For some people living in cities, owning a washer and dryer is considered a luxury accommodation. Not only do you need extra space, which is a premium as it is, but you also need the extra money to buy the machines.
Many people resort to using their local laundromat to clean their clothes. As such, it’s a no-brainer that you’d want to open up a new one in your area. But aside from renting a property and buying some equipment, how do you ensure success in this endeavor?
Here are eight things to know before you start a laundry business and become a business owner.
1. Market Research
Performing market research is one of the most important things you can do when you’re starting a business. Is there a current need in your area for a new laundromat, and if so, why? And what are your competitors doing that has made them so successful?
For example, statistics show that the market size of the laundry services industry in the United States continues to grow consistently every year. It’s expected to continue growing despite the current state of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Despite its status as a stable investment, you need to make sure you’re actually giving your community something they need.
2. Setting Business Goals
A clear plan is essential for any entrepreneur. It should begin with a list of the business services you plan to provide and include both short and long-term goals.
Some questions to consider include:
- What are your startup and ongoing costs?
- Who is the target market?
- How much will customers pay for each service?
- Are there any plans to launch a marketing campaign?
- What companies will you reach out to for help?
Make sure to also create a timeline of everything you need to do before opening up shop.
3. Find Quality Laundry Business Equipment
Starting a laundry business can prove expensive even after you’ve purchased or rented the space.
Some of the laundry business equipment you’ll need includes washers, dryers, and general cleaning supplies. Chances are you’ll need some heavy equipment that can handle running almost non-stop throughout the day.
You’ll also need to decide on how your machines will accept payment. Coin-operated machines are low-tech and work well by themselves. You may also opt for machines that use your own refillable cards as payment.
Remember to have some money put aside for repairs as well. You can’t rely on one set of machines lasting forever, and you have to take into account user error.
4. Utilizing the Internet
Even though a laundromat thrives off of its local customers, you shouldn’t forget to use the internet. With the internet, you have avenues such as social media, where you can reach out to locals for events and sales. A laundry business website is also a good place to list your services and prices for any potential customers.
The internet is also a way to keep tabs on customer satisfaction. Leave a section on your website for reviews or watch for any on Google Maps.
5. Best Business Location
Part of your market research is finding out the best business location to open up a laundromat. After all, it would be pointless to open up a new laundromat a block away from one that’s been there for over a decade. You also can’t expect much business next to an apartment building with washers and dryers included.
Make sure your location has a lot of traffic, especially if it’s by a family neighborhood. Once you’ve established yourself, you can then move on to developing additional services for your customers.
6. Managing Finances
How you manage your finances can help a lot when filling out your taxes and keeping you from dipping into your savings.
Use a dedicated business banking account to separate your business transactions from your personal spending. Doing so can protect your personal assets in the rare event that your business gets sued. A business credit card is another useful option that lets you build your company’s credit history.
Alternatively, your business can lease washers and dryers from another company to save some money while you build up your business.
7. Importance of Business Insurance
Every business should have some kind of insurance in order to operate safely and lawfully. Business insurance protects your company and your laundry business staff from the various risks they may face on the job.
General Liability Insurance covers the costs of any injuries a guest sustains on your property. It’s especially important due to how many people you expect to come through your building.
Workers’ Compensation Insurance is legally required in the United States. It pays for all medical care for a work-related injury or illness.
You can also look into purchasing coverage for your laundry machines, which can help cover the costs of their replacements.
8. Marketing Laundry Businesses
Most people don’t know a lot about online marketing, but it can prove essential for promoting your business. Create a Facebook ad using their built-in Ads Manager. Tailor it to your specific goals and target audience, and edit them on the fly.
Business owners can use their own social media pages to promote themselves and connect with other businesses and organizations. Answer any customer questions, provide additional information, and give updates on any new changes to your laundromat.
You can also attract new customers by partnering with other local businesses, sponsoring a local organization, or hosting special events.
Start a Laundry Business the Right Way
Knowing how to start a laundry business and doing market research isn’t always going to be enough for first-time business owners. In some cases, they may need help affording the heavy-duty equipment the laundromat will use on a daily basis.
Laundry South offers commercial laundry equipment supplies, leasing options, and repairs across Mississippi, Memphis, and Mobile. We offer equipment for any facility in need, and we can also assist with laundry room layouts.
Contact Laundry South to learn more about how we can help your business.