If the old adage is true, that you only have one chance to make a first impression, then you want to make it count. One important aspect of a great first impression is neatly pressed clothing. However many people have little time or patience for ironing out wrinkles and creases, and are choosing to hire others to keep their wardrobe wrinkle-free. Cash in on the growing demand with an at-home ironing business.
- Skill level:
Obtain needed equipment such as an iron or irons, ironing board, hangers (if not provided by the client), spray bottle for water, and starch. Choose a quality iron with full features (steam, no-steam, heat settings for all types of fabric) and auto-shut off for safety. The ironing board should be sturdy to avoid wobble or tipping, and set it at a height that is comfortable for you. If you get wire hangers, consider getting covers for them to protect the clothing from the metal.
Decide on the types of items you'll include in your ironing service. Will you focus on dress shirts and other professional clothing? Or will you include drapes, table clothes and other household linens?
Determine if there is a market for ironing in your area and who they are. Identify the people who can use your services and conduct a survey to ascertain if they'd be willing to pay for an ironing service. Professionals are an obvious market. Military personnel require their uniforms to be pressed as well. Look in your phone book or go online to see what other ironing business are doing, for example, their target market and services.
Set up your ironing business. Choose a business name. Decide if you'll be a sole proprietor (you are your business) or set up an LLC (an entity separate from you). The advantage of a sole proprietorship is that is easy to set up (no additional paper work) and run. But an LLC offers protection in the case of a lawsuit (only your business assets are at risk, not your personal ones), and there can be tax advantages as well. Finally, get the necessary licenses and permits required by your city or county.
Determine your ironing rates for each type of item (trousers, shirts, drapes, and so on). Decide if you'll offer discounts to regular customers.
Create your marketing materials such as flyers or business cards. Distribute these materials at locations your target market frequent, such as the local stores. Consider placing an ad in the local papers. Don't forget to let your friends, family and other contacts know about your new business. Call them, e-mail them or send them an announcement.
Launch your ironing business. Send a press release to local media and tell everyone you know about your business. Ask for referrals from satisfied customers.
Tips and warnings
- Always check a clothing's label before ironing. The client may not know if an item is suitable for ironing. As the ironing professional, you need to know what types of fabric can't be ironed. And for those fabrics that can be ironed, you need to know the best setting to achieve results without ruining the cloth.
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