Are you feeling the entrepreneurial itch? Not only are laundromats profitable, but also they offer a relatively passive, low-maintenance business endeavor for budding entrepreneurs and seasoned pros alike. But successful laundromats, like any business, do require that owners and operators adhere to a few best practices. If you’re intrigued by the idea, find out more about how to own and operate a laundromat.
How to Own and Operate a Laundromat
Develop a Sound Laundromat Business Plan
Successful entrepreneurs know that starting a business requires a solid business plan. This plan should detail how your business will function, including information on hiring plans, budgeting, and other details. The plan should also illustrate how your laundromat will become profitable over the course of several years. Remember, as we’ve reported before, your initial investment for an average-sized laundromat could cost between $200,000 and $500,000. This involves several different costs including business entity fees, commercial property costs, and equipment costs, the latter of which will be higher if you choose to build a laundromat from the ground up with new equipment. Make sure to include all of these costs in your business plan to ensure that you and your team are ready for what comes next.
Cater to Your Customers
Running a successful laundromat involves a lot more than routine cleaning and washing machine maintenance. As you prepare to open your laundromat, the customer experience should be top of mind. Prioritizing customer service involves both broad concepts – like your laundromat’s location and parking options – and small details, like signage, translations for non-native English speakers, and even customer loyalty programs that incentivize repeat business. Finally, today’s laundromat owners must prioritize aesthetics to stay competitive. For example, if your facility is located in an area with a high concentration of college students, you might consider a bold, Instagram-friendly design featuring vibrant colors. Be sure to do your research to find out about the latest laundromat trends, which will keep customers coming back again and again.
Get Ahead of Laundromat Issues
Accidents and emergencies happen. However, as a business owner, it’s your job to get ahead of problems before they happen. This means staying on top of accident and liability insurance coverage, as well as managing day-to-day expenses like facility sanitation and utility costs. For example, if you’d like to fuel your laundromat with reliable, low-cost energy, consider investing in a new HVAC system. You can also use budget planning tools like water bill analysis to stay on top of budgeting.
Follow Local Regulations
No matter where your facility is located, laundromat owners must comply with regulations to keep laundry facilities clean, safe, well-lit, and well-ventilated. Depending on your city or state, you may need a laundromat operator present at all times. You may also need to stay abreast of energy efficiency requirements and other environmental issues, including wastewater concerns. Finally, make note of municipal fees and their collection dates. These fees typically involve connecting to water and sewer lines, and they can vary by municipality.
Learning how to own and operate a laundromat is no small feat. However, with a little planning and foresight, laundromats can be an excellent source of passive income. Laundromats offer a unique opportunity to connect with your community, be your own boss, and get in on a constantly growing industry. If owning a laundromat seems like an intriguing way to make money, check out the rest of our blog posts for additional tips.
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!