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WAHM > Stay at Home Mom Work Ideas > Traditional Product > Start a Linen Business from Home

Start a Linens Business

What you will be doing.  There are several businesses that use linen on a regular basis:  hotels, restaurants, caterers, and etcetera.  Their continued success depends on having clean, fresh, good quality linens.  With a linen business, your business will enable theirs to continue.   

Better quality linens are expensive but they hold up better over time and constant washing.  Proper washing and drying according to product instructions also increases the shelf life of the linen.  Not only will businesses be in need of linens, but private homes and other businesses.  Hosting parties requires table linens, napkins, and maybe even chair covers.  Daycare and elder care centers also require linens.   

How to start.  Key to any business is the proper tools.  For this venture, the proper linens are needed.  Since the linens will be used over and over again, it is important that they be good quality and matching colors.  If you will offer beige or white linens as a standard item, purchasing them all from the same place will avoid any variations in the dye lot. 

Visiting local establishments will give an idea of what colors are being used.  You don’t want to buy linens in colors that no one will use.  A heavy duty washer and dryer that are energy efficient and capable of washing large loads of linens is a good investment. 

Learn all that you can about stains and stain removal.  As a linen supplier, you will deal with many different kinds of stains when the linen is returned for cleaning.  Proper cleaning of stains is important to your business. 

Starting costs.  The start up costs for this business is going to be substantial.  A washer and dryer separate from the household one will be used to clean your linens.  Costs could run around $5,000 or more depending on advertising.  Again, if you have a business license, linens could be purchased from a wholesaler for less than purchasing separate pieces from a store. 

Once you find the washer and dryer that you want, search for sales options.  Once you start the business, you will have a week or so to buy the washer and dryer before you will have to clean your first linen load.  If you want, you can start out using a dry cleaner until you get the appliances, but this is a costly option. 

Skills needed.  Attention to detail is paramount.  You are providing a service to others whose business depends on presentation.  Timely and clean service will gain the trust of your clients more than anything else.  Since you will be working with the public, people skills are needed as well.  A savvy marketing speech will get your foot in the door with clients that are already using other linen services. 

Marketing.  Business cards and mailings to local businesses will let them know that there is a new service around.  Also supply mailings to caterers, daycare centers, nursing homes, and the like.  If businesses have purchased their own linens, offer your services as linen cleaner. 

Cold calling will be a part of the process to get acquainted with area businesses.  Offering a month of free service or a month of free dry cleaning may get them to try your business and give you a chance.  Internet marketing can be used as an avenue to sell linen items.  Free monogramming services would be a plus to selling your linen. 

Linen is big business.  Every business wants good quality linens.  Your business can provide timely service, clean items, and incentives for long time customers.

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