Many people find taking their clothes to the dry cleaning shop and then picking them up several days later to be a chore. In fact, depending on a person’s schedule, needing to make a trip to the dry cleaner can be downright inconvenient. This is where a dry cleaning pickup and delivery service comes in to the picture.
Dry cleaning delivery services pick up laundry at a customer’s home or office and deliver it to a dry cleaner. The laundry is delivered back to the customer’s home or office once it has been cleaned. Dry cleaning delivery service businesses typically operate on a route and make pickups and deliveries on certain days of the week. Some delivery services may also offer an emergency service.
A home-based dry cleaning pickup and delivery service is easy to start and can be launched on a shoestring budget if you already have a suitable delivery vehicle. The largest expense in starting this business would be a van or other suitable delivery vehicle. Clean and pressed clothes will need to be hung on racks in the vehicle during delivery to prevent them from becoming soiled or wrinkled. On a related note, it is important that your delivery vehicle be kept clean to avoid dirtying customer’s clothing during delivery.
Some dry cleaning delivery services have their own garment bags for customers to use. These garment bags can have your company name, phone number, and website address printed on the bag. This serves as a convenience for the customer and can also serve as marketing.
Dry cleaning delivery businesses will charge a fee to the customer for picking up and delivering their clothing. However, contracting with an area dry cleaner for wholesale prices in exchange for bringing all clothing to their shop can add to the profit margin. This also allows the dry cleaning delivery business to keep rates affordable for their customers.
Marketing a new dry cleaning pickup and delivery service will be best accomplished by targeting dry cleaning customers. General advertising that reaches consumers who do not use dry cleaning services will return little or no results.
Direct mailings to target neighborhoods can be effective. Sending a brochure and business card to every home in affluent neighborhoods allows you to target high-income, potential customers in a close area. Both components are essential to the success of any delivery service. These mailing can also include a coupon or discount for trying out your new business.
Posting a brochure or business cards at the dry cleaning shop that you are contracting with can also be an effective way of converting dry cleaning customers into dry cleaning delivery customers. Since you are partnering with the dry cleaning company, they should be willing to promote your delivery service as well.
Distributing brochures and business cards at office buildings in your target area is another effective way of marketing a new dry cleaning pickup and delivery service. Many people who work in office buildings also use dry cleaning services. You are offering a way to make their life easier by taking their laundry from their office, bringing it to the dry cleaner, and then delivering it back to their office – all for a modest convenience fee. Office buildings are also great places to secure customers because word-of-mouth advertising can work to your advantage as other office workers see your service in action.
Since the dry cleaning delivery business is essentially a transportation business, your entire business will depend on your vehicle. Make certain that you vehicle is well maintained and in good condition at all times. It will also be essential to have a plan for dealing with breakdowns and mechanical problems. Some auto repair shops will provide priority repairs for business customers since they expect regular repair business from these customers. It may also be a good idea to have an agreement in place with a rental company so you can quickly rent a temporary delivery vehicle if your vehicle will be out of service for long.
Since you will be using your vehicle for business use, be sure to have business insurance on the vehicle. Your insurance company may charge an additional premium because you are using the vehicle for business, but you do not want to have a claim denied because your vehicle was not properly insured.
A dry cleaning pickup and delivery service can be a great, home-based business for those who like to be on the move. This business can be started on a shoestring for those who already own a suitable delivery vehicle, and for a modest investment for those who do not. This business requires very little overhead other than a delivery vehicle. Office equipment is minimal other than a phone and perhaps a computer for invoicing and record keeping.
Startup Idea – Dry Cleaning Delivery. Entrepreneur. Site accessed on 2 November 2010.
Starting A Dry Cleaning Delivery Service. MySmallBiz. Site accessed on 2 November 2010.
How to Start a Laundry Pick-up and Delivery Service Business: Making Money by Providing Laundry Pick-up and Delivery Services. StartupBizHub. Site accessed on 2 November 2010.