28 Tips to Open a Successful Self-service Laundromat

24 hour Laundromat: One of the most common types of laundry businesses is a self-service laundromat, which is a brick and mortar storefront that contains multiple washing and drying machines that clients can use for a fee. Laundromats are especially popular in larger cities, where living spaces are smaller and tend to be incapable of accommodating the space necessary for storing this machinery. With these types of businesses, the customers are responsible for keeping track of their items and often pay using coins.

Read on: 26 Tips to Run a Successful Local Laundromat Business

24 hour Laundromat

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1. Get the Business background:

Laundromats make it easier to get laundry done when customers either don’t have a washing machine at home or need to wash more clothing than their machines can handle at home. Laundromats also sell detergents and soaps, dryer sheets, and other related items to help customers get their laundry done. We have put together this simple guide to starting your 24 hour Laundromat. These steps will ensure that your new business is well planned out, registered properly and legally compliant.

2. What is a laundry business?

A laundry business is a venture that involves providing laundry equipment or services for paying customers. There are three main types of laundry businesses.

3. Plan your business

A clear plan is essential for success as an entrepreneur. It will help you map out the specifics of your business and discover some unknowns. A few important topics to consider are:

Read on: Where is a 24 hour Laundromat near me

24 hour Laundromat

4. Know the costs involved

A big part of the startup cost is the machines. Get “like new” machines that have been well-serviced and you can save yourself some money and lower your startup costs. However, be aware that used machines may not come with reliable or accurate service records. New machines may initially cost more, but you will also know the entire service history.

If you finance the business, rather than pay cash, you may only need to put down 10% to 30% of the total cost. Utility costs are a big expense. While the machines themselves can cost you $500 to $700 each for top loader and $3,500 and $20,000 for front loaders, utilities to run them (water, heating, etc.) can run between $200 and $2,000 per month, each.

5. Know the ongoing expenses

The biggest ongoing expenses are the utilities. Expect to pay between $200 and $2,000 per machine just for the water and heating. You should also set aside money for maintenance. Maintenance costs can range from $50 to $150 per machine for simple maintenance and repairs.

24 hour Laundromat

6. Know the target market

Preferred clients are businesses with long-term service contracts. However, a laundromat can also service the general public and bring in a consistent stream of revenue. Ideal customers are those living in apartments where there are no onsite laundry services or washers and dryers for self-service. This might mean placing the laundromat near low-rent or poor neighbourhoods.

See also: 25 Tips to Run A Successful 24 Hour Laundromat Business

7. Know how to make money

A laundromat makes money by charging customers to wash and dry their clothes. A laundromat may choose to operate as a self-serve operation, where customers insert quarters into machines to operate the washers and dryers, or it may be run as a full-service business in which customers pay to have staff do their laundry for them.

This business usually handles transactions in cash. However, some laundromats do offer the use of credit cards, checks, and even laundromat-specific cards. Cash-based transactions help to keep costs down for the customers and owner because there are no credit card fees. However, accepting credit cards increases convenience, potentially leading to more customers.

8. Know how much can you charge customers

Costs for laundry services are driven almost entirely by the location. In bigger cities, you can charge more. In smaller towns, less. On average, you can charge customers $3 per load of laundry, washed and dried.

24 hour Laundromat

9. Know how to make your business more profitable

One of the best ways to make your business more profitable is to offer additional services. For example, you could offer self-serve dry clean machines, sell detergent, snacks, and coat hangers, dry cleaning bags, and laundry bags. Offer free or discounted wifi Internet services for customers to help them pass the time while they wait for their laundry.

Another way to dramatically reduce costs is to operate your business in an area where taxes and utilities are lower. Check county taxes and water utility rates. These can vary significantly from one location to the next.

Do your own maintenance. Maintenance on washing machines and dryers isn’t too difficult for someone with basic handyman skills. If you purchase washers and dryers that are easily serviceable, you can save yourself several thousand dollars per year.

See also: 20 Ways to Buy a Laundromat

Why start a laundry business?

There are several reasons people choose to start their own laundry businesses:

10. High demand

One of the main reasons people decide to open up a laundry business is the constant demand for clean clothes. Many people want to look presentable in their daily lives, with clean, ironed clothing being a common signal of a professional and organized life. Others simply need access to laundry machines, especially if they live in a space without in-unit washers and dryers. People are always going to want to have clean clothes, and some are willing to pay considerable prices to avoid the responsibility of washing, drying, folding or ironing their clothes too.

11. Easy startup

Starting a laundry business can be a relatively straightforward process. For those who want to open up a storefront, they must first find a location to rent and purchase the appropriate machinery. Many self-service laundromats can function with minimal staff, as the customers are the ones who do all of their own laundry services. If you’re running a laundry business out of your personal residence, all you need are washers, dryers, the ability to keep track of different orders and attention to the washing and drying instructions for specific garments.

24 hour Laundromat

12. Work-from-home

If you’re running your laundry business from your home, you can enjoy the benefit of not having to commute to a storefront or other work location. This can give you increased flexibility in your schedule, in which you can take care of other tasks and chores in between your laundry duties. For example, a person running a laundry services business out of their home can load a client’s laundry into the washing machine and go pick up their child from school, go to the grocery store or attend a doctor’s appointment without compromising their job.

Read also: 17 Tips to Start University Laundromat Business

13. Ability to specialize

The laundry service industry also offers entrepreneurs the ability to specialize in a distinct type of laundry. For example, there are some laundry businesses that specialize in medical laundry, which includes scrubs, white coats and healthcare linens and gowns. Others may specialize in hospitality, such as hotel bed linens, restaurant cloth napkins and employee uniforms. Specialization offers the ability to provide unique services with minimal competition, which can increase their overall revenue and stability as a business.

