Ihateironing.com: Matthew Connelly

Matthew Connelly’s new start-up promises to take the hassle out of dry cleaning

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Name: Matthew Connelly
Age: 33
Company name: ihateironing.com
Staff numbers: 2
Location: Greater London
Date launched: 01/11/2013
Website: www.ihateironing.com

Tell us what your business does:
We help local dry cleaners get and keep new collection/delivery customers and we give customers a hassle free experience. Customers place their order via their phone or online, we collect and clean their items (via dry cleaning partners), and deliver them at a suitable time.
Where did the idea for your business come from?
I hate ironing and arranging to get my shirts collected and laundering was always troublesome.
How did you know there was a market for it?
There are over 700 dry cleaners in London and I knew other people felt the same as me. You either have to lug your clothes to the dry cleaners or spend quite a lot of time trying to sort out a delivery.
What were you doing before starting up?
I helped other people start businesses working in a business incubator – it was a great way to learn.
Have you always wanted to run your own business?
Yes, always. I used to try little money making schemes as a child and always liked the idea of running my own business.
How did you raise the money?
The business is bootstrapped so far.
What challenges have you faced and how have you overcome them?
The challenge was finding the best dry cleaners in London. When we were testing we had one that didn’t give great customer service for example. Now we’ve put in place a rigorous process of mystery shopping and continued testing to make sure they meet our standards.
Describe your business model and how you make money:
We partner with dry cleaners in each part of London, when an order comes in through the website it gets sent to the nearest dry cleaner to collect and clean. We bill the customer and take a percentage of each order.
What was your first big breakthrough?
Signing up the first dry cleaner and getting the first orders were probably the big breakthroughs. Since then it’s been incremental increases in revenue every month (prior to our official launch).
What advice would you give to budding entrepreneurs?
Get a good team around you.

Work hard but remember to sleep and take breaks.

Stay focused and don’t get distracted.
Where do you want to be in five years’ time?
We want to be the biggest dry cleaning and laundry brand in the world.

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