How to Start a Laundry Business

How to Start a Laundry Business

Despite the constant need for clean clothes, many don’t have time to handle this simple task. In fact, laundry is often rated as the least favorable household chore.

Given the constant need for clean clothes, this $40 billion dollar industry is a lucrative business to get involved in. If you are thinking about becoming a laundry entrepreneur, take a look at the following strategies on how to start a laundry business.

Start a Laundry Business

Laundry Business

Gain Experience in the Laundry Industry

While running your own laundry business does not require any specific qualifications or experience, it’s a good idea when entering any business to have experience in the industry. With this in mind, it may prove valuable to take a job in a laundry facility, so you can learn more about the trade and what customers want.

Carry Out Market Research

Before you begin the venture, conducting market research can be an effective way to ensure there is demand for laundry services in your area. Carrying out market research will help you determine how customers are likely to respond to your new venture.

Write a Business Plan

All business ideas should start with a business plan. Even if you are not planning on getting a bank loan or venture capital for your business, a business plan will give you a deeper understanding of the market.

Your business plan should start with a list of the services you will provide. Will you deliver the laundry back to customers or offer any specialized cleaning services, such as dry cleaning or ironing?

A business plan will give you clarity about where you are heading and help you stay organized and remain on track.

List the Items You Will Need

Starting a laundry business might be more expensive than you think. When writing your business plan, jot down all the equipment and items you will need, including washers, dryers, detergent, hangers, and so on. These items will need to be factored into your budget to ensure your venture is financially viable.

Laundry Business

Determine Your Target Market

It’s important every entrepreneur picks a target market to go after. When writing your business plan and getting your idea off the ground, think about who your target market will be. With a laundry business, your target market could be fairly broad, ranging from elderly customers who aren’t able to take care of the washing themselves, to busy working moms who don’t have time to wash the family’s laundry, to students who don’t have their own washer or dryer at home.

Mapping out who your target markets are is vital when it comes to marketing your business.

Pick a Prime Venue

If you’ve got laundry facilities at home such as in your garage and you live in a place that’s accessible for customers to drop off and pick up their laundry, you may want to operate your laundry business from home.

Failing that, look for a prime venue for your start-up that’s in a great location, such as on a busy street, to help get the business up and running. Naturally, the price of renting the venue will need to be factored into the business expenses and taken out of potential profits.

Space that has off-street parking is attractive as this makes the dropping off and picking up process more convenient for customers.

Distinguish Your Laundry Business from Competitors

Besides making sure you have a good location, think about ways you will distinguish yourself from competitors. You may want to offer specialized services, such as ironing and dry-cleaning items or offer lower prices than competitors.

When you open the business, encourage customers to come to you by offering ‘first week deals’ such as two loads of washing for the price of one.

Start to Market Your Business

Once you have everything in place to open your laundry business, start marketing your venture aggressively. From posting fliers to sending direct mail, and even getting your own website launched, there are endless ways to market your laundry business to different target markets.

Laundry Business

Think About Becoming a Laundry Franchisee

There are pros and cons to franchising.  But franchises come with a number of benefits, including the fact they provide everything you need to get your business up and running. Systems like Laundry Care partner with entrepreneurs seeking to provide laundry services to local residents and commercial customers and help them build a business.

As the brand and business model are already set up and established, entering a franchise contract can come with less risk than starting a business entirely from scratch.

Laundry Franchise: A Lucrative Opportunity

Laundry Business

If you’re considering entering the laundry business, one option worth exploring is becoming a laundry franchisee. While starting a business from scratch can be rewarding, franchising offers a range of benefits that can make the process smoother and less risky. Here are some key points to consider if you’re thinking about becoming a laundry franchisee:

  • Established Brand and Business Model: By choosing a laundry franchise, you gain access to an already established brand and business model. This means you don’t have to build your brand from the ground up, saving time and effort on marketing and advertising. Customers are more likely to trust a recognized brand, increasing the chances of attracting clients from the start.
  • Guidance and Support: Franchise companies often provide comprehensive training, support, and ongoing assistance to their franchisees. This support can range from initial setup guidance to ongoing marketing and operational support. Being part of a franchise network allows you to tap into the collective knowledge and experience of other franchisees and the franchisor.
  • Proven Systems and Processes: Franchises typically come with tried and tested systems and processes. These operational guidelines help ensure consistency and efficiency in running your laundry business. You’ll benefit from established workflows, quality standards, and best practices that have proven successful in other franchise locations.
  • Reduced Risk: While all businesses carry some level of risk, franchises can provide a degree of risk reduction. The established brand, support network, and proven business model contribute to a higher chance of success compared to starting a business entirely from scratch. Franchisors also tend to have a vested interest in the success of their franchisees.
  • Marketing and Advertising: Franchise companies often handle national or regional marketing and advertising campaigns, which can significantly benefit local franchisees. Collective marketing efforts can lead to increased brand recognition and customer acquisition. Additionally, the franchisor’s marketing expertise can help you develop effective local marketing strategies.
  • Franchise Fees and Agreements: It’s essential to thoroughly review the franchise agreement, including any initial fees and ongoing royalties or contributions. Understand the terms and obligations associated with the franchise before committing to the opportunity. Conduct due diligence on the franchise company’s reputation and track record.
  • Flexibility and Autonomy: While a franchise provides an established framework, there is still room for local autonomy and decision-making. Within the guidelines set by the franchise, you may have the flexibility to tailor certain aspects of your laundry business to suit your local market’s needs and preferences.
AspectStarting a Laundry BusinessBecoming a Laundry Franchisee
Experience RequiredNo specific qualifications or experience needed, but prior knowledge of the industry can be valuablePrior experience in the industry is not always required as franchisors provide training and support
Market ResearchConduct market research to gauge demand for laundry services in the local areaBenefit from an established brand with proven demand in the market
Business PlanDevelop a comprehensive business plan to outline services, target market, and budgetGain access to an established business model and operational guidelines
Equipment and CostsJot down all required equipment and factor costs into the budgetInitial fees and ongoing royalties may apply, but you gain access to proven systems and support
Target MarketDefine a target market, such as busy working moms, students, or elderly customersBenefit from an established brand with existing customer base and marketing initiatives
LocationChoose a prime venue with convenient access and off-street parking if possibleSome franchises provide location assistance and may already have established locations
Competitive EdgeOffer unique services, competitive pricing, and attractive promotionsLeverage an established brand and proven marketing strategies
MarketingEmploy various marketing strategies like fliers, direct mail, and online presenceBenefit from regional or national marketing efforts conducted by the franchise
Support and TrainingNo standard support; training may depend on prior experienceReceive comprehensive training and ongoing suppo

