Daily Management Tasks when Running a Laundromat
The laundromat industry offers numerous opportunities to entrepreneurs wanting to enter a stable, potentially lucrative business with low risk. There are many ways to get into the coin operated laundry business and there are many ways to grow your business once you have started. However, for your business to thrive, you need to understand the services and responsibilities of running a laundromat and dry cleaning business.
Hours of Business
Laundromats need to be open from fairly early in the morning to fairly late at night to provide customers with convenience and to maximize profits. If you are leaving your laundromat unattended then extending your opening hours won’t cost you anything. Set up daily and weekly schedules of opening hours and post them on the walls so that customers know what to expect. You might want to find out what hours other local businesses are keeping and keep similar hours to them.
You may stop by your laundromat at the end of the day to close up or have your attendant do it for you. You can also buy special locking systems that will lock the door at a particular time of day. These systems allow people to leave after a certain time but don’t allow people to enter.
Your laundromat can either be fully attended, partially attended throughout the day or unattended (apart from the odd spot of cleaning and stocking). Some owner-operators manage a two or three laundromat and divide their time between them all. Other owners prefer to hire part-time attendants.
If you do have an attendant on-site, you will have to think about how you are going to keep them busy. If you run a sizable operation, you should have demand for premium services like folding and ironing.
Meet with your employees fairly regularly and update them. Make sure that they are being friendly and helpful to the customers and not scaring them away. Delegate some authority to them and you will have fewer headaches. Treat them well as hiring and training staff is a time-consuming process if you have a high turnover rate.
Keeping an Eye Out For Hoodlums!
Security is a big concern with laundromats, and they are often subjected to theft and vandalism. If you don’t have an attendant on-site, you will need to look at alarms and surveillance systems to help you to keep an eye on things.
Daily tasks will include cleaning the laundromat floor, tables, windows, machines and other areas. Trash has to be picked up and disposed of. Vending machines such as laundry powder dispensers have to be cleaned and re-filled. Staff can also carry out some basic machine maintenance such as cleaning lint from the screens of dryers before it becomes a fire hazard.
Owners or attendants will have to keep an eye on the washing machines and dryers. At the first sign of any malfunction, a technician should be called to carry out repairs or replace parts. If this is done promptly, you will avoid downtime and can minimize the temporary loss of one of your productive assets.
Collecting the Profits
Most owners empty machines of their cash takings on a daily basis. Bill changers also may need to be re-stocked so that customers can get change. Always handle cash collection yourself unless you have a family member that you trust who can carry out this task for you. Some of the modern card systems make cash management much easier.
Laundry and dry cleaning business owners should spend time in their stores making sure that things run smoothly. Interact with the customers and ensure that they are having positive experiences.
Take note of how customers interact with your machines. Are there any inefficiencies or bottlenecks? Many laundromats have too many washing machines but not enough dryers for example. Invest in a software program that can help you to keep accurate records and manage your business smoothly. There are specific packages that have been developed specifically for laundromat owners.
Here is a video advertising as Kingston Dry Cleaners as part of their marketing plan.
For many Dry Cleaners Kingston provides an excellent market. The city has a large population made up of government employees as well as Queens University students and employees. It could be said they have a self-sustained, recession proof economy since many of these jobs require clothes that need dry cleaning! The school will always need professors, the prison will always need guards and the list goes on and on.
Services To Offer In Your Laundromat
If you have an attendant stationed at your coin operated laundry, you can provide premium services to customers. Allow them to simply drop off their washing for full-service treatment by your employees instead of doing it themselves. Your services may include washing, drying, mending, ironing and even dry cleaning if you can set up an arrangement with a nearby dry cleaner. You can even make extra money by offering unrelated products and services such as coffee or Internet access.
In addition to basic clothes washing and drying services, there are a number of other services that you can offer. If you own a busy laundromat, then you will find that the owners of vending machine businesses will want to place their machines inside or outside of your store. If people are sitting around waiting for their washing they may consider buying a drink or a snack from a vending machine. You can usually get a small commission on sales if you make an agreement with a vending machine business operator. Some kinds of machines are more lucrative than others, so it pays to do some research and shop around.
Once you have become successful in the coin laundry business, you will find that you have gained an extraordinary amount of knowledge along the way. Many newcomers to the business will be interested in picking your brains to find out what kinds of insights and tips you have to offer. The great opportunity here is to offer your services as a consultant. As long as newcomers are not going to be in direct competition with you, then it can be a rewarding experience to guide and mentor them into their own successful businesses. And of course, you can charge a fee for such consulting services.
The laundromat business offers many opportunities with a favorable probability of making high returns. Once you have your business up and running, you should exercise decent management skills while ensuring that your team is offering the best services to your customers. With proper management, your business will grow, even in the most competitive markets. Take your time to learn the services and responsibilities of running a laundromat and dry cleaning business.