There are over 18,000 laundromats throughout the US, but only a fraction of these facilities are successful. If you’ve been thinking of starting your own laundry business, there’s still plenty of room in this market to make a living or even a side income depending on your goals. Here, we’ll take a look at some core fundamentals of starting a successful laundromat to get you on the right path.

Making a business plan.
Before embarking on any business venture, it’s crucial to have a detailed business plan. You can think of this as your road map to reach your business goals. An effective business plan will provide you with the information you need to succeed and clear steps for growing your laundromat. Here are some things to include in your business plan:

  • Executive Summary – A quick elevator pitch outlining your business model and strategy.
  • Market Analysis – An overview of the local industry including competitor and audience research.
  • Service – An explanation of what you’re offering to customers and why it’s in demand.
  • Financial Projections – A detailed analysis of how much you expect to spend and how much you anticipate earning.

These are the core components of a robust business plan, but you can always add more for extra detail and insights. While a business plan is a great way to keep yourself on track, it’s also necessary for getting funding to start your business, which brings us to our next point.

Sourcing the capital.
Once you have a detailed business plan, you can begin looking for funding to start your laundromat business. Even if you have a considerable amount of savings, it’s still advisable to seek out funding from other sources to give yourself additional padding. One of the safest and most reliable places to receive funding is a laundry equipment manufacturer.  Another good source might be your bank. Most offer sizable small business loans without requiring much on your end.

Whether you’re looking for more funding than a bank will offer or you want additional capital to get started, you could always look for angel investors or even friends and family members who are interested in joining your endeavor. Regardless of how you source funding for your laundromat, pay attention to the interest rates, repayment period, and other fine print. You’d hate for your source of funding to end up sealing your business’s fate.

Getting commercial equipment.
You can’t run a successful laundromat without the right equipment, making it critical that you find a reliable and quality provider. But how do you even know where to start? Luckily, Cleaning and Laundry Equipment makes it easy to get industry-leading commercial laundry equipment to make sure your business gets off on the right foot. All of the washers and dryers we offer are brand new, fully functional, and energy-efficient.

Our team will install your equipment at your new laundry facility and make sure everything runs smoothly. We even offer competitive financing options to help alleviate the financial pressures of starting your own laundromat. You don’t have to worry about finding a service provider either as the local Cleaning and Laundry Equipment team has experienced technicians to solve any problems that might arise. We’ll keep your equipment and your business running smoothly.

Choosing the right location.
Location is one of the most important factors determining the success of a laundromat. There are a number of factors to take into account when scouting out potential locations. Here are just a few things to think about:

  • Size – You want to find a place that’s big enough to hold all of your equipment while still leaving enough space for people to move around comfortably.
  • Cost – Reference your financial projections to determine how much you can afford in rent costs each month while still earning enough to grow your business and pay yourself.
  • Local SDC or Impact Fee – these are the fees access for sewer and other developments needed to support the community.  Depending on your area, these can add up fast.
  • Competition – Make sure you’re not setting up shop down the street from another laundromat unless you’re confident you can outcompete them.
  • Foot Traffic – You need to find a place with a high amount of foot traffic. This will make it easier to attract new patrons while making your store more accessible overall.

Dreaming of starting your own laundromat business but not sure where to start? The experts at Cleaning and Laundry Equipment can help you get the commercial equipment you need with competitive financing options too! Feel free to visit our site for more insider tips and strategies for running a successful laundry facility. Also, if you want to get your laundromat noticed by more people, consider joining Laundry Locations – a dedicated search engine for laundromats.

While national operators might have reputation and popularity on their side, local providers outperform these larger companies on nearly all service metrics. Instead of being treated like a customer, local laundry service providers are in a position to treat you like a partner. As a member of the same community, their fingers are on the pulse of the needs and expectations of regional laundry facilities. In case you’re still on the fence, let’s take a look at the advantages of partnering with a local laundry service provider.

A personalized approach
While nationwide or even international providers often default to offering a one-size-fits-all approach, local providers have the flexibility and desire to tailor their services to each of their clients. Instead of having to adjust your operations, local service providers customize their services to meet your distinct needs. They know that not every client will be the same, and their personalized approach reflects that understanding. You can rely on local providers to be attentive to your needs and to try their best to tailor services to meet them. This makes the back and forth between provider and business much smoother, friendlier, and efficient.

