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How to Start a Laundry Business [Drycleaning]

Laundry and Drycleaning Business

Do you want to start a laundry business from home? If YES, here is a complete guide to starting a laundry (Drycleaning) business with NO money and no experience plus a sample laundromat business plan template and laundromat marketing plan.

There isn’t a person that doesn’t know that it is very vital to wash their clothes. This is exactly what the laundry business is all about.

In the laundry business, one has to keep up with doing the laundries for clients. This is a very good and profitable business because it is such that can make one get good returns on investment. One of the very good things about this business is that one can start really small and then grow big within a period of time.

The laundry business in the united states of America is indeed big and wide. There are more and more people making a launch into the business on a daily basis.

There are however a whole lot that should be considered when starting the laundry business. One of them has to do with the training. You have to be well trained to know that you have what it takes to run a laundry business. Here below is all you need to know about starting a laundry business;

Steps to Starting a Laundry Business from Home

1. Understand the Industry

The United States Bureau of Labor Statistics guesses that, as of 2008, there were 235,400 workers engaged on dry cleaning occupations.

It assesses a 3 percent increase in employment by 2018. The U.S. Census Bureau approximates this industry to gross $23 billion in the United States alone. Commencing your own dry cleaning and laundry service can be perplexing and labor intensive. 

But with cautious planning, suitable financing and sturdy customer service skills, you can commence and function your own business in this rising industry.

Interesting Statistics About the Industry

The laundry/dry cleaning services business in 2015 had about approximately 875,000 businesses hiring about 3.5 million people. The trade is very vulnerable to economic downturns and has in the past undergone rough years during the Great Recession.

Revenue clear-fell 5.3% in 2008 and another 6.1% in 2009. General cleaning services, and predominantly residential services, are believed to be an unessential extra when times get tough. Since the recession abated, there have seen the trade bounce back.  And in 2015 it generated $51 billion in revenue.

This recent higher trend can be credited to both joblessness and office vacancy rates deteriorating.  To sum it all up, people have additional money to use and feel more secure spending it and one of the ways they do this is by employing the services of a laundry person.

2. Conduct Market Research and Feasibility Studies

  • Demographics and Psychographics

When it comes to the demographic and psychographics composition of those who need the services of a laundry service based business, we can firmly say that everybody desires the services of a cleaner at some point or the other in life.  Some of the people that need their things to be laundered include;

  • Children
  • Adults
  • Old people
  • Sick people
  • Everybody

3. Decide Which Niche to Concentrate On

The services offered by cleaning businesses are usually uniformed services, and so there is   no clear cut service that may distinguish one cleaner from another, therefore there it can be said that the laundry business has no diverse services that it renders.

The Level of Competition in the Industry

Launching a laundry business can suggest a decent basis of income for entrepreneurs with a penchant for cleaning businesses need hard work, care for detail, and good time management skills. It also requires the skill of gaining and keeping clients.

It is no doubt that the industry is really saturated with people already, however, this doesn’t mean that you cannot carve a niche for yourself as you start out in this business.

The Laundry business has continued to witness tremendous growth from time immemorial. This is because every day more and more are taking up jobs that might not afford then time to wash for themselves or their families.  Competition will always be encouraged in this industry because it has come to stay.

Some of the factors to consider for competition in the industry include; price, quality, accessibility, new technology and innovation amongst many others.  Yet another wonderful key role of competition boils down to   providing great laundry services.

One of the things that can make you stand out in this business is learning and understanding the trade so well, so much so that you become a huge force to reckon with. Brands that have  gone ahead to become a great force to reckon with have found out that they have incessantly toiled to  offer the best of services and so they can be one of the best brands in the faces of people.

4. Know Your Major Competitors in the Industry

Brands have grown from strength to strength in the past centuries in the United States of America. There are well known laundry brands that have done well in the past and have continued to attract the best clients.  Here is a list of few well known laundry brands in America;

  • Vanguard Cleaning Systems
  • Clean Net
  • System 4
  • Service MASTER Clean
  • Anago Cleaning Systems
  • Building Stars

Economic Analysis

Before arriving into this business, it pays to look well and thoroughly observe the trade and be cognizant of certain influences before venturing in. This is really important so that nothing will be left undone. One of the rules of thumb that must be looked at is the ability or an eye for details.

