A laundromat is like any other business in that it requires careful planning to be successful. On top of the general concerns of location and services that you intend to offer, you will also need to come up with unique ideas that will make people choose your laundromat over any other in town. Hard work and quick thinking can help to make your laundromat a success.
One of the common misconceptions about starting a laundromat is that it needs to be in a busy location to be successful. The truth is that for your laundromat to be successful, it needs to be near a large population of homes. Putting your laundromat in a strip mall miles from the nearest home or apartment building will be a hindrance to growing your business. If you are going to put your laundromat in a commercial district, be sure it is in the part of the commercial district that is closest to homes and apartment buildings. The prime location for a successful laundromat is close to apartment complexes, or close to residential areas that have a lot of apartment buildings.
Convenience services are crucial to helping you retain customers, and gain new customers. These are services such as offering to do laundry for people, or having a dry-cleaning shop in the laundromat. You can charge by the pound for laundry services, and you may also want to offer a quick service option for the dry cleaner. If you have the room in your parking lot, consider a drive-thru option for customers who want to drop-off and pick-up their laundry without leaving their car.
A laundromat needs to be open when people normally do their laundry. Stay-at-home mothers may like to do their laundry on weekdays, while single parents may wait until a Saturday afternoon to do their laundry. You may want to consider mid-morning to late-evening hours during the week, and early-morning to early-evening hours on the weekends. Ask customers what hours they would like to see you open, and take that feedback into account when creating your schedule.
A laundromat that is consistently clean, with machines that are working a majority of the time, will be a laundromat that has a better chance at retaining customers. Once your laundromat develops a reputation as being unclean or unreliable, you run the risk of losing repeat business. Keep your facility clean, and check your machines every day.
In order to grow your laundromat business, you will need a constant influx of new customers. One of the ways that you can get more customers is to reach out to local businesses, or homes, with special pricing promotions or coupons that will get people to come check out your laundromat. Get involved in the local business community and start sponsoring small community events to get your laundromat's name out in the public.
George N. Root III began writing professionally in 1985. His publishing credits include a weekly column in the "Lockport Union Sun and Journal" along with the "Spectrum," the "Niagara Falls Gazette," "Tonawanda News," "Watertown Daily News" and the "Buffalo News." Root has a Bachelor of Arts in English from the State University of New York, Buffalo.