How to start a Laundry Business in UK USA (Business Plan)

Laundry Business

Do you have these questions in your mind?

  • How to start a Laundry Business?
  • How much does it cost to start a Laundry Business ?
  • How to find the best location to open a Laundry Business?
  • What different types of services you can offer as a Laundry business?

     

In this article, you will find answers to all your questions. So please grab a cup of coffee, and let’s get started.

Table of Contents

What is the Laundry Business?

With a global market value of around $80 billion, the Laundry industry is one of the biggest industries in the world right now. 

 

The laundry business involves providing laundering services for clothes, linens, and textiles, including washing, drying, folding, and ironing.

 

It can be self-service laundromats, drop-off or full-service laundries, or commercial laundries for businesses like hotels and restaurants. 

 

It requires careful planning, management, and attention to factors such as location, equipment, pricing, marketing, and customer service for success.

 

By the end of this article, you’ll learn the steps you need to take to start a Laundry business and the critical considerations for making it a success.

Market Insight: In the UK, the Laundry Industry is valued at £5 billion, while in the US, the market is valued at $11.3 billion.

Laundry Business

Types of Laundry Business Models

There are several different types of laundry business models, including:

 

  • Self-Service Laundromat: 
    Customers use coin-operated or card-operated machines to wash and dry their clothes in this model. The business provides the facilities and equipment while customers handle their laundry themselves.
 
  • Drop-Off or Full-Service Laundry: 
    In this model, customers drop off their dirty laundry, and the company handles washing, drying, folding, and ironing the laundry on their behalf. Customers typically pay a fee for the service, and the business handles all aspects of the laundering process.
 
  • Commercial Laundry: 
    In this model, the business provides laundering services to commercial clients such as hotels, restaurants, hospitals, spas, and other companies that require regular and large-scale laundry and linen cleaning. 
 
  • Online or Mobile Laundry Services: 
    This model offers laundry services through online or mobile platforms. Customers can schedule pickup and delivery of their laundry online or through a mobile app, and the business takes care of the laundry.
 
  • Specialty Laundry Services: 
    This model caters to specific niches or specialty markets, such as eco-friendly or organic laundry services, pet-related laundry services (e.g., pet bed and pet blanket cleaning), sports gear or athletic wear laundry services, and other specialized laundry services that cater to specific customer needs.
 
  • Franchise Laundry Business: 
    In this model, entrepreneurs can purchase a franchise from an established laundry brand and operate a laundry business under the brand’s guidelines and systems. This can provide the benefit of an established brand, marketing support, and standardized processes.
 
  • Mobile Laundry Business: 
    This model involves operating a laundry service from a mobile unit, such as a van or truck, equipped with laundry facilities and can travel to different locations to provide on-site laundry services, such as at events, festivals, or office parks.

 

Each type of laundry business model has advantages, challenges, and target markets. Therefore, the choice of business model would depend on various factors such as location, target customers, available resources, and business goals.

Remember, as a startup, your goal should be to keep your costs low and depend on your skills. If you push the process and try to go full-service from the very beginning, there is a good possibility that you’ll be overburdened and may get lost in the process.

Pros and Cons of a Laundry Business

Pros of a Laundry Business:

 

  • Steady demand for laundry services.
  • Potential for recurring customers.
  • Ability to offer various services such as dry cleaning, alterations, and more.
  • Opportunity for growth through expanding customer base and adding additional services.
  • Low perishability of inventory.
  • Ability to operate with flexible hours and staffing.

 

Cons of a Laundry Business:

 

  • Initial investment in equipment and facilities.
  • Competition from other laundry businesses in the area.
  • Reliance on economic conditions and consumer spending patterns.
  • Labor-intensive operations that may require managing staffing and training.
  • Need for proper licensing and compliance with health and safety regulations.
  • Regular maintenance and replacement of equipment may be required.

Laundry Business Investment

The investment required to start a Laundry business in the UK & the US can vary depending on many factors, such as the size and location of the company, the type of services you will provide, and the labor cost.

 

The average cost to open a small laundry business in the US ranges from $50K – $100K. While in the UK, the average cost to open a small laundry business ranges from £20K to £50K.

 

Some Common Expenses in running a Laundry Business include:

 

  • Leasehold improvements
  • Equipment and supplies
  • Furniture and decor
  • Initial inventory
  • Marketing and advertising
  • Insurance
  • Legal and accounting fees
  • Salaries and wages
  • Operating costs
  • Inventory and product cost
Laundry Business

How much will you earn in the Laundry Business?