Diversified payment plans
The one-size-fits-all approach that we just mentioned can have a major impact on every level of your business, including the financial aspects. With a more concentrated focus, local providers have greater flexibility when finalizing deals. This agility translates into diversified payment plans for local business owners. It’s understood that every business will have different needs, preferences, and capabilities. That’s why local providers offer a range of financing options to let partners find what works best for them. Unlike the indifference many owners face with larger companies, local service providers have a mutual desire to help facilitate a successful partnership.

Quick upgrades and new tech
Running a successful laundry facility isn’t just about keeping washers and dryers functional, emptying change machines, and cleaning every once in a while. New technological capabilities are changing the industry and many vended laundries – both new and old – are looking to get these upgrades. The flexibility and proximity of local laundry service providers make it easier to implement these customer-centric technologies on location so you never have to feel behind the competition.

Fast and responsive servicing
Even the highest-quality machines malfunction from time to time and owners understand how important it is to get these machines up and running again quickly. Every minute that passes without these washers and dryers being in use is essentially money being thrown down the drain. Local laundry providers are capable of providing same-day or next-day servicing to help keep your business operating at full capacity. Our local dispatchers are responsive, competent, and quick – the perfect recipe for a laundry partner.

Accountability and reliability
A common frustration that owners face when working with national service providers is a lack of accountability. These larger companies are essentially faceless, making it difficult to get clear answers. Finding someone who will take responsibility and make the necessary changes when something goes wrong can feel like an impossible task. When you work with a local laundry service provider, you get the exact opposite. They’re in a better position to operate personally, on a face-to-face basis with customers – making it easier to establish trust and a shared vision. This connectivity creates a more reliable and durable partnership.

Unparalleled commitment
Unlike companies that spread themselves too thin, local operations remain dedicated and focused on their target areas – leading to better customer service overall. When you work with a business that takes such a centralized approach, you’re receiving unparalleled commitment. There’s a focus on creating a strong, personal, and lasting business relationship in which both sides of the partnerships can grow and flourish. In this way, local providers are wholly connected and motivated to help you succeed.

If you’re looking for a local provider who can offer personalized plans, responsive support, quick servicing, and all of the other benefits we just mentioned, you’re encouraged to check out the Cleaning and Laundry Equipment site. Here, you can get in contact with an experienced service provider with years of experience operating in the Pacific Northwest.

Despite being labeled as an “essential service”, many public laundry facilities suffered a drop in demand during the height of nationwide lockdown measures. As the economy slowly reawakens, businesses are transitioning from survival mode to growth mode. Customer health concerns and the current economic slump are major hurdles that owners are facing as their laundry facilities kick back up into full swing. In order to help make this transition as smooth as possible, here are some strategies for attracting more people to your laundromat.

Put your health measures on display
Customers want to know that you’re taking extra precautions to ensure their safety. This includes implementing social distancing measures, sanitizing commonly-touched surfaces, cleaning regularly, and encouraging behavior among patrons that limits the spread of harmful germs. Putting notices of these health measures on display for everyone to see in your laundromat accomplishes two things. First and foremost, people will be more likely to adhere to these guidelines, which increases their effectiveness. Secondly, customers will feel safer knowing that you’re taking necessary safety precautions – making it more likely that they’ll use your laundromat.

Rethink your content  marketing strategies
Marketing, in all of its forms, is about maintain relevancy and staying connected with customers. While laundromats offer a straight-forward service, it’s still important to have your content marketing reflect the ever-changing concerns, curiosities, questions, and interests of your clients. Given the major impact of the recent outbreak and the following economic situation, people are hungry for topical and related content. Agile businesses can connect with more people and build lasting relationships by creating content that meets this new demand. For example, you could discuss cleaning strategies for fighting off viruses or tips for maintaining social distance in a laundromat. Engaging with customers with relevant content through your marketing strategy will help place your laundromat as a go-to source for pertinent information.

