Whether you’re an established franchise, multi-store or single-store laundromat business owner, savvy owners are always on the lookout for better ways to spend less time operating locations and more time growing them.
The number-one negative factor affecting the US laundromat industry today is high competition, according to IBISWorld research. The world around us is changing quickly, and laundromat business owners who can swiftly identify and react to new opportunities that put their customers’ needs first are the ones who will thrive. The global dry-cleaning and laundry services market is expected to reach $127.3 billion in 2025, according to a recent report. There are opportunities for owners who are willing to invest in new ways to grow and expand their business operations and offerings.
Software and operational tools have elevated industries like pizza parlors, barber shops and gyms. Laundry is one of the only major main street businesses to be underserved by modern verticalized software. The $40B+ laundry industry has proven to be inelastic as consumer demand continues to stay strong. Cents, the leading business management and in-store operations platform enabling laundromat owners to start, manage, understand and grow their businesses, is focused on providing a single solution “business in a box” system to power the entire process of laundromat ownership covering POS, employee management, CRM, revenue reconciliation, hardware integration and pick-up and delivery operations.
By integrating all your laundromat data into the Cents unified system, owners and operators can improve experiences and interactions that keep your customers coming back, optimize operational efficiency and expand into new markets. When laundromat business owners can make all three happen in real-time, their businesses scale up, employees are more successful and customers are happier.
II. Manage Laundromat Business Expectations
A holistic laundromat business operating system can have a profound impact on the future of your business. Whether you know your business inside and out or you’re looking for new growth avenues, collecting and centralizing all your data under one operating system helps laundromat business owners appropriately set goals and expectations that are backed by real-time data.
Drill Down Into Operations and Performance
The ability to track employee performance and operational efficiency is key to increasing margins. Knowing the pounds per hour folded, average processing time, order rating and frequency at which machines go out of service are all key metrics that many owner operators either do not track or use inefficient and manual logging tools to do so. When you can easily identify your team’s successes and top performers, owners can recognize and motivate the best employees to stay.
Having the right mix of equipment allows owners and operators to properly manage machine usage. Without software, it would be nearly impossible to accurately track individual usage across locations. Laundromat business technology can shine a light on the machines that get the most use so you can ensure that you’re fulfilling those needs. For example, you may find that one location’s front-loaders get 70% more turns per day. Now you know to equip this location with more front-loaders. Otherwise, your customers may not wait around for their preferred machine to open up.
Machine maintenance can also be monitored in real-time. Knowing when and where your machines need maintenance is the key to eliminating unplanned downtime that sends your customers running to competitors. Likewise, over maintenance drives your costs up. Cents operating system not only tells you when a machine turned, but why. Was it for an employee, customer or technician? Did an employee turn on the machine for a customer because the machine next to it was out of service? Did an employee test the machine? Software that pinpoints the answers to these questions saves your staff time spent looking for them and reduces the cost by resolving issues precisely.
Managing all operations in one location gives laundromat business owners the control they need in today’s world to quickly make decisions that will personalize the laundromat experience and centralize your customers. From incentivizing employees to running predictive machine maintenance to managing costs effectively, you can actively prevent customers from going to your competitors by meeting their expectations.
III. Understand Your Laundromat Business Flywheel
Powering your laundromat with the right set of people, data and technology is the foundation that sets your business in motion. If you’re looking to make your laundromat business flywheel spiral, you’ll need a good understanding of how your business operations and customers respond.
Deepen Customer Relationships
When you know your customers' laundry service needs, wants and desires, you can engage with them on levels you never thought a laundromat business could.
The Cents platform combines your business management platform with your customer relationship management database. This is your secret ingredient for taking promotions to the next level. Dynamically create promotions based on data and time ranges, specific stores, product or service types, minimum and maximum quantities and more. Once you’ve run successful promotional campaigns, the most important next step is to understand the insights. Track results like how many customers engaged with a promo, how much cumulative money was saved, how many customers were returning compared to new and which promotion campaigns worked better than others. Then continue to personalize your targeted offers to attract and retain loyal customers.
Affiliate codes are another great way to leverage data to de-risk your campaigns. When customers share the code with friends, family, colleagues, acquaintances or strangers, both parties win. You can offer a store credit dollar amount or a percentage off discount to both parties encouraging existing customers to return with their friends.
Understanding your customer and business needs is key to running a prospering laundromat business. The timing has never been better to upgrade the foundation that powers your business.
IV. Grow Your Laundromat Business Market Share
Laundromat business owners are witnessing the massive shifts in retail operations and are eager to try to get ahead of the curve in their search for software to achieve growth and optimize every aspect of their business. Although the dry-cleaning and laundry services market took a hit in 2020 due to the COVID-19 pandemic, Research and Markets reported that the market is expected to recover, and the hit is not related to an ongoing weakness in the market. That said, the need for innovation in the industry has never been more necessary as Covid-19 has acted as an accelerant to the already fast-growing trends.
Make Payments Frictionless
Cards, electronic payments, RFID contactless cards and mobile wallets usage have increased as a result of the pandemic, and the use of cashless machines are growing along with it. With 93 percent of 18 to 34 year olds making digital payments, laundromat business owners need to ensure payment options are agile enough to meet these changing and evolving customer behaviors.
Cents and Equipment Systems & Devices (ESD) created an integrated solution where the businesses utilizing ESD electronic payment systems hardware and cash-card technology can now leverage Cents' in-store and remote management platform. Laundromat business owners using the technology can make payments seamless for customers by accepting any combination of payment: cash, coins, debit or credit card, smartphone apps, NFC credit cards and devices, or loyalty and EBT cards.
Device-based transactions, any transaction conducted on a desktop, laptop or mobile device, can be done from anywhere. With less social pressure to curb spending compