You might find trash lying around because people didn’t bother to clean up after themselves. That means each consumer must have access to coins to get the chore done. It's not something you jump into unprepared. Unlike other business options, a laundromat doesn’t carry much physical inventory. You must hang signs inside the laundromat which instruct customers not to leave their items unattended and that you are not responsible for loss if that happens. If you don’t have a change machine in your laundromat, then you’re going to lose customers. The only time there are customer service issues is if the equipment breaks down or damages the clothing of the customer in some way. One common issue that is seen within the industry involves customers who leave their clothing unattended for several hours, if not several days. There’s no degree that you need to own this type of business. We've heard or experienced many ups and downs along the way, and we want to pass the lessons we've learned on to new entrepreneurs. Every business opportunity involves some level of risk. Congratulations! Martin-Ray has been a leading laundry equipment distributor in the Rocky Mountain region since the 1980's, so we've helped our fair share of laundromat investors get started. You could hire people to cover shifts during this time, but it is an effort that comes with an added cost. For a standard laundromat, you will need a business license or permit and nothing more. That makes them an interesting business opportunity, since it is possible to run this type of business more as a side hustle. If you’re thinking about this business option as a future opportunity, then here are the pros and cons of owning a laundromat that you’ll want to think about. If you think investing in a laundromat might be right for you, let the Martin Ray Laundry Systems consultants help. There’s no need to reinvent the wheel. If you like things neat and orderly, you’ll be at the business all the time. The skills required to do laundry are basic, especially if you’re not including dry-cleaning services with your organization. When customers are using a self-serve laundromat, they are responsible for how their laundry is processed. The laundromat industry in the United States is vast, reaching five billion per year in 2018; and it is stable, remaining at approximately the same level for the past five years. Although the chances of legal litigation are reduced when you own a laundromat, they don’t entirely disappear. Without full availability, customers have less loyalty. Expenses are usually between 65% to 115% of the gross income you receive. Unlike other businesses which must adapt to varying neighborhood conditions, a laundromat is a straight-forward opportunity. That means you’re not spending a lot of time ordering, rotating, or discarding items to keep your shelves fresh. You must have the foresight to understand what your community requires in a laundromat, then provide those services with your business. You can even charge more for your services if they want you to wash, dry, and fold their clothes to expand your revenue opportunities. You can open a laundromat in the perfect part of town, have access to plenty of customers, and never earn a profit. For a basic business, however, the barriers to entry are minimal. Home » Pros and Cons » 21 Pros and Cons of Owning a Laundromat. Some self-serve laundromats can even operate with zero staffing. That makes it possible for you to sell off your business when you’re ready to retire or pursue a new opportunity without much of a loss. The Coin Laundry Association estimates the annual gross income for a single location can range from $30,000 to $1 million. If even one of those categories is viewed as being subpar by your community, profits for your business could slide by one-third. If not, you might want to move on. The pros and cons of owning a laundromat offer a schedule that is reasonably flexible as you become an established business owner in your community. Once the coins are processed, the transaction is complete. Communities might want to inspect your coin operations to ensure you’re not ripping off the customers. Customers also prefer laundromats which use energy-efficient equipment and offer excellent troubleshooting support. Even some homeowners use laundromats because they own large bedding items that their home equipment is unable to process. You must make your business available to your community all day, every day throughout the year. There are some markets where you may be required to hire repair professionals as well, cutting into your bottom line. You’ll find that people tend to loiter on your property, especially if it is open all night, because it gets them out of the cold. When those items go missing, they may attempt to hold you responsible for them. However, any business investment should be weighed carefully. Staffed laundromats are another option available in some communities. Most laundromat businesses offer customers access to coin-based equipment which allows them to run a single load of laundry. Once you understand the quirks of this opportunity, you’ll have more freedom to take care of pressing needs. All Rights Reserved. Although there are some transportation costs to pay if you don’t want to manage the deposits yourself, it is a small hassle to manage compared to some businesses that may need to wait up to 3 weeks for some payments to clear. Some even complain about the heat or water levels as a way to get a refund from you, essentially getting to do their laundry for free. If you like working with your hands, and don’t mind the occasional customer contact, then you can have a successful experience with a laundromat. Once you get a laundromat up and running, you’ll begin to learn the rhythm of how your community uses your facilities. Most businesses in this industry must upgrade all their equipment in 15 years or less to stay relevant. If you want to serve food or liquor at your laundromat, you might not see this advantage in the same light. For a laundromat to remain relevant, it must continue upgrading its equipment to meet the evolving needs of its customers. How Technology Keeps Laundromat Customers Loyal, Designing a Functional Laundry Equipment Layout, Maintenance Tips for Commercial Laundry Equipment, Key Statistics Laundromat Investors Should Know, Why Investing in Laundromats Is Your Best Option, partnering with a trusted distributor (like Martin-Ray Laundry Systems), 10 Ideas for Your Laundromat Grand Opening. Once you get beyond those costs, this business opportunity is one that is very easy to manage. The laundromat business offers very few variables that you must worry about. COVID-19 — Where Do Laundromats Go From Here? That means you’re not stuck waiting for batch payments to clear or a third-party to ensure the validity of a check or charge. That makes it easier to duplicate your efforts into a second location, then a third, and so forth. A laundromat is a public business that allows consumers to wash and dry their clothing, sheets, and similar items at their convenience using coon-operating equipment. Even the repair work is usually not that technical. Just make sure there is demand for the service, find a high-traffic location, then set up shop. These facilities employ one to three staff to help with basic services, such as providing change, selling detergent, or responding to equipment failures. If you can brush these issues aside, then it can be an excellent opportunity. However, when considering opening a laundromat, there are some pros and some cons to consider: Pros of Owning a Laundromat: 1. It's a really great industry; one that all of us here at Martin-Ray Laundry Systems, and our customers, are passionate about. However, any business investment should be weighed carefully. Beyond your utility and detergent costs, your budget is fixed. The typical laundromat offers access to washers and dryers without much personalized professional help. Although most homeowners own laundry equipment, renters do not always have that luxury. Once you get your business up and running, you’ll find people complaining about things like not being able to see enough soap in the washing machine – even though they’re the ones who loaded the machine in the first place. People must pay in advance to use your services. If you’re wanting a business opportunity that is glamorous, breaking into the laundromat world is not it. The Coin Laundry Association reports that the laundromat owners who see the highest profits in the industry are those who run their facility well. Depending on the location you choose for the business, there are even safety issues to consider.
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