Have you ever been into a laundromat that is dark, dirty, and maybe even feels unsafe? Those are known as ZombieMats. Maybe you have wondered, “How did this laundromat get to be like this?” Generally speaking, ZombieMats are owners who don’t follow the main principles we’ll go through below. However, successful laundromat owners are relentless in the way they pursue the following principles of laundromat success.
A successful laundromat follows three main principles. First, the successful laundromat is clean, bright, and welcoming. Second, successful laundromat owners reinvest in their laundromats. Third, successful laundromat owners utilize effective marketing and promotions.
There is a difference between the way a successful laundromat owner runs their laundromat and a struggling laundromat owner runs their laundromat. The following principles will help you run a successful laundromat and keep your laundromat from becoming a ZombieMat.
1. Keep the Laundromat Clean, Bright, and Welcoming
Keeping your laundromat clean, bright, and welcoming seems like a very simple, and probably obvious, principle. However, it can be easier said than done if the laundromat is not managed properly.
Keeping your laundromat clean is of utmost importance. No one wants to wash their clothes in a dirty laundromat. It defeats the purpose of what they are trying to accomplish. You will lose customers if your laundromat is not clean. A dirty laundromat is also less efficient. Training your employees to keep a clean store will provide a better experience for your customers and help your store to run efficiently.
Similarly, keeping your laundromat bright contributes to a sense of cleanliness and creates a more welcoming environment.
Training employees to be friendly and welcoming will create a positive experience for customers and help ensure they keep coming back to your laundromat.
Good employee training is at the core of keeping your laundromat business clean, bright, and welcoming. It is essential to make your expectations clear, to ensure that employees are following through on their assignments, and to give them the tools they need for success. Using a management system like Cents can make it easier to give your employees systems and tools to help them do their jobs well and to ensure your laundromat succeeds.
Most of the ZombieMats we mentioned earlier became ZombieMats because their owners did not reinvest in their business. This may be because they didn’t know they needed to, or because they didn’t want to invest some of their profits back into the business. Either way, the quickest way to become a ZombieMat owner is to neglect to reinvest in your laundromat.
Reinvesting in your laundromat can take different forms. The most common way to reinvest in your laundromat is to purchase and install new equipment. Adding new washing machines and dryers keeps your laundromat fresh, reliable, and efficient. Customers like using new equipment, owners have fewer repairs to deal with, and typically utility bills decrease.
There are other ways to reinvest in your laundromat, as well. Something as simple as a fresh coat of paint inside or outside your laundromat can communicate to customers that you care about their laundromat and want to keep it looking nice. Adding plants, replacing old signage, and anything else you can do to freshen up the look of your laundromat will have a positive effect on your business.
Another way to reinvest in your business is to have ongoing training for your employees. Some owners don’t see the value in this, but it reminds me of the quote, “What if we train them and they leave? What if we don’t and they stay?” Your employees are the most important part of your business and your success will be directly correlated to the quality of your employees. Helping them grow and giving them new opportunities will help your laundromat succeed.
A final example of how to reinvest in your laundry business is to invest in the business-in-a-box management system like Cents. Cents will help you manage your systems and give your employees the tools they need to be successful. It will help them represent your business well to customers and make it easier for you to run a successful laundromat.
The third key to running a successful laundromat is to let people know who you are and what your business has to offer and to incentivize them to use your services. This is the goal of effective marketing and promotions.
Advertising platforms that are currently effective for laundromat owners are Google and Facebook ads. Offline advertising such as flyers, door hangers, and billboards are used with mixed results. It might be worth testing them in your location but start with the digital platforms.
Effective promotions are ones that either entice potential customers to try your laundromat over their current laundry arrangement or incentivize current customers to stay loyal to your business.
Successful laundromat owners operate differently from average or struggling owners. They are relentless in keeping their laundromats bright, clean, and welcoming. They understand the benefits of reinvesting in their business. They utilize advertising and promotions to communicate and incentivize potential and current customers to utilize their laundry services. Follow these principles and you will join the exclusive ranks of top operators in the laundromat industry.
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