updated - October 16, 2021 Saturday EDT
If you've ever wanted to run a business where the customer does most of the work, look no further than laundromats. Like self-service car washes and cafeterias, laundromats offer basic service at an affordable price without investing heavily in a lot of overhead. With that said, running a successful laundromat franchise is no free ride. With no shortage of competition out there, upstart laundromats will need to stand out from the crowd and go the extra mile to establish themselves and turn a profit.
Fortunately, we've gathered up some valuable advice for those interested in pursuing this business opportunity. The following are seven tips for running a successful laundromat:
Coin-based washers and dryers are a thing of the past. While there's nothing wrong with still offering customers a way to pay with quarters, the development of digital payment systems makes it easier for everyone. Customers either use a mobile app or use a digital point-of-sale device on the machine itself to pay for access with minimal effort. Due to the cost-effective nature of digital payment, you may want to consider offering a discount to those who use an app or card instead of cash and coins.
Here's a protip: you probably shouldn't open a laundromat in the middle of a residential subdivision. These communities are filled with homes that have washers and dryers in them. Instead, look for a location close to a university campus or apartment complexes. Generally speaking, the greater the population density, the better the location. However, there's also a good chance these areas are saturated with existing laundromat services. Do your research to find the "goldilocks" spot close to your target customers but far from the nearest laundromat.
When it comes to laundromat amenities, complimentary WiFi is an absolute must. But it doesn't stop there. Since more people are driving electric cars, consider installing an electric vehicle charging station in your parking lot. Since the average customer will spend several hours doing laundry, EV charging is practical as well as thoughtful. Stocked vending machines, ample phone charging stations, and comfortable seating should also come standard.
Laundromat customers often forget to bring enough detergent or run out of fabric softener midway through. Offering laundry supplies for sale is a great way to help them in a pinch and make a little extra money in the process. Oftentimes these products can be offered in vending machines but can easily be sold over-the-counter as well.
One of the great things about running a laundromat is the minimal staff required to keep it running. More times than not, laundromat owners don't even need to hire anybody if they're willing to be there themselves. With this in mind, laundromat businesses are ideal options for families. It's not unusual to find successful laundromats running out of a corner of an apartment building with the owners living upstairs.
Laundromats typically operate on a no-questions-asked basis with customers. People come and go as they please with minimal interaction with staff. While this works without a hitch 99% of the time, the nature of the business warrants the implementation of a basic security system. Surveillance cameras and smart locks are typically all it takes to adequately fortify a laundromat. Given the affordability of this technology, there's no reason not to invest.
Most people will make an effort to clean up after themselves, but the minority will leave snack wrappers on tables, lint on the floor, and undergarments stuck between machines. It's the owner's responsibility to keep the laundry facility clean and tidy at all times, including the restrooms and parking areas.
Laundromats are a profitable business always in demand. That makes them an attractive business opportunity. With that said, it takes care and responsibility to successfully run a laundromat.
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