It is easier to estimate earnings in the Laundry business with more information about the specific company, such as location, target market, and competition. In addition, factors such as overhead costs, sales volume, and pricing will all play a role in determining earnings.

The average US Laundry revenue is around $300K – $600K annuallywhile in the UK, it’s around £200K – £350K per year, with a profit margin of about 15% – 25%. 

Here are some approximate costs of common Laundry services that can be used for calculations:

 

  • Wash and fold (per pound): $1.50 to $3.00
  • Dry cleaning (per item): $3.00 to $10.00
  • Ironing (per item): $1.00 to $3.00
  • Alterations (type and complexity of alteration): $5.00 to $30.00 or more
  • Bedding (sheets, comforters, etc.): $5.00 to $20.00 per item
  • Pressing (suits, dresses, etc.): $3.00 to $10.00 per item
  • Shoe repair (varies depending on type of repair): $5.00 to $30.00 or more
  • Specialized services (e.g. leather, suede, wedding dresses): Prices may vary significantly and may need to be quoted on a case-by-case basis.

 

Seasonal Business:

In many regions, the peak season for laundry businesses tends to be during the warmer months, particularly spring and summer. This is often due to increased outdoor activities, vacations, and the need for seasonal clothing such as swimwear and lighter clothing. In some areas, the holiday season during winter months may also see an uptick in laundry business due to increased social gatherings, parties, and holiday-related laundry needs.

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Laundry Business

Checklist of Equipment needed for a Laundry Business

Here’s a checklist of common equipment that may be needed for a laundry business:

 

 

  • Washers:
    Commercial-grade washing machines, including front-load or top-load machines, with appropriate capacity for the anticipated volume of laundry.
 
  • Dryers:
    Commercial-grade dryers, including gas or electric dryers, with appropriate capacity to match the washers.
 
  • Pressing equipment:
    Such as commercial irons or steamers for pressing clothes and linens.
 
  • Folding tables:
    Tables for folding and sorting laundry.
 
  • Laundry carts or hampers:
    For transporting laundry within the facility.
 
  • Storage shelves or cabinets:
    For organizing supplies and storing laundry products.
 
  • Laundry detergent dispensers:
    For automatically dispensing laundry detergent or chemicals during the washing process.
 
  • Cash register or point-of-sale (POS) system:
    For handling transactions and managing sales.
 
  • Laundry scales:
    For accurately weighing laundry loads.
 
  • Lint traps or filters:
    For preventing lint buildup in the dryers.
 
  • Water heaters:
    For providing hot water for the washing machines.
 
  • Laundry bags or packaging materials:
    For packaging cleaned laundry for customers.
 
  • Utility sink or washing sink:
    For pre-washing or spot-cleaning laundry items.
 
  • Security measures:
    Such as surveillance cameras or alarms to ensure the safety of the facility and equipment.
 
  • Maintenance tools:
    Basic tools for routine maintenance and repairs of equipment.

 

 

Note: Consider needs of your laundry business and research the appropriate equipment based on factors such as the volume of laundry, space available, budget, and customer requirements. 

Laundry Business

Types of Staff needed to start a Laundry Business

Here are the types of staff that may be needed to start a laundry business:

 

  • Laundry attendants: 
    These are the frontline staff who interact with customers, receive and process laundry orders, operate the washers and dryers, fold and package clean laundry, and handle customer inquiries and concerns.
 
  • Managers/Supervisors: 
    Depending on the size and complexity of the laundry business, one or more managers or supervisors may be needed to oversee daily operations, manage staff, handle scheduling, inventory management, financials, and customer service, and ensure the smooth functioning of the business.
 
  • Maintenance personnel: 
    These staff members are responsible for routine maintenance and repairs of the laundry equipment, ensuring that the washers, dryers, and other machinery operate efficiently and safely.
 
  • Delivery drivers: 
    If the laundry business offers pickup and delivery services, drivers may be required to pick up and drop off laundry orders from customer locations. These staff members need a valid driver’s license and may require familiarity with local routes and schedules.
 
  • Administrative staff: 
    Depending on the size and complexity of the laundry business, administrative staff may be needed to handle tasks such as bookkeeping, record-keeping, payroll, customer service, and general office duties.
 
  • Optional specialized staff: 
    Depending on the services offered, technical staff may be required, such as dry cleaning specialists, alterations personnel, or tailors, who have specific skills and expertise in handling specialized laundry services.

