According to Sheikh Babu Nooruddin, Founder/CEO of Straits Laundry, the Laundromat is becoming a life style being extremely comfortable for customers and offering added and assisted service , like wash-and-fold services, shoe Cleaning, pet clothes cleaning, vended machines selling snacks, drinks ,vended massage chairs. No matter what time of year it is, and even if the economy experiences a downturn, people will always need laundromats.
Below are some of the steps to start a laundromat:
Most entrepreneurs who enter the laundry industry don’t have any experience when they’re first starting out. So to start, we recommend that you talk with laundry owners, join related associations, and read industry literature to better understand the business.
You’ll also need to research the costs involved to ensure you’re financially ready. Initial costs may include construction or remodeling, washer hook-up fees, licenses and permits, and equipment. Ongoing expenses include lease/rental costs, utilities, insurance, employee payroll, and miscellaneous supplies.
The research and planning period is one of the most involved steps to start a laundromat, but it’s crucial that you take your time to ensure that you enter this new venture with a clear understanding of all the details involved.
At this stage in the process, we encourage you to hire an accountant to assist with all the legal and financial aspects of running a business. To create a legally compliant and competent company
At this stage, we also recommend that you create a business plan that defines your goals and includes a market analysis, financial projections, and marketing ideas.
You need to obtain the space for your laundromat. Depending on your requirement, the place can be your own unit or leased.
Once the place has been finalized you need to get some licenses and permits you’ll need to legally operate your business. Check with your municipality to learn what’s required, and note that you may need to file/pay all of the following:
- Business license
- Fire department permit
- Air and water pollution control permit
- Sign permit
- Sufficient Electrical and water connection
- Sufficient Gas connection
Be sure to tackle these issues early in the process so that you aren’t facing legal trouble further down the road.
- Location analysis and site selection
Straits Laundry dedicated laundry experts who will guide you through location and equipment selection and beyond.
- Facility design
Straits Laundry will work with you and your contractor to design your laundromat for an optimal experience for your customers and maximum profitability for you.
- Equipment selection
Straits Laundry will assist you to choose the best equipment for your Laundromat set up from Speed Queen
- Reliable equipment. Advanced controls.
Speed Queen world-class equipment is built to last longer and outperform the competition. Working together with our cloud-based technologies, and intuitive apps, Speed Queen elevates the laundry experience, while making it easier and more profitable to run your business.
You will need to buy all the Speed Queen washers and dryers for your business as well as a water heating system. If you wish to add a payment system, this will be an additional expense. Other items you may need detergent dispensing system, laundry carts, cleaning equipment, signs, chairs, trash cans, and security cameras.
At this stage, if you’re not running your laundromat solo, you will need to hire employees for your laundromat.
Before you make the leap into the laundromat investment process, it’s important to first determine your personal needs, budget and investment goals. Here are a few frequently asked questions to help you get started:
How much do I need to invest?
Your investment depends on many factors, including laundromat size and the amount financed.
How much space do I need?
Laundromats range in size anywhere between 400 and 2500 sq. ft
How many machines will I need?
The number of machines you need largely depends on the size of your store. Your Speed Queen Representative will help you determine the right number of machines and equipment mix.
What should my laundromat’s hours of operation be?
Your business hours are up to you. Typical laundromat hours are from 7am to 11pm, with majority choosing a 24-hour model depend on the countries you operate (10). And since most laundromats don’t require a large staff, longer hours aren’t an issue.
When searching for your laundromat location, here are some top things to consider to help your business be more successful:
Choose the right neighbourhood:
- 35% of the residents rent vs. own
- Average household size is 2.3 and above
- Average household income level middle and up.
Choose the right storefront:
High-traffic laundromats typically have storefronts with:
- High visibility
- Plenty of dedicated parking
- Located near grocery stores, convenience stores and auto parts stores
As the population of the countries grows, the number of renters — your main market — is likely to grow, too. Other social phenomena, like the prevalence of two-income families, suggest that convenient services such as wash-and-fold will continue to grow in popularity as working parents have less time to attend to household chores like laundry.
According to a survey more than half of coin laundries offer wash-and-fold. “It’s by far the number-one extra service for laundries, even people with washers and dryers at home are using self-service laundries for the sake of convenience. With the regular capacity machines used in homes, it can take quite a lot of time to do load after load — and that’s where laundromats come in. “They just run over to the coin laundry, use a couple of the large machines and knock it off,” he said. In other words, although the majority of laundromat customers are low- to middle-income renters, some laundries are tapping into higher-income markets by offering convenience: wash-and-fold service and large machines.
In addition, office dress codes are growing increasingly less formal. And as more people wear casual clothing (which doesn’t require dry cleaning) to work and leave the nicer duds for special occasions, you may find that consumers will be making more trips to the laundromat.
