Businesses exist to provide convenience to their customers. Michael Porter’s value chain is one of the best metrics for expressing this. Businesses carry out activities to supply a product to customers. The business’s ability to carry out these activities at a lower cost than the customer could if they had to do it themself gives the business room to make a profit. A business idea that is gaining popularity due to the convenience it provides is the mobile laundry service. As always we will take some to discuss key elements of this business for those who are interested in starting it.

Start with why

There are many reasons customers may be motivated to use a laundry service. The time I would hazard to say is the biggest one. Laundry is a consuming task and not everybody can afford a washing machine. Washing machines also do only part of the job, not the entire job so there may be times and occasions where a laundry service makes sense for people who wouldn’t normally be customers. Other factors that motivate customers include erratic power supplies which can leave people without power for days. Erratic water supply is also a factor as water itself is difficult to get consistently in some areas. You may also have cases of irregular items such as blankets and curtains which are very large and may require help with getting them washed.


The work of someone who provides laundry service isn’t limited to washing. Complete services offer washing, folding and pressing/ironing all in one and may also include pick up and delivery of clothing items. So you will need to be clear on what you are offering and how you are charging for it. In its simplest form, you are washing the items, folding and pressing for a single fee. While this could be done by hand it would be ideal tyo do this with machines. Depending on where you are you could start with a regular machine though an industrial one is preferred. Introducing the idea of using machines also means you will be susceptible to power challenges which could impact your ability to deliver on time or at all. It should also go without saying that water supply will be important to your business. A private water supply would certainly be an advantage if you are in an area that is prone to water supply challenges. The more moving parts you introduce the more risks you are prone to.

Pick up and drop off

Delivery is the hot thing in business right now and if you’re not offering it you risk falling behind. In this business in particular if you’re going to offer the convenience you may as well go all the way. This is not just delivery but a pickup and drops off service. This is optional of course but you will probably find life better with it than without it. It is not just offered for the customer’s convenience however as it does include a critical part of the business which we will speak about in tandem with pricing. The measurement of the laundry will go hand in hand with your pricing. So this will be an important part of the business.


Your pricing will depend on your measurement of the laundry. There are a few ways of looking at this and I will talk about two which stick out. You can charge based on the volume of clothing. This is probably the most popular method and it works well all factors considered. If you’re using washing machines you’ll appreciate this even more because this can work as a measure for loads. This is where you use an item like a basket or bucket and charge per that. So when you pick up the laundry you use your bucket or basket to measure the laundry and charge. This works best because of its simplicity.  You can also consider charging by weight. Weight is more useful when you are dealing with complex items such as blankets however you can use weight as your basis throughout. This simply means weighing the clothes and charging per kilogram. You have other options such as charging per item of laundry though you can see how this can get complicated. Above all make sure your pricing includes the cost of both pickup and drop off.  You can always make it optional be make sure you know exactly how much to charge for it.

Convenience is key in business and if you can handle all the considerations around laundry at a great price you’ve got yourself a business on your hands.