How to start an Ironing Business
Do you love ironing? You may be the one person that really enjoys it. Do why not put your skills to good use and start an Ironing Business from home?
If you speak to any person I can guarantee you that one chore they hate is ironing. People are working longer hours and the last thing they want to do when they get home or over the weekend is be spending hours ironing. They simply have better things they want to do.
Starting an Ironing business is a great service to provide – as no doubt you have seen this business grow over the last few years. So before you start on this idea it is best to make sure you do your research. Look in your local paper and shop windows to find out how much competition there is.
Make your Ironing Business stand out by having a Unique Selling Point (USP):-
Some good USP ideas that you can specialise in are as follows:-
- Wedding garments
- School Uniforms
- Scots/Cubs/Brownie/Guides Uniforms
- Catering uniforms
- Supermarket uniforms
- Football teams kits
One good tip is to provide an ironing service (free) to your friends and neighbours on a trial basis for two weeks or so. This will give you a good guide line of how long all items take to iron and if you fit this into your daily life. After a trial and providing you do a good service I am sure your neighbours will want to pay for the service. Plus they are also likely to inform other friends as well.
Decide where you are going to be working in your home
You should always work in a smoke free area. No one wants their items returned smelling of smoke. In additional when doing your ironing make that no pets are around or that you are not near strong cooking smells. Your customer will not want their items covered in pet hair or odd smells.
What do you need to get started?
- A powerful steam iron – this is going to be your major cost and a backup iron ‘just in case’
- Transport – will you be returning the items by car? If so make sure your car is fully cleaned and valeted
- Ironing board – make sure your ironing board is large as this will help speed up the ironing.
- A water spray filled with water so you can dampen any over creased item
- A hanging rail.
- Good quality hangers
- Plastic covers for returning the items
- Large fan to keep you cool especially in the summer
- Professional Indemnity Insurance (speak to a local insurance broker) – after all the last thing you want to do is to damage an expensive item of clothing
How to advertise your business
- Get some business cards printed and display them in local newsagents, libraries, supermarkets, launderettes or anywhere the public will be visiting
- Contact local networking groups and offer to speak at one of their networking events (this can include the Women’s Institute who often have guest speakers)
- Make a Facebook page. Do you currently have a Facebook page profile?
- You can make a business page on Facebook. You can create a Facebook page for your business by navigating to the black arrow which is on the very top right hand corner of your Facebook page and click ‘create page’ do make sure that your full name, telephone number and name of business are listed. Further details on social media marketing is in the final chapter of this book.
- Get some leaflets printed and hand deliver around your local area. You could offer a discount on your leaflets to get customers.
- Provide a few leaflets to friends and family to distribute to people they know
- Contact your local newspaper – they may want to run an article and this would be great publicity
Why this service is needed
The reason the majority of people use an ironing service is that they do not have the time or are very busy. Or like me they hate ironing!
Therefore your potential clients would find a collection and delivery service really beneficial.
How Much Will You Charge?
You can decide to charge by the bagful, per item, or per hour. It would be simpler to pay by the hour. A recent search in my local area was £10 per hour or £1 per item (increase this after 15 items to £1.20)
You need to decide on how far you are willing to travel and how much extra to charge (you need to factor in the cost of the petrol and possibility of parking).
Do not charge too much as you will not get any clients and charge a low amount and yes you will get clients but the time and effort involved means you will not be making any money.
Compare prices with other ironing companies who are offering the same service.
Why not try an Ironing Service and see how they work so you can compare?
How much could you earn?
Of course this depends on how many clients you get. But let’s consider you do 10 hours per week that is (before tax) of £100 and you could achieve that during a weekend. So this could be a good side income in addition to your main job. Also once you are established you could ‘sublet’ and take on additional staff plus you could take a percentage as your fee.
I would imagine that most of your customers would like most of their clothes finished onto hangers. Ask them to include their hangers when you pick up their order. It would be a good idea to purchase some new hangers to keep for an instance where your customer does not give you enough.
Ironing ‘needs to know’
- Make sure you are professional and reliable. Your clients will then become repeat customers.
- You must know and fully understand your items of clothing. Do make sure you know the correct setting for each material/fabric you are ironing? It is vital you check the quality care label of the item you are going to iron before you place the iron on it.
- Check with your customer if they would like their shirt collars and cuffs starched. So make sure you know now to use starch and more important how much to use!
- Make sure you fully understand the difference between ‘pressing’ and ‘ironing’ You may have some items of clothing that would require pressing and this would include pleated items.
- Once you have finished the ironing of your item, decide if the item should be folded or hung on a hanger. It is best to hang your item you have ironed on a hanger to cool after you have ironed it as this will make sure any creases fall out before folding.
- When you present the finished ironing to your customer they will be very impressed that you have taken care in their clothing. The final presentation to your customer will impress them and no doubt will recommend further customers.
- When returning items to your customer make sure that the customer can immediately place the freshly ironed item in the wardrobe ready for when they need to wear it.
- The customer is always right and never more so in ironing.
- Ask for feedback. Take a note on what they liked and did not like. Remember they are paying for a good service and want their items back ironed the way they want.
Remember is it all in the detail