Finally, you also need to consider that getting into the laundry business requires a large initial investment
The steady income that a laundry generates is a plus for many people. If you’re looking for a business that will keep the cash flowing no matter what the rest of the economy is doing, you’ve found it in laundries. Clean clothes are a necessity, not a luxury, so people are going to use laundromats no matter how the stock market is performing. The business is also fairly steady month in, month out. So unless you draw on vacationers’ dollars in a place with seasonal tourism, you’ll find that you can count on a fairly steady income throughout the year.
None of the entrepreneurs interviewed for the Coin-Operated Laundry start-up guide had experience in the laundry business when they first started out. One had a resume that included fruit seller another was a driver, yet another was running a traditional cafe. Most just decided that starting a laundry was a good business opportunity. However, they all recommend that new entrepreneurs research the business by talking to laundry owners, joining associations and reading the trade literature.
So what’s it really like to own a laundry business? Whether you do all the work yourself or hire an attendant or a janitor, there are tasks you will need to take care of on a daily basis. You will need to open and close your store promptly each day, clean it, collect money, and fill vending and change machines. You will also need to keep track of which machines are being used and how often.
Those laundry owners who have employees will have other duties, too. They’ll be hiring and supervising those employees and overseeing additional services such as wash-and-fold.
Laundries are generally open 24 hours. Seven days per week. Because weekends are usually the busiest days for laundries, you should definitely keep your doors open on Saturdays and Sundays. In some instances, you may want to adopt alternate hours, especially if the market you serve or the location of your store lends itself to having open doors at other times of the day.
You may think that the laundry business is about clothes, but what it’s really about is people. It’s a service business, and like any service business, you need to treat your customers well if you want them to return to your store.
If you’re friendly, your customers will want to use your store. By taking the time to talk to them, you will also be able to learn about their laundry needs and their preferences for services. Ultimately, this kind of information will help you improve the quality of your business so that you can attract even more customers.
The first order of business for you or an employee you hire is to clean your store thoroughly, at least once a day. This will take about two to three hours. You or your employee will need to do the following:
- Mop the floors
- Wipe down the machines
- Clean the soap dispensers
- Wash off the folding tables
- Clean the bathroom
- Empty the trash
- Wash the windows
- Clean the vending machines,
- The best time to clean is after customers have gone-that way you or your employees can clean more efficiently. You’ll also avoid the risk of customers slipping on wet floors or tripping over cleaning equipment. If you have a large or busy store, however, you may find that it requires cleaning twice a day. You can wipe down the machines and folding tables easily while customers are in the store, but save the floor for after they’ve left or for a slow period of the day.
One chore you’re not likely to delegate to an employee is collecting money from the machines. If you have a card system or App based payment system, your job is much easier.
You should refill the change machine in your store on a daily basis, too. When it’s empty, your customers can’t do their laundry, and they’ll go elsewhere.
The last bit of daily business in your store is restocking the vending machines. If you own your own soda and snack machines, you will need to make sure they’re full every day. If you contract with a vending company, they’ll worry about filling them.
Consider giving your store a theme or a gimmick. A theme gives your store more personality; customers will remember it, and they’ll find your laundry a more interesting place to come to. A clever gimmick may also get you some free publicity from the local press. If you want to create a gimmick for your laundromat, think about who your customers are and what sort of theme they will appreciate.
For the Little Kids
Many laundry owners are realizing that they can increase business by providing a play area for children, You can have a play area for children. They have a TV with a VCR, children’s videos and toys
For the Big Kids
Even adults will get bored at a laundromat. After all, mostly what they are doing is waiting around for clothes to wash and dry. Many laundries these days have one or more TVs mounted to the wall. Some laundries keep the TVs tuned to one channel, some play videos.
Many laundry owners also have pinball and video games for their customers. One Laundromat operator Peter says a video game vendor approached him about having a videogame console in his store. He put a machine in at no cost to him, and they split the profits 50-50. “We’ve seen as much as $300 a month off the video game,” Peter says. They change the game every so often to keep customers from getting bored.
It’s likely that your customers will get hungry and thirsty while they’re waiting for their laundry to finish. Even if your store is near a shopping area, many customers wisely don’t want to leave their clothes. So vending machines with sodas, chips and candy fit the bill. You can buy a vending machine, fill it yourself and take all the profits. Or you can contract with a vendor who will provide the machine and snacks and split the profits with you. Ask your distributor about vending companies in your area.
They sell the snacks at a low cost because their store is next to a mini-mart. “If we had the same prices or higher, everyone would just go next door,” Peter says. Still, their snack business is brisk enough that it brings in $30 to $60 a day. “Our Coke distributor says we do more [business] than some of his restaurants.” Having the snack counter also improves customer relations, she says. “Our customers really appreciate the cheap prices.”