Tips for Starting a Laundromat
People who haven’t tried it often seem to think that doing laundry is just a matter of combining soap, water, and clothing and pressing a few buttons. Anyone who has actually completed the chore successfully knows that it requires a bit more thought and effort than that. In a similar manner, launching a successful laundromat will require careful planning, dedicated resources, and hard work. These tips for starting a laundromat may help you as you start to pull things together.
Consider the Type of Laundry Services You’ll Offer
As Indeed.com explains, there are three popular types of laundry services. With self-service laundry, people use the machines provided to do their own laundry. Wash-and-fold laundry services have employees using the laundromat’s machines to launder items that a customer drops off so that they’ll be ready for pick up. Some shops will even pick up the dirty laundry from a home or business and return it when it’s clean. Finally, dry cleaning services launder clothing with chemical solutions instead of water.
Decide which kind of laundry services you want to offer. Some businesses concentrate on one. Many owners are opting to provide a combination of services to help generate income. In other words, they’ll dedicate a large portion of the facility to self-service machines. However, they’ll also have staff on hand who monitor and provide assistance as needed to people there while also completing wash-and-fold orders. Some also incorporate dry cleaning services if they have the space and the neighborhood will support it.
Write a Business Plan
Having a plan can ensure that you have your bases covered. Pick a business name, and make sure that you have the proper licenses and permits. As NerdWallet indicates, your business plan should include your financial plans and any legal preparations needed to hire employees. Do you have sufficient startup capital lined up? Will you need to seek additional funding? Are you prepared to function until your business starts making a profit? Your plan should have the answers to all these questions.
Find a Fitting Location
Location is important in any business, but it’s especially important for a laundromat. Few people travel across town to do their laundry, so you need to be conveniently close to your target audience. Depending on the services that you’re planning to offer, that may mean setting up shop near a college or a large grouping of rental properties. If you’re targeting a higher-income crowd (perhaps focusing on dry cleaning), you may choose a facility in retail spaces near nicer neighborhoods.
Certain considerations hold true regardless of your audience. For example, safety is always important. That makes choosing a place that is highly visible and accessible smart. In addition, laundromats have specific needs for plumbing and water line hookups. Selecting a space that already has those features or can be modified with minimal effort and expense will make your life easier and keep your startup costs lower.
Obtain the Right Materials
Once you have a location, it’s time to secure any materials that you need to transform it into a laundromat. This will likely include washers, dryers, folding tables, garment bags, detergent, softener, and bleach. Are you using a coin-operated system or a more modern swipe card system? You’ll need to purchase the appropriate supplies for your choice. You’ll probably also want to add some things to furnish your facility and amenities to make your laundromat a comfortable place for your customers.
Market Your Laundromat
Marketing your laundromat is essential if you want to build your brand. Connecting online is natural today, so make sure that you have a website so that your customers can find you on the internet. Use social media to reach out and be a friendly, useful presence in your community. Advertise with flyers in the neighborhood and in places where laundry services are lacking.