This is really important because doing people’s laundries will require that you are detailed a great deal. This is really important because clients love it when they are really satisfied with the service that is rendered them.

It is also imperative to know that the request for laundry services is mostly needed by those who are really busy and requires the services of one who can take care of the laundry at home. It is therefore no overstatement to say that the service demand of a laundry person is on an all-time high.

This goes to mean that the economic situation does not in any way distress this business because people who have to man their jobs would still be in need of people to wash and keep clean the home.  In all a laundry service will always be required.

5. Decide Whether to Buy a Franchise or Start from Scratch

The choice on whether to begin a laundry business from the scratch or if  it would be best to team up with a big time laundry company franchise solely hangs on the entrepreneur and the feeling of what  may be best for the business. It is vital to note that every option comes with its trials.

Starting your own laundry business has lower start-up costs and is without any access or re-occurring franchise fees, with the capacity to produce your own business policies that you deem best for your business in the short, medium or long term.

This also has to do with writing out a detailed business plan that will clearly show how you mean to start, operate, and Nonetheless, a franchise will also make for a Business model, start-up supervision and continual support. You would also get additional clients using the brand name of the franchise than you would have on your own.

6. Know the Possible Threats and Challenges You Will Face

Starting the laundry business like other businesses has numerous challenges.  There are various challenges that thrive. But it is significant that you master the encounters so that you can be able to rise above it. Some of the challenges include;

  • Getting reliable guarantors to stand for you
  • Not getting reliable protégés
  • Getting clients to hire you even without being experienced.

7. Choose the Most Suitable Legal Entity (LLC, C Corp, S Corp)

Although, some of the concerns of business ownership is common across industries, laundry business has certain unique entity formation requirements.

Some of the basic requirement in starting off this kind of business is to set up a business entity.  You will need to determine which business entity is best for your business needs.  There are different kinds of legal entities which are sole proprietor, partnership, Limited Liability Company (LLC), S Corporation and C Corporation.

There are diverse ways to go about this and they include exploring online on the website of your state government, checking with an attorney and or CPA about the appropriate business structure, payroll information, sales tax, Workers Compensation and the liability insurance for your business.

8. Choose a Catchy Business Name

There are several business names that are known all over the globe. This means that one of the reasons why you have to have a business name is so that one’s business can be well noticed by the populace. Here are some attractive names to adopt;

  • Spic and span
  • Clean Geeks
  • Cleantors
  • Detective Clean
  • Sparkling

You will need to check with that appropriate organization in charge of registering businesses, to be sure that the name you opt for isn’t taken.

9. Discuss with an Agent to Know the Best Insurance Policies for You

There are several insurance documents that are used by different businesses. For the laundry business, you will need some documents too. The following are simple insurance covers that you would need to get to successfully carry out your laundry business in the United States of America:

10. Protect your Intellectual Property With Trademark, Copyrights, Patents

Intellectual properties are majorly needed when there is a written brain child or creativity that has to do with your business. Except if you are looking to document some of the processes that you use; otherwise, this business may not need to be patented.

11. Get the Necessary Professional Certification

To own or manage a laundry  Business, it is not required that you have a formal training or, even though knowledge is highly needed and regarded by some, it is not a requirement. However, you can also decide to go to some schools that offer some basic courses on the business aspect of laundry.

This will help you broaden your scope in the industry. Some experts who have done well over the years now may see the reason to set us schools where upcoming people can be a part of.

12. Get the Necessary Legal Documents You Need to Operate

There are several documents that are required for you to run your laundry business successfully. These are some of the basic legal documents that you would need to successfully run a laundry business in the United States of America:

  • Business Plan
  • Business License
  • Certificate of Incorporation
  • Medicare and Insurance
  • State Permits
  • Employer ID Number
  • Contract Document
  • Employment Agreement
  • Non Disclosure Agreement (NDA)

13. Write a Business Plan 

A business plan can be likened to a map that is needed to successfully run a business; it is the document that will inspire all your business decisions and actions. Having a business plan is not just for the reason of having a business document; but it is for the reason that it will help in drafting strategies that will help the entrepreneur effectively manage and man the laundry business.

The business plan ought to also cover strategies on how start-up capital will be generated, clients attracted and how the scope of the business will be expanded. These key components must not be missing from the business plan. Other key components that should be included in your business plan are as follow;

Executive summary which clearly states what your home healthcare agency business will be all about, the company’s corporate culture, sales and marketing strategies, marketing goals, target market and perhaps what stands you out from your competitors.

