Coin-operated laundry businesses provide an important service for people who live in apartments and other high-density housing. There is often not enough space for washers and dryers in the units. As a result, local residents rely on self-serve laundry facilities to do their weekly washing and drying. There are five basic elements that are key to running a successful coin-operated service.
One of the most important elements is location. The business should be situated near high-density housing to make it convenient for local residents to stop by and use at their convenience. It should be located in a lower crime area to help customers feel safe while waiting for their clothes to wash and dry.
Perhaps the most important element of a successful coin-operated laundry business is the machines. Commercial washers and dryers are necessary. People will wash regular clothes, bedding and linens. Some may need heavy-duty rug machines. Customers will always try to get the most for their money, stuffing heavy loads into the machines whenever possible. While high volume and heavy loads can put a strain on machines, they should be kept operational at all times. Management should keep a variety of commercial washer parts and commercial dryer parts on the premises in case a machine breaks down, so they can be fixed quickly. While there is the most opportunity for profit when they are all working, it also projects the appealing image of a reliable service. When problems are reported, they should be remedied right away.
To keep a business successful, it must be clean. This can be challenging with a number of dryers producing lint. Lint traps should be checked and cleaned regularly to prevent fire hazards. A regular sweep and mop or vacuum of the floor keeps lint, trash and tracked-in dirt to a minimum. Providing trash cans at the end of every row of washing machines and dryers encourages patrons to keep the premises clean.
Making the atmosphere convenient and comfortable is a draw for customers. Commercial laundry carts and folding areas are expected by today’s consumers. Vending machines with detergent, fabric softener and stain remover provide convenience for folks who run out unexpectedly or who can’t make it to the grocery store before laundry day. A change machine to provide tokens or quarters for commercial dryers and washers makes a significant difference to customers. Rather than securing change before they visit, they can simply gather their belongings and get change for machines upon their arrival.
Providing entertainment, food and drinks to customers helps to keep them comfortable while they are waiting for their clothes. Management should consider installing TVs, video games, wireless Internet access, a magazine rack and some tables and chairs for guest comfort. A higher line establishment may also offer food and drink vending machines or a snack bar, complimentary computer workstations and clean restrooms.