange for a discount with the dry cleaner, so you are actually making a profit. It is also beneficial if you don't really need to go out of your way to drop off the dry cleaning or pick it up again.

It is also important to consider the payment arrangements that you make with your customers as well. It is always best to have something in writing, especially if you're going to have a long-term contract with those individuals. In addition, you want to make sure that you are being paid upfront for the services that you are providing, because it can be both difficult and uncomfortable to ask for the payment if too much time has passed by.

There are a number of different ways for you to take payments for laundry, including cash, check and even PayPal. There are also apps that you can download to your phone, which may make payments easier in that form as well. If you are going to accept checks, make sure that you have a policy in place so that you can charge for any checks that are returned for insufficient funds, including enough to cover any fees charged by your bank.

These are just a few of the factors that you can consider when deciding how much to charge for your services. In reality, there are many options available for how to charge and how much to charge. But in the end, it amounts to being paid fairly for the services that you are providing and being more than covered for your time, gas, energy and supplies. Don't think of it as simply doing laundry for others, think of it as what it is, a business.

7. Having a Backup Plan in Place

One of the primary benefits of owning and operating a laundry service is the fact that you will likely have repeat customers. Those customers mean regular cash in your pocket, and they may expect you to take care of their laundry every week or every other week without fail. Although it certainly can be beneficial to have business such as this, it can also be problematic if something should unexpectedly occur. What would you do in case of an emergency?

Description: Ambulance

Most of us started a laundry service because we recognized that people were busy, and that they had many things to do in their life and laundry was only one of them. We were able to capitalize on this by providing the laundry services that they needed and we are rewarded financially for doing so. Unfortunately, we are also busy people and we may be trying to juggle this business, our full-time job and our family responsibilities all at the same time. When something goes wrong and it is necessary for you to be away from your business for a short amount of time, what are you going to do to make sure that you don't lose your customers as a result?

First of all, it is important to have your bases covered from the very start, and not wait until something bad happens and you need to be away from your business. When you first take on a new customer, you are likely to have some type of written contract between the two of you, and in that contract, you should spell out a contingency plan for the time that you may need to be away. It doesn't really matter if it is for emergencies or because you simply need to get away on vacation from time to time, you need to make sure that you're planning for it in advance.

It may also be possible that you could team up with another laundry service in your local area to care for your customers. When you have to be away for any reason, they will take care of the laundry for you, and you will do the same for them when they have to be away. You can expect to pay them for any services that they do for you, and likewise you should also be compensated when you care for their customers as well. It really can be a win-win situation, and in many cases, it is going to balance out when all is said and done.

If you are going to use another service in this way, it is very important that you are not competing against each other for your existing customers. There is a need to sign a written contract with the other cleaning service, known as a non-compete contract, which means that they will not be able to be in direct competition with you or steal your customers out from underneath you. At the same time, you will not be able to take customers away from them. Even if you get an offer and they are willing to pay you handsomely for your services, you will not be able to take them on as a customer, under the terms of the contract.

Professional services may also be utilized in this case, such as laundry services at a local laundromat. You may still need somebody to take care of the pickup and delivery of the laundry, but it is much easier for you to have that done, than to pay somebody to care for the entire service at your home. In most cases, you will be able to use a professional service at a laundromat for approximately the same price as what you are charging your customers. You may end up going in the hole a little bit during that week, but it is much better than upsetting your customers and potentially losing them.

If you have already expanded to the point where you have employees or somebody that is helping you on a regular basis, you need to make sure that they are trained well, so that they can handle the entire project during your absence. Many of us tend to focus the efforts of our employees in one particular direction, such as the pickup and delivery of the laundry, or perhaps folding and ironing the laundry. Although that can be beneficial, they should also know your entire system so that they can care for it when you are gone.

Most people are going to be rather forgiving when it comes to emergencies, or even the occasional vacation that will take you away from your laundry cleaning services. There are going to be other customers, however, that are unwilling to look at it so favorably, and they may be quite put out over the fact that you are not in town any longer. Make sure that you are handling those types of customers with kid gloves because you want to ensure that they remain satisfied, and that you get any possible referral business that is coming from their direction.

8. What to Do When You Need Help

Although you may start your laundry business rather small and grow it gradually, there may come a time when your success is going to outgrow your ability to care for everything on your own. At that point, it may be necessary for you to get help and that help may come in any number of different forms. In this chapter, we are going to review a few of the options that you may need to consider in this regard.

Description: Job Concept 2

First of all, any time you have to bring somebody on board that is caring for your customers, the appropriate contracts need to be signed. As an employee, they will be privy to many details about your business, including how much you charge, the locations and contact information for your customers and many other factors. It is important for you to choose somebody that you can trust because you want to be able to use them to help you with the services, without having to be concerned over the possibility that they will steal customers out from under you.

