Coin Operated Laundry businesses have been around for some time now, how long. I am not sure, 40, 50, 60 years maybe. Either way, it's a long time. Why is that good? Well, it is a well established business to get into, lots of availability for laundry supplies, commercial laundry equipment and more. Before we get into some details, let me tell you that some of the benefits of owning your own laundromat is that you can generate revenue immediately with very little capital investment on inventory, you can be your own boss, set your own hours ( sorta ) and there is a steady, consistent consumer demand for the laundromat services.
Things You Will NeedBuying or Building a Laundromat Business.
For someone new into the franchise or small business world, I recommend buying an existing business. The reasons are basically that the initial cost will be lower and you will normally be buying a business that already has an existing customer base. Building a new laundromat business would be great for someone that already has some experience and has the financial backing to sustain themselves in the beginning phases of a new business. If you build a new business and open the doors, it is not likely that people will be lined up to get in on the first day, you will probably start out slow and build your client base. This start up time varies on your area, advertising, etc, but often the business will operate with a negative cash flow at first.
Buying a laundromat is the way to go in my opinion. You are buying into a business with existing customers and your cash flow starts on the first day you take it over and if it works out, you will have positive income right away.
Considerations when buying a coin laundry
First and foremost if the location. I cannot stress enough how important your location is. You have several ways find a location, first is to see what businesses are for sale then look at the locations, or find your locations first and then the business. Either way, your research still needs to be done. Some of the key things to look for in your location choice is the competition. How many other laundromats are within a short driving radius? What additional services do they offer? How busy are they ( if there are any in the area ), you might be the only one. What is your customer base in the area, rich, poor, middle class, apartments, single family homes ? This all plays a factor in the potential customers you can attract to your business. You'll want a very visible, open location that is easy to get to by vehicle. Most people drive everywhere now, and having an easy location to find, see and park at will do very well in most cases.
Coin operated laundry machines
The laundry machines are your life line in this business. They must be working at all times, so buying a business with existing quality machines is also a key factor. Research your equipment, find out the age of the machines, service life, and if possible, find out who does the current maintenance on them. If the owner hires a company, you can ask for a history report and see how many repairs were done, costs and down time. Many new business owners forget about this and overlook the history of the equipment. Often, they will look at them, try them and if they work, then they are satisfied. Don't make this mistake, they commercial laundry equipment is the business and should be the thing you research the second most. I say that because the business location will matter more.
What will it cost you?
I am going to give you the "generic" response to that and say " It depends " . Buying a business on a budget is difficult, but it can be done. Because the value of a business depends on the local markets, I could not even begin to give you a fair starting cost. You will have to determine that in your research. To find out what the value of a business is not hard. You can hire a consultant to do it for you, but what will you learn? Do your own evaluation on the city, demographics, building costs, lease costs, utility costs, previous sale prices ( if you can get them ) of other similar businesses. A Commercial Realtor can also help with this too. Your start-up capital should actually not be your own.... get a business loan through a bank. Securing financial backing from other people is a skill on its own, but a savvy entrepreneur will use the business as the collateral and not risk any of his own personal property in the business, keeping the business separate from the person.
The laundromat business is a well established, profitable business to get into. You need to remember that it is a business and like any business it will have risk. Minimizing you risk prior to the purchase is the key. Knowing your basic building blocks of a coin operated laundry like location, customer demographics, laundry equipment, competition and operating costs ahead of time will help you buy and build a successful laundromat.