Ironing is a task many busy professional and working parents happily pay for.
You may be thinking about running an ironing service from home. Or you might have already been asked if you can do the ironing as an addition to cleaning and housekeeping.
So the question is how much to charge for ironing?
Well, the going hourly rate for ironing is between £12 – £15.
Setting your price depends on the service you’re offering and location. To some people, this hourly rate for ironing can seem high or ‘cheeky’ to ask for but it is important to remember this is not a full-time 8 hours a day job.
Generally, ad-hoc freelance services command a higher hourly rate to make it worth your time. If you just charge minimum wage then it might not be worth the effort of taking a job for one or two hours of work.
How to set ironing service prices
When setting your rate make sure to take into account what service you are offering. Often this falls into two categories:
Firstly, you might have been asked to add ironing to another service you offer. It very common for cleaners, housekeepers and child care to do the ironing in addition to extra duties. This means you’ll be doing the work in the customer’s house and using their ironing equipment and electricity etc. This means you’ll probably need to charge a slightly lower rate of around £10-£12 an hour.
If you’re setting up an ironing service from home then you can increase your rate. £15 an hour is a good price as you can offer a complete ironing service plus you’ll need to cover your costs of equipment and bills. You can also run delivery and collection services to make the service even more convenient. Don’t be afraid to have a delivery charge to make sure you’re not out of pocket for travel.
What to offer with your ironing service?
Along with doing a crease-free job on all the garments you’re ironing, you should also go the extra mile to make customers happy. People will be coming to you to make their lives easier so it is up to you to make it as convenient as possible.
Delivery – One common add-on is collection and delivery. It means your customers don’t even have to bring their ironing to you they can relax while you pick up and deliver everything. Don’t forget to add a delivery charge which can be done on distance or a flat rate you’re happy with.
Packing of garments – Packing the garments so they are returned in a perfect state is very important. You don’t want your hard work ruined by dirt, creases, wrinkles or even worse damage to clothes. You could even ask if customers prefer certain items to be folded or hung. Hung garments should be placed on hangars and protected with garment bags. Folded clothes can simply be placed in laundry bags or baskets.
Smoke-free – This is a must. The ironing must be done in a smoke-free environment. If customers get a whiff of smoke they will not be happy.
Turn around time – Set a reasonable turnaround time that you can meet every time. It is easy to overpromise customers with things like same-day delivery or taking on too much work for the quoted time. Many services commit to 48 hours turn around to give plenty of time. Plus don’t overcommit to how much you can get done in an hour. Be honest about how long the work takes you.
What to ask of your customers?
You can make your life a whole lot easier by setting a few rules for your customers to follow. Most people will happily follow a set of service guidelines if you tell them. Here’s a few things to consider:
Supply hangers and bags – Customers should supply hangers and bags for clothes to be returned with. Supplying your own hangers will end up costing you money as they’re unlikely to be returned.
Clothes neatly packed – Ask for garments to be neatly packed for you not stuffed in a heap into bags. Some ironing services tell customers to quickly fold clothes before sending them.
How much ironing should you do in an hour?
If you’re charging an hourly rate for ironing then knowing how much you can do in 1 hour is imperative. It helps you to quote customers accurately.
This comes down to each individual’s speed. You might be a little slower when first starting out to ensure quality.
Supplying a good ironing service make take longer than doing your personal ironing to ensure high-quality results. There’s no point in running the service if your work is full of mistakes and creases…
The easiest way to find out how much ironing you can do in an hour is to try. Grab a stopwatch and time yourself. Make sure to include a mix of garments in your test – work shirts, kids clothes, bed linen. Don’t forget you’ll also be hanging, folding and packing the garments neatly so add that into your timings.
Quickly you’ll understand a reasonable time to quote customers.
A single person could be around 1.5 hours.
A couple, more like 2 hours.
Family of 4, 3+ hours.
So a family of 4 – 3 hours at £15 per hour plus £5 pickup and delivery work out to £50.
Where to find ironing work?
Your customer base is predominantly working parents and professionals. These are the people who are time-poor and cash-rich. Essentially, they don’t have enough time to do the task themselves and are happy to pay for you to do the job.
There are a number of ways to find clients most of which is built on word-of-mouth in your local community. Here’s the best ways to find ironing work:
- Local noticeboards – Check out local noticeboard in shops and community centres people often leave messages looking for local services including cleaning, babysitting and ironing. You can also leave a message advertising your services.
- Facebook community groups – Your local community notice board is one of the very best places to find clients. They are busy hubs of what’s going on in your neighbourhood. Simply post in local groups to advertise your service.
- Nextdoor.com – Similar to local facebook ground, Nextdoor is a website dedicated to local communities. The best bit is it is filled with people who are keen to be a positive part of the neighbourhood
- Networking – Networking can be an intimidating task for some people but it is a tried and tested method of finding clients no matter your business. If you don’t want to ‘network’ think of it as socializing. Meetup.com is a place for all sorts of social events from business meetings, to walking groups, to cryptocurrency enthusiasts. The best bit about any social event? Meeting someone new always brings up the question about what you do, a natural way to talk to people about your ironing service
- Ironing agencies – Look up local ironing agencies and dry cleaners to see if they have any work available.
- Referrals – Ask your current clients for referrals. It’s likely they will associate with similar people who could do with your services. Simply ask if you can be recommended to anyone. If you provide a great service, most people are more than happy to spread the word
Ironing Service Prices – Final Thoughts
That’s everything that goes into setting your hourly rate for ironing plus how to find your customers.
It’s up to you to agree a price with clients, particularly if it’s the first one it can be easy to undercharge. Hopefully, this guide gives you plenty of information to explain what your service will offer and why you charge certain prices.