Looking at a full laundry basket which was never folded or ironed was the creative moment for Susan Toft. It led her to create The Laundry Lady, a mobile laundry collection and delivery service that has now grown into a business servicing a large part of South East Queensland.
My business is The Laundry Lady, it's a mobile laundry service offering washing and ironing, pick up and delivery, to home residence and businesses.
To learn about The Laundry Lady you can go onto our website, there you will find all of our information about the services we provide, a pricing calculator, you can book contractors online right throughout South East Queensland, with pick up times and deliveries all right there at the click of a button.
About 2 years ago I received a home business based grant from the Department of Small Business and that really helped me to change my business from being just myself to being a booking agent digital website that I could then connect contractors through, so that's really helped me to expand that to 9 contractors in those couple of years.
It's really great I think to have a cheer squad when you're in business in the tough days, so that really helps to keep you going in the right direction.
After being made redundant Susan knew she wanted to start her own business, but had no idea what that business would be. She spied her laundry basket, which never got folded or ironed. She realised she would have loved a laundry service when she was working – a laundry service which not only washes and irons, but collects and delivers to your door.
The Laundry Lady was born, allowing Susan to escape the corporate world and work flexibly around her children. After creating the brand, a simple website and a basic online marketing strategy, Susan had her first customer within a week and 20 clients in just 3 months.
The customer base kept growing which led Susan to hire her first employee. Following with a contractor to service the Gold Coast, Susan expanded her business across South East Queensland. After 3 years, she started looking at ways to build and improve the business. With the help of a dedicated grant for home-based businesses, The Laundry Lady website was upgraded to provide an automated online booking and payment system.
Susan now hires 9 independent contractors to provide the laundry service from their own homes on a commission-based payment model. Many of her contractors are grandmothers or mothers at home with young families, providing the flexibility to work while caring for their kids, just like she did.
A dedicated digital marketing strategy, including email campaigns and search engine optimisation, increased Susan's customer base by 20% in only 3 months. She hopes to increase this further in 2018 by expanding into new areas and hiring additional contractors. The digital focus and the pickup and delivery is The Laundry Lady's niche offering, providing a traditional service in a new, non-traditional way.