Brilliant Launderette For Sale In Dorchester, Weymouth, Bridport & Surrounding
Dorchester, Weymouth, Bridport & Surrounding, Dorset
Business overviewNot a laundrette, but a home-based laundry and ironing service near Dorchester run by couple in late 60s now retiring to Spain. Turning away new customers, so can easily be doubled in size.
Crease Crisis is a home-based, laundry and ironing service covering a 15 mile radius area around Crossways near Dorchester in Dorset, run by a couple in their late 60s who are now retiring to Spain. It currently enjoys a turnover of £41k with minimal overheads and running costs. It has a range of loyal customers, many using the service to launder the bed linen for their holidays cottages. The business can be greatly expanded by a younger couple if desired, as new customers are currently being turned down, both because of limited work space and because, with retirement pending, there’s no longer an incentive to expand the business. With greater working space, by increasing the service area, by expanding the Google advertising coverage and by accepting all new enquiries, then doubling of the business is entirely feasible.
Crease Crisis was established outside Dorchester, Dorset in 2010 by the owner as an ironing service after his small building business ended following the economic crash of 2007/8. Soon after opening, laundering was added to the service provided, greatly expanding the range of customers attracted and also the value of the orders processed. He was later joined permanently by his partner following her retirement from full time employment. Both now in their late 60s, they wish to retire to Spain and pass the business on as a going concern.
While it was conceived merely as a stop gap until the economy improved, it turned into a highly respected and successful business fairly quickly and has increased its turnover by about 10% p.a. to its current £41k. This may not be considered a great amount, but that has been achieved working out of one bedroom and the conservatory in a two-bedroom, terraced house. This has kept costs very low and has enabled the extraction of maximum profit from the business.
How We Operate
Because we work from home, we prefer to collect and deliver rather than have callers drop and collect their laundry. This allows us the flexibility to work when it suits us and to take time off whenever we like. Because we have an Economy 10 power supply, providing us with cheap electricity overnight, in the afternoon and in the late evening, we try to operate the washers and dryers during those times, to further reduce our running costs, which are not great. These consist mainly of water, detergent, hangers, garment polybags, labels, print toner and diesel. Of course, there are occasional equipment maintenance and replacement costs.
The two washers and four dryers we use are all Whirlpool semi-commercial machines of 9kg and 10kg capacity respectively. They cost around £1100 when new, but reconditioned they can be acquired for around £600 on eBay. We have a further two dryers and a washer in reserve in case of breakdown. We prefer to hand iron all garments and bed linen using Tefal Pro steam generator irons on large format ironing boards, as we've found that, for us, these provide the best finish in the least time; please see photos that also show our face to face ironing station adapted from a twin rail hanging rail. Others may prefer using steam rotary irons and a Pfaff MegaPress 580 Roller Press may be added to the sale if required.
Collections and deliveries, generally limited to an area of 15 miles radius, are mostly made on Mondays and Tuesdays, with Dorchester and areas West and South on one day and areas East and North the following day. We operate on a weekly turnaround with only a few customers requiring delivery by the Friday. Our delivery vehicle is a 54 plate Citroen Berlingo 2.0 Hdi, which was acquired especially for the job due to its good internal height for hanging clothes on a specially inserted rail. It is just large enough to accommodate most collections and deliveries, only requiring more than one trip during the busier times, when the holiday let cottages owned by many of our customers are more consistently occupied.
We've not updated it for two reasons: the rounds include many narrow country lanes where hedges are not always kept trimmed and the vehicle sides can become scratched; and of curse, because we're retiring. This well-maintained vehicle can be added to the sale if required.
We have a girl who comes in for four hours, two or three evenings a week, if required, during busy times on a self-employed basis to iron bed linen, paying her 2/3 of our charge to the customer. This provides her with a good incentive to work efficiently, so that she may earn a good hourly rate in excess of £10 per hour. It also absolves us of the need to become involved in PAYE etc., but we are fully insured for employment and public liability.
Our invoicing is done in Quickbooks Pro Desktop on an aging Dell laptop that is, nevertheless, still up to the job and sent out by email through Microsoft Outlook, with which Quickbooks is linked. Customers are encouraged to pay by online banking as this greatly improves record keeping and eliminates the need to carry cash in the vehicle. However, a tiny minority of customers don't use email or don't have online banking, so these invoices are printed and cash collected at time of delivery. We keep track of progress on customers' orders in a whiteboard-like, Microsoft Excel spreadsheet.
Printing of these invoices and the personalised labels we attach to the polybags, in which garments and bed linen are delivered, are printed on a Dell 5100CN duplex, colour, laser printer. This is preferable to a much slower inkjet printer, as the print is water resistant and the consumables much less expensive. The printer is fairly old, but has only last month been fitted with new imaging and transfer rollers plus new toner cartridges. We have a further new transfer roller and new toner cartridges available, so the printer is good to produce pristine labels for many more years to come and can be added to the sale if required.
To keep us entertained during what can sometimes become tedious ironing sessions, we've installed a large screen TV and speakers on and though which we watch films, series and documentaries on Netflix and Amazon Prime and listen to music through Spotify. To keep us cool during hot summer days we have a couple of speaker mounted fans. This hardware can also be added to the sale if required.
Although we hand delivered many flyers at the start, these didn't attract many customers and it was only when we started using Google AdWords that business started to take off. Our website was created by the owner using software that's no longer supported by the hosting company, so it hasn't been updated in years. Nevertheless, it still brings in regular new enquiries, even though we're no longer looking to expand the business. However, if expansion is desired, extending the collection radius to perhaps 25 miles, updating AdWords and the website accordingly and accepting all new enquiries would easily double the turnover. This would still keep it comfortably under the VAT threshold of £85k, thus avoiding this 20% additional cost to your customers, which would in any case negatively affect sales.
The owners are more than happy to provide help, training and support for a month following completion of the contract of sale to affect a smooth and orderly transition and to make themselves available by phone to assist with any situations that may occur and which have not been anticipated.
The final agreed price, depending on the items required to be added, if any, may be paid in full or via a negotiable down payment plus legally binding monthly payments.
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