Laundromats make many lives easier. It helps the community dress well and saves them some of the hassle of washing and drying clothes in their homes. As a business, a laundromat business is a mature one, and many factors need to be considered before getting started. The goal of this article is to put down some basic considerations you need to make before getting started.
Who Is It For?
There is no specific set of skills one needs to start a laundromat. However, general competence in management is necessary. It is a plus if you have some handyman skills and can perform basic maintenance. You will need to manage the full business time if you opt to not hire a manager. However, if you have a good manager, then you can get away with managing the business part-time. Some basic knowledge of bookkeeping is another must have.
Types Of Laundromat
There are a few different types of laundromat businesses. The different types are mainly created by different styles of operations and their target markets.
The first categorization comes from the style of operation. Self-service laundromats do not require a large staff as people do their laundry. However, the margins are lower in self-service laundromats. Full-service laundromats are hassle-free for the customers as the whole process of washing, drying and pressing the clothes is handled by the personnel at the laundry. Even though full-service laundromats require a large staff, it still has a larger margin of profit.
The second type of categorization comes from the target market a laundromat serves. Many laundromat businesses serve other large businesses solely such as hospitals and hotels. There are both pros and cons to this kind of business model. The other type is the ones described above-laundries that serve the general public.
Laundromats like any other businesses require the largest investment in inception. The prime costs involve the site, decorations, and equipment. The placement of the business is a crucial point when it comes to laundromats. Basic equipment you will need is a range of industrial washing machines, industrial sized dryers, and pressing machines. Another large cost is obtaining all the permits required and bringing in commercial electricity and water connections. Make sure to get good business insurance.
On an average, a small laundromat can need an initial investment of $100,000 to $200,000, and a large one can hike up to a million dollars. Consult your bank for financing options. Generally, you would have to put down about 30 percent of the money from your own pocket to get started.
The largest operating cost in running a laundromat is the utilities. The utility bills per machine can run from $200 to a few thousand depending on the capacity. Other costs include the salaries of the manager and staff. You should keep some money aside for regular maintenance.
Promoting Your Business
The next step is to promote your business. Promotion for laundromats is pretty straightforward. If your laundromat is a general service one, then hand out coupons and stick some flyer throughout the neighborhood. You should also create an online presence using social media to reach out to your target market.
Don’t be like any other laundry out there- differentiate your service. There are very simple steps you can take to stand out. Consider providing free Wi-Fi service to your customers. Stock a range of detergents and soaps that can cater to different customer needs. Add a snacking bar. Consult an interior designer to create a layout that encourages socialization in your laundry. Keep your laundry squeaky clean and encourage customers to be good Samaritans and not make a mess.
There are a lot of other small things that will come in your way before getting started. Hope this article gave you a small glimpse into what you need to get done. Best of luck!