If you’re thinking about opening up a laundromat, you’re in luck because this ancient business idea is definitely not a thing of the past and is in fact experiencing a renaissance in the modern, fast-paced world. With the hectic way of life in the 21st century taking a toll on people’s abilities to tend to all menial (yet ironically, crucial) chores during the day, the need to “outsource” these tasks to businesses like yours is rising exponentially.
Needless to say, this is your golden opportunity to capitalise on a popular trend and build the laundromat empire you’ve always wanted. That said, there are certain steps you need to take to make this daring business venture a success. Let’s dive in.
Choosing the perfect location
Location, location, location – not only a beautiful piece of ancient wisdom, but also an important reminder to all retail owners that location matters. A lot. Now, while you might be under the impression that whoever snags the prominent location on the main promenade in the middle of the town’s business district will be declared the victor, the reality is actually quite different.
What may work for a retro hipster cafe might not work well for a laundromat business, so you want to find a location that fits your type of service. Enter, the boring residential district. This place is perfect for you, and the bigger the neighbourhood, the better. Remember, your business should find itself in very close proximity to people who are: headed to work, coming back from work, walking with their kids to the grocery store, etc. This will allow you to bank on that much-needed convenience factor every homeowner needs.
Offering a wealth of services
The modern-day laundromat is quite different than its predecessor, and for a good reason – people want more, expect more, and will gladly pay more for a better, comprehensive service. Long gone are the self-service days of old coin-operated laundry businesses where people had to not only bring their own laundry, but put it in the washing machine, then the dryer, and then take it home. Who even has the time for that anymore?
Instead, you want to appeal to the modern customer’s needs and wishes, and offer a ton of services that will save them time, in exchange for a slightly higher fee, of course. Remember, people will gladly pay a bit more to have their things picked up from the laundromat, dried, and brought to their doorstep, so introduce these services before your competitors do.
You can also decide on offering pressing services, all you need to do is get a high quality gas boiler ideal for rapid steam generation, which will make pressing efficient thus bringing your laundry additional source of income.
Building a comprehensive setup
Plenty of factors go into building a thriving laundromat business, and equipment is arguably the most important element of your success. You also need to adopt the modern customer’s mindset. Yes, you’re building a laundry business, but what kind of payment options are you offering? Cash only? Coin-operated only? You might as well close up shop immediately. The modern customer wants full payment freedom, so be sure to introduce smart, card operated machines with credit card and cash-to-card stations with online reload for maximum convenience and customer satisfaction.
Creating a boutique experience
No, your laundromat is not a restaurant, but just because you don’t have a wine list doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t offer an amazing experience to the customers who decide to wait for the wash cycle to finish. Some might go out for a walk, some might pay extra for packaging and home delivery, but some people will definitely wait out the process themselves.
This is your opportunity to give these customers the waiting experience of a lifetime, thus easily turning them into lifelong clients. So if you have the resources, expand the space and build a waiting area that’s actually a cafe with chill music, comfortable seating, and just a peaceful environment that will allow your customers to relax and unwind while sipping a warm cup of tea. Simple, innovative, and highly effective.
Investing in marketing and growth
Needless to say, no modern business venture can hope to get off the ground, let alone reach its full potential, without a strong marketing strategy in place that will get the word out and attract people towards your brand. Given the fact that you’re running a brick-and-mortar business, you want to use both online and offline marketing to your advantage in order to build brand recognition in the local market.
To achieve this, offer specials, promotions, discounts, and more, on a regular basis and spread the word across all relevant social media platforms. Don’t forget to start up a website as well and invest in local SEO so that you always come out on top of the search query for your area. For offline tactics, use pamphlets and promotional materials such as bags, pens, and umbrellas to your advantage.
Building a coin-operated laundry business is not a crazy idea and in fact it can be a lucrative opportunity in the modern world, provided that you adapt the concept and business plan to meet the needs and demands of the modern marketplace. That said, you should have no problem building a laundromat empire by following these crucial steps.