How to Start in Home Laundry Business

by Corrine
(Los Angeles, CA)

I am laid off and cannot find another job. I wish to start an in home laundry business.

What is the best way for me to go about this?

Should I pick up and deliver or would it be better to have customers drop off and pick their clothes up at my home?

Faith's Answer

The job market is really tough right now. Especially in California.

Starting a business might be the best way to get some money coming in these days.

First of all, decide what services you are prepared to offer. Are you just doing wash and fold? Or will you offer ironing services as well?

Ironing takes a lot of time, so price it accordingly.

As for pick-up or drop-off, I think you should pick-up and deliver. This is more work for you but makes the service much more attractive to prospective customers.

Think about it, what kind of people want a laundry service?

People who either hate doing laundry or people too busy to do laundry. This type of person is not likely to want to bother dropping off or picking up their wash.

Also, if you deliver, you will not get stuck waiting for tardy customers to come and get their wash. Remember, you don't get paid until the clean laundry is delivered.

Another consideration is how disruptive customers coming to the house to drop-off and pick-up will be to your neighbors.

Running a home based business which involves customers coming to and from the residence is a violation of the zoning laws in many locations. If you live in a neighborhood with a HOA, it will never work.

I'm assuming you are planning to use your own washer and dryer. High efficiency washers (an appliance salesman told me that there is no such thing as a high efficiency dryer, the high efficiency washer leaves the clothes less wet and that's why they dry faster)would make the work go faster and be less expensive to run long term.

If you don't already have these, don't buy them now. Wait and see how many customers you get. If the service is popular in your area AND you like the laundry business, you can always upgrade your equipment.

Equipment failure is not a disaster in this business. If one of your machines breaks down, you'll just have to schlep your orders over to the local laundromat until you get it fixed. Structure your pricing with this in mind.

An in home laundry business is something that will go over better in a larger city than in a small town. There will be enough people who want their laundry done in a small enough area to make pick-up and drop-off feasible.

Talk to a few local printers to see who will give you the best price on a simple but attractive flyer to use to advertise your new in home laundry business.

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Laundry Service Payment
by: Danielle

Great article ~ there's one thing I'd do differently though. I operate a wash and fold service in Columbus, Ohio and I require payment BEFORE services are provided.

This eliminates situations where I've already processed clothes and someone doesn't have payment when I return them. If they are able to afford this service there should be no issue paying up front.

Laundry Care

What Laws and Regulations Apply to Home Laundry Businesses?
by: Anonymous

I have been thinking about doing something similar thats why I found your comments, Are there state guidelines that need to be followed? Or is this something you can just do?

Homemade Money Guide

Your local zoning laws are where I would start. These are the laws that dictate what sort of business you can run and where you can set it up.

Next, if you live inside a community which is governed by a homeowners association, you will need to comply with whatever guidelines the HOA has established.

As a general rule, home businesses that do not create extra traffic or noise will go over better with your neighbors than those that do.

You will need a business license which you can get from your county tax collector. Each county has a website that will give you all the information you need about how obtain a business license, zoning and any necessary health inspections.

I too am thinking of starting an in home laundry.
by: Anonymous

How much should one charge? I think ironing is usually done by the piece.

Homemade Money Guide

Find out what other services in your area are charging and then decide if you want to charge a bit more or a bit less.

You won't be able to stray too far afield of the customary charges for ironing in your neighborhood.

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