 

Note: Consider the specific needs of your laundry business and determine the appropriate staffing levels based on factors such as the operation size, laundry volume, hours of operation, and services offered. 

Trends & Challenges in the Laundry Business

Trends in the Laundry Business:

1. Eco-friendly laundry practices and sustainable detergents gaining popularity.
2. Rise of laundry pickup and delivery services for convenience.
3. Increasing use of technology for automated laundry operations.
4. Shift towards subscription-based models for laundry services.
5. Integration of mobile apps for online booking, tracking, and payment.

Challenges in the Laundry Business:

1. Increasing competition in the laundry business.
2. High costs
3. Managing logistics and transportation
4. Maintaining consistent quality standards and customer satisfaction.
5. Attracting and retaining skilled labor in a competitive job market.

Laundry Business

List of services in a Laundry Business 

In a Laundry business, the list of services you provide can determine the overall success of your business and will be the main reason your customers come back every time.

 

Here is a list of services commonly offered in a Laundry business:

 

  • Washing and drying of clothes, including regular and delicate fabrics.
  • Folding and packaging of cleaned clothes.
  • Ironing and pressing of clothes, including shirts, pants, and other garments.
  • Dry cleaning of delicate or specialized fabrics that cannot be washed with water.
  • Stain removal and treatment for tough stains.
  • Alterations and repairs of clothes, including hemming, patching, and button replacement.
  • Shoe cleaning and polishing services.
  • Linen and bedding cleaning for hotels, restaurants, and other hospitality businesses.
  • Wedding gown preservation and cleaning for brides.
  • Rug and carpet cleaning services.
  • Upholstery cleaning for furniture, curtains, and other soft furnishings.
  • Leather and suede cleaning for jackets, handbags, and shoes.
  • Specialized cleaning services for sports equipment, such as athletic uniforms and gear.
  • Curtains and drapery cleaning, including removal, cleaning, and reinstallation.
  • Household item cleaning, such as blankets, comforters, and pillows.
  • Steam cleaning services for deep cleaning and sanitization.
  • Odor removal and deodorizing services.
  • Mattress cleaning for dust mites, allergens, and stains.
  • Seasonal services, such as winter coat cleaning and storage.
  • Pickup and delivery services for added convenience.

 

 

Note: The specific services offered in a Laundry business may vary depending on the focus, location, and target market.

Laundry Business

Service Rate Card of a Laundry Business 

Please note that service rates for a laundry business can vary depending on factors such as location, market demand, competition, and additional services offered. 

 

Here is an example of a rate card for a laundry business:

 

  • Wash and Fold (per pound): $1.50 – $3.00
  • Dry Cleaning (per item): $3.50 – $10.00
  • Shirt Laundering (per shirt): $1.50 – $3.50
  • Ironing (per item): $1.00 – $3.00
  • Stain Removal (per item): $1.00 – $5.00
  • Alterations and Repairs (varies depending on service): $5.00 – $30.00
  • Shoe Cleaning and Polishing (per pair): $5.00 – $10.00
  • Rug and Carpet Cleaning (per square foot): $0.50 – $2.00
  • Upholstery Cleaning (per piece): $20.00 – $100.00
  • Leather and Suede Cleaning (per item): $10.00 – $50.00
  • Curtains and Drapery Cleaning (per panel): $5.00 – $20.00
  • Household Item Cleaning (varies depending on the item): $5.00 – $50.00
  • Steam Cleaning (per hour): $30.00 – $60.00
  • Odor Removal and Deodorizing (per item): $3.00 – $10.00
  • Mattress Cleaning (per mattress): $20.00 – $50.00
  • Seasonal Services (varies depending on service): $10.00 – $50.00
  • Pickup and Delivery (per order or distance): $5.00 – $15.00

 

Note: These rates are for illustrative purposes only, and actual rates may vary. It’s essential to conduct market research and consider your operating costs, target market, and local competition when determining your specific service rates.

Steps to consider while pricing your Laundry services to finalize a profitable pricing strategy:-

1. Calculate your overall budget and running cost per month

2. Calculate your cost per hour

3. Calculate the overall working hours per month

4. Know what others salons are charging

5. Calculate your service cost

Certification and Registration

Licences in a Laundry Business 

Licenses and permits required for a laundry business can vary depending on the location and specific services offered. Here are some common licenses and permits that may be required in the UK and US:

 

UK:

 

  • Business License:
    A general business license may be required to legally operate a laundry business in the UK. The specific requirements and process for obtaining a business license can vary depending on the local regulations of the city or town where the business is located.
 
