“The best defense is a good offense.” That’s a standard motto for an athlete, but it’s also relevant to anyone that runs a laundromat. You can’t stop common laundromat issues from arising. However, if you plan ahead, you can stop them from affecting your business.
Common Laundromat Issues
When a laundromat is running well, it’s a consistent money-maker that fills an important need for its customers. Unfortunately, unexpected problems can surprise even the most experienced business owner. Familiarize yourself with common laundromat issues so you can prevent problems before they have a chance to develop.
High Utility Costs
As a laundromat owner, you already know you’re going to be spending a fair amount on utilities. After all, laundromats use large amounts of water and electricity. The more popular your business is, the more those costs are going to rise. People also continually enter and exit laundromats, which can make it difficult to heat and cool the space efficiently.
While you cannot avoid utility costs, there are a number of steps you can take to reduce their overall impact. Invest in a dependable, up-to-date HVAC system and ensure it is cleaned and maintained regularly. Look into energy-saving innovations like automatic lighting or adjustments to wash-and-dry cycle settings to reduce electricity use. Be sure to use budget planning tools like water bill analysis, and have your water system inspected if costs aren’t what you expected.
Have you ever walked into a laundromat and seen an “Out of Order” sign on the machine you needed? If you were a customer, you were probably frustrated that you couldn’t get your laundry done. As a laundromat owner, you know that when machines are out of commission, it represents a loss of income. A broken washer or dryer is a lose-lose proposition for you and your customers.
You can’t always stop a machine from breaking. However, you can avoid the embarrassment and expense of broken equipment sitting in your laundromat by making sure you perform regular maintenance on your machines. Ensure they are cleaned on a regular basis, and make time every month to inspect them and perform minor repairs. When setting a yearly budget, be sure to include money for machine maintenance and replacements. That way, if a machine does break down, you can fix or replace it quickly and economically.
A Dirty Environment
If your laundromat is busy, it can be difficult to find the time to clean it well. Yet if your laundromat is noticeably dirty, it won’t stay busy for long. Approximately 80 percent of laundromat customers cite a laundromat’s cleanliness as a significant factor when choosing where to do their laundry. Nobody wants to wash their clothes in a dirty laundromat.
Don’t let laundromat cleanliness become an issue that costs you customers. You or your staff should make time to clean your laundromat every day after the doors close. If it’s a 24-hour laundromat, make time to clean during off-hours. Be sure that floors and surfaces are sparkling, laundry machines are wiped down and free of debris and lint, and bathrooms and vending areas are tidy. Be sure there are cleaning supplies on hand, and provide employees with a daily cleaning checklist to follow.
You can put a lot of effort into making your laundromat clean and efficient, but if customers don’t have a pleasant experience, they aren’t going to come back. Common customer complaints include bad locations, difficulty using the laundromat equipment, and an uninviting environment.
While investing time in cleaning and maintenance will help you avoid many of these issues, you should still make sure the customer experience is front and center in your business planning. Before you open or purchase a laundromat, do your research and make sure it’s located in a neighborhood customers will want to visit. Invest in an on-site attendant who can help customers and ensure the facility remains clean and friendly. Finally, consider customer loyalty programs that incentivize repeat business.
When it comes to common laundromat issues, being prepared is key. Nobody knows your laundromat better than you, so consider the scenarios above and make a plan of action that works for your business.
If you own or manage a laundromat, be sure to check out Laundry Solutions Company, a full-service provider of premium vended, on-premises, and multi-housing commercial laundry equipment. To learn more about our products and services, please give us a call at 800-383-9274 or contact us online. We look forward to hearing from you!