Create a sense of trust
It’s critical that business owners bear in mind that customers aren’t only looking at brands and businesses for the services they provide. Among other important insights, this crisis has highlighted the myriad expectations that customers have from businesses within their community. One survey found that 89% of people want to know that brands are helping, and 85% wish to see platforms being used to educate with the goal of keeping people safe. It’s clear that customers are hungry for businesses to take the lead. Laundry facilities that establish this sense of trust through open communication and helpful suggestions will inevitably attract more customers.

Establish your business as a leader
The silver lining that comes with every economic downturn is an opportunity for businesses to rise to the occasion. As economic pressures indiscriminately hit laundromats of any size, location, and age, all owners have a chance to come out of these challenging times even stronger than before. In the midst of this uncertainty, customers are looking for guidance from businesses, and other businesses are looking for successful strategies to emulate. This is a great opportunity to establish your business as a leader as things return to normal by setting high standards, exceeding customer expectations, and lighting the way for others in the industry.

Cater your services to meet the needs of clients
The post-lockdown economy will undoubtedly carry some level of hesitation as customers slowly but surely resume their normal spending habits. Businesses in every industry are finding ways to adapt to these changes by catering their services to meet the needs of clients. Many laundry facilities are realizing this strategy by increasing their capacity to fulfill wash and fold services. By eliminating the need for customers to even step inside your business, you’re catering to anyone who might still be wary about being out in public. Adjusting your services to line up with the wants of customers is a great way to attract more people to your laundromat.

All laundromat owners are encouraged to head over to the Cleaning and Laundry Equipment site to learn more about how a local service provider can help you successfully navigate your business through these difficult times. You’ll find insider tips and strategies along with dedicated support.

If you’ve seriously considered investing in a laundromat but haven’t yet pulled the trigger, you may have some of the industry’s most prevalent myths to blame. These misconceptions have led many entrepreneurs to seek opportunities elsewhere despite the apparent success enjoyed by many laundromat owners. Fortunately, a majority of this misleading information is born out of inexperience and pure speculation. Those who have had boots on the ground would sing a different tune. To help dispel the prevailing rumors, let’s take a look at some common misconceptions of owning a laundromat.

It’s a one-time investment.

One of the more egregious falsehoods associated with owning a laundromat is the myth of the one-time investment. Whether this lie scared you into thinking laundromats were a get-rich-quick scheme or it convinced you to start investing right away, it’s important to set the record straight: laundromats require consistent investments. While your largest check will be written initially, you’ll still need to invest in routine things like rent, labor costs, parts, replacements, and utilities. Owners who refuse to put ongoing investments into their laundromat will encourage patrons to go to the next store.

I have to offer the cheapest services to remain competitive.

No laundromat can turn a profit by continuously lowering vending prices. Sure, this strategy may attract more customers in the short-run, but the surge isn’t going to last. And without the income to run routine maintenance and continuously improve your services, it won’t be long before any remaining customers turn to competing laundromats. Instead of scraping to offer the cheapest prices, owners need to have the perceived value and ability to support their vends. When clients see your services in prime condition and always in working order, the lowest price doesn’t play as large of a role.

Owning a laundromat is a passive effort.

When envisioning a laundromat, many wannabe owners entertain a dream of simply opening up their front doors and counting as the cash comes rolling in. In reality, laundromats require constant attention just like any other form of business. There are floors to clean, machines to repair, customers to deal with, and much more. Hiring a team to handle this regular upkeep is as close to a passive endeavor as owning a laundromat can become. As an owner, you’ll still be in charge of marketing the business through promotions, advertisements, and securing spots on laundry locators for greater exposure.

The brand of equipment I buy isn’t important.

Some people assume that all washers and dryers are the same. While it’s true that all functioning equipment will clean clothes, that isn’t the sole thing a laundromat owner should be worrying about. Other factors such as durability, energy efficiency, and reliability also play a major role in the overall success of your business. In order to optimize these variables, you have to rely on a brand of equipment that does more than just wash clothes. It’s an upfront investment that will end up saving you much more in the long run by avoiding repair and replacement costs, securing low utility fees, and increasing customer retention.

Equipment distributors are only motivated by profit.

