Commercial Laundry Equipment: Is The Laundromat Business For You? By: Andrew Stratton

Laundromats, quite simply, offer a place for patrons to do their wash. A few washers, a few driers, a folding table or two and you’re set, right? Not really. To run a profitable laundromat, there are several factors to consider, such as location, energy efficiency, the quality of equipment used, vending, services offered and more.

On the plus side of the business, coin laundries are fairly recession-proof enterprises. No matter what the stock market does, how high unemployment rises or how rocky the economy gets, people will still need to wash and dry their clothes.

It’s also a business which requires very few employees to run, which cuts down on expenses. On the flip side, however, according to the Coin Laundry Association, the cost of running a laundromat ranges from 65% to 115% of the money coming in. So choosing your location, equipment and services offered carefully is important for turning a good profit.

One of the most important aspects of the laundromat business is location. Patrons who use them tend to be young and single or young families often apartment dwellers or college students without decent laundry facilities at home.

Since most people look for a spot close to home to do their weekly or bi-weekly wash, choosing a location near several apartment complexes or a university is a good idea. The location should also offer ample parking for the convenience of the patrons.

The quality and energy efficiency of the laundry equipment you choose is also an important part of the business. People soon learn which facilities keep their equipment in good working order and which ones don’t.

Many newer commercial washing machines and driers offer heightened energy efficiency over older models as well, keeping your patrons happy and your energy costs low. These machines also offer various payment options, such as coin or reusable payment card operation.

It’s also important to remember that laundromat patrons have a lot of idle time on their hands as they wait for their laundry to finish. Though televisions and free wi-fi are a couple of ways to keep them entertained, pool tables, video games, vending machines and snack bars are great ways to generate income from that idle time.

In fact, many laundromats incorporate small cafes or bars with their businesses, allowing patrons to hang out, socialize, and, most importantly, spend money as they wait.

If you want to take on extra staff, full-service laundry and folding services are also a great way to attract extra business. For an extra fee, busy patrons can just drop off their laundry and pick it up later.

One important thing to remember, no matter what your business plan, is that the laundromat business is much like the restaurant business. People are not merely washing their clothes; they’re spending a lot of time there on a regular basis. If you make the experience pleasant, they’ll return. If not, they’ll go elsewhere, just like with a bar, restaurant or cafe.

A well run laundromat can be a great business venture to get into. It offers steady income, loyal clientele and very little staff to run.

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