Know What It Takes
Location, Location, Location
When you saw those words in a real estate ad did you think about them in terms of your potential laundry business? You definitely should! Location – or more specifically – the demographics of your location – could be THE biggest contributor to the success of your business.
What’s the difference between the location and the demographics? Location is, of course, the address of your business (or potential business) while demographics are the characteristics (like age, buying habits, and income) of the people that live around that address.
You can do your own time consuming demographic survey, or you could let us do one for you. Whichever you decide to do, a demographic survey includes some of the following:
- TRAFFIC AND FLOW: What is traffic flow like around your location? Is traffic often congested? Do traffic patterns make it easy to get in/out? Customers might choose another laundromat if they can’t get to yours! What about parking: are there plenty of spaces, is the parking free or metered? Customers will take this into consideration so you should as well! TIP: check with local government – you may be able to get traffic counts for surrounding roads.
- SURROUNDING BUSINESSES: are they clean/maintained and well-lit? Could their customers become your customers? Ideally your business would be located near stores that enable people to shop or run other errands while doing laundry (nobody likes to feel like they’re wasting time!)
- COMPETITORS: are there other laundry businesses in the same area? Are they clean – do they have CUSTOMERS? Take in a load of laundry and while it washes look and listen! What are the prices like? Is the equipment clean and well maintained? Do customers sound happy/unhappy? What would you need to do at YOUR location to attract them?
- NEIGHBORHOOD: what types of buildings do you see: single family homes, apartments, college dorms, schools? Who lives in them: growing families, single people, white-collar, blue-collar? TIP: www.census.gov has over 300 different groups of data to allow you to look at your area in greater detail!
Making Sense Of It All
Trying to make sense of all this information may seem overwhelming – and unimportant! Ideally, you would open your laundromat and crowds would drive miles just to use your machines! However, if you don’t pay attention to demographics you may never SEE a customer, and you might be facing these scenarios instead!
- All of the homes may have their own washers/dryers
- The parking may be limited or non-existent
- The laundromat in the next block might have larger machines and better prices
- There may only be a couple of cars by your store each day
We could keep this list going for a while but hopefully you get the idea! Don’t let that list discourage you because, as we like to say – if this sounds too intimidating to you – we’re here to help! The team here at LFS is ready to do the demographic analysis and market research for you. We’ll also help you make sense of the numbers and use them to your advantage at that perfect location!
So we’re back to where we started: LOCATION! Using readily available demographic research to help you determine WHERE to operate your laundry business is the first step in making your dream business a reality. Don’t just throw darts at a map and then start your business there. Call us today to get started 800-866-6905! We can walk you through the entire process, and have the experience to help you start your successful laundromat business.