With the recession still far from over, and more pay cuts - if not layoffs - looming ahead, venturing into a small-scale business may be the smartest thing you can do. Why not start a laundry service to meet your mortgage payments and never-ending bills? What's great about this business is the option to operate it on your own — if you are short on capital, or if you can splurge a little on overhead expenses, you can find dependable assistants to help you.
Setting up your very own laundry service can be downright scary. But with the right tools, you can kick-start your business with the fewest glitches possible.
Here are our top seven suggestions to make sure that your newest business ventures run smoothly.
- Scout for the best possible location for your business. Remember, the best location is usually teeming with nearby residential areas, such as apartment buildings, colleges, dormitories and other recreational centers.
- Study your competition! Know how many commercial laundries are there in the area. Find out their prices and other services, then ask yourself how you can add a competitive edge.
- Tailor your laundry service to suit the needs and lifestyle of your target customers. Will automated laundry equipment be enough for them, or do they want to simply check their clothes in and pick them up afterwards? For some, a pick-up and delivery business right from their homes or work places may be exactly what they need. To make your potential business work, figure out the best deal for you and your customers.
- Lease a building. Or if your place seems to be the perfect location for the laundry business, why not operate homebased? Talk to the apartment owner and neighbors if this idea is feasible for them. Consult a professional electrician afterwards, to make sure all the electrical wiring in your establishment are safe and working.
- Choose laundry equipment that will best suit your business. Either leased or bought, make sure that the brand, price and number of these washers, dryers and laundry sorters won't wreak havoc on your overhead or your customers' laundry, ranging from the delicate nappy to the hard-to-wash blanket, plus anything else in between.
- Secure necessary permits and licenses. Ask your local state office about the needed documents to run a legitimate business. Keep the approved documents in an album for security purposes.
- Use cheap, but effective marketing strategies to promote your business. Distribute fliers in the community, or put up small posters at college billboards and apartment buildings. Plan your launch with a bang! Offer free laundry coupons coupled with welcome drinks and snacks. Follow your grand opening with ingenious ways to market your laundry business, such as lower prices and faster delivery than any other commercial laundry.
Whichever type of laundry service you decide on, give it enough time to gain momentum. Don't expect your venture to produce raving fans and fantastic profits in just a short period of time. You should also expect to keep your business moving forward by taking online business classes to keep your skills on the cutting edge. If you give what your customers need, and more, your dream of paying off your mortgage and bills will certainly come true.