Laundromats have been around forever. And in 2022, the demand for high-quality laundromats isn’t diminishing. Millions of Americans live in apartments or dorm rooms that are too small to house their own laundry units.
Week after week, countless American families need to use public laundromats, making the laundromat business model ever so appealing.
But basic, bland, and outdated laundromat businesses are being replaced by modern, high-tech, comfortable laundromats. If you plan on starting your own laundromat, you need to know how the laundry industry is changing, and what customers expect when using a laundromat.
No longer can you get by using traditional business strategies, or you’ll be eaten by the competition. Read on to learn what changes you can expect to see in the laundry business to ensure you separate your facility from all the others in town.
Buy the Right Equipment
The most important thing you can do to launch a successful laundry business is to buy or lease the right equipment. You need the highest quality commercial laundry machines if you plan on being competitive in 2022.
People don’t want to wait around at the laundromat all day. They don’t have time to perform multiple loads. They need to get in and get out as quickly as possible.
The best washers and dryers can fit much larger loads than residential machines, wash and dry much faster, and do it all day, every day. Check out Laundrysouth.com to view the highest quality machines on the market today.
Choosing energy-efficient machines is also a big benefit. While they might be more expensive up front, they will save you money every single day, since utility costs are one of your biggest laundromat expenses.
Plus, you can use energy efficiency in your laundry marketing. While many consumers won’t go out of their way to choose an eco-friendly alternative, they’ll gladly choose an eco-friendly company over a non-eco-friendly company if it’s still convenient for them.
Consider Adding Solar Power
Another way you can go green, save money, add a message to your marketing, and invest in business innovation is to add solar power to your laundromat. This expense is definitely worth it in certain areas, like the South or the Southwest where sunshine is the norm most of the year.
If you have a private rooftop, adding solar panels can make sense. But if you’re in a larger city and are surrounded by taller buildings, it might not be worth it.
And you don’t even have to completely replace your utility costs. Any amount of solar panels will save you money. Plus, you may qualify for some business tax breaks for adding solar panels.
Make Your Building Comfortable
Most people avoid laundromats because they are dirty, uncomfortable, and lack any features that would make for a nice visit. But if you want to stand out from the crowd in 2022, you need to invest in your facility.
The exterior of your laundromat should be clean, modern, and inviting. Don’t make it look like a typical laundromat. But make it look like a business that would catch a customer’s eye and cause them to peek inside.
On the inside of the building, create a comfortable space with bright paint colors and modern flooring. You can work with a local artist to paint murals on the wall to make the building more fun.
Invest in comfortable chairs, since many people will wait around for their laundry to finish. Add some tables, similar to a coffee shop, so that customers can do their homework, work on their computers, or play card games while they wait.
Add different types of vending machines. Yes, soda and candy are fine, but people want options these days. Include drinks like juice and sparkling water. And add healthier snack options.
Electronic Payments for Laundromat Businesses
Quarter machines were the standard for decades. But few people want to carry around physical quarters anymore, especially since it usually costs more than a dollar to use a laundry machine.
You need to continue offering cash payments. But you should also include electronic payments as well. Allow customers to pay with their preferred methods, such as debit and credit cards, Apple Pay, and so forth.
Sure, you need to pay processing fees. But you’ll have more customers this way. And customers will likely do more loads of laundry this way.
You can even offset the cost of processing fees to the customer, adding $0.25 if you use electronic payments. Most users will be happy to add an extra quarter this way.
Using electronic payment methods also gives you the option of creating a loyalty program to increase repeat visits.
Choose Your Location Strategically
One of the best things you can do to ensure success is to choose a smart business location. You want to be on a block where your customers want to come and hang out at for an hour or two.
Good neighboring businesses include coffee shops, grocery stores, hair salons, arcades, and other businesses where customers would normally stay for over an hour.
And since these locations are very difficult to find, it might be worth partnering with other businesses to launch a shared facility. This is one of the best ways to create a disruption in franchising.
Rather than opening just one business, partner with other complementary businesses to open one larger facility. Part of that can be your laundromat. But then your customers can walk next door and hang out at a coffee shop, or schedule their hair appointment while they do their laundry.
You can add a child’s play place, or an area out back that feels like a park. By combining multiple businesses that support each other, you can create a better experience for your customers and increase your overall traffic.
Launching a Better Business
The need for laundromat businesses is going to last a long time. And we don’t need any more dirty, sketchy laundromats where people feel uncomfortable. Those will soon be gone, replaced by laundromats that understand sound business principles and create a positive customer experience.
And hopefully, that’s exactly what you’re going to do.
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