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Jul 26

How to make money ironing

Reading Time: 6 mins

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. People will rather pay extra to outsource their laundry than iron it themselves and that’s where you come in.

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?

Electric iron next to pile of folded laundry

In order to offer a high quality ironing service, you will need the essentials: a good iron and ironing board. It’s worth investing in good quality tools – it’ll make the labour easier and there’ll be less of a chance they damage your customers’ clothes. You should also have experience ironing, even if it’s just your own garments, and know the basics, for example, different heat settings for various types of fabrics. You’ll probably want to offer your clients higher ironing standards than you do for your own clothes.

There may already be an ironing service in your vicinity with plenty of customers, so delivering the best possible results is of the utmost importance. Do some market research to check what others offer in terms of pricing, services and delivery options. Then have a think about how you can top their offer.

Starting out ironing for cash

You basically have two options:

  1. Sign up with an agency,
  2. Or start your own ironing business.
ironing agencies

With the first option, it’s as simple as finding the closest agency and convincing them that you’re good at ironing. You can find it online through a quick search for iron agency and the name of your area.

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 (and the agency should tell you this), you will have to consider some income tax issues which you can read about in this article on paying tax on your extra income.

Some agencies simply put you in touch with a local customer and leave you to arrange payments yourself.

Others have 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 agree a price.

If you decide to  collaborate with 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 of running your own operation is that you get to keep all of the money! You also get to work whenever you want and pick your clients.

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.

 

How do I start my own ironing service?

Woman ironing in the living room/lounge

Research

Start by scouring your local paper and in-shop windows to find out how stiff the competition is. Have a quick search online too and check any local Facebook sites – people often advertise on community or neighbourhood pages.

If there’re lots of ironing services available already, there probably won’t be room for any more.

If, however, you don’t notice any, great start. 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.

Services

Start by offering a simple ironing service and then take things from there. You can also offer seasonal services, such as special offers for school uniforms in September or polishing up people’s outfits for the wedding season.

And you can branch out. If you’re a confident sewer, for instance, your talents will definitely come in handy. You can offer mending and even washing services too.

But it’s not just about getting stuff ironed. Remember – presentation is everything. 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. You can ask your clients to include their own hangers when you pick up their order but make sure you have some extras on hand.

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.

Costings

The starting-out cost of an ironing gig is low but setting up a budget is an essential part of any business – and it shouldn’t take too long.

All you have to do is 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. It’s a good idea to compare your prices with other businesses offering ironing services. Many people in the ironing business admit they started out charging way too little and found it hard to increase their prices later as it posed the risk of losing good clients. Make sure you’re confident your fees reflect the work you put into your business.

Advertising

There’s lots of different ways in which you can advertise your ironing business 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.

It will also help to set up a Facebook page for your business. You  can use it to post regular updates and it’s a place where your customers can share their reviews. If they’re positive, it’ll encourage others to use your services.

You can also consider advertising in shop windows, libraries, your local paper, the Yellow Pages and, eventually, even setting up your own website.

 

Top tips for making money with ironing

Folded clothes on ironing board

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 cheaply with Vistaprint and hand them out at every opportunity. You could also design some simple leaflets and deliver them to houses in your neighbourhood.
  • Smokers need not apply. If your customers get a whiff of cigarette smoke on their clothes you won’t be expecting any repeat business. It’s also a good idea to work away from strong cooking smells and pets (allergies).
  • 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. Accidents happen!
  • Advertise your services on free local sites like Facebook groups, local supermarket notice boards and cheaper places like Gumtree.
  • Websites such as Indeed or Totaljobs also post ironing jobs every so often so make sure you set up job alerts. Freelance sites like PeoplePerHour could also be a good way to find new clients.

Hopefully you now know everything you need to start ironing to ramp up your income. The beauty of this money making strategy is how easy and flexible it is to set up. Your ironing gig can be as small as only doing a few shirts for someone you know or it could be a proper full-time job. You can iron when kids are in bed or while watching TV. Happy ironing!

WHAT DO YOU THINK?

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Maria
Maria
3 years ago

Hi my name is Maria and I have 20 years as a professional laundry and drycleaning presser so I started my own ironing service and I did get some customers because I priced so low that I made nothing from it. I ask for your help please.

