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Charging for your Ironing Services by weight? Then you'll need an accurate hand held digital scale......

 


Budget digital hand held scale to weigh your customers' ironing......

 


Need a decent steam iron?

Protect clients' clothes with polythene covers....


Get some hangers...

 


Brighten clothes with a delightful fragrance...



Need a good ironing board?

 



Professional Clothes & Fabric Steamer

 



 

 

 

Ironing Service

 

Who wants to do the ironing? Not me. And, fortunately, for anyone who is planning on starting-up an ironing service you will find that I'm not the only one who doesn't enjoy this domestic task. Many young professionals, busy mums, single men and just about anyone who has a busy schedule would hunch into their shoulders at the mere suggestion of it. But if you enjoy ironing, are good at it and have the time, you could eliminate this domestic chore from many people's busy lives and make a handsome profit in the process. Sounds like the job for you? Then read on.

The first requirement for this type of work is experience. Although most clothes do have ironing instructions, some don't or some may have faded. It's no good going on a hunch when you are being paid to carry out a job to professional standards. Make sure that you know how to handle delicate fabrics and how to press certain parts of clothing to achieve pristine results.

Many people who offer an ironing service do so from their own home, while others prefer to carry out the work in the customer's home. If you do want to work from home you will either have to arrange for the customer to drop the clothes off at your house or flat, or offer a collection and delivery service. You will need a car if you are to offer a collection/delivery service and you may choose to charge for this service, or offer it free of charge as a perk to get you started. Do ensure that your premises are smoke-free and eliminate all odours from your workplace. Cooking odours can seep into clothes, and returning garments smelling of your delicious curry or lasagne won't be such a treat for your client.

 

Getting Started

So what do you need to get started? A good Steam Iron is a must. The better quality your steam iron the quicker you will finish your job. Using an inadquate iron will only slow you down as you will find that you keep going over and over the fabric to get the creases out. You will also need a decent Ironing Board , preferably with extra attachments to enable you to iron sleeves and awkward sections of clothing. But if you can't find one with attachments then you can buy an additional Sleeve Board which will make ironing the sleeves of shirts, blouses, long sleeved tops and jackets much easier. Make sure that you have a clothes rack where you can hang all your freshly ironed pieces to keep them aired and crisp. You can pick up a Portable Clothes Rail at a reasonable price from Amazon, but if you don't want to buy one then do make sure that you have ample space to hang and lay out the pressed garments to avoid creasing. It would also be a good idea to buy some Spray Starch as some men, especially young professionals, like to have their shirt collars and cuffs crisp.

Apart from general clothing you may be asked to iron larger items such as bed sheets, pillows and table linen, so do make sure that you have an adequately sized ironing board before accepting larger pieces - you may find it very time consuming and difficult to iron large items on a small ironing board.

You will need to keep all things in order once your business picks up, the last thing you want to do is mix your customers' clothes up! Buy numbered receipts to keep all clients items in order and do make sure that each client's bag/basket/clothing is labelled. You will also need to buy some hangers for certain items. Wire hangers, although not desirable, are the norm for most laundry businesses. You will find that many of your customers will return the hangers the following week for re-use so you won't have to keep forking out for new hangers! You will also need polythene bags to cover your clothing to protect them during transit.

 

How much should you charge?

Now to the important part, how much will your charge? Some people choose to charge by the hour, some prefer to charge by weight, whilst others prefer to charge per item. Here is a guide of all three price structures:

Per Item:

Adult Shirts, blouses, tops, Polo tops - from:

£1.15 - 1.50 per item

Adult trousers, Jeans, Skirts, Dresses - from:

£1.50 - £2.00 per item

Large items, such as bed sheets and table linen - from:

£3.00-4.50 per item

Smaller items, such as napkins, towels, baby/kids clothing - from:

0.70-£1.00 per item.

This is an approximate guide as prices* differ according to location. To get accurate costings the best thing to do is check out your local dry cleaners/ironing service company for up to date prices in your area.

Per Hour:

If you're charging by the hour then an average cost would be £7.00- 13.00 per hour.

Per Kg:

Charging by weight suits some people and the average cost for this is in the region of £5.00 per kg, as a rough guide this is appoximately four or five shirts. If you're keen on charging by weight then get yourself an accurate digital hand held scale to work out exactly how much to charge. You can find two featured on the left hand side of this page.

 

Delivery Charges

If you are offering a collection and delivery services then you could offer a free service if it's over a certain amount, i.e. over £20.00. If the order is below this amount you could impose a small fee of around £2.00 to make it worth your while.

 

Take caution

One thing to consider before embarking on a home-based ironing service is that however much you enjoy ironing it can be laborious and you will be on your feet for many hours a day. So do bear this in mind before you take up this type of work from home option.

If you have young children then do make sure that they are well away from the hot iron at all times and never leave your hot iron unattended.

 

Market like you mean it

Once you've got a good flow of customers and they are happy with your work, not only will they keep coming back but they will also refer you to family and friends. This can be a lucrative business if you put the hours in and market yourself correctly, or simply a good way to earn some extra cash on a part-time basis.

 

Don't forget to get insured (Public Liability for Ironing Service)

You also may want to consider taking out some Public Liability Insurance. Although this is by no means compulsory, it will safeguard you against any damages to clients' clothes i.e burns or loss of garments and any other claims that my arise. This really is worth looking into as you may end up having to fork out cash to cover losses from your own pocket if any problems arise.

 

Advertise your Ironing Service

Now that you're sorted you'll need to find some customers, where are they? Get some business cards printed to let people know about your service .

 

 

More tips on advertising your ironing service

You can also advertise on free online sites such as Vivastreet or UK Classifieds.

Place an ad on Preloved. They offer, for Business Users, a free two month trial and then a flat fee of £20.00 plus VAT per month thereafter (correct at time of publication). If you cancel your membership before the two month period is up you will owe nothing. This is a good way to see if this classified works for you.

Flyers have proved to be very effective in attracting customers in this line of work. Get them printed online for local distribution. Placing an ad in your local paper, newsagent or library to alert people of your new service is also a good marketing strategy.

 

Get Yourself a Website

Create your own website to promote your ironing service. You can create a FREE professional looking website at Moonfruit.

 

Look for work via an Intermediary Service Company

Servicestart is a major online service intermediary, connecting buyers and sellers of all common household, building and business services. They have over 18,000 registered companies responding to requests and is growing rapidly. This is how it works:

1. Visit Servicestart and create a work profile

2. Receive requests from potential clients via email or text - free of charge.

3. If you find a job that you'd like to take on then you will have the option to purchase the buyers contact information.

4. Contact the buyer to agree on details. If the contact details are wrong or the job is no longer current when you made contact, you will be compensated.

  • As always please read this company's terms and conditions, and ensure that you are familiar and happy with their policies before registering for their services. If you are interested in finding out more you can do so here.....

For anyone who has used 'servicestart' we'd be grateful for any feedback to add to our pages. Please with positive or negative feedback. Thanks.


Keeping Clients and building your business

So, someone has hired you for your ironing services, how do you keep that customer? The answer is simple - don't cut corners and do a good job. This will ensure a call back service and subsequently more clients via customer recommendation. Customer service is paramount in any business. Remember that most people don't complain about a substandard service - they just won't use you again! So don't just be adequate, make sure that your work is outstanding and you will never be short of work.

 

Income Tax

Don't forget to register as self-employed when you start your ironing business. You can read our page on Income Tax and registering as self-employed here.

 

SUMMARY:

Advantages:

Work for yourself

Choose your own hours

Start up your own business and reap all rewards

Meet new people

Disadvantages:

On your feet for long periods

Can be laborious and tiring

 

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*correct at time of publication May 2013

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