How to Start Your Own Ironing Business From Home
Start Your Ironing Business Today
If you ask most men and women which job they hate doing around the house, ironing would probably be high on their list. The problem is people tend to procrastinate with ironing and then the pile grows. This makes the task almost insurmountable and extremely time-consuming.
If you dislike ironing, would making money from it change your mind? You can earn good money pressing clothes for other people. With very little outlay, other than your time, you can begin earning money and building your own ironing business from home. As with all businesses, you may only have a few customers at first, but if you provide a professional service, the word will spread and soon you will be earning a healthy additional income from it.
Getting Started With Your Ironing Business
To start with you obviously need an iron and an ironing board. There are other accessories that would be useful like a sleeve board or a seam press, but as you are just starting out let’s keep it simple.
Next you will need to make some notices. These can be simple but effective. If you have a printer you can design one on the computer and print it off. If not simply write on a 3″ X 5″ card. You should say what it is you do, who you are, and a phone number. Another positive item to include is “no pets and non-smoking house.” People don’t want their clothes returned smelling of smoke or covered in pet hair. If you are a non-smoker without pets, definitely put this on your ad.This will increase your customer base.
Display your ad on advertising/notice boards at various locations. Often grocery stores, libraries or public meeting places will have a notice board. Sometimes they are free, or they will be very reasonable. Remember, when you are starting out, keep your overheads low. If you wish to start with business cards, the example here is perfect. This and others are available from Zazzle and are easy to customize with your own details.
Ironing Lessons from a Pro
Below are two videos from a man who knows his stuff. Although you may believe you're ironing correctly, take a look at these videos. He will show you how to iron shirts and pants (trousers) perfectly.
Remember, think of this as a business, time is money. The best way to iron is the most efficient way.
How Much to Charge for Ironing Service
You need to decide how much you are going to charge for your services. Charge too much and you aren’t going to get clients, charge too little and you may have clients but be working for next to nothing. If there are others already providing this service in your area, find out what they charge. I think a good rule of thumb is, take the minimum wage and double it.
Some people charge by the hour and others by the sackful or weight. I would suggest by the hour.
If the customer wants their shirts on hangers, you can collect these when you pick up their order or if they bring their clothes to you, ask them to bring some hangers. It is always a good idea to keep some extra hangers just in case they don’t bring enough. Plastic ones are often inexpensive to buy. It also shows good customer service. It is this type of unexpected attention to detail that will impress your customer and lead him/her to recommend your services to others.
Collection and Delivery Service
If you have a car, you could offer a collection and delivery service. To do this effectively, you would need to decide how wide an area you are willing to cover and how much you will charge for this extra service. Don’t be squeamish about asking for more, it is your business.
Your car will need to be clean. It is no use doing someone’s ironing and hanging it in a car full of dog hair and cigarette smoke.
If there is a smoker in your home, or if you yourself smoke. Make the customer aware of this because even if you don’t smoke near their clothes, the smell transfers. Non-smokers will only use your service once if their clothes are returned reeking of cigarette smoke.
How to Develop a Customer Base for Your Ironing Buisness
Your customers will be from all walks of life. When I was doing this, I had an older gentleman whose wife used to do it. Since her passing, he had to do his own ironing until he found my advertisement. I also had another regular customer whose wife didn’t like ironing and the man was too busy. Others were when college students came home and there was an extra load, after medical procedures, after holidays. The list is endless. It could be anytime and for any reason.
Sometimes, their pile of ironing had just gotten too large!
Keep it Professional
If you always have their order finished when you say, and it is exactly as they like it, they will use your services again and again. They will also recommend you to their friends.
Don’t make promises you can’t keep. Your customers would rather know beforehand if there is a problem. If for example, you will be away on vacation, let your customers know well in advance. It's also a good idea to get a telephone number to contact before delivering. You don't want your time wasted waiting or having to return another time for delivery.
How to Fold T-shirts and Dress Shirts Correctly
Ironing is only half the story, folding and putting on hangers will make your service professional. Get this wrong and your customers will only use your service once.
