It’s no question that the laundromat business is both recession-proof and profitable. People will ALWAYS have to wash their clothes and having in-unit washers and dryers is unlikely in a lot of living situations like apartments, dorms and more.
So, what are the necessary steps to take before opening the doors of your laundromat business?
We outline them below.
- Write your business plan. A solid business plan is the most overlooked essential to any entrepreneur. In order to build a business that both lasts and makes you money, you have to set and follow a clearly defined path on how to get there. Business plans don’t need to be complex in order to lay a good foundation for you to build on. But, they do need to clearly define who you’re going to target, what you’re going to deliver, how you’re going to operate and through which marketing channels you’re going to attract customers. Take the time to sit down and think about your business, organize your actions into comprehensive and yet simple plan to follow and then go back and revisit your strategy at various milestones – whether its every year, every five years or every ten years – to evaluate what is working and what isn’t. There are plenty of small business plan templates for coin-operated laundromats that can be downloaded from the internet, including this one from BPlans.
- Find the right location. When it comes to laundromat operation, real estate is key. Knowing which neighborhoods house a majority of your target audience is crucial in order to build something that attracts customers. Find an area where there are clusters of apartment building complexes or housing units. To do that, you can either do the research yourself using town surveys, land maps or more, or enlist the help of a laundry broker that knows what areas that would best serve a laundromat. If you don’t know where to find a laundry broker, let us help match you with a successful one that serves your area.
- Design the layout. When it comes laundromat layout, it’s important to maximize on your square footage to ensure your laundromat is set-up for effectiveness and efficiency for both your employees and customers. After all, the more comfortable your space is, the more likely you are to attract repeat customers, and the more commercial laundry machines you can install, the more customers you can serve. Whether you’re opening in a previously occupied laundry space or building out your area from scratch, one of your experience and skilled professionals can help you take advantage of your square footage and design a more successful laundromat.
- Install the right machines. There are a number of commercial laundry equipment manufacturers out there. So, how do you know which brand, make and model washing machines and dryers to pick? You want to look at a few factors: the mechanical make-up of the machines, the longevity of their shelf lives and the ease-of-use for your customers. Both Laundrylux and Electrolux are leaders in commercial laundry equipment and our sales staff can work with you to choose the right coin-operated and OPL machines that will do the job, do it well and do it longer.
- Hire employees. Good customer service is key when it comes to the laundry industry. Look for potential job candidates that have experience in the laundromat business, know how to operate the commercial washers and dryers you install (including trouble shooting problems and knowing when to call technicians) and have a pleasant and welcoming demeanor that keep customer service at an all time high. Once you find the right staff, create the right working conditions for them. Laundromat workers spend a lot of time hunched over, often leading to back problems, injury and more. Stock up on laundry supplies and install your equipment on top of custom bases to keep the machines your machines and your workers lasting longer.
- Draft and execute a marketing plan. The famous quote from Field of Dreams, “if you build it, they will come” isn’t necessarily true. Any business needs at least some form of marketing, and by incorporating simple direct, digital and social media marketing strategies, you can create a strong presence for your laundromat that can be both enticing and budget friendly. Work on creating simple flyers for your location that can be placed at businesses around yours, and offer the same for them. Build a simple website, set up social media accounts (we suggest at least a Facebook and LinkedIn page) and then throw a Grand Opening event with food, tours and entertainment to attract individuals living in the area. Have a sign up sheet at the counter to collect email addresses and then launch a monthly newsletter that sends your subscribers deals, discounts and more. By integrating all of these easy-to-execute marketing efforts, you’ll be sure to keep customers informed and coming back.
Getting started in the laundromat is a great way to invest in your future. Contact us today and let us help you take that leap toward a successful future in the laundry business.