If you’re looking for a new way to attract customers to a laundromat, a wash-and-fold laundry service might just do the trick. Starting a new service can be a huge undertaking, however, so it pays to learn some tips from successful laundromat owners first. If you do it right, it’ll be worth the effort.
Tips for Starting a Wash-and-Fold Laundry Service
A wash-and fold laundry service can be a real asset for anyone who owns a coin-operated laundromat. If you run it well, it will attract new business and bring in a reliable revenue stream. However, as with any business venture, it’s important to set yourself up for success. As you get ready to launch, there are a few important tips you’ll want to keep in mind:
Know Your Customers
A wash-and-fold laundry service can attract more business to your laundromat. Before you put the effort into creating one, you should know your existing customer base well enough to know if they will support it. Customers that have busy lives or spare income are more likely to use a drop-off service. Wash-and-fold services can also attract commercial customers, such as restaurants. Look at the demographics and neighboring businesses in the area, and spend some time talking to your customers as well.
Be Ready to Expand
The upside of expanding into a wash-and-fold operation is that you’ll almost certainly increase your profits. However, you will not keep those profits high for long if you don’t have everything in place to run the service well. Poor customer service is one of biggest things that drive people away from laundromats. If customers have a bad experience with your new service, they will not be back. Avoid this issue by focusing on building your capacity to expand well before you start your new service. Make sure you have adequate staff and that they are prepared to handle the ins-and-outs of a wash-and-fold service. Make sure you have all the equipment you need to wash and fold in-house without disturbing your existing business, or be ready to partner with someone who does. Most importantly, be ready to market the service to your existing customers through signage or other efforts. If this all sounds outside of your current capacity, it might be best to wait.
Think About the Finished Product
Put yourself in the shoes of your customer. If you were getting clothes back from a wash-and-fold laundry service, would you want a rumpled pile in a bag? Or would you want neatly folded, fresh-smelling garments that you can put right in your closet? As experienced wash-and-fold service operators know, customers pay a lot of attention to the final product. Some laundromat owners do things like shrink-wrapping the clothes they return to customers, or include dryer sheets in orders to make sure they still smell laundry-fresh when they reach a customer’s home. There are lots of ways you can adapt order packaging to work for your service, and it’s a great way to give your customers a personal touch that will keep them coming back.
Hire the Right People
You’ve probably noticed that many of the tips above depend on a reliable staff. Laundromats have a high employee turnover rate. Unless you want to do all the laundry yourself, hiring reliable people is the key to keeping your business growing. Look for people who have wash-and-fold experience, and show an interest in making your business successful. You should also be sure to treat employees well once they’re hired. Successful operators pay staff competitive wages, offer bonuses and paid time off, and go out of their way to show staff appreciation. This may sound like extra work, but when it comes to employees, you get what you pay for.
Starting a wash-and-fold laundry service is a lot of work, so make sure to launch it on the right foot. Focus on the customer experience, hire and retain a great staff, and get all the pieces you need in place before you start. Your new customers will thank you.
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!