After work, put it on the ironing board and free the shirts from wrinkles for the next few days? For most people, this is a real horror performance. No question: Ironing is by far one of the most unpopular household activities. If you see things differently and maybe even passionately iron, it is not a bad idea to think about setting up an ironing service. Because just because so many people are reluctant to iron, this can significantly increase your prospects for success. But what do you have to consider everything if you want to start an ironing service? As we are discussing small business ideas so ironing service is also part of this series.
To start a business or part-time?
If you are thinking about setting up your own ironing service, then you should ask yourself right at the beginning whether you want to implement this business idea as a full-time or part-time employee.
Many ironing enthusiasts, who take the step into self-employment, start working part-time – not infrequently because they are young mothers who still want to have time to look after their children. But even a full-time startup is nothing in the way – if you manage to win as many customers from the start.
Info: Although ironing is an activity that also allows you to watch TV or listen to music, you should never forget that this is your job. The right mindset is important for long-term success.
Create an ironing service as a sole proprietorship
Anyone who works in the housework sector (for example, as an ironing service or as a domestic help) and wants to build a solid foothold, should go a long way around the topic of moonlighting and officially register his company as a business. Then you are obliged to pay taxes, but you are not liable to prosecution.
To properly register your ironing service, either go to your local commercial office or go to the appropriate page on the Internet. The next step is to request or download a trade license and fill it out completely.
When it comes to the question of legal form, most who want to start an ironing service, decide for the sole proprietorship. This is associated with low bureaucracy and also convinces by a simple bookkeeping. The disadvantage of the sole proprietorship is that you are liable in case of business failure with your private property. However, since the risk in this business idea is relatively low (arguably the most expensive investment is likely to be a high-quality ironing station), you do not have to be very scared of this scenario.
After submitting the trade license, you will automatically receive mail from the tax office. This also wants some information from you, before you will be assigned a tax number. After that, you officially founded a business and you can start commercial ironing without hesitation.
Why should one start an ironing service?
Are you still skeptical and wonder if there are any people willing to pay money for others to iron their laundry? Understandable.
The fact is, the demand is high and continues to rise. The modern man of today is becoming more and more comfortable. At the same time, he wants to use his free time for nice and meaningful activities. Ironing is (for most) similar to grooming and shopping not included. That’s why, in addition to classic household helpers, there are also shopping and delivery services for food and ironing.
What prices for an ironing service charge?
As an ironing service, you are likely to target primarily private customers who have no time (or no desire) to go to the ironing board. The price issue, therefore, needs to be treated very sensitively. If the costs incurred by your service are too high, this will scare the customers very quickly. On the other hand, if you are so low that you can barely cover the expenses, the business model becomes uneconomical.
Fixed prices or hourly rate?
In most industries (for example, in the trades) it is quite normal to pay the service provider for time. Basically, in ironing service can set an hourly rate, but this approach often proves to be a hindrance in practice.
Private customers like to know in advance which costs are due to them? because then you can still cancel the order in an emergency or “downsize”. In order to best meet their customers, many ironing services set fixed prices for different garments. While especially flat or complicated pieces cost more, the ironing of small and simple is cheaper. A good example of a price list for ironing service can be found here.
If you decide against the hourly rate and the fixed prices, this also brings a great advantage for you: The faster you iron, the more you can earn. Experienced ironing professionals create ten or more pieces of clothing per hour and therefore do not earn badly. If, on the other hand, you’re still at the beginning of your career and need more time for a piece of clothing, that, of course, pushes the price down. But let me tell you: practice makes perfect.
Pick up or bring clothes?
Once the question of pricing has been clarified, the next decision is already up for grabs. Do you want to have your clothes brought by customers, do you pick them up or mixed service?
Picking up the clothes from the customer often comes up against a big chunk, but also has two insignificant problems:
- Picking up takes time
- The pickup will incur additional costs
The solution to this conflict: Ask your customers to bring the laundry on fixed dates or by prior arrangement. If this is not possible, you can also offer a pick-up service. However, for a fixed price of XX (and possibly X cents per kilometer driven).
Set stake radius and analyze competition
Only very few ironing services are active nationwide and can be the ironing by mail. Before the start, an ironing service does a survey of your market. If you make this competitor, that’s no reason to put your head in the sand. In some areas, the demand is now so great that even two or three ironing services can stay afloat. However, if the number of competitors goes beyond that, you may want to think about starting in another region or considering a new business idea.