Most people that own a laundry service are not going to want to hire somebody as an employee in order to help them. In many cases, you may not have enough work at first, to cover their salary and any additional fees that may be necessary to pay to the state so that you can legally have them as an employee. At the same time, however, if you hire somebody as a subcontractor, they are likely going to charge more money per hour, and you will have to budget for that contingency as well.

Hiring an Employee Successfully

If it is time to hire somebody as an employee or even to bring somebody on as a temporary helper for your company, you need to make sure that you are doing so in the most appropriate way possible. In doing so, you will be in a position where you can trust the services that they are providing, and know that they are not causing you problems while trying to help you.

The first step in the process is to interview the people and to make sure that they are going to do a good job when they work for you. If you have never interviewed anyone before, there are plenty of guides online that can help you to ask the right questions and to know what to expect in response. In some instances, it boils down to a gut feeling of knowing if you can actually trust the individual or not, when they are working for your company. At other times, the questions that you ask at the interview are going to tell the tale.

It is also a good idea for you to run a background check on anybody that you plan to have working for you. Keep in mind that they are going to be working at your house and that they are going to be handling your customers on a number of different levels. A simple background check can often determine if there have been any problems in the person's past that would limit their ability to be trusted at this present time. Of course, people do change, but you need to be absolutely convinced of the fact that they are trustworthy before you bring them on board.

When you hire somebody, or if you bring him or her on temporarily as a subcontractor, you need to make sure that they are aware of the possibility that they may be let go at some time. It may even be necessary for you to change their hours on a weekly basis, depending upon how much work you receive during that week. Admittedly, most laundry services are going to be rather steady when it comes to the workload, but you should always expect the unexpected, and new customers can flood in all at one time.

Success should be something that you appreciate and it can be enjoyed in many different ways, when you are able to experience it. The last thing that you would want to occur is to have difficulties as a result of the success, particularly when it comes to your workload and your abilities to get it done. We will discuss the possibility that success can become a problem, in a further chapter of this publication.

9. Do You Need Financing?

The vast majority of all small laundry service businesses are going to be started on a shoestring budget. It tends to be a business that people start when they are looking for a little bit of extra money and don't necessarily want to invest a lot of money into it in order to get started. There may be times, however, in which a small investment is necessary, and you may need to look for financing in order to achieve it. Here are some options that you may want to consider.

Description: Savings Concept

Small Business Loan - One of the options that you will want to consider is going for a small business loan at a bank in your local area. Many small banks are willing to work with local businesses, especially when they are starting up and have a solid business plan in place. That being said, it is necessary for you to have your business plan established and the bank may want to look at it carefully before they loan any money. This is a good idea if you want to purchase multiple machines to get more laundry done. It may be the avenue that you want to consider to start your legitimate business.

Credit Cards - Although I do not typically advocate using credit cards to start a business, it may be the avenue that is best suited for starting a small laundry service. More than likely, you will need less than $5000 to get started, and in many cases, much less than that amount. With a small to medium sized credit card, you can often finance your new business and pay off the credit card over time. You may also want to look for a credit card with special offer, such as one that offers you a certain amount of time to pay off the charge, before any interest is charged to the account.

Private Loans - If you are determined to work hard on your business and to see some success, you may want to consider borrowing the money from a friend or family member. This is my least favorite option, because you never know when problems are going to occur and it can be difficult to pay back the loan in those instances. That being said, you are typically going to be borrowing a small amount of money, and you may even be able to offer something as collateral until the loan is paid back. Make sure that you have everything down in writing, so that no questions arise as to the terms of the loan.

These are a few of the options that you may want to consider for financing your laundry service. In many cases, no financing is going to be necessary, because you already have the equipment that you need to get started. You should also avoid any type of high interest loan to start your business, such as a payday cash advance, because it can end up costing you a lot of money in the long run. Be smart when financing your business, and if possible start it on a small budget and work your way up, in order to pay for the extra equipment to grow your business.

10. When Success Becomes a Problem

When starting a small laundry service or any type of business, there is no doubt that you want to see a level of success. In some instances, the success may come quickly and you may be riding high on the extra income that your business is providing. As you continue to work on your business and do a good job for your customers, you may find that more and more business is coming in, on an ongoing basis.

Description: Chelsea

Although success can be beneficial, there are also times when it can be problematic. In certain instances, you may find that you have so much business that you obtain so quickly, that you are unable to keep up with the workload easily. Your new small business, which you likely started to make a little bit of extra money, can quickly become a burden that is making it difficult for you to keep up with the load and to maintain your life as necessary.