It is also expected that you state your company’s vision statement, mission statement and the areas where you would likely want to cover.

Lastly, other key components such as products or service offering, SWOT analysis, marketing and sales analysis / strategies, pricing, costing and financial projection, publicity and advertising strategy, budget and start – up capital generation should be made available in the document.

Not everyone can write a detailed business plan themselves, and so you would need to employ an expert to help in writing a business plan for your home healthcare agency business, or you can download an online business plan template to be used as a guide for your home healthcare agency business.

14. Prepare a Detailed Cost Analysis

The cost implication of starting a laundry business   depends on the route you choose to take into the industry, you can choose to either buy into a franchise, and this can be done by buying an existing agency or starting from the scratch. Also, another major factor will be how you want to start. Will it be small, medium or large scale?

Whichever way you decide to start out, you have to know that there cost implications. Basically, you would need to guarantee that the following items are taken care;

  • Obtaining proper license would cost $1,500
  • Setting up your entity would cost $1,500
  • Setting up your office which included rent and utilities, phones and communication tools, computers, internet connectivity, back office systems. Forms preparation would cost $35,000
  • Uniforms for your employees would cost $2,000
  • Insurance coverage would cost $3,000
  • Hiring and training of caregivers would cost $3,000
  • Marketing for clients would cost $2,000
  • Launching an official website would cost $1,000
  • Additional expenses like business cards, signage would cost $1,000

The detailed cost analysis means that you will need at least $50,000 to start a housekeeping agency on a small scale in the United States. If you want to start a medium scale Laundry business in the United States, you would need nothing less than $120,000.

And if really want to kick start on a large scale in the United States of America, then you should look towards getting well over $250,000 as your start – up capital.

15. Raise the Needed Startup Capital

Financing a business is one of the first chief decisions that you will have to face is to control where and how you plan to source for funds. There are numerous choices available depending on the type of laundry business you intend to go into:

  • Funding can be gotten through working with insurance companies
  • Government funded programs
  • Private pay patients
  • Personal savings
  • Applying for loan from the bank
  • Sourcing for loans from friends and family members

16. Choose a Suitable Location for your Business

One of the main conclusions that will have to be taken is siting the business at a suitable location. The business of laundry is an ever-growing one. This is because there will always be the need to have someone cater for the home front while work is being carried out to put food on the table.

In setting up a laundry business, and to decide a place that might be most suitable for your business, you can look at doing some proper research of the internet.  The internet is a very good place to get this information because you will come

Apart from using the internet, you could also look for suitable locations in local publications, such as newspapers so as to find local retirement communities. These should then be your target areas when looking for a suitable place for your business.

If you do not carry out these checks and locate your business anywhere, it might be difficult for you to do business, as you or your employees might have to commute for a long distance before getting to a patient, which will automatically make your operating costs higher than it should be.

Also apart from commuting, the relative of your patient might wish to get in touch at your office, and would not appreciate having to drive very far.

After finding the suitable location, you should then look for a professional office space. The ideal leasing you should consider should be between 600 square feet and 700 square feet; this is so that you would have enough room for a reception space, an office and a small conference space.

This does not mean that you go bankrupt, as you might decide to go for something smaller depending on your budget. The reason why an office is needed is due to the employees you would have as well as having clients come over or the different agencies of the government or insurance companies.

17. Hire Employees for your Technical and Manpower Needs

The laundry person requires firm tools and equipment that will very much ease the business. These equipment and tools will be needed to be used in the homes where they will operate. These are some of the equipment that would be needed by you to start and operate your laundry business successfully:

  • Computer
  • Mobile Phones
  • First Aid Kit
  • Gloves
  • Uniform
  • detergent
  • Cleaning chemicals

Regarding the number of employees needed to run a laundry business, it can vary depending on how you want to start off. If you choose to be the only, then you would need to cut down on the marketing, this is so that you do not absorb, more than you can handle. If you mean to start on a scale, then you can employ more people. You can start with 5- 10 people.

The Service Delivery Process of the Business

There is no production process involved in the Laundry business as this is a business where service is provided. The procedure can array from offering personal care like washing personal clothes, washing cottons and bed sheets, washing of other fabrics that overall are used in the home.

