It’s your realtor’s favorite mantra and you’ve heard it time and time again–location, location, location. What does that mean in the context of choosing the best spot laundromat business? What makes a location ideal for the best chance for success?
Let’s Discuss Demographics
You may have to do a bit of research in and around your target area but, generally speaking, the best location for your laundromat is in a high-density, low-to-medium income area with a solid concentration of multi-family apartment buildings.
Laundromats may also do well in middle-to-high income areas with predominantly single-family homes, but these homes usually have washing facilities of their own. So, unless their washer or dryer is in need of repair, or they need to wash bulkier items that don’t fit in their home machines, such as comforters or rugs, they will likely not be a customer. To stay in the black–and help make lots of green–you should focus any marketing efforts on frequent and repeat customers. Attract people, provide them with great customer service and give them reasons to tell their friends about your laundromat–that’s how you’ll grow a successful business.
Stand-Alone or in a Strip Mall?
Either could work, but what’s most important is that there is a steady flow of customer traffic. While it may seem logical to locate your laundromat in a residential area, a recent industry study reported that prime sites are typically found in and around large shopping centers, neighborhood business districts with free-standing stores. Strip malls with large parking lots are also popular locations for a laundromat.
Consider a site near food markets, car washes or fast food restaurants. A customer might welcome the opportunity to take care of other errands, or have a bite to eat, while their washer and dryer cycles are in progress.
Any Other Site Features to Consider?
Since your customers will be arriving with a car full of dirty laundry to unload, it is important you offer ample parking for them. Convenience is everything. If there is only street parking available, and your customer has to park several blocks away, they are going to keep driving–to the next laundromat.
The parking lot should be well lit and well maintained. Many people do their wash in the evening, after work, so it’s important that the parking area is safe and secure.
PEP – What’s That?
Before committing to a location, it’s a good idea to conduct a detailed visual review of the entire surrounding area. Visit the site on multiple occasions, at different times of the day. This is the best way to gauge the flow car and pedestrian traffic.
You may also consider purchasing a low-cost professional analysis of the area where you want to open your laundromat –based on demographic reports. For $15 to $150 on average, a demographic report will reveal important data on the three key factors: Population, Exposure and Parking, or PEP.
Generally speaking, there is a need for a laundromat when the population density exceeds 20,000 people in a one-mile radius. If the population exceeds 35,000 in a one-mile radius, that’s considered an excellent area for a laundromat.
Don’t Forget that Customers Love “Extras”
While choosing your location may be one of the first steps in launching your business, it’s never too early to think about the various amenities you want to offer your customers.
Consider your clientele and plan accordingly when it comes to what types and pricing of snacks, beverages, detergent brands and wash/ food services you offer.
Also, while you may offer customers the option to pay with coins, you could consider the convenience of a cashless system. If you choose to go fully coinless with the cashless ShinePay payment system installed on all of your washers and dryers, you can advertise the fact that there is “No cash on the premises!” This is a major deterrent to would-be thieves and also provides a sense of safety to your customers.
ShinePay is an app that works with any smartphone; it’s convenient for you and for your customers and it saves on labor.
Now that you know what you’re looking for in a location for your laundromat business, it’s time to start visiting neighborhoods and communities that fit the guidelines outlined here.
Keep PEP in mind during your search, and you’re sure to find the perfect spot for your business venture.