From flexible hours to entrepreneurial pride, owning a business has a lot of benefits. And, if you’re anything like the approximately 30,000 Americans who make their living owning laundromats, you know that it’s a steady, lucrative business, especially in areas with high populations of renters and college students. Like any business, laundromats require a solid business plan and up-front funding when you’re first starting out. When you’re ready to start the next chapter in your career, read more about how to start a laundromat.
How to Start a Laundromat
Assess the Cost of Starting a Laundromat
First, it’s important to be realistic about the financial aspect of getting into the laundry business. 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:
- Business Entity Fees: First things first: To ensure that your business is legally compliant, you’ll need to reach out to a legal professional to form an official business entity, register for taxes, and get business insurance. You’ll also need to legally establish your business with an accounting expert, which can be costly. Finally, you’ll have to set up a business bank account.
- Commercial Property Costs: Whether you choose to build a new facility or take over an existing laundromat, commercial property comes with hefty upfront fees.
- Equipment Costs: Think carefully about your laundromat equipment investment; after all, customers look for laundromats with reliable, modern machines. These fees will be higher if you choose to build a laundromat from the ground up, which requires purchasing all-new equipment.
- Municipal Fees: Depending on where you live, you will likely be responsible for several municipal fees. These typically involve connecting to water and sewer lines. Be sure to contact your municipality for exact fees.
Select Your Location
Once you’ve determined your budget, you’ll have a better idea of the kind of location you can afford. Rent costs can vary depending on a few factors including location, parking availability, and the size of the space. Whether you prefer to lease or buy will also be a major factor when deciding your location. Regardless of your preferences, try to look for densely populated areas with higher numbers of renters, as well as locations near college campuses.
Start to Equip Your Laundromat
Once you’re fully prepared for the financial aspect of starting a laundromat, you’ll need to secure and equip your laundromat facility. If you choose to build a new facility from the ground up, you’ll need to buy all the washers and dryers for your business. This includes an in-house water heating system, which can be quite costly. You will also need to equip your facility with the essentials – things like soap, laundry carts, supply vending machines, chairs, trash cans, and signage. In addition, you will likely need to hire employees for your laundromat, which means working with your accountant to get an employer ID number. At that point, you can start reaching out to community members and preparing your laundromat for opening day.
Add Some Flair
So, you’ve set your budget, secured a laundromat property, equipped your facility, and potentially hired employees. From there, you might think about how to set your laundromat apart. Modern laundries offer a lot more than just washers and dryers; consider installing a snack or coffee bar, credit card-operated machines, televisions, or even video game consoles. You can also work with your staff to build a marketing plan to attract customers. That plan could involve everything from a social media push to regular onsite events like acoustic concerts.
If you’ve decided to start your own laundromat, there are a variety of steps to take before you can open your doors. Fortunately, services like Laundry Solutions company can walk you through the logistics. We’re here to ensure your success as a new or experienced laundromat owner.
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!