Why You Should Start a Laundry Delivery Service and How to Make It Successful
October 22, 2021
Today’s fast-paced world and the multitude of tasks that can pile up in daily life have created increasing demand for laundry delivery services. That’s why the on-demand laundry industry is projected to be worth $113 billion by 2027.
There are few barriers to entry in the industry, so now’s a great time to start a laundry delivery business.
But to ensure your venture is successful, you must consider the challenges, optimize your business with technology, price your services competitively, and market your venture locally. Here’s how to do just that.
In this article, we cover:
- Advantages of Starting a Laundry Delivery Service
- Challenges of Starting a Laundry Delivery Service
- Enhance Your Laundry Delivery Service With OptimoRoute
- Price Your Laundry Delivery Service Competitively
- Market Your Laundry Delivery Service Locally
- Get a Free Trial of OptimoRoute to Improve Your Laundry Delivery Service
Advantages of Starting a Laundry Delivery Service
Looking for laundry business ideas that will help you win more customers and increase your profit margin? There are numerous benefits to launching your own laundry delivery service or adding delivery to an existing laundry business.
Low startup costs
Costs depend on the size of your business and the services you provide, but they’re estimated to be as low as $1,707.
If you plan to execute the business on your own and work out of your home, there are minimal expenses. Expenditures include laundry supplies, vehicle upkeep, a business license, insurance, and a website.
As you expand your business, though, you may need to invest in more resources, such as additional washers and dryers, an app, delivery vehicles, and labor.
Work from home
Many successful laundry delivery businesses started in their own home laundry room. This is not only affordable, but it also provides flexibility, especially if you’re a parent or caregiver or if you’re involved in other part-time ventures.
The laundry delivery industry is worth billions today and only expected to grow.
That’s because the on-demand economy is expanding, especially with the advent of technology. Plus, the increasing desire for services that can be scheduled online or via app—and at a moment’s notice—has more and more people turning to “Uber for laundry solutions.”
Opportunities to differentiate your business
There can be a lot of competition in the laundry industry, depending on your location and services. However, there are numerous ways to position your laundry delivery service so that it stands out in the market.
You may choose to work exclusively with residential customers, or you could focus on commercial laundry opportunities for businesses that need regular laundry services like hotels, spas, and restaurants.
Also, many small laundry delivery businesses provide unique offerings like eco-friendly detergents and fabric softeners, dry-cleaning services, alterations, and more.
Challenges of Starting a Laundry Delivery Service
There are some inherent challenges to the laundry industry as well.
Gross margins are typically about 35% in the laundry business, making it difficult to maintain profitability. Plus, many customers expect free pickup and delivery and won’t pay additional costs for delivery.
Depending on your area, there may be numerous similar businesses of varying sizes competing for the same customer pool. This is why it can be helpful to uniquely position your services as discussed above or target an untapped area of the market like a specific type of local business.
Tough to establish customer loyalty
There’s little face-to-face interaction in the laundry delivery business, so it can be challenging to develop rapport with customers. You can overcome this challenge by making every touchpoint of your business—from your website or app to the delivery process itself—personalized and user-friendly.
Laundry delivery is often a luxury service, so when the economy isn’t doing well, it’s an expenditure that may be easily cut.
Self-employment taxes can be high, especially for a brand new business, so do your research. Here’s everything you need to know about calculating your taxes.
Delivery is obviously a key part of this business, which comes with its own set of drawbacks.
For one, customers may not be home for pickups or drop-offs, so you’ll need to have a proof-of-delivery system in place. Coordinating deliveries, making deliveries efficiently and on time, and miscommunications between customers and delivery drivers can also be pain points.
Luckily, OptimoRoute solves these problems and streamlines your laundry deliveries, as we’ll explore in the next section.
Enhance Your Laundry Delivery Service With Optimoroute
OptimoRoute’s route optimization software reduces barriers to starting a laundry delivery business and makes your new venture profitable faster. Here’s how:
Schedule deliveries weeks ahead of time with ease
Plan 500 deliveries—and thousands of orders—up to five weeks ahead of time. You can even stipulate availability time windows, vehicle requirements, and more when routing deliveries or pickups.
Simply enter your orders into an Excel spreadsheet or CSV, and OptimoRoute will determine the best possible routes and schedule them for you in seconds.
