There is nothing more important to your laundromat business than the actual machines — your washing machines and dryers. With that in mind, when designing your new laundromat, or when you are looking to upgrade your existing machines, don’t cut corners! The equipment you provide for customer use could very well be the difference between the success or failure of your laundromat.
Why? It’s quite simple. No one likes to do laundry. In fact, the only thing people might dislike more is trying to figure out how to use a machine when they are rushed and doing chores they would rather not being doing. Therefore, when choosing your washers and dryers, make sure they are easy to operate!
Things to Consider when Shopping for New Machines
• Buy new or used machines?
• Replace top loading washers with front loader models?
• Choose a variety of sizes to accommodate all wash loads, including bedspreads, rugs and other irregular-sized items.
• Look for reliable, dependable and easy-to-maintain equipment from industry-leading brands.
• Save on utility costs and maximize profits with the latest energy-efficient models.
• Select easy-to-operate machines with an attractive appearance — so your customers keep coming back.
• Install the cashless ShinePay payment system on all of your machines. (More on ShinePay later in this article.)
New or Used?
To grow your business, you’ll have to put some money back into it. Don’t be penny wise and pound foolish by investing in used or refurbished machines. You may find that you’ll be spending as much — or even more on repairs as you would on a monthly payment for a new machine.
You can buy used machines and then you will be buying someone else’s headache. They got rid of them or are selling them for a reason! It’s smarter to buy new than used or refurbished washers and dryers because they come with warranties, are more efficient and will save you money in the long run.
Replace your old equipment, and if need be, raise your prices to offset the expense of your new investment. While some customers may balk at higher prices initially, you’ll lose more customers if your equipment is perpetually in need of repair. Unreliable, inefficient and ineffective equipment hurts your business.
Can We Get Into Specifics?
If you used a laundromat professional to help you scope out the best location for your business, you may want to continue to turn to them for advice on the right mix of machines to purchase for your store. Not only will a laundromat consultant be able to guide you toward the right mix of machines, but they may also have some helpful industry insider information regarding current promotional offers, warranty details and general reliability of the equipment.
Which manufacturers you choose will depend on what brands your local commercial washer and dryer distributor carries. Look for the most energy efficient machines with the best repair and maintenance records, keeping in mind that you may have to pay extra up front, for big savings in over the long run.
Some leading brands in the commercial laundry industry include:
• Continental Girbau
• Speed Queen
Your single load washers may be a different brand than your triple loaders and dryers. Choose the best manufacturer for each size machine you’re purchasing.
Will My New Machines Come with a Warrantee?
New washers and dryers will carry a manufacturer’s warrantee that ranges from one to five years on various parts (components) of the machines. Keep these phone numbers handy!
While parts may be covered, labor is not usually covered by a manufacturer’s warrantee nor the distributor’s warrantee. This means that any service technician’s help provided by your distributor comes directly out of his pocket, and his profit. Therefore, the distributor may not be willing to cover labor. If this is the case, you’ll want to make sure you have a laundry machine repair guy or gal on speed dial.
That being said, your distributor will be a great resource for advice and guidance, especially when it comes to the maintenance of your machines. Look to your distributor for training on how to repair, maintain and clean your washers and dryers. Keeping up with minor fixes now will save you big on larger repairs down the road.
Tell Me More About ShinePay
How does a completely cashless laundromat sound to you? No dirty coins to count! No jammed coin boxes to fix! Cashless equals safety for customers; no cash on site means would-be thieves have less of a reason to target your business.
When it’s time to buy or upgrade your machines, it’s the perfect time to convert your entire laundromat to the cashless ShinePay payment system. It’s great for customers and both easy and profitable for you — the owner of the laundromat.
The cashless ShinePay payment system can be installed on any brand machine.
Here’s how it works:
1. You install ShinePay on all of your washers and dryers
2. You and your customers download the ShinePay app on your smartphones
3. Your customer adds their credit card information to their ShinePay profile
4. You add your business’s bank account to your ShinePay profile
5. When your customer wants to start a wash or dry cycle, they simply open the app on their phone, scan the ShinePay QR code on the machine, and… that’s it! The machine cycle starts and there is nothing for your customers to do but wait.
6. At the end of the day (or whenever you want), you open the ShinePay app on your phone, and simply transfer your day’s earnings into your bank account.
Think about it…no more runs to the banks with bags full of coins and no reason to maintain a change machine. ShinePay is truly a convenience for both you and your customers.
We used the word “profitable” before, didn’t we? Ah, yes! ShinePay allows the owner of the laundromat to change pricing for special events or to raise or lower prices based on high use days. In other words, to get people to do laundry on “off days,” such as midweek, you can reduce prices for a Wednesday Special Offer. Similarly, on Saturdays, when it may be standing room only in your laundromat, you might want to increase the cost of washes and dry time. This provides you with an added revenue stream if you choose to use it.
Keep in mind that a successful business requires continued and regular reinvestment. Position your laundromat above the competition, with sparkling new, energy efficient washers and dryers. You’ll build loyalty with your customers and earn a reputation for having the best laundry facility in the area.