You’ve picked a terrific industry to feed your entrepreneurial spirit (and your side hustle or new career.) Now it’s time to move past the excitement of your grand opening celebration and settle into a routine of good business practices. Keeping complete and accurate business records from the beginning will keep your laundromat humming along smoothly into the future.
The Top Three:
The Weekly Income Report is where you’ll record your seven-day revenue from everything that produces income in your laundromat. Keeping tabs on your business on a weekly basis will give you a broad and complete picture of how your bottom line adds up.
Of course, you’ll include all revenue from your washers and dryers, but are you also offering wash-and-fold services? Do you sell detergent? Snacks? Be sure to include all revenue. You can use this information three ways:
1. Assign percentage values to each of your income producers
2. Determine your income in terms of the number of washers or number of loads washed per day/per washer
3. Calculate the cost of utilities as a percentage of gross dollar volume
Also referred to as a cash disbursement journal, your Expense Ledger is where you’ll record every dollar spent. Just as you are including all so irreversible of revenue, make sure to add up all your expenses: rent, utilities, vendor supplies, payroll and any other store expenses (including detergent, snacks and even necessities such as toilet paper and paper towels.)
Finally, the General Ledger details all of your business transactions for the month, and summarizes the information from all the other ledgers. The income statement, balance sheet and cash flow statement are all derived from the general ledger.
If this seems like a lot of record keeping, you’re right! No one said it was going to be easy. However, being organized and keeping good books can help you succeed in the long run.
One easy way to track income is by installing the ShinePay payment system on your machines. No more emptying coin boxes, rolling change and daily trips to the bank to deposit those heavy bags of coin. With ShinePay, the income from your washers and dryers is recorded electronically, with a statement available on demand on your dashboard in the ShinePay app on your phone.
What Are the Benefits of Keeping Records?
Not only will your accountant thank you at tax time, but keeping good records can help your business in a variety of ways:
- You can compare fixed operating costs to income. Track where you can or should spend more money and where do you need to cut expenditures?
- You can determine which equipment generates the most income. Who knows, perhaps changing out single load washers for triples would be a worthy expense.
- You can detect income fluctuations. For example, the numbers may reveal that there is a lot of downtime mid-week. If so, offer a promotion like “Wash-It Wednesday” and use ShinePay to provide a discount for one day a week!
- Evaluate the success of new services. Perhaps your customers would take advantage of a wash-and-fold service. However, does the cost of labor offset any gain?
- Take time to analyze income and expenses for the current quarter vs. previous quarters. If there’s a major difference, why?
- You can track net profit and loss of the business.
Do I Really Need to Maintain Business Records?
Industry leaders agree that, while there’s no single factor that can make or break a laundromat business, keeping poor records can be a huge contributor to failure. Managing a laundromat means more than just making sure your facility is clean and the machines are functioning well.
A good owner is mindful of their business’s cash position and credit standing. Your accountant can help you create a record-keeping system that is tailored to your needs and positions you for great success.
While laundromats are nothing new, adding customer conveniences, including the ShinePay payment system to your equipment, will earn you loyal clientele. ShinePay will simplify your bookkeeping, leaving you extra time to start looking for your second location.
It goes without saying that the best time to start keeping accurate, detailed and thorough records for your laundromat is from the moment you decide to open your business.
Making smart decisions from the beginning, like picking a perfect location, choosing the most modern machines and installing the cashless ShinePay payment system on each washer and dryer, will all contribute to your success.