|Typical fees:||$10 per pound of clothes for wash, dry, and iron|
|Advertising:||Local papers, bulletin boards, fl yers, Yellow Pages|
|Qualifi cations:||Knowledge of fabric do’s and don’ts|
|Equipment needed:||Extra-large capacity industrial washer and dryer, ironing|
|board or a professional press|
|Hidden costs:||Insurance or “mistake money”|
What You Do
Have some business cards handy for this profession and lots of happy customers to refer additional business to you. You should especially seek out professional women who simply don’t have the time for laundry detail. There is no other business where word of mouth can make or break you as much as this one. You’ll need to be a perfectionist and pay attention to every detail. You should have a room especially devoted to this venture. Have on hand special laundry soap, softeners, starches, and clotheslines for drip-dry. If you don’t invest in a profes-sional steam press, have more than one iron available, just in case. Be sure to keep all of your warranties up-to-date on your machines, since they are the lifeline to your business.
What You Need
Overhead may be low (under $1,000) if you already have the machines. Any washer or dryer in good working condition will do, but the extra-large capacity will cut your time in half allowing you to do more laundry in a shorter period of time. The large capacity also allows you to do big-ticket items such as comforters. Since your start-up cost may be low, you could easily make $20,000 or more annu-ally in 40-hour work weeks.
Keys to Success
You either love or hate to do laundry. Since this is a home-based business, you still have time to catch a soap opera or talk show and feed your baby. Be prepared to correct any mistakes, even if they are not your fault (i.e., replace missing buttons, fix a shoulder pad, or totally replace the garment). For this reason, keep some extra “mistake money” on hand. If you make small repairs at no charge, it tends to be good for business. The word will spread about your caring, personalized service.