The birth of my first child was the beginning of a new way of life, a life which has allowed me to build a fantastic business working from home. I've been running a successful ironing business since 2011, a role which means I can fit my work around my life as a full-time mum. Having never managed a company before, you can imagine I was a bit apprehensive. Still, I didn't need to be, and I'd like to tell you my story and show you how you can do the same.
I had a good idea of the type of mum I wanted to be, especially in those early years. Being at home to care for my new family was my number one priority. I still wanted to work, but a job would need to fit around my lifestyle. Spare time was going to be rare at first, but that would improve as the kids became more independent. So I needed a job with fewer hours at the start and the flexibility to increase my hours as the children grew older.
What I needed most was full control, control to choose my hours of work, and the power to work from home where I could still look after the kids. I needed to be the boss and to do that I needed to run my own company.
Following this realisation, I read list after list of business ideas, mainly packed with suggestions aimed at people with particular skills. For example, I was pretty sure making money from a blog or creating a profitable eBay store was beyond me. However, when I saw ironing, immediately I could see how this would fit into the life I wanted. So, with a little help from my husband, I created the Hot Iron, a local ironing services for the Warrington area. Today my annual turnover is more than £50,000, and with the help from several self-employed assistants, we iron thousands of garments for hundreds of satisfied customers every year.
My success didn't happen overnight, far from it, in those early years, it was difficult to see how I could make a living. Limited knowledge and experience resulted in low sales and high costs; I was barely making minimum wage. Thankfully I stuck at it, and within a couple of years, I could confidently say I was an expert in my field. I'd built a profitable business with flexible hours. But why did it take so long to get there?
If you're starting a new ironing business with no experience, then my story is probably quite common for those who stick it out, sadly many don't. To drive sales, you have to understand who your customers are, what's important to them and build an excellent reputation for delivering the right service to gain trust. To control costs, you have to develop efficient business processes, invest in the right equipment, and learn time-saving techniques. With all that, it's no wonder some people fail to create a successful business, but what if someone was there to guide you and help grow your business. What if you had a trusted brand which provides great customers. What if you had access to information which meant you could iron 50% quicker, and what if you had a platform which significantly reduced essential administration and accounting tasks. What would it take then, one year, six months, maybe less? That's why we've spent the last few years developing an ironing business package which allows you to do all of the above and more, so you can replicate our success.
We offer three vital services. Firstly we take care of your sales and marketing. We're already a trusted source on the subject of ironing services and through our website, social channels and paid campaigns we'll deliver high-quality customers to you. Secondly, we provide access to a web-based administration platform explicitly designed for the ironing industry, so that you can manage your business and accounts with the minimum of effort. We also share many time-saving techniques and equipment so you can run your business efficiently. Finally, we provide full training and support. We have a decade of knowledge and experience, and we're always available to help you build the business you've always wanted.
We don't charge you a considerable upfront fee or subject you to a complicated sign-up procedure. We like to keep things simple, so for the use of our platform and support, we charge £24.99 per month, and for sales and marketing, we charge 12.5% on all customer orders. In that critical first year, we want to keep your costs down, so we swap the monthly payment of £24.99 with a single annual payment of £149.89.
We believe customers across the UK are crying out for a professional, trusted and above all, a friendly local ironing service provider. We also think you should be able to enjoy a stress-free working environment where you can earn an attractive income for the great work you do. We want to support you and your business so you can have the lifestyle you've always wanted.
So is working from home, and running your own ironing business right for you? Before you can answer that question, there are a few more points to consider.
Do you have a car? While some customers will be happy to drop their clothes off at your house, most will require you to pick-up and drop-off ironing at their home, mainly in the evening after work.
Do you smoke? In our experience, customers do not appreciate their freshly washed laundry smelling of cigarette smoke, so we insist on a smoke-free home and car.
Do you have any long-haired pets roaming around your home? Pet's aren't always a problem, but some people are allergic to pet hairs and sensitive to pet smells. Owning a pet will result in fewer sales.
Do you keep yourself, your home and your car clean and presentable? Besides the practical matter of maintaining clean clothes, it's essential to present an image which says you care and you can be trusted.
Are you a friendly person? Building relationships with customers is vital to the success of your business. A warm smile and friendly hello will go along way to maintaining a healthy working relationship between you and your customer and ensure you continue to see repeat business.
Do you like ironing or at least not mind being tied to an ironing board all day? There are many things you can do while ironing to make it a more enjoyable task, watch a movie, listen to music, a podcast or an audiobook. But if you hate ironing then running your own ironing business isn't for you.
If you got this far then starting your own ironing business maybe the home-based job for you, but it's hard if you have no previous experience. So, if my story has inspired you, and you'd run a Hot Iron franchise in your area, then contact us for a friendly chat.