Investing in a Laundromat
You’ve decided to start your own business and invest in a laundromat. It’s a smart move. Clean laundry is a necessity for everyone. However, successful laundromats don’t just happen. They are the result of proper planning, fact-based location selection, and good management.
As you set up your operation, here are some factors, considerations, and advice to help you along.
- Location: You want a great location—one that is surrounded by apartment-dwelling, working-class families that have a need for laundry facilities featuring large-capacity washers and dryers. Because roughly one-third of apartment residents use a commercial Laundromat, make sure there enough housing units within a half mile (urban) or one mile (suburban) for your store to be profitable. A location with plenty of free parking like a shopping center is advantageous especially in suburban locations.
- Competition: How close will your store be to the nearest Laundromat? How will your store be different than your competition? Why will customers visit your store?
- Curb Appeal: Successful locations present a good image from the street, parking lot, or sidewalk. Glass fronts, big signs, modern lighting, and pleasing color palette are key components of curb appeal. Traffic count and moderate rates of speed are also critical. You must be seen!
- Utilities: Adequate water, sewer, gas (natural or liquid propane), drains, air, and electric (3-phase is beneficial for most large machines) are absolutely necessary for a properly-designed and operating laundromat. Are water and/or sewer impact fees collected by your city or town? If so, how much are they? Most utility companies will require a deposit before setting a meter.
- Lease: If leasing a location, the lease must be for a term at least as long as any financial commitment (such as a loan) you have incurred. Standard terms are 5 to 10 years with pre-determined option periods containing a fixed formula to determine rent during the option period.
- Zoning: Make sure your location is zoned for a laundromat BEFORE you sign a lease.
Our expert team has been partnering with individuals to create profitable laundromats across New England and Upstate New York for the last 20 years. Please let us know how we may assist you.
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