How Do I Start a Laundry Service Business?

Dan Cavallari

Starting any business can be a difficult and lengthy process, so it helps to determine well ahead of time what type of business you want to start. Be as specific as possible when formulating your business idea; if you want to start a laundry service business, for example, you will need to carefully outline all of the services you intend to offer and how you intend to offer them. The laundry service business can be set up to accommodate washing and drying only or it can be set up to offer delivery services as well as dry cleaning services.

Supplies might eat up a lot of profit when running a laundry service business.
Supplies might eat up a lot of profit when running a laundry service business.

Start planning your laundry service business by writing a business plan. This document will outline all of the details of your business as well as any potential competition, budgets, marketing, and projections for growth. The plan will give you a guide for starting your business and keeping it running once it has begun. The analysis of potential competition will be important, since this will give you an idea of what you will need to do in order to make your laundry service business stand out above all the rest.

Starting a laundry service business requires the purchase of equipment such as a steam iron.
Starting a laundry service business requires the purchase of equipment such as a steam iron.

Think carefully about how you will fund the laundry service business. The start-up costs can grow quickly, especially if you will be investing in new equipment, so you should spend a fair amount of time figuring out what your costs will be. Once you have a concrete number, you will include this in your business plan; when you apply for business loans from banks, you will need to present this business plan to bank representatives so they can compare the start-up costs against your projected growth and earning potential. Be realistic about your budget, and try to plan out the first six months to a year of expenses for the business to ensure you have an accurate idea of what you will need.

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Before you get started, it is a good idea to get some experience within the laundry services industry. This may mean taking a job in another laundry service business and learning as much as possible about the skills and techniques necessary to run a successful laundry business. Prepare to spend at least a year, if not several years, learning the inner workings of a laundry service so you will be prepared for the challenges of running your own business when the time comes. In addition, it is a good idea to learn basic math and communications skills so you will be ready to take on these tasks in relation to your business.

Laundry detergent.
Laundry detergent.

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Discussion Comments


I am interested in setting up a green laundry business. People are so concerned about the chemicals they put on their body and the environmental impact of the mundane aspects of our daily lives. I figure marketing a laundry that uses non toxic detergents, with a minimum amount of water and energy will go over well with those who are concerned about the earth.

That is as far as I have gotten though. I am not a businessman, if you couldn't already tell. So what do I need to know about starting my own green laundry business? Any tips you have would help. Thanks!

The laundry business is a great business to be in. Think about it it this way. People do not really need iPods, but they are always going to need clean clothes, no matter who they are or where they live. Therefore, laundry businesses will always be relevant, and if you run them right they will always be profitable.

I have run a few in my life, from full service laundries to dry cleaners to simple quarter machine laundromats. I made money off of all of them. Keep your costs down and the profits roll in.


Logistics is a big part of starting a successful laundry service business. You have to be able to receive clothes from anyone and everyone, wash those clothes, and then return all the items to exactly the person who dropped them off with you. That can be trickier than it sounds.

Luckily, the laundry business is pretty standardized and you can find guides and templates that can help you through some of the more complicated aspects of the business.

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