Everyone knows that it is risky to start a small business. Not only do you need to coordinate the many facets of running a company—budgeting resources, managing day-to-day operations, completing legal paperwork, purchasing and maintaining equipment, responding to customers’ concerns, etc.—but you also need to learn how to compete with other small businesses. This is especially important in the laundry business. If you’re located near other laundromats, you must compete to lure customers in your front door.
How to Compete with Other Small Businesses
Choose your location carefully. Never underestimate the importance of your location. Look for a spot that is (1) affordable, (2) not too near your competitors, (3) near a strong pool of potential customers, (4) offers excellent visibility, and (5) has convenient parking. With a great location, you could blow your competition out of the water.
Focus on the basics first. To attract customers, you need to build a solid base. This means keeping the facility clean, maintaining your equipment, completing repairs quickly, and ensuring that the laundromat is safe. Without these essentials, you could lose your patrons.
Identify your and your competitors’ shortcomings. Scope out your competition. How are they pulling customers away from your laundromat? Is their business better maintained? Do they have staff on-site to help customers? Are they open longer hours? Are their prices extremely low? Then, identify their flaws and weaknesses, so that you can offer what they do not. Speaking of which . . .
Offer unique services. If you and your competitors are neck and neck, determine what will help you dash across the finish line. Perhaps you need to offer a wash-and-fold service or remain open 24/7. Could you add vending machines, a TV, or free WIFI to please your customers? Have you considered creating a loyalty program to reward and gain steadfast customers? These unique services could help you gain an edge on the competition.
Invest in advertising. You need to make your presence known if you want to compete in this business. Invest in quality signage. Plant signs along the street. Post flyers. Finally, build a web presence. We live in a web-based world, and a simple website with a bit of SEO could help you gain the attention of people in your area searching for a laundromat online.
Most neighborhoods have at least two laundromats within a relatively short distance of each other. Although this shouldn’t be cause for concern, if you want to succeed, use the tips above to learn how to compete with other small businesses. Every laundromat is different, so as long as you offer some advantages over your competition, you’re sure to triumph.
Now that you know how to compete with other small businesses, are you ready to begin? If you’re interested in opening 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. Since 1976, we have been providing exceptional sales support, laundry design services, commercial laundry equipment (and leasing options), and laundry equipment service and parts. 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!