So, you want to spend your spare time ironing?
Let’s just say, better you than us!
Since that’s what most people think, there’s an extremely high demand for efficient ironing services that do quality work.
If you can get your hands on some coat hangers and know your way round an ironing board, this may well be the money-maker you’ve been looking for.
Read MoneyMagpie’s quick guide to starting your own ironing business below:
- What’s involved in an ironing business?
- How do I start my own ironing service?
- Top tips for making money with ironing
In order to offer a high quality ironing service, you will need the essentials: a good iron and ironing board.
There may already be an ironing service in your vicinity with plenty of customers, so delivering the best possible results is it’s of the utmost importance.
Starting out ironing for cash
You basically have two options:
- sign up with an agency,
- or start your own ironing business.
With the first option, it’s as simple as finding the closest agency and convincing them that you’re good at ironing.
Different agencies provide different services – some include alterations and repairs – so find one that best suits your skills.
When you sign up with an agency, they deal with administrative aspects such as insurance, however if you must be registered as self-employed (the agency should tell you this), you will have to consider some income tax issues which you can read about in this article.
Some agencies simply put you in touch with a local customer and leave you to arrange payments yourself.
Mrs Hunt’s Staffing, for example, has clients who typically need housekeeping, cleaning and ironing work. So, they match an ironer to their client’s needs and allow the two parties to decide on a price.
If you decide to work for an agency, the work is normally part-time and often flexible.
Payment ranges from hourly rates to a fee per item or a fee per pound.
In general, you can expect to earn between:
- £8 and £12 per hour
- 50p and £1 per item
- 50p and £1 per pound
Although some agencies won’t require you to drive, having wheels definitely makes your job easier. If you don’t already have a vehicle, read our article on car leasing.
starting your own business
The big advantage to running your own operation is that you get to keep all of the money!
The downside is that you have to do all the work of advertising, invoicing, dealing with customers and so on.
However, if this doesn’t put you off, read on to see how you can get all of this going.
Start by scouring your local paper and in shop windows for to find out how stiff the competition is.
If there are lots of ironing services available already, there probably won’t be room for any more.
If, however, you don’t notice any, there may actually be demand for your services. A good way to get your business off the ground, is to start small and gradually build it as you gain more clients.
For tax purposes, it’s important that you register as self-employed within three months of working for yourself. Visit Gov.uk to find out more.
Start by offering a simple ironing service and then take things from there.
If you’re a confident sewer, for instance, your talents will definitely come in handy.
Also, be aware of your presentation: it’s common practice to return a customer’s ironing in a clear plastic bag or on hangers, so be sure to have a constant supply of these.
A major service that most customers appreciate, is collection and delivery. It’s acceptable to charge a small fee for this, based on the cost of fuel and time spent driving.
On the plus side, when you register as self-employed, you can claim the tax back for the costs incurred when driving to and from the customer – so keep all your petrol receipts.
Setting up a budget is an essential part of any business and shouldn’t take too long.
All you have to do draw up a list of expenses – including supplies, fuel, advertising, rent etc – and work out their total. When you quote customers, ensure that you cover all these bases and also add an amount for labour.
You can advertise in whichever way you choose, but word of mouth remains the best. So, let all your friends, family and work colleagues know that you do this and ask them to help you spread the word.
Set up a Facebook page for your business, where you can post regular updates and customers can post reviews.
You can also consider advertising in shop windows, your local paper, the Yellow Pages and, eventually, even set up your own website.
Top tips for making money with ironing
Running an ironing business doesn’t have to be complicated but there are a few things you should keep in mind:
- Get some business cards printed for free with Vistaprint, and hand them out at every opportunity.
- Smokers need not apply. If your customers get a whiff of smoke on their clothes you won’t be expecting any repeat business.
- Ironing in the summer can be hot work so pick up a cheap fan to keep you cool while you’re working.
- Good professional indemnity insurance is a must in case you iron a hole in anyone’s designer suit.
- Advertise your services on free local sites like Facebook Groups, local supermarket notice boards and cheaper places like Gumtree.