Combine laundry pickups and drop-offs in the same route
OptimoRoute empowers you to easily fulfill customer requests, increase customer satisfaction, and improve delivery efficiency up to 43% by scheduling pickups and drop-offs in the same route.
You can also arrange pickup at one location, such as a customer’s workplace, and deliver to another address like their home. Plus, you can create schedules based on customers’ appointment windows, prioritize those windows for on-time deliveries, and work around day-of-week constraints to deliver exactly when customers want.
Maximize daily deliveries
Organize deliveries based on schedules, service areas, and more, and use automated route planning to make pickups and deliveries a breeze. You can even adapt delivery schedules as needed to fit in next-day deliveries and last-minute orders, and you can make schedule changes seven times faster.
Provide a superior delivery experience
OptimoRoute gives your customers the ability to track their deliveries live. And you or your drivers can document pickups and drop-offs with photos.
Plus, you can keep an eye on where all of your drivers are, so you know what deliveries will be on time and which ones will arrive late.
Price Your Laundry Services Competitively
There are two main ways that laundry delivery businesses charge for their services: by flat rate or by the pound.
Charging a flat rate makes laundry services predictable. This is a popular choice if you’re working with businesses like restaurants, gyms, or hotels that have regular linen-washing needs.
Texas-based laundry business The Folde offers flat-rate wash & fold pricing for its services. Prices range from $25 for a standard laundry bag (approximately three loads) to $40 for an XXL bag (approximately seven loads).
Many laundry delivery businesses charge for their wash-and-fold services by the pound. Typically, the cost is $1-$3 per pound, and it’s common for there to be a minimum weight, such as 30 pounds, to ensure that the cost of each load of laundry is worthwhile.
There are some other factors to consider when pricing your laundry delivery services, though.
For one, take a look at your costs for equipment, detergent, and more to determine what you need to charge to turn a profit with each load.
You can also charge more for large items like comforters or for abnormal circumstances such as holiday orders or rush deliveries.
And since steady customers are essential to the success of your business, you may want to offer discounted services for regular users. As discussed above, you can easily schedule these pickups and drop-offs weeks ahead of time with OptimoRoute.
Market Your Laundry Delivery Service Locally
Get the word out about your business by focusing on hyper-local marketing strategies.
Set up a Google My Business profile
Your business’s profile on Google is essential to its success because it makes it easy for potential customers to learn about your services and contact you.
This free tool features a link to your company website, lists your hours and phone number, and provides reviews and answers to customer-posed questions.
Plus, it boosts your local search rankings—88% of consumers who search for local businesses visit or call that company within 24 hours.
This guide to setting up your Google My Business profile will help you optimize your laundry business’ Google presence.
Invest in localized digital advertising
Two of the best places to advertise your laundry delivery business are Google and Yelp because they tap into the local market and serve up your business to the people who are searching for it.
Google’s Local Services ads appear in search results when someone submits a query for laundry delivery in your area of coverage. These ads won’t cost you a cent unless someone contacts you from the ad.
Yelp ads, such as the one above, are also incredibly effective at generating business because they’re displayed at the top of the page when someone searches for your type of business. Plus, 82% of people who visit the site do so with the intention of scheduling the service or purchasing the product they search for, and 89% of them actually do so within a week.
Promote reviews from satisfied customers
Social proof is the idea that people follow the actions of the masses because they trust that the majority of people will make the right decision. Take advantage of this phenomenon by highlighting the positive reviews your business receives from customers. You can do this by showcasing reviews on your website homepage, sharing them on social media, and more.
Why does it work? Because 87% of people read reviews of local businesses before using them, and 78% of them trust online reviews from other customers.
It’s also important to respond to reviews, especially the negative ones. Forty-one percent of shoppers view brands that respond to customers more favorably, and up to 70% of dissatisfied customers will use a company again if their complaint is resolved.
Get a Free Trial of Optimoroute to Improve Your Laundry Delivery Service
The key to running a successful laundry delivery business is ensuring a top-notch customer experience. This requires detailed planning, live tracking, and fast and timely pickups and deliveries.
Luckily, OptimoRoute makes this a breeze. Sign up for a free trial to see how OptimoRoute can improve your laundry business, and check out this article for more ideas to help your laundry business get more customers and scale.
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