Planning is invaluable when starting a laundromat business. Outlining the details of your facility, equipment, services, and personnel will give you a better sense of what you will need to start your business while analyzing yourself, your competition and your target customers will help you understand your market and how your business fits into it. Writing a laundromat business plan doesn’t have to be overwhelming. Here are 10 things to consider to develop a winning business plan for your laundromat.
Look for locations that are on the main road, have high visibility for people passing by and provide easy access and adequate parking for your customers. To prevent theft and provide a safe environment, the area around your potential store should be well-lit. Make sure the building infrastructure and utilities can accommodate the resources (electricity, natural gas, water) that will be needed for your business to operate at peak times.
Will you offer coin-operated machines, a hybrid of coin and e-wallet or e-wallet only machines? E-Wallet acceptance is convenient for your customers and they’re more likely to spend more when paying e-wallet is an option. Hybrid and e-wallet only payment systems allow you to remotely monitor your laundromat and provide hassle-free collection. With the e-wallet payment system, there is the potential to increase your profits by taking advantage of features such as incremental vend pricing and time of day pricing.
Providing additional services and amenities can offer convenience for customers, increase revenue or set yourself apart from the competition. Consider adding vending machines (food/drink, laundry supplies) or giving your customers access to free wi-fi. Offer cycle upgrades (extra rinse/wash) and variable priced cycle options (more for hot, less for cold). Provide a wash and fold service where customers that are too busy to spend time at your store can drop off their laundry and pick it up clean and dry at their convenience.
What hours will you be open for business? Will you be open 24/7 or have set hours? Will you always have staff onsite or provide a card system to get in during certain hours? Do you plan to be in the store most days or would you prefer your role to be more hands-off? What staff positions would you like to fill – attendant, manager, accountant, marketing, security? For each employee position, layout hiring strategies, tasks/responsibilities, needed training, compensation plan, and how you plan to manage employee performance.
Even though you may be just starting in the laundry business, you can still do a SWOT analysis (a list of your strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats). Think of this as more of a brainstorming session about your potential laundromat. Strengths may show areas that will give you an advantage over competitors and benefits you will want to advertise to potential customers. Weaknesses may show areas you will want to work on to be competitive. Opportunities may show possible areas of future growth for your laundry business.
Survey the competition in the area of your potential location. Is it a highly saturated market or are your services desperately needed? If there is a lot of competition in the area, are you able to stay competitive by offering different services and amenities? What does your competition look like? When studying your competitors, take note of things such as location and facility, business hours and peak service times, type of equipment, amenities and services provided, pricing and payment options, marketing strategies and promotions offered, and the number of employees.
Decide what your ideal customer looks like and consider what that ideal customer will be looking for in a laundromat. Define the demographics, lifestyle and motivations for the market you are trying to reach. Ask yourself if your target market makes sense with your potential location, payment options, and services offered. Your goal is to align your laundromat offerings with the needs of your target market.
Determine what your startup costs will be for opening your laundromat. List estimates for any potential costs of registering your business, down payment for a loan, buying equipment (machines, payment system) and furniture (folding tables, laundry carts), remodelling a building, installing equipment and sewer lines, and municipal fees and permits. After you’ve come up with what your initial start-up costs will be, list estimates for any potential ongoing costs of utilities, loan payments, rent, insurance, payroll, repairs/maintenance, and supplies. Forecast what you expect to make in year 1, year 2, and year 3 based on revenue sources and services you’ll offer. After all costs and forecast sales list, you can better understand how the laundromat profitability.
In determining your vending machine prices, there are many factors to consider, such as your competitors’ prices and costs. Now that you know the meaning of spending, then you can calculate what the cost to be paid at least cover these expenses and profit. In developing pricing strategies, determine the range you want to target – the cheapest and most expensive but the best choice or in the middle position. Remember, if you have newer equipment or modern technology than its competitors, because you are a new laundromat, they should be included in the price, and charge more for the price.
Outline the key steps you need to complete in starting your laundromat business and an estimated timeline for each. Milestones can include things like construction/purchase/rental locations, equipment-equipped locations, employee interviews, employee training, and marketing materials. After the laundromat list is broken down into small steps, with the goal easier to achieve.
Having a solid laundromat business plan will help boost your confidence and improve your chances of success. If you would like to learn more about starting a laundromat, Anthysis Design is here to help. Our payment systems have helped laundromat owners all over the country offer modern payment options, increase profits, manage employees, implement marketing programs and successfully run their stores.