We’ve said it before and we’ll say it again: location is critical when you’re opening a new laundromat. Although you can’t run a laundry business without washers and dryers, and a commitment to maintenance is undoubtedly essential, your choice of location could make or break your laundry business. If you underestimate its importance, you may go to a whole lot of trouble for very few customers. So where to? If you’re wondering where to open a laundromat, use the tips below for help.
Where to Open a Laundromat
Conduct a market analysis.
Before you decide where to set up shop, you will need to conduct a market analysis. The report will help you learn about the demographics of your area. For example, you can learn the population of the area, how much money these people make, where they live, if they’re married, if they have kids, etc. Using this information, decide whether or not the area is a prime location for your business based on whether or not it contains your target demographics.
Know what to look for.
Obviously, not all households and areas need a laundromat. To build a successful business, you should look for some ideal demographics and location characteristics:
- About 35% or more of households in the area should be renters.
- The average household size should be 2.3 people or more.
- About 40% or more of the households should earn less than $35K per year.
- The laundromat should be located along a major road.
- The laundromat should be highly visible and offer dedicated parking spots.
- The laundromat’s neighbors should be groceries, dollar stores, and convenience stores.
These features are obviously not essential; if you find a great location in which only 35% of the households earn less than 35k, that doesn’t mean you should give it up. Simply keep these factors in mind as you review your market analysis.
Don’t overcrowd the market.
How many other laundromats are in the area and where are they located? If there are already enough laundry businesses to serve the needs of the people in the area, you will have a hard time securing customers. Be sure that there is a space for you within the market. Consider visiting your competition as well, to evaluate their facilities and services. Their advantages (or lack thereof) will help you create a plan for your own laundromat.
Laundromats vary in size, typically ranging from 1,500 to 6,000 square feet. The average new laundromat is 3,600 square feet (source). You will need to tailor your business to fit the size of your facility, so carefully consider size as you compare locations. Calculate how many washers and dryers will fit within the space (generally this will be between 40 and 100 pieces of equipment), and consider the layout of the equipment.
Compare the pros and cons of owning and leasing.
Many laundry business owners own their facilities, but many others rent. One option is not clearly superior to the other; it all depends on the circumstances. Take all the factors into consideration, including taxes, management, and total costs. Whether you ought to use a stand-alone store or a space in a shopping center is also up for debate. It depends on the specific details of each location, so do your homework!
Now that you know where to open a laundromat, 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!