Let’s face it, we all need to wash our clothes on a regular basis. And while this may be a routine which most of us don’t want to look forward to, the business of laundry can be a very viable source of revenue for entrepreneurs. How do you make money in laundry? Open a coin operated Laundromat.
You have to do your homework to start your business right. The laundry business is already a mature industry and a lot of laundry shops exist almost at every corner. You will have to look for areas where the population is currently booming. There might be one or two laundry service already existing in that area but the influx of more people means more potential customers and more chances for your Laundromat to thrive. Families who are just starting out in the area might not have their own laundry machines and driers.
The location can even be your own neighborhood, which will be ideal for you as you won’t need to go far to monitor your shop as it will be just walking distance from your house. Since you already know the area and your neighbors you can also easily hop from one house to another to promote your business.
You can also choose a location near colleges where there are a lot of students, apartment complexes housing families, or in the downtown area where many people are renting out or living in condominiums with minimal space. These are very good target markets as they may not necessarily have washing equipment where they live, or they may have no time to do the laundry themselves.
Once you have chosen your location, check where you can rent or lease coin-operated laundry machines and driers. If you have the budget, you can try new machines to assure you of the best quality as well as warranty. But if you consider second hand machines, try checking out surplus stores or scan newspapers to see if there is any laundry shop that is closing down and would want to sell or have their coin operated machines rented.
These machines may have gone through a lot of laundries already so check if they are still in good condition and ready to serve you and your customers. This option may save you a few bucks but you may have to spend for major repairs and future breakdown because of the machines are old, so look for the best value for your money.
Do not miss the things you need to comply to open a coin operated Laundromat. Some of these are business permits, air and water pollution control permit, and business insurance. Try to check the local business zoning laws that will guide you on how to go about the legalities of starting up your own business.
To open a coin operated Laundromat requires you to invest about US$200,000 to $500,000. This is a pretty big investment but you can opt to avail of a business loan. Applying for one requires you to create your business plan, making sure that your business will earn and will allow you to pay for your loan.
Make sure that you locate your shop in a place where there is low incidence of crime and theft, so you can be assured your shop is safe. Check it from time to time to collect the money and do the necessary cleaning and tidying of the shop.
If your business grows and you see that you already have a large base of loyal customers, you might later want to offer your clients membership cards that work like debit cards, which they can easily swipe every time they come to your shop. This will give your clients more convenience as they won’t have to bring so many coins in their pockets.
Another option is for you to employ one or two persons to man your store. This is especially important if you offer extra wash and fold service so your clients will have ease in picking up their clean laundry, already folded and organized for them. Busy people usually need this service so you can take advantage of this for you to get loyal patronage to your business.
If you think all you can offer in your laundry shop is laundry service, think again. You can maximize your business space by offering other income-generating services. The thought of waiting for their laundry to finish isn’t exactly exciting for most customers, and they may prefer to do something more productive while waiting.
Why not offer them extra service like free internet connection so your clients can get access to their mails or browse the web for the latest updates while they wait to complete their laundry. It will surely keep them busy or entertained instead of getting bored with the laundry routine.
Thinking of offering them food or soda?
Then think of putting up a vending machine to fill their tummies while looking after their laundry. You can put up a coin operated coffee machine so your clients can enjoy a cup of hot beverage while having some chitchat with friends or neighbors who happen to go to your shop as well. Your shop will no longer be a mere laundry shop but a place where your clients will look forward to visiting.
Try to be more creative so think of other helpful services that you can come up in your laundry shop. Since majority of your customers will likely be mothers, you can later put up a space for kids to play around while their mommies wait for their laundry.
You can come up with more ideas to provide value-added services to your customers that can help give your Laundromat an edge over the competition. But don’t lose sight of the bottom line, which is to provide fast, efficient, and reliable laundry service.
Are you making money with your own laundry service or thinking about doing so? Be sure to share your comments, thoughts, ideas below…