It’s no secret that equipment distributors like to make money. After all, who doesn’t? The real misconception lies in what drives our profits. Many people wrongly assume that distributors only earn from selling their equipment to laundromat owners without any care for what follows. In reality, the success of your business helps to build our own. A happy customer means future contracts and the potential for other laundromat owners to take notice. Any distributor worth its salt will see you as a long-time partner, even during the non-buying phase.

If you’re an aspiring entrepreneur considering a role as a laundromat owner, head over to the Cleaning and Laundry Equipment site to familiarize yourself with an industry-leading provider. In addition to state-of-the-art equipment, you’ll also have access to insider tips and tricks to help get your laundromat up and running successfully.

In today’s unstable economy, many retirees struggle to find the same financial security that this demographic was able to hold a few generations in the past. With the social security system being stretched thin and companies backpedaling on their pension promises, many people in their mid-50s are looking for ways to supplement their retirement funds. Establishing a source of passive income before retirement is a great have some money coming in for extra cushion. While many may consider laundromats outdated, these facilities are actually perfect for developing passive income for retirement. Here are some reasons why you should consider starting a laundromat of your own.

It’s an industry with constant need.
Too many people automatically discount laundromats as being outdated or oversaturated. In reality, there has been consistent opportunity in this market because it services a constant need. There are always going to be people who need their clothes cleaned that don’t have access to a private washing machine or dryer. These customers will be students or young couples and families living in shared accommodation or small apartments. As long as your laundromat is located in these areas, you shouldn’t ever run out of prospective clients.

The numbers are more than promising.

Envisioning a retirement with limited working hours without sacrificing an income is easy; it’s harder to find something that actually delivers with hard numbers. Investors who have chosen to give laundromats a shot have seen an average of 20% to 35% cash on cash return on their investment. This is return is significantly higher than other investments. When you pair that with an unparalleled success rate of nearly 95%, you wonder why everyone isn’t chomping at the chance to start a laundromat. You can also benefit from a number of tax breaks with this investment.

There are numerous resources to help you get started.

Owning a laundromat doesn’t require you to reinvent the wheel. There’s already an established and proven method for earning a passive income in this field. All you have to do is learn from the myriad sources available, put up the initial investment, and make sure everything runs smoothly from there on out. Professionals in their mid-50s may be wary about putting their hard-earned cash towards risky investments that may not pay off. Laundromats offer a safe and tested method for generating some passive income for those looking for a financially secure retirement.

Laundromats require low maintenance.
Low maintenance costs are another great reason for people in their mid-50s to consider investing in a laundromat. The initial startup investment in space and equipment will be the most tedious part of the entire experience. Once everything is up and running, routine maintenance is generally low-cost and doesn’t require much energy or investment on the part of the owner. With the right investment, you could have a laundromat up and running within a few years and have it practically running on autopilot by the time you reach retirement.

All aspects can be outsourced.

The whole point of having a source of passive income is so that you can maximize profits while minimizing your workload. The best areas to develop this kind of business model are ones that have an easy method of outsourcing. In other words, you’ll only be able to reduce your hours to the extent that you can allot the work to others. Laundromats are perfect models for setting up a model of passive income because most of the work is already automated with washing machines and dryers. All other responsibilities such as cleaning and maintenance can easily be outsourced, leaving you with nothing to do but supervise.

If you’re in your mid-50s and aren’t feeling comfortable about your financial prospects for retirement, you might want to consider investing in a laundromat for developing a passive income. Head over to the Cleaning and Laundry Equipment website to get started on your journey.

Here at Cleaning & Laundry we are here to help clients like you to find what specific activities or parts in their laundry operations can be optimized. And, we generally find that one small factor can make a big effect on the system as a whole! We are close by and can help you spot things that you’re too close to see, and help you to think differently about everything! So give us a call if you’d like some personal advice at your location. In the meantime, here are some things to look at on your own, to help you ensure that everything in your operations is working together as an efficient system:

Match your drier with your washer.
You may have heard the phrase that ‘drying starts in the washer.’ This is because the amount of water left in the load after washing will determine what is the best kind of dryer to use. This is why matching your washer and dryers so that they work well together is so key! So if your washer has high water extraction, the less energy is needed in the dry cycle. Cleaning & Laundry can help you to determine what are the right equipment goes best together for your business, depending upon the types of loads that you or your customers are cleaning.

