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.
So what do you need to get started? A good Steam
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
, 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
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
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
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
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
£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.
If you're charging by the hour then an average cost
would be £7.00- 13.00 per hour.
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.
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.
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 Insurance
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. You can find out
how much it'll cost to insure yourself using this free business insurance
comparison site. Compare
public liability insurance here.
Advertise your Ironing Service
(FREE Business Cards)
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 .
You can get 250 free business cards printed
(you only pay for postage and packing). VistaPrint
also provide affordable flyers and full colour marketing postcards ,
which are ideal for posting through letterboxes or pinning up in libraries
and shops. As an incentive you could offer a 'freebie', with your first
order and print this on your flyer/card - i.e. '£5.00 off your
first order'. You could also list the additional freebies you provide,
such as 'free starch for shirts', 'free hangers', 'free polythene covers',
'free collection & delivery' or any other service you offer. VistaPrint
also offer many other promotional items such as t-shirts, pens, keyrings
More tips on advertising your ironing service
You can also advertise on free online sites such as
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 at VistaPrint
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
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
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.