Jasmine
Admin
3 years ago
Reply to  Maria

Well it sounds like you have answered your question yourself. As you say, you set your prices too low. Mind you, once you have the customers and they like your work, it’s not so hard to put your prices up, at least to the same rate as other ironers in your area. You might lose a few clients but the ones you keep will stay and you will make more money. When you put your prices up, you could also offer an incentive to your customers to bring in more friends to be your customers. You could say that for… Read more »

George
George
3 years ago

Hi. I’ve found a shop to rent in a good area and there is not an ironing shop within 4 miles . We want to set up a laundry and ironing service but don’t know what to charge ! Also how do we go about finding staff and how much do we pay them ?

Jasmine
Admin
3 years ago
Reply to  George

Gosh, lots of questions there! That’s good that you’ve found a shop in a good area. It might not be worth using it to start with. Shop rents can be high. If you know you can get it for low overheads than it’s worth considering. If the overheads mean that you have to charge more than your competitors to cover your costs then that can be a problem. Really you need to work out how much it costs per hour to run the business (including rent, rates, electricity, equipment, accountancy, staff etc) and then try and get a 20-30% profit… Read more »

Ironing Services Prices

This website provides good information about Ironing services ….

Louise
5 years ago

We started really small servicing our local village back in 2005. We offer a fast turnaround with a personal service which has helped us to grow organically. 10 years on and we’ve grown, we now have agents across the UK who we support. Our service is on track to become a nationwide service in the next 12 months. Our advice for anyone starting an ironing business is this: quality comes first. Take pride in the quality of ironing you provide, present it professionally and make your service convenient and flexible for your customers to use. If you want to kickstart… Read more »

Gillian Mackenzie
Gillian Mackenzie
5 years ago
Reply to  Louise

Hi I’m thinking of starting an ironing service from home. There is already a service in my area (growing commuter town) and they use equipment which I see costs over £1500!

Do you think there’s any point in me doing this as I cannot afford to buy ironing equipment at that cost?

mariannee
mariannee
4 years ago
Reply to  Louise

Hi there louise would you be kind enough to pm my email please on slyfox25530@gmail.com
Would love to chat to you regarding getting started .
Regards

Kasey
Kasey
4 years ago
Reply to  Louise

Hi Louise,

I am wanting to start up, but struggling what to charge. Have you got any tips.

Thank you

Kasey

Alisha
Alisha
4 years ago
Reply to  Louise

Hi I’m Intrested could u may be get in touch?

Atria Khan
Atria Khan
4 years ago
Reply to  Louise

Hi
Hope you well
I am from Birmingham and want to start ironing service from home would you please give me some tips?
Thank you!
Tariq

Jasmine
Admin
4 years ago
Reply to  Atria Khan

Well, do read our article to see what we suggest, but the main tips I would give are: – Research your market – find out how many ironing services are in your area already. See what they charge and what they offer. Even use their services if you have the cash to spare. See what is good and what is bad about what they offer. Work out how you can offer a better service at a better price. – Get your marketing in place – while you are researching the businesses in your area, start your marketing campaign by setting… Read more »

Carol
Carol
5 years ago

I have just started to use a new ironing company around kings lynn, their website is ironicironingservice.co.uk they are very professional just hope they continue to do well. Good luck

The ironing fairy
The ironing fairy
5 years ago

Hi my name is Helen just started my own ironing business
I can come and collect your ironing
Ironed and folded neatly
For more details please email me helenkelly1987@gmail.com

Nicelydone ironing
Nicelydone ironing
5 years ago

Hi guys. I’ve just starred an ironing company around Eltham area. Please contact me on Facebook at nicelydone ironing for any enquires thankyou

The Fragrant Ironer
The Fragrant Ironer
5 years ago

Good luck nicelydoneironing.

I have started my own business in Cheam,Surrey and surrounding areas, i will collect and deliver and charge £10.00 per hour please phone me for further information on 07850 825586

Lyn clarke
Lyn clarke
5 years ago

will do your ironing round the wallasey area, reliant on public transport will do your laundry if you are busy at work need clean and ironed clothes for work or the weekend then i am your woman
please ring me on 01517926192 genuine offers wwelcome, working people only

Maggs
Maggs
6 years ago

How many items should you iron ? In black bin bag ?

Christina Sparrow
Christina Sparrow
7 years ago

i have started a ironing service.. really cheap and reliable please call 07578336583

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