  • Environmental Permit:
    If your laundry business generates waste water, you may need an environmental permit to discharge the waste water into the public sewer or watercourse. This permit is regulated by the UK Environment Agency or local environmental authorities.

 

US:

 

 

  • Business License:
    The requirements and process for obtaining a business license can vary by state, county, and city, so it’s important to check with the local authorities where your business is located.
 
  • Water/Wastewater Permit:
    If your laundry business requires the use of water for washing or generates wastewater, you may need to obtain a water or wastewater permit from the relevant state or local environmental agency. This permit ensures compliance with environmental regulations related to water usage, discharge, and treatment.
 
  • Occupational/Professional License:
    Depending on the services offered in your laundry business, you may need specific occupational or professional licenses. For example, if you offer dry cleaning services, you may need a dry cleaning license in some states.

 

Note: Licensing requirements vary by location and it’s essential to research and comply with all applicable laws and regulations in your specific area. Failing to obtain the required licenses and permits can result in penalties, fines, and legal issues. It’s recommended to consult with a legal professional or local authorities to ensure compliance with all licensing requirements when starting and operating a laundry business.

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Laundry Business

Shall I go for a Laundry franchise?

Buying an existing Laundry Franchise of a recognized brand is a good idea; however, it is expensive also.

On the other hand, the franchisor will benefit you will all the existing brand image, customer loyalty, advertising, market research & strategies.

In addition, you will get guidance from the franchisor about training the workforce & ambiance of the premises. 

Some of the top Laundry Franchises in the UK and USA:

Top Laundry Franchises in the UK:

  • Laundryheap
  • Laundry Republic
  • Diamond Laundry
  • Johnson Cleaners
  • LaundryTec

 

Top Laundry Franchises in the USA:

  • Tide Cleaners
  • Laundry Care
  • Coin Laundry Association
  • Laundry Locker
  • Lapels Dry Cleaning

Conclusion

In conclusion, starting a Laundry Business in the UK and the US can be rewarding and profitable. However, conducting thorough market research, creating a solid business plan, and securing the necessary funding are crucial. 

It is crucial to find the right location, choose the right equipment and suppliers, and create a unique and inviting atmosphere for customers. 

Following these steps, you can set your Laundry Business up for success and build a business that customers will love for years.

Want to Save Time in your Business Launch?

  • How to Create a Business Plan
  • What is Market Research, USP, Niche & Positioning
  • How to find a suitable name for your business
  • How to create your brand image (Logo + Branding)
  • How to Register Your Business
  • How to Register for Taxes
  • How to get Licenses / Permits
  • How to Open a Business Bank Account
  • How to Get Business Insurance
  • Which Payment Processing Terminal (POS) to buy
  • How to get Funds for your Business
  • How to do Sales & Marketing – Offline & Online
  • Why have a Website / Blog / Social Media
  • How to build & train your Dream Team
  • How to provide Excellent Customer Service
  • Buying an Old Business Vs Franchisee Vs Own Brand from Scratch

Handpicked inspirational Youtube videos for you

 paid $0 upfront for a laundromat making $67K a year – YT Channel ‘Codie Sanchez’

Owned a Laundromat for a Year (Does it Make Any Money?) Pt. 1 – YT Channel ‘UpFlip’

A. Having a website for your laundry business can be beneficial as it provides an online presence, allows customers to find and learn about your business, and offers a convenient way for them to contact you or place orders. However, it’s not a strict requirement, and some laundry businesses may choose to rely on other online platforms or local advertising.

A. Social media platforms, such as Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter, can be used to promote your laundry business, share updates, engage with customers, and build a community. You can post about your services, special offers, customer testimonials, and share useful tips related to laundry care.

A. Yes, you can offer online ordering and payment options for your laundry business to provide convenience to your customers. This may include setting up an online ordering system on your website or using third-party platforms, such as delivery apps or online marketplaces, to accept orders and payments online.

A. You can monitor and respond to online reviews and feedback on platforms such as Google, Yelp, or social media to engage with your customers, address their concerns, and maintain a positive online reputation. Responding promptly and professionally to customer reviews can help build trust and loyalty.

A. Digital marketing techniques, such as search engine optimization (SEO), pay-per-click (PPC) advertising, email marketing, and content marketing, can be used to promote your laundry business online, drive traffic to your website, and attract more customers.

A. When collecting customer data online, it’s important to ensure proper security measures, such as SSL encryption, secure payment gateways, and regular data backups, to protect customer information and ensure online security.

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