A Truly Great Laundromat?
As the owner or potential investor of a laundromat, you’ve probably noticed a growing trend! Laundromats are no longer dingy, dirty rooms in shopping plazas that people try to avoid. Instead, there is an ever growing trend of people doing away with washers and dryers in their own homes and using laundry services.
Part of this trend is fueled by the, approximately 80 million “millennials” (people born between 1981 and 1996), that reside in the US.
Millennials are changing the face of American business. This is because they place more value on experiencing things vs. purchasing things. Therefore, as a business owner, you may want to rethink your business strategy in order to profit from all of the people that are no longer buying multiple homes, cars, or furniture.
Dated And Dingy Is Out
First, go outside and really look at your laundromat! Yes, it might look a little out of date at the minute! But, right in front of you is the most important and expensive part of your business: the bones of your building! Plumbing, flooring, lighting, and machines are all there. PLUS you’re already connected to utilities and don’t have to worry about trying to connect to local utilities or paying connection fees!
What are you going to do with this wonderful, outdated investment? How are you going to attract the 80 million millennials (and their parents and grandparents) to your door?
Fast, Green And Efficient A Must
Now, look at your equipment. Even if it’s COMPLETELY paid for you can replace those vintage machines, pay the monthly note, and still have extra money at the end of the month! HOW? If those machines are 20 years old then they are very inefficient! You’re may even be paying twice as much for utilities and also paying more for hard to find replacement parts.
Another perk, new machines hold larger loads and have faster finish times. That means you can cycle MORE CUSTOMERS through your doors AND they’ll be HAPPIER customers because they’re getting a chore done quickly. Win, win for both of you!
Take a look at the aesthetics of your property. Look way UP and way DOWN – at areas you don’t normally view. Are your floor/ceiling tiles stained or missing in places? REPLACE THEM.
While you’re replacing – swap out your bulbs for more efficient LEDs.
Now that your lights are brighter your walls probably look dull. PAINT THEM, in NEW colors – please do NOT do a color chip match!
I know, it becomes a vicious cycle but you’ll be done soon!
Brand Your Business
Next step in the cycle? Signage. Does your logo still reflect your business? Maybe your drop off laundry service now accounts for most of your business and you want to reflect that in your signs. Is your logo outdated? If you’re not sure, ask someone you trust for their HONEST opinion. While you’re making changes you may want to update the signs inside your laundry as well. Use signs to draw your customers to those new BIGGER LOAD machines you installed. Maybe you need to add bilingual signs that help your customers find what they need.
YOUnique Customer Experience
Next up? The creature comforts you offer — seating, folding tables, and laundry carts. Are they faded, cracked or missing parts? FIX OR REPLACE THEM. You may also want to consider installing flat screen TVs and vending machines, or in this day and age, coffee bars, etc…
Remember – people are wanting experiences not possessions! Make your business a place that people want to EXPERIENCE – and recommend to their friends (can’t beat free advertising!).
Finally, we’re back to where we started. Go back outside and look at your laundromat. Do you feel better about your business? You should! You were able to see potential and turn it to YOUR advantage!
Another big PLUS? Now that all those upgrades are complete, you can increase your vend prices which means even more profit for you!