Looking at the big picture when considering a new business opportunity will give you perspective, but especially at the start, you need to focus on the business’s details to build a solid foundation. Most days, running a laundromat will involve basic necessities: keeping the store clean, maintaining the equipment, scheduling repairs, responding to customer concerns, and (of course) collecting your earnings. If you want to learn how to run a successful laundromat, never forget that the day-to-day operations of the shop are your bread and butter. Without them, you have nothing.
How to Run a Successful Laundromat
Supervise the store regularly. Although you aren’t required to spend a lot of time in your store, someone needs to manage the day-to-day operations of the business. Your machines may allow for self-service, but that doesn’t mean your shop can be left alone 24/7. Someone needs to regularly visit the laundromat to collect the earnings, clean the shop, and maintain the equipment.
Inspect the machines. Every so often, inspect your machines. Are they clean? Do they have any operational issues? Can you spot visible damage? Do they leak? Are the washers’ drain systems healthy and functioning? Is the equipment out of date? Act quickly when you notice a problem, because damaged or malfunctioning equipment could affect your bottom line.
Clean the shop and equipment. Who wants to clean clothes in a dirty environment? Be sure to clean the laundromat regularly (or hire someone to do so). If your shop is covered in filth and grime, you will likely lose customers to other laundromats in the area.
Keep it safe. Especially if your laundromat will be unattended most of the time, be sure that you have safety mechanisms and features in place to deter crime. For example, the store and parking lot should be well lit and cameras should be installed to catch any wrongdoers (and to prevent unlawful activity before it happens).
Interact with customers. Although this isn’t strictly necessary, laundromats with diligent owners who interact with their customers tend to be more inviting and successful. Get to know the community, respond to complaints quickly, and ask questions to determine how you can improve your customers’ laundry experience.
Market your services. Did you know that only 20% of laundromat owners market their store on a regular basis (source)? Clearly marketing isn’t mandatory, but it will always give your business a boost. Especially if you’re struggling to compete with surrounding stores, market your laundromat through flyers, mailed coupons, a website, etc.
Collect your earnings. Finally, though I doubt you would forget, remember to collect your earnings! And as you extract your money from the laundry equipment, evaluate each machine’s performance. You might be surprised to find that some machines are far more popular than others. How does each machine’s location affect its usage? Do certain types of machines (such as extra-large washers) do better than others? Use this information when you purchase new equipment and lay out your store.
Although owning a laundromat provides many advantages – supplemental income, flexible hours, a less stressful occupation – you must do the work if you want to reap the benefits. Use the tips above to learn how to run a successful laundromat.
Finally, 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!