How to Start a Laundry Pickup and Delivery Service Business? – 7 Actionable Steps

Most people don’t start their own businesses because they lack expertise in the field. Laundry delivery services, however, don’t follow the same rule. It is exceptional because it has a meager cost of entry allowing almost anyone to start their own laundry delivery service. 

With the ease of business, it is no wonder that people are asking “how to start a laundry pickup and delivery service business?” Well, wonder no more for we are here to show you what it takes to start your own laundry delivery business.

The worldwide laundry care sector is valued at 96.9 billion dollars. This number will only go up as more and more areas around the world are urbanized. Such numbers make it clear that laundry services are highly lucrative among other factors.

Why Starting a Laundry Delivery Business is a Good Idea?

Before jumping into any business you must understand if it is the right fit for you. A great way to do this is to look at the benefits of a business and see if they align with your goals. Since a laundry business does not require a lot of things to start, it is easy to understand its profitability.

Why Starting a Laundry Delivery Business is a Good Idea

1. Easy business model

Taking care of clothes and delivering them is as simple as it gets. While a laundry business does have its own share of difficulties it is still easier than the majority of local companies. Starting a laundry business is indeed very simple, the real challenge is growing a laundry business

Growing a laundry business requires more tools, employees, and plans. Though even if you operate a small laundry business it can still be a very profitable venture. This is all because of the opportunities that you can take advantage of. 

2. High demand

With the rapid global modernization, everyday time-consuming tasks start being outsourced to businesses. One of these time-consuming tasks is doing the laundry. Even if you live in a tiny town you are bound to run into people that would gladly use your laundry services.

The demand is also very diverse. The laundry market might seem very narrow but in reality, it is quite the opposite. There is a market for everything from laundromats to dry cleaners, and with time this market will only expand and create diverse options.

Such an open and booming market is a dream come true for any business. Though for a laundry service business it is very much real. Though you must start your own laundry business before your local market gets too saturated.

3. Low cost of entry

It doesn’t take much to be a successful laundry delivery service as the cost of entry is limited to washing machines and materials. This fact also makes it clear that laundry services are also highly reliable businesses. 

Given that you plan to start small, your laundry service can be made operational for as little as 2000 dollars. Sure you wouldn’t be able to have an empire with that amount but it is still a start. 

Such market conditions are ideal for a laundry business to flourish. If you are able to handle the responsibilities of a laundry service business and keep growing then making a profit should be a cakewalk journey.

7 Actionable Steps to Start a Laundry Pickup and Delivery Service

As previously stated you will have to act fast before the market gets more competitive. This is why you need clear and simple actionable steps that you can follow to start your own laundry delivery service.

Step 1: Pick a niche 

Picking a niche early on allows a business to stand out more from its competition. Basically picking a niche means choosing your specialization. At first sight, it doesn’t look like there would be any variety in laundry services, though the truth is quite different. 

Your laundry business can be of various types such as a dry cleaning business, an industrial laundry care business, or a hotel laundry service. The flexibility of the laundry industry allows for plenty of business variations.

Analyze your local market to see if it is big enough to accommodate specialized laundry services. You would not want to spend a lot of money on equipment only to realize that there is zero demand for your services.

Step 2: Get your finances in order

Before you start anything it is important to keep your finances in order so that your new business can proceed without a hitch.  It is best to start creating business accounts first as it will help you build business credit for future expenses.

Most people need to separate their personal and business accounts. This will eliminate the overuse and misuse of business funds. This is why setting up a business bank account is of crucial importance.

You also need to open as many payment gateways as possible so that your laundry delivery business gets paid no matter the payment method. This makes it very easy for potential customers to choose your business over others. 

Step 3: Look for investment

Another aspect of financial planning is looking for investment. While a small laundry delivery service doesn’t need a massive upfront investment it can still be helpful. If you have good business credit accounts then you can use them to fulfill your needs.

You can also raise money from individual investors that are interested in your business plan though it is usually not required for a small business. The most preferred way is to simply save money yourself and start the laundry delivery service when you are ready. 

Step 4: Register your business

To legally operate your business you will first have to register your company as a legal business entity. There are many ways to go about registering your business. Though most laundry delivery businesses register their business as either a sole proprietorship or an LLC. 

There are pros and cons to all forms of registration though it is your duty to see which form is right for your business. Ensuring that this step is handled with care will save you from any potential issue that might affect registered businesses. 

Step 5: Get high-quality equipment

You wouldn’t want to invest in cheap equipment to only have it fail on you at the worst times possible. A business that relies on equipment should understand that its business expenses should primarily be on equipment and workers.

Spending extra on good equipment gives you greater peace of mind. Getting great equipment is also essential for a laundry delivery service as it allows you to give your customers a better and more consistent experience. 

Step 6: Insure your business

Safeguarding yourself from any potential liabilities is of paramount importance. This is why getting business insurance is so important for any new laundry delivery service. Assuming that your laundry service business will not run into issues is dangerous. 