Skills for starting a laundry business

Here are some of the main skills you may need to succeed when starting a laundry business:

14. Organization

Organization skills are an important part of owning and operating any business, but especially those having to do with laundry services. It’s important that laundry service workers to keep track of client orders and their respective garments to ensure they can provide the appropriate services based on the customer’s requests. It’s also vital that laundry workers avoid the possibility of returning the wrong garments to the wrong clients, which they can ensure by maintaining an organized work environment where they label piles of garments by client name or order number.

15. Attention to detail

Attention to detail is another important skill for anyone looking to work in the laundry business. Laundry workers use attention to detail when organizing client orders to ensure they don’t accidentally place garments in an incorrect pile. They also use attention to detail when washing and drying garments with specific laundry procedures. For example, certain materials cannot withstand the heat of a standard dryer, which would require the laundry worker to separate this item of clothing from the washed garments and hang it up to air dry instead.

24 hour Laundromat

16. Laundry and garment knowledge

A laundry business employee should have the necessary knowledge to differentiate between different types of fabrics and materials. This is a helpful skill as it guarantees that they can service the client’s garments appropriately, following the right procedures to ensure that the garment’s quality remains intact. Many laundry businesses also offer other garment-related services such as tailoring and stain removal, so it’s important that employees are familiar with the industry techniques and procedures necessary for handling these client requests.

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17. Efficiency

Efficiency is an important laundry business skill, as the workers for these establishments may have multiple orders to take care of at one time. Most laundry businesses give their clients a date and time when their orders will be ready for pickup, so it’s crucial that they meet their own standards and complete orders within the timeframe they agreed upon with the client. Many of the tasks involved in operating a laundry business, such as folding and ironing, can be time-consuming, so it’s important that employees can complete these tasks efficiently while still providing quality service.

18. Customer service

Like many other business models, those who work for laundry businesses use customer service skills throughout much of their daily work operations. For those running a laundry business out of their home, it’s important that they have a quick response time to client calls, emails, texts and other forms of communication to ensure they’re meeting their requests. For those working in storefronts, being able to provide friendly and informative assistance to clients can make a substantial difference in the venture’s success, as this can make clients more likely to recommend the business to others.

How to start a laundry business

Here are some steps you can follow to start your own laundry service business:

18. Research the industry

The first step when starting a laundry business is to learn about the laundry business. It’s important to understand the different business models that make up the laundry industry before choosing one for your business. There are organizations dedicated to laundry business, such as the Coin Laundry Association (CLA) and Textile Rental Services Association (TRSA) that can provide industry resources and information for those entering the field for the first time.

19. Choose a business model

After you’ve learned about the laundry industry, you can choose the type of laundry business you want to operate, whether that be a self-service laundromat, wash-and-fold services or dry cleaning. Consider the types of services you want to provide to clients and other important elements, such as location and budget. Whichever model you choose, it’s important to gather as much information on that specific type of business as possible to ensure that you’re providing high-quality service and fostering a stable structure for your business.

24 hour Laundromat

20. Acquire materials

Once you’ve decided on the model for your laundry business, the next step is to acquire the materials necessary for the business to succeed. This includes washers, dryers, clothes irons, hangers, garment bags, steamers, detergent and bleach, all of which contribute to the quality of service you can provide your customers. If you’re opening a brick-and-mortar laundry business, you may also need to purchase additional equipment such as benches, chairs, coin collectors, coin dispensers, cleaning supplies and cash registers that are also necessary for the business to run.

21. Market your business

Marketing your business is an important step, as it’s what can inform potential clients of your services. When advertising your business, consider posting about it on social media. If you’re searching for employees to work in your new business, you can use job searching sites like Indeed to list the qualifications for different positions. If you have funds for it, you can market your business with other forms of media like newspaper ads, television ads, radio ads and by creating business cards.

Tips for starting a laundry business

Here are some tips you can follow as a guide when trying to start your own laundry business:

22. Practice your skills:

Before starting a laundry business, practice some of the basic laundry skills that go into the venture, such as washing, drying, folding and ironing garments. Try to learn about different fabrics and materials that require special care, including those that aren’t compatible with machine dryers or require specific dry cleaning services.

23. Consider your location:

The location of your laundry business can have a significant impact on its success, especially if you’re catering to a specific group or demographic. For example, if you’re planning on opening a coin laundromat, you may benefit from working out of a storefront in a city where most of the residents live in apartments, as these people are less likely to have in-unit washers and dryers.

24 hour Laundromat

24. Add specializations:

 Another way to expand your laundry business is to add specializations to your services. Consider specializing in medical, hospitality or uniform laundry services to ensure you always have an in-demand clientele with minimal competition.

25. Define your brand

Your brand is what your company stands for, as well as how your business is perceived by the public. A strong brand will help your business stand out from competitors.

26. Know how to promote & market a laundromat

Promoting a laundromat is pretty straightforward. Advertise in local neighborhoods and spread your marketing to areas in your town or city where there is limited access to machines and other laundry services.

27. Know how to keep customers coming back

The best laundromats are ones that maintain a clean and friendly environment. When the inside of the building is clean and well-maintained, and when all machines are functioning normally, then customers are more likely to clean up after themselves and treat the machines as their own.

28. Set up your business phone system

Getting a phone set up for your business is one of the best ways to help keep your personal life and business life separate and private. That’s not the only benefit; it also helps you make your business more automated, gives your business legitimacy, and makes it easier for potential customers to find and contact you.

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