If you find yourself in a situation where success is causing you problems, it is important for you to reevaluate your situation as quickly as possible. One of the ways in which you can do so is to look at the amount of money that you actually need from your business, and to determine if you have gone above and beyond your needs, in order to secure even more money. Yes, having additional money can be beneficial, but it can also be difficult if you hate life as a result of your busy schedule.

You also may need to prioritize your life, to determine if you are giving the proper areas priorities over your business. For example, it is necessary to earn money and pay your bills, but if you are doing so while at the same time, neglecting your family responsibilities, it can certainly be problematic. In addition, you would want to be cautious that you didn't put your regular job in jeopardy because you had a small spurt of activity in your part time business.

Success can certainly be beneficial and it is something that all of us strive to achieve in our businesses. When too much success happens too quickly, however, don't allow it to choke your business and your personal life until you have no more joy in your life at all. Take the time to check your values, and do what is necessary to reduce the workload so that is manageable. You can then look for ways to build the workload slowly, so that you can handle it as it arrives.

11. Promoting Your Laundry Service

Throughout the pages of this publication, we have discussed many different factors that will allow you to start a laundry service and to do so successfully. It started out with a discussion on planning the business and we even discussed what to do as your business grows. There is one more factor that needs to be considered, however, and that is how you’re going to gain your first customers, to get your business off the ground. In addition, you want to ensure that you are promoting your business so that it grows steadily.

Description: Tag Icon Set

Getting your first few customers is not typically going to be difficult, but it may require a little bit of work on your part. More than likely, you know people who are busy and have difficulty getting everything done in their life. Those are the individuals that you can target with your new business. It may be friends of yours or perhaps workmates, and it could even be individuals who are members of your family as well. These people are going to have an instant level of trust in what you provide, so it is important for you to work hard and to go above and beyond in what you offer to them.

In some instances, this first level of activity is going to be all that is really necessary to start your laundry business and to keep it rolling. After all, as you continue to work hard to provide them with the services that they need, they may recommend your services to others. Although there are other types of promotion that we will discuss in this chapter, nothing is ever going to beat word-of-mouth advertising. When you get any type of a personal recommendation, it adds a level of trust and makes it very easy for you to close the deal, once they are in contact with you.

It may be necessary for you to take your business to the next level, by offering your services to people outside of your close circle of family and friends. One of the ways that you can do this is by advertising in your local area, perhaps by posting information on local bulletin boards, or even by posting flyers in your local area or on automobiles. Doing so can certainly get the word out about your business, and even if you don’t get any business directly, it is likely that somebody else knows of someone that could use your services.

Of course, if you are going to be advertising in this way in your local area, you need to make sure that it is legal for you to do so. There are often local regulations that govern the posting of flyers, and you would not want to end up with a fine or other trouble as a result of advertising your new business. It only takes a phone call to your local government offices and you will be able to find out the information that you need. In some cases, it may be necessary for you to apply for an advertising permit, but it is typically inexpensive to do so and does not take much time.

The Internet can also provide you with opportunities to gain new business; both when you are first starting your laundry service and as you continue to grow it. For example, you can start a Facebook page about your new business and get some recognition by having your current circle of network friends within Facebook to promote it for you. Once you make the initial post about your new page, ask them privately to share it with their friends and you would be surprised with how many people will start following you.

Of course, using Facebook is an ongoing effort, so it is necessary for you to continue to work on your Facebook page and to promote it in different ways. Once you have customers, you can use them to like you on Facebook, and you will find that it is a great way for you to gain some recognition as well. As those individual share your information and comment on the posts that you may start, you will find that you are getting more attention in your local area and your business can grow as a result of it.

Always remember that Facebook is a social network, so you would never want to simply post your advertisements on an ongoing basis and ignore jumping in on the conversation with others. If you add meaningful content to Facebook and are in on the conversation with other posts by other people, you will begin building relationships, which is where the real magic begins. It is those relationships that make it easier for you to gain new customers, and there will be a certain level of trust available from the very start.

There are also additional ways to promote your business online, including paying for advertising through Facebook, Google and other online services. If you are going to go that route, you need to make sure that you understand how to spend your money wisely, and you need to track everything in order to determine what is working for you. Although it may cost some money to get your customers, laundry service customers are often long-term, and it can mean a lot of money in your pocket over the course of time. As long as you are able to finance the advertising, you may find that it works well for you.

Owning a laundry business has many benefits, and it is something that can be started on a shoestring budget and built to success very quickly. If you don’t mind working hard and you have a desire to make some extra money on the side, it may just be the perfect venture that can allow you to put some of that money in your pocket.