How to Run a Laundry Business

Updated on 11 May 2022

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laundry business

Looking for a unique business idea to start? A laundry business could be the ideal choice. Starting a laundry business in the right area could be a great way to make money. Compared to many other types of businesses, laundry services are relatively low-cost to start up, and they don’t require special licenses or knowledge.   

There’s a lot more that goes into starting a laundry business than just buying a washing machine and taking orders. You have to carefully consider how the business will operate, and what location makes sense. We’ll explore this all in our guide below.  

Does a Laundry Business Make Money? 

Starting a laundry business can be a profitable venture. Many South Africans rely on laundry services each day. With many people working long hours, finding the time to do laundry is difficult. Laundry services are also popular in areas where housing space is limited.  

The downside to running a laundry business is that margins are rather slim, and you don’t make large profits with each customer. However, if the laundry business is consistently busy, it can be very profitable. Creative laundry business owners can also maximise their profits by offering additional services, such as sneaker cleaning. 

The main operating costs in running a laundry business are water, electricity, laundry products, rent, and staff (if you need extra hands). It’s a relatively low-cost business to operate. If you opt for a self-service laundromat, then it also takes minimal time and effort to manage. Starting up the laundry business will require you to purchase washers and dryers, which can be an expensive investment.  

What is Needed to Open a Laundry Business? 

First, you will need a solid business plan. Understand how the business will operate, who your potential customers will be, where the business will be based what profit margins will look like, and so on. Include your revenue expectations and what your monthly expenses will be.  

You will need to find a location for your laundry business. This should be in an area where you have identified a need for a laundry service. Once the premises have been secured, you will need to kit it out with the right laundry equipment. This includes washers and dryers, ironing equipment, a laundry cart, detergents, and more. The equipment should be purchased based on the expected demand of the business.  

When starting a laundry business, you will need to register the business appropriately. New businesses in South Africa need to register with local SARS authorities.  

When doing market research for your laundry business, you must consider whether the business will be self-service, or whether you will do the laundry manually. If the business will be self-service, you will need to get coin or card-operated machines. If the business will be a drop-off laundry service, you will need to have enough space and staff to handle the laundry orders.   

Finally, you will also need to market your laundry business to get customers. At the most basic level, this would include clear signage displaying your business. It’s a good idea to also invest in additional marketing campaigns to attract more customers and launch the business successfully. 

Is a Laundry Business Useful? 

A laundry business is certainly useful. Many people work long hours and don’t have the time, or space, to do their own laundry. A laundry business fulfils this need, providing a valuable and in-demand service.   

Another great reason to start a laundry business is that you can attract a lot of recurring customers. People need their laundry done on a regular basis. As long as you provide a good service, you can have return customers coming back each week.  

Before starting a laundromat, it’s important to establish an area where a laundry business is in demand. Affluent areas generally have washers and dryers in each household, often with domestic help to take care of laundry. Therefore, it’s best to open laundry services in areas where a lot of people don’t own washing machines or don’t have the space to do laundry. Areas with a lot of apartment blocks are good locations for laundromats, as many apartments don’t have space for doing laundry. 

There’s always demand for a laundry business. As long as the location makes sense and you offer a good service, you should be able to attract a consistent stream of customers. Aspiring entrepreneurs should certainly consider this type of business, as it could be highly rewarding if it’s done properly.  

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