How to Start a Dry Cleaning Business

Published: 21st October 2010
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What is the key to success with a dry cleaning business? Offer high value to your customers and situate your storefront in a high traffic location, and your dry cleaning business can do very well.

How Much Does It Cost to Start?

A dry cleaning business is generally expensive to launch. Machinery alone can cost about $150,000 for a start up business, according to Jon Meijer, vice president of membership for the International Fabricare Institute. On top of that, other up front expenses include a storefront lease and other business equipment, furniture and supplies.

If you don't have the money to start a dry cleaning business, but you are interested in working in this profitable field, consider starting a mobile dry cleaning service. Now, rather than paying for high-priced machinery and a building lease, you simply need a van, a mobile phone and laundry bags for customers to use on their cleaning orders.

How Can You Make More Money?

In addition to the standard services, you can implement multiple revenue streams into your operation. Additional services like dry cleaning delivery, alterations of clothing repairs can add to your profits. Besides increasing revenue, adding services gives you a competitive advantage on other local dry cleaners. When you provide multiple services in one place, customers looking to save time and money will tend to look at your business favorably.

What are the Key Success Factors?

A good location will be a major asset to your dry cleaning shop. Convenience can also draw more customers to you. Provide plenty of parking for your clientele to make it easy for them to stop in on their way home from work or while out running errands.

What are the Dry Cleaning Business Regulations?

Several environmental regulations affect the dry cleaning industry, and you can get more information on them at the Environmental Protection Agency website. If you do your dry cleaning on-site, there are different cleaning methods that you can choose from, but your location may dictate which methods you are allowed to use.

Going Green:

There are also popular business opportunities in "green dry cleaning", where you use non-toxic cleaning methods instead of the standard dry cleaning chemical perchloroethylene (PERC).

Whether your choose the traditional storefront business model, you go mobile or go green, focus on giving your customer what they want when they want it. If you can make your customer happier because they came into the dry cleaner today - you are likely to have that customer for life.

Visit HomeBusinessCenter.com to get the How to Start a Dry Cleaning Business start up guide and business plan template.

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