You as the business owner need to account for every single mishap that may occur during operations and come up with ways to counter them. General liability insurance will cover most liabilities that your business could face.

Step 7: Market your business 

Your laundry delivery service is not likely to attract customers if it isn’t visible to them. While many businesses take their business online, the best way to market a small laundry delivery service is still traditional advertising.

This means that flyers, local bulletins, and posters are the best way for potential customers to find your business. It is important to also list all modes of contact so that your target market has an easier time making phone calls to you.

You can also build social media accounts to spearhead the word about your services. Make sure that you always have a business phone system active so that your customers can instantly book your services.

While you’re at it, it is still important to have a user-friendly website as web technology becomes more and more popular among locals. With this method of advertising, you should be gaining customers within only a few months.

Biggest Challenges Faced by a Laundry Business

A laundry service business wouldn’t be complete without its own set of challenges. Thankfully these challenges are well known as they have been faced by every existing laundry business. It is important to know these challenges before you start a laundry delivery service. 

Biggest Challenges Faced by a Laundry Business

Competition amongst laundry services

A low startup cost attracts a lot of people and since a laundry delivery service is a low-cost business, many people choose to start their own. This makes the market very saturated and competitive for any newcomer.

The competition between local businesses is fierce. Especially in the laundry industry as they target the same consumer base and struggle to maintain profitability. Small business owners are constantly on the lookout for ways to beat the competition. 

They will bring additional services, innovation, and optimization to the table to sway your customer base. Basically, you will be forced to constantly innovate or lose your customers to your competitors. 

Difficult to retain customers

The nature of the laundry industry is such that customers don’t feel the need to stay loyal to a single business. Most customers for laundry service businesses are busy professionals that don’t get the time to do their laundry. 

The greatest priority for these customers is time savings. So you can offer additional delivery services such as fast pick up and delivery or cleaning services such as dry cleaning services and industrial laundry services.

Hard to make high-profit margins

Given the competitive nature of the industry, you can expect to spend a lot to keep up with the competition. The ongoing expenses are going to be very high since you will have to hire employees and deliver a great experience from the start.

You will also have to invest in a physical location to cater to your customer requests. All of these things need to be within a proper accounting system so that you can keep track of costs. This is because how much profit you can make highly depends on how much you spend.

The delivery process is notorious for being one of the biggest money hogs in a laundry service. Other customers do not realize why it costs so much to simply clean clothes and delivers them, but it is still up to you to find the balance where you can make the most profit.

Complicated and time-consuming processes

Any business that has pickup and delivery services is bound to run into efficiency issues. As their business highly depends on the cost and expertise of their delivery drivers. Though no matter who drives the truck they still have their limitations.

Limitations that can only be solved by software that is meant to address the problems faced by a laundry service.  As a new business, you are probably not expecting hours of route planning work waiting for you but you probably don’t have to as Upper is here to save the day.

Effortlessly Schedule Pickups and Deliveries Using Upper 

As a laundry business owner, you shouldn’t be wasting hours of your time creating routes for all your laundry pickup and delivery stops. Especially when you have software like Upper that gives you the most perfectly planned routes known to mankind.

Upper is filled to the brim with features that chop working hours down. One such feature is the ability to directly import routes from an excel file making you add hundreds of stops at blazing-fast speeds.

You also have the ability to set stops based on the customer’s preferred time slots and cruciality. This kind of unparalleled flexibility allows for effortless route planning and optimization that saves you both time and money.

Take Your Route Planning to the Next Level with Upper

Set yourself free from route planning job by choosing Upper Route Planner. Boost your laundry service with unlimited optimized routes on your command!

FAQs

The fast-paced lives of many open up great opportunities for laundry businesses that can take care of their laundry needs regularly. Though this new opportunity will make it hard for existing laundry businesses to compete.

Yes, the federal government requires you to have insurance that covers everything. Especially if you have employees in which case you will also need insurance for employee compensation. It is best to stay on the safer side and buy insurance regardless of what is mandated.

In this day and age, almost everybody needs a laundry care business though the most prominent users are those that travel a lot. A close second are working professionals and students that don’t have the time to do their laundry.

Final Thoughts

While the concept of a laundry delivery business is straightforward there are still a few important topics that are often overlooked. These topics range widely from a business phone system to dedicated business banking.

Some aspects deserve special care such as business law and government regulations. Running a laundry business as a legal entity is not going to be as simple as tossing your clothes into the dryer.

Though what is easier than throwing clothes into a dryer is route planning with Upper! All you have to do is click and forget. With Upper, you can wash away all the stress related to route planning and optimization.

Author Bio
Rakesh Patel
Rakesh Patel

Rakesh Patel is the founder and CEO of Upper Route Planner. A subject matter expert in building simple solutions for day-to-day problems, Rakesh has been involved in technology for 30+ years. Looking to help delivery businesses eliminate on-field delivery challenges, Rakesh started Upper Route Planner with the ultimate goal of simplistic operations in mind.

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