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Monday, 25 July 2016

How to start a Laundry business?

When I was in Mysore Infy, I found the coin operated washing machines so useful. Back then I was too lazy to wash clothes myself. But as the family expanded, it became more economical to wash clothes at home. Even now, I hate the laundry work for it requires utmost care.  For a countless times, I have turned Veeran's white classic formal shirts to pinks!

Often, at home we buy clothes of different fabric, yet unable to find the best way to maintain the newness of the clothes. How much ever mild detergent or fabric conditioner or whitener or whatever I put, clothes become life less after a few washes. It is definitely a tedious task to sort out different fabric and follow different laundry instructions by ourselves.

I'm sure 100% of Indian household feels the same. And this feeling paves the way for a successful laundry business.

So, How to start a laundry business?

A laundry business involves collecting clothes from customers, washing, drying, ironing  and folding them, and return it back to collect money for the service. Yes it is that easy to say. But the actual business involves more steps. Let me explain it with a proper business planning.

Make arrangements for Capital:

Setting up laundry business is a capital intensive task. You have to first analyse how much capital will be required. Depending on the amount you can think of a partnership model to raise the funds.

Decide on the operation model:

Before the work of setting up proceeds, you have to finalise on the operation model of your laundry.
(a) Coin operated - Ideal for locations populated by people who are ready to visit your laundry and do it by themselves.
(b) Classic - Ideal for locations where people prefer to outsource the entire laundry work. Here, you will have to look for facilities for pick up and drop of clothes.

Work on infrastructure requirement:

Once you have decided the operation model, you can zero in on the number of machines required. Washing machines, Dryers, Rollers and what all. Electronic companies like Electrolux provide provide commercial laundry set up solutions. (You can check out here: )

Look out for laundry set up space:

Laundry business requires huge space. So when finalising on the space, keep in mind about the volumes clothes and machines will cover. Think of having a front office space that can be the welcome and payment counter.

Pick up and Delivery options:

Most of the households, offices, hotels and restaurants would prefer pick up and drop facility. You have to arrange for a separate staff  and commuting options for the same.

Manpower Requirement:

Laundry cannot be done by one person alone if you are thinking of a big business. You need to invest huge on hiring good talent and training them. Apart from the know how of operating the machines and fabric knowledge, they should be customer friendly. Even one mistake from your employee, can affect your reputation badly. So hire with care.

Decide on the service portfolio:

A laundry business in India, involves washing of soiled clothes, drying them thoroughly, ironing with perfection and folding nicely. Apart from these dyeing, darning, dry washing etc can also be added to the service portfolio. Before you commence the operations you have to decide on the services you can offer.  For example you can offer two services like washing plus folding or washing plus ironing at two different rates per piece of cloth. Choose the offers after analysing customer needs and your monitory benefit.


Once all the overhead costs are known you can decide on your profit share and fix the pricing accordingly. The pricing can be per piece or per kilogram or per load. Also it can vary depending on the care required for the fabric.

Advertising and Marketing:

Laundry business is very competitive. Market your laundry business in such a way that it is different from the rest. You can think of options are: bulk pricing, 10+2 free,  offer for initial 100 customers, pay back guarantee etc.

For every enterprise you have to invest huge on marketing to get regular business. In case of laundry business you can work on creating a good customer base who could be your loyal customers for lifelong. You can really contact big or small housing societies in your shop's neighborhood for regular laundry work. Similarly, restaurants and hotels also have regular laundry jobs. You can talk to them and come up with an agreement. Similar is the case with corporate offices, the best thing about offices is that for neat work you can get paid higher while availing regular work.

Decide on Store details:

Once you have decided everything else about your laundry business, you should now decide on the store details. Things like working hours per day, how many days a week, leave policies and other HR related matters. You should also have a  dedicated phone line to answer the customers. Have visiting cards also printed so that people can visit your store directly.

Does it look too much of effort? There is a Plan B for you then!

Setting up any business is a Herculean task. And all the more, the worry of if it will be successful keeps haunting every aspiring entrepreneur. You can get rid of these worries by going for a Franchise model. The franchise businesses are already established business units who will help you to set up your store and teach you how to run it well to make profit. The bad side of franchise is that initial set up cost is much higher then doing it all by yourselves. So it is up to you to choose from benefits over cost. But one thing is sure, the number of franchise offerings are also too many these days which shows the potential of laundry business. (The franchise model itself is too vast and will come as another post. Please wait for a while till I am ready with the study of that. Will share the link here once I am done.)

One good thing I would like to add here before concluding. I read a post about a stay at home mom on how she started her laundry business at home. She became successful and she started helping others as well. Now she has set up a proper business model all by herself that operates at homes of people. You can read it here: . This proves that if there is a will there is a BIG way! Now what is your excuse for not getting started?

Food, Clothing and Shelter are the three basic requirements for human existence. So whatever business you start in any of the three vertical, there is a high chance of success. Coming down specifically to clothing, buying clothes is easy compared to maintaining them. In most of the households, laundry is the key area that needs some helping hand! So how about you being that Helping Hand?