A comprehensive guide with everything you need to know to open and run a laundromat
What’s Best? Buying an Existing Laundromat or Building a New One?

What’s Best? Buying an Existing Laundromat or Building a New One?

These days, most people are thinking about ways to make some extra cash. Perhaps starting a new business that doesn’t require a lot of your time could be the perfect side hustle. Have you ever thought about opening a laundromat? 

You don’t necessarily have to start from scratch; you could also buy a laundry business that’s up and running. However, there are some serious considerations on both sides of the equation. Either way, a laundromat can be a gold mine — especially when it’s located in a great spot and you have the ability to set the prices!

Build or Buy – That is the Question When it Comes to Owning a Laundromat

Build It!

Think about it. If you are buying a car and have the option, you would choose new over used. We expect a new car to be trouble-free, for the first few years, with proper maintenance. The same holds true for new washers and dryers. And, unlike older machines in a used laundromat, your new machines will come with a manufacturer’s warranty against any damage or malfunction, to get you going. 

Additionally, purchasing the latest in energy-efficient equipment will save you big on utility bills, year after year. When you’re furnishing your laundromat, find other places to save money. However, when it comes to your washers and dryers, buy the best models, including super high speed washers, to maximize energy savings.

Building new means having the set-up you desire and new businesses often attract the attention of locals. People  will come check you out, even out of curiosity. When they see your machines and setup, they may become long-time customers.

Buy It!

There are many positives when it comes to buying an existing laundromat, as well. The machines are already in place and customers are used to the layout. There will already be employees on the payroll, no need to start interviewing and looking for good workers. And, no one says you have to do things the way the former owner always did them. Make the place yours! Make some upgrades! 

So, if you have an opportunity to purchase an existing business at the right price – and have a budget for repairs and upgrades – you could just buy the laundromat and put a “We’re Open!” sign on the door.

I’ve Decided to Build A New Laundromat – Where Do I Start?

If one exists in your area, employing the services of a laundromat consultant is money well spent. You always have the option of doing it on your own, but here’s a short list of what the expertise of laundromat consultant brings to the table:

  • Assist in finding an ideal location
  • Negotiate a lease with industry-specific terms
  • Find a distributor of laundry equipment to supply your store
  • Work with an architect to create complete plans to submit to the appropriate building departments for approval
  • Recommend the right mix of equipment and layout for your laundromat

While you may be able to handle all of this yourself, having a professional in your corner who knows the business, inside and out, is a big advantage.

When given the choice, customers will choose the brand new, updated and clean laundromat, over the one down the street with machines in disrepair and coin boxes that jam. Modern washers and dryers, the convenience of the cashless ShinePay payment system, and a functional layout will keep your customers coming back.

When You Set the Prices with ShinePay, the Profits Roll In

Regardless of whether your washing machine and dryers are brand new or have been through hundreds of cycles, you can increase your profits by adding a cashless payment system to every machine.

ShinePay is an easy-to-use cashless app customers and owners download onto their smartphones. The system is very easy for laundromat owners to install on machines and allows you, the business owner, to set the cost of each load. 

This is where the extra profits come in! As the owner, you can increase the prices from your ShinePay app at will! You can increase prices on your busiest days, for example, or reduce the price of a wash or dry when you want to hold a promotion or encourage customers to come in on your usually slower days. 

Most laundromat customers are used to coin operated machines. However, carrying around coins can be a hassle for customers and counting them at the end of each day is time-consuming for the laundromat employee or owner. 

Customers pay for laundry cycles with their ShinePay app and laundromat owners access their company dashboard on the app and transfer proceeds to their bank account.

Split the difference! Offer both options! ShinePay can be installed on a coin-operated machine, as well. The customers can simply deposit their money in the coin box slot, as they always have done.

However, you can give them the option of going coin-free. The convenience of paying for laundry loads with the ShinePay app will make customers happy (they don’t have to bring cash) and you don’t have to count the coins! Plus, you can raise the price of the coin-operated option to encourage use of the system that is easier for you — ShinePay!

Bottom Line: 

A laundromat can be a great investment and provide the owner with a nice income — whether it’s the main source of revenue or a side business. Take it slow and check out your options when it comes to buying or building and get ready to make some money with a laundromat equipped with ShinePay.