Expanding Services Beyond Traditional Laundry

Diversifying service offerings is a strategic way to cater to a broader customer base and enhance revenue streams in a laundry business. Moving beyond basic washing and drying, there are several value-added services that can be integrated to meet the evolving needs of customers and stand out in a competitive market.

  • Eco-Friendly Cleaning Options: With increasing environmental awareness, offering eco-friendly cleaning options can attract a segment of customers who are conscious about their ecological footprint. This can include using biodegradable detergents, energy-efficient machines, and water conservation methods. Marketing these green practices can also enhance the business’s brand image as environmentally responsible.
  • Ironing and Dry Cleaning Services: Including ironing and dry cleaning services provides a one-stop solution for customers. Busy professionals, for instance, would find value in having their clothes washed, dried, ironed, and ready to wear. These services command higher prices, adding a lucrative edge to the standard laundry offerings.
  • Express Delivery Services: Implementing a pick-up and delivery service adds convenience for customers and is particularly appealing to those with busy schedules. Offering express delivery options for faster turnaround times can cater to clients who need urgent laundry services, thus increasing customer satisfaction and loyalty.
  • Specialized Cleaning Services: Catering to niche markets, such as offering cleaning services for delicate garments, wedding dresses, or even bulky items like blankets and curtains, can attract a diverse customer base. This specialization can set a laundry business apart from standard laundromats that offer basic services.
  • Subscription Models: Introducing subscription-based models where customers pay a monthly fee for a set number of services can ensure a steady revenue stream. This model is beneficial for both the business, which gains predictable income, and customers who enjoy the convenience of regular services.
  • Laundry Apps and Online Booking: Developing a mobile app or an online booking system for easy scheduling of services enhances customer experience. Features like tracking the laundry progress, automatic billing, and notifications when laundry is ready for pickup or delivery can be included.
  • Partnerships with Local Businesses: Collaborating with local businesses, such as hotels, restaurants, or gyms, to handle their laundry needs can open new revenue channels. These partnerships can provide a consistent bulk of business, balancing the typically variable individual customer demands.

Before making a decision, carefully evaluate various laundry franchise opportunities, comparing costs, support, brand reputation, and alignment with your business goals. A well-chosen laundry franchise can provide a solid foundation for your entrepreneurial journey in the laundry industry.


The laundry industry presents a promising business opportunity, driven by the constant demand for clean clothes and the growing need for laundry services among busy individuals. Whether you choose to start your own laundry business from scratch or become a laundry franchisee, careful planning and strategic decision-making are essential for success.

Starting a laundry business allows you the freedom to create a unique brand and tailor your services to a specific target market. Market research, a comprehensive business plan, and effective marketing strategies will play a crucial role in establishing a strong customer base and differentiating your business from competitors.

On the other hand, becoming a laundry franchisee offers several advantages, including an established brand, proven business model, guidance, and ongoing support from the franchisor. Franchises come with reduced risk and the benefit of collective marketing efforts, making it an appealing option for those seeking a smoother path to entrepreneurship.

Ultimately, the decision between starting a standalone laundry business and becoming a laundry franchisee depends on individual preferences, resources, and entrepreneurial goals. Whichever path you choose, the laundry industry holds significant potential for growth and profitability, making it a lucrative venture worth exploring for aspiring entrepreneurs. Conduct thorough research, carefully weigh the pros and cons, and embark on your laundry business journey with determination and passion for success.

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Gabrielle Pickard-Whitehead Gabrielle Pickard-Whitehead is a staff writer for Small Business Trends and has been a member of the team for 7 years. She is based in the United Kingdom and since 2006, Gabrielle has been writing articles, blogs and news pieces for a diverse range of publications and sites. You can read "Gabrielle’s blog here.".