18. Write a Marketing Plan Packed with ideas & Strategies

There is no business on the face of the earth that doesn’t need advertisement. If you want to create income for your business, then you must look towards marketing your products and services. It is imperative for an entrepreneur to take this seriously.

This seriousness can be achieved by either investigating deeply and widely, looking for the help of knowledgeable owners in the same industry, and/or seek the assistance of a consultant that would help make marketing ideas practical.

What does marketing really do? Marketing your business attains two things; it produces income for your laundry business, and also increases publicity for your company or business.

The right marketing policies and ideas for a business are necessary and might sometimes be tweaked to suit a particular business such as the home healthcare agency business. This is why a business plan helps to express the marketing strategies and ideas that would be used for a business. Here are some tips that you can adopt to market your laundry business;

  • Send sales letters and brochures introducing your business to individuals as well as busy executives.
  • Reach out to local all businesses and adults.
  • Place advertisements in local newspapers
  • Get your business written about in local publications
  • Follow up with phone calls to reinforce the image of your business
  • Use your website to give out information and tips that could help senior citizens
  • Use social media platforms like LinkedIn, Facebook and Twitter to connect with those that might act as a source of referral

19. Work Out a Reasonable Pricing for your Services & Products

The factors that will enable you get the right price quotation for your services; prices that will be pocket friendly to your client will solely depend on the payment method your client has chosen, as this can only work if your client is paying you out of their own pocket, as payment from healthcare funders are usually determined.

If your client is paying out of his own pocket, then determining the right price would be in seeing that your operational costs aren’t more than the revenue, and also ensuring that you keep your costs at a minimum, so as not to be seen to exploit.

20. Develop Iron-clad Competitive Strategies to Help You Win

One of the most important tip for competition favorably and winning is by competing in a way that is healthy in the industry.  This can be done by designing your business in such a way that you can securely work with all kinds of clients.

That is not only high or low end kinds of clients, but those that might require long term care as well. Another competitive strategy is hinged on you locating one of the best locations for your business that will ensure that you have some competitive advantage in place that would give your business a boost over the others.

21. Brainstorm Possible Ways to Retain Clients & Customers

In working at retaining customers for your business, you need to make your existing clients and their families happy and really satisfied with your services. This is achieved when their needs are met, and their anxieties are addressed directly.

Also, you have to make sure that the laundry people that are assigned to various homes are well trained, knowledgeable, as well as friendly. This is really important because before you are referred to other potential clients, the existing clients have to be really satisfied.

You have to have that at the back of your mind at all times when dealing with a client. This is important because one client is able to refer at least 3 more clients to you. Now imagine if you have plenty of satisfied clients? Then that means that the potentials are unlimited.

22. Develop Strategies to Boost Brand Awareness and Create a Corporate Identity

It is imperative to create plans that will help you increase your brand awareness and to create a corporate identity for your business.

Anyone that sets out to run a business has to look for ways to promote their brand and if possible, hire brand experts to help handle that aspect of your business. Below are the policies you can leverage on to boost your company’s brand and to promote and advertise your business;

  • Start  a website to promote your business
  • Write news stories for local publications
  • Join local family fairs
  • Write and distribute press releases
  • Connect with referral sources such as family groups, community groups, as well as other individual based groups that is able to help you garner more clients as the days go by.
  • Leverage on social media platforms like Facebook, Twitter to promote your services

23. Create a Suppliers/Distribution Network

Anyone that runs a standard laundry business should be prepared to look for suitable solutions products and services that would be needful to the industry. There is a high need to identify the places where some of the things needed for the execution of the jobs in this business require.  There are several ways that this can be gotten. You may want to use the internet to do your studies.

24. Tips for Running a Laundry Business Successfully

Running a laundry business is indeed a great move. However, there are a lot of things that you have to consider in running this type of business.

These factors that needs to be considered has to be dealt with in the most serious way so that the business can be run in a way that clients will be satisfied, as well as those who are at the helms of running the business. Some of the factors that need to be considered when looking to run a business successfully include the following;

  • Make sure that employees are paid well
  • Do not be a slave driver. Give your employees a break if need be
  • Train your employees so well that clients have no part in resisting them
  • Plan and implement workable advertising strategies
  • Reward loyal clients at all times
  • Put in place incentives that can be an attraction
  • Create a great feedback system. Feedback systems help clients be secure in sharing all that they feel completely without holding back.