Running A Commercial Laundry Business

You may know what you need to do to set up your commercial laundry, but what challenges are you going to face when running it?

Firstly you are going to need to source suitable premises, you ideally want somewhere with good transport links, your premises do not need to be in a city centre. You may also want to consider leasing somewhere with more room than you need to start with to allow scope for expansion without having to move.

You will need to recruit enough staff and management to run the laundry 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, as your customer base will require you to carry out a lot of the laundry overnight so that, as an example, hotels will have clean linen and uniforms ready for the next day. You will need to recruit staff that can carry out semi-skilled tasks, as even though a lot of the tasks are manual, skill will be needed to operate devices such as commercial washing machines that can have up to 99 programmes. In addition good finishing of garments requires some skill, and is essential as this is the last process in the laundry process.


You will need to find new customers, and whilst this will mean "Selling" to potential customers it will not need a hard sales pitch, as often you can get a foot in the door by offering a free trial. Customer retention is also key to developing your business, and you will keep your customers happy by providing fast turnaround times, and a high quality laundry service, with sheets crisply pressed and sharp lines on uniforms. Sloppy finishing can lose you customers overnight.

You will also need to setup a delivery and collection service that must be reliable for both of these aspects. This will mean having a backup plan if your van breaks down. This leads me on to the fact that it is a good idea to set up an ad hoc partner agreement with another commercial laundry. It may seem odd to talk to a competitor but you may need each other if either of you has a machine breakdown.

Which leads us on to maintenance. It is vital that you set up a good maintenance agreement, as every hour a laundry machine is broken is an hour you are losing money and potentially customers.

You will also need to establish a finance function to deal with billing and payments, and carefully monitor cash flow, especially when you are starting out.

So as you can see there is quite a bit involved in running a commercial laundry, but it can be broken down into easily manageable tasks.

9 comments:

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  2. Wow, I’m overwhelmed with the things to do to set up a laundry business. I wanted to have a business like this and place it in the city because it is the busiest place for working people. Also, they don’t have time to wash their clothes, so the laundry business will be their new best friend. Thanks for sharing this. It’s very informative. :)

    Cade Culpepper

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  4. Great post! I was recently looking at some of these commercial laundry machines and I think this is a great post to help with knowing what's need to setup a laundry business.

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  5. Thank you for giving the information. Actually I was planning to start a laundry business. It would be easy for me now to start my business.
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