Hang garments to cool after ironing, this reduces those annoying lines you get when a shirt is folded immediately after ironing. Below are two videos showing how to correctly fold a t-shirt and a dress shirt.
These little touches make a professional looking business and after all, isn't that what you want to achieve?
Ready for Collection or Delivery
To keep all your hard work looking pristine, place all the folded clothes in plastic bags. I would suggest all the same color, not just left-over grocery bags.
The items on hangers should be grouped together awaiting their collection.This is especially important if you have multiple clients on the same day. If you are going to be delivering them, most cars have a hook inside above the back door for a few hangers. These are easily fixed into the back seat area of most family sized cars.
Or consider a clothes bar which will give you even more hanging space.
I love the rubber coating on this. The one I used before didn't have it and every time I turned a corner, the newly ironed clothes slid. I have a standard mid-size car and this one fits perfectly. It is extendable to accommodate most cars. I know when I arrive with their items, they will look as good as they did when I finished ironing them.
A Few Last Words
Starting a new business can be daunting, especially if you have been out of the job market for some time.
When I wanted to earn extra money, I sat down and assessed my skills. I knew I could iron well, and I knew other people disliked this chore. Even with this knowledge, I was hesitant. When I got my first customer, I was worried my ironing might not be as they liked it.
When they telephoned me again, I knew I had a business. The relief I saw on some of the faces of my customers was priceless. I wasn't just helping them with a chore they hated, I was solving a problem that was causing them stress.
I encourage you to try this if you want to earn some extra money and begin to build your own business.
This article is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge. Content is for informational or entertainment purposes only and does not substitute for personal counsel or professional advice in business, financial, legal, or technical matters.
Questions & Answers
Should you keep it simple and accept cash only for a home ironing business?
I only ever had one person give me a check. That was only because she didn't have any cash on her. She was a regular customer, and I delivered the clothes to her house so I knew the check was going to be valid. Most people don't even ask about another way of paying, they have the cash ready at the time of delivery.Helpful 12
How can you protect yourself if the customer doesn't pay?
I never had this problem. If you have their clothes ready, they pay before receiving their clothes. In my experience, people were so grateful to have someone helping them. It was a service they weren't going to risk losing by not having the money ready.Helpful 3
Does an ironing job have to be reported as earned income?
I would suggest you speak with an accountant to see what the limit is before having to declare it. It may vary from country to country.
Is it likely that I could have enough ironing jobs to do it every day?
Yes! When I was doing this, I considered having a friend help me out when I had more work than I expected. I wanted to increase my customer base so I didn't want to disappoint the customers by turning them away.
It can be a juggling act at times because it needs to fit in with your family's schedule.
Your business will start off slowly but that is a good thing so you can perfect your system. It's a good 'work from home' job that you can earn well from.
Could you please recommend an iron?
I can't suggest a particular brand as models change and a global audience reads this article. However, I can give you some things to consider.
Try it as you would if you were buying a pair of shoes. Pick it up and feel the weight. If it is heavy, it's going only to get heavier after you've used it for an hour at a time. That said, you don't want one that feels too light to be inferior.
How does it feel in your hand? Is it comfortable? This is where good design is worth every penny. I am all about function over a pretty color. What you are buying is a workhorse, not something to look attractive in a cabinet or on a shelf. If it feels good in your hand, it is less likely to cause callouses from constant use.
Are the controls easy to use? At the front point, there should be an indentation for ironing around buttons.
You want a lot of steam outlets on the bottom. Is the sole plate good quality? How easy is it going to be to clean?
Make sure the cord is not one that will tangle. Also, make sure it is long enough to reach your outlet without causing a problem.
Never use an iron with the cord coiled, you can cause a fire as it creates a magnetic field.
When you begin to using an iron, you will pick up little things that bother you and things you love about the iron you've chosen. This will put you in a better position the next time you purchase one.
© 2014 Mary Wickison