Business At A Glance
Startup Costs: Under $2,000
Home Based: Can be operated from home.
Part Time: Can be operated part-time.
Online Operation? No
Here’s the problem: You’ve got half a dozen good suits to wear to theoffice. Five are lying dirty at the bottom of your laundry hamper, andyou’ve just dribbled mustard all down the front of the sixth. If onlythere were time to run out to the dry cleaner and then more time topick up the suits afterward.
The solution: a dry-cleaning pickup anddelivery service. If you’ve got good organizational skills, you likebeing on the run and hope to earn good money, then this might be justthe business for you. You’ll contract with dry-cleaning establishmentsto service your customers’ clothes.
Then you’ll pick up the dirtiesfrom homes and offices, take them in for cleaning, pick them up afterservicing and return them to their rightful owners. You can arrangeregular biweekly stops, picking up fresh dirties as you drop off yourlast visit’s load of now-clean garments, and you can have customerscall for emergency pickups.
The advantages to this business are thatyou can work from home, and you’re always on the go, so you’re notsitting around waiting for activity. You’ll need organizational andlogistical skills as well as good sales and marketing techniques toconvince dry cleaners and customers to use your company.
Your customers will be busy business and residential people who don’twant to spend their time trotting to and from the cleaners. Businessesmake excellent targets because people at work are generally on-site (ortheir secretaries or other employees are) and easily accessible.
Youmight also target military bases if there are any in your area–peoplein the uniformed services always need clean, pressed clothes and are agood source of revenue. Be sure to check with base authorities first tomake sure you’ll be granted access. Direct mail brochures to prospectsin the neighborhoods you plan to service–target middle- andupper-income areas where people can afford your service.
Deliver yourbrochures to businesses–particularly large office complexes where youcan hit a lot of customers in one stop–and explain the advantages ofusing your company. Stop in often, even if you don’t get requests forbusiness right away. Sooner or later, people will start piling on theclothes.
A van equipped to carry hanging garments without squashing them orslinging them onto the floor is a must. You’ll also need a cellularphone or pager so customers can quickly contact you.
Invest in cotton,vinyl or canvas laundry bags imprinted with your logo to leave withcustomers–it gives them the cachet of having ‘their own service’ andencourages them to put in garments for you to pick up.