Use the right settings.
Similar to matching your washer and dryer, it also helps to make sure you have the right settings in your equipment. For example, with high water extraction washers, you can make sure the dryer has a default setting at a lower dry time. If your loads need more sanitation, then you’ll want to make sure that the wash settings default at a higher temperature. You can also look at reducing your water level settings, which could lead to cost savings and be kinder to the environment.

Take advantage of control systems.
With the new control systems available, you have many more options to track your equipment’s performance. Some give you the ability to program, monitor, and diagnose your equipment from with an internet connection online, no matter where you are! They can also give you warnings and error codes, which caution you on potential problems that may arise. This includes water leak or slow drain detection, which may tell you the machine needs some maintenance or repair – and can also help you with your utility expenses!

Look at whether outsourcing makes sense.
Some businesses have started outsourcing some or all of their laundry services. You could save costs on utilities, gain valuable real estate space, and also save staff resources from doing the work. But of course, there is a cost and mark-up on all that when you outsource, and why you should consider all the factors. You may, for example, want to outsource laundry delivery services only and keep the rest in-house. It just depends upon what your business priorities and profit-centers are.

View laundry operations as an integrated system.
Everything in your laundry operations can work together to get you better results, not just the washer and dryer. Look at things like capacity of loads needed, the speed of the completion desired, the energy efficiency you want. And then look at how your staff, laundry room layout, and equipment are in tandem together, helping you achieve those goals, and how you might change or use them better to do so. All of these things can work together to optimize your efficiency, productivity, costs, and your bottom line.

If you need help improving your laundry operations, call us! We’ve been serving the commercial laundry industry for over 40 years. As always, our representatives at Cleaning & Laundry are close by and able to meet to discuss control systems, equipment, and customer concerns. Give us a call today!

Mobile payment growth is expected to explode in the next few years, growing over 1000% over 2016 by the year 2020! And Speed Queen, our laundry equipment provider, has responded with Insights, their control system that’s fully integrated with their machines and accessible from anywhere. Besides taking mobile payments, Insights can track customer data, equipment diagnostics, and help you maximize profits. Here are some of the things that Insights gives you the ability to do:

Operate from a Centralized System: You can manage your laundry business and see what’s happening from wherever you are, all in one place through web access from your laptop or tablet. The Insights control application gives you the mobility to control your business from anywhere – you can even stop a machine mid-cycle if necessary!

Get Important Analytics: The Insights application connects you to what’s happening in all the machines – so you can see how often each customer visits, and how they pay and which machines they’re using! This allows you to take that data and provide a better experience for your customers – which will also help you increase revenue.

Give Customers a Better Experience: Not only can customers pay with their phone, they can easily check the status of their laundry load, and see the time remaining in their cycle – right from their smartphone! This allows them to run errands or get other tasks done while their laundry is turning, without worrying if they’ll be back in time – which means your laundromat is running much more efficiently.

Access Financials:  It’s easy to see and track your customer payments and processing fees, which affect your revenue and profits – on a daily basis! You can also issue customers refunds easily through their online wallet if something goes wrong with a machine.

See Maintenance Issues:  You’ll be able to spot when a machine might need servicing, with diagnostics that give you clues that you need repairs or even replacement.

Offer a Rewards Program: It’s so much easier with Insights to reward loyal customers and encourage repeat visits to your laundromat.

Make it Easy for Yourself: Insights is so easy to install, with little downtime, and it’s also designed to change as new updates and technologies become available, which can be applied easily to the application.

If you’re wanting to maximize your profits while improving the customer experience, contact Cleaning & Laundry to discuss the Insights control systems for your Speed Queen equipment. We’d love to answer your questions so you can see if it makes sense for your laundromat business goals!

We know our vended laundromats, multi-housing facilities and other on-premises laundry clients need commercial grade laundry equipment that is built to last. That’s why we are proud to distribute Speed Queen’s full line of equipment.

Backed by over a century of experience, Speed Queen continues to develop and produce some of the most efficient, reliable, and productive laundry equipment in the world. They are not an appliance company. Their commitment to commercial grade laundry products sets them apart.

Below are an overview of the primary machines sold and serviced by Cleaning & Laundry to the Multi-Housing industry:

Front Load Washers
If you are looking for the efficiency that front load washers offer but want them to work in concert with your existing rear controlled laundry equipment, choose Speed Queen’s rear controlled front load washers with the convenience of rear control. We also have front controlled models with the same specs.

  • 440 G-Force ultra high efficient extraction with 1,200 RPM final spin, removing more water from loads during the final spin–shortening dry times and lowering energy bills.
  • 18 lb capacity stainless steel inner and outer drain tub combine with a rugged suspension system for long-lasting performance.
  • Innovative balancing and baffle technology automatically redistributes uneven loads for consistent cycle times with minimized vibration and noise.

Top Load Washers
Speed Queen top load washers offer customer conveniences, quality components and a variety of different control / activation combinations allowing you to tailor your laundry room to fit your needs.

  • 710 RPM high speed spin/extract, from a ½ horsepower two-speed motor for better, cleaner laundry.
  • A galvanized steel frame with 14 and 16 lb capacity stainless steel wash tub combine with an all-metal transmission and industry-leading 210° agitation stroke.
  • Energy Efficient water and energy standards for commercial washers, Compliant with U.S. Department of Energy which can significantly reduce your water and energy costs.

Single Dryers
Speed Queen rear control commercial dryers offer customer conveniences, quality components and a variety of different control / activation combinations allowing you to tailor your laundry room to fit your needs.

  • Superior airflow system (220 cfm) and high efficiency heating with 22,500 or 25,000 BTU (gas models) and 5350 or 4750 Watts (electric models) make drying laundry fast and more efficient.
  • Wide reversible door opening at 2.06 sq. ft. makes it one of the largest door openings in the industry for easy loading and unloading.
  • Industry exclusive silver lining and galvanized steel cylinder provide maximum durability and 7 cu. ft. of volume.

Stacked Dryers
Speed Queen stacked dryers are space savers. Two commercial dryers in the space of one, both operating independently giving twice the capacity at half the space.

  • Extra deep 18 lb capacity cylinder in each dryer accommodates larger loads.
  • High volume exhaust blower with 22,500 BTU (gas models) and 5320 or 5350 Watts (electric models) make drying laundry fast and more efficient.
  • Wide door opening at 2.06 sq. ft. makes it one of the largest door openings in the industry for easy loading and unloading.

High quality equipment is good for business, and paired with a high quality distributor like us, it’s even better. For Part 2 of this series, we’ll review the equipment we have available for our Laundromat customers. We’re committed to your success, just contact us directly for prices and availability. We can also answer any questions about upgrades or financing you might need, give Cleaning & Laundry a call today!

Cleaning & Laundry Equipment clients are often asking us for tips on how to build a more efficient laundry business. We love to help clients like you with this, because we want to help your business to thrive. Here are some ideas to increasing your profitability:

Take advantage of our expertise
The Cleaning & Laundry Equipment staff is trained to help and advise you on how to improve the operation of your laundry facility. We’ve been in the laundry business for over 40 years, so we know how to help you choose the most efficient number and types of machines, while also maximizing your customer satisfaction.

Find ways to build a loyal customer base
Get creative and find ways to reward the customers that keep coming back. Adding a card system with a customer loyalty program, is a great option. This gives the customer some additional satisfaction because they received a small discount. However, you as the laundry business benefit greatly because you paved the path for them to become a regular loyal customer!

Replace old machines
If you have outdated machines, they’re probably not as energy efficient or reliable as newer machines. You’ll save on energy and water costs. And with less downtime (which means reduced loss in revenue).

Switch to Clean & Laundry
If you’re in the Pacific Northwest, and you’re not using Cleaning & Laundry Equipment, you’re not maximizing your profit! That’s because we’re local – which means we are more accessible and available to respond to your questions and concerns. Plus you get faster service, which means reduced loss in revenue (and headaches).

Here at Cleaning & Laundry Equipment, we can point you in the direction of financing, offer our extensive laundry business insight, or show you how to build a room that optimizes the equipment use for maximum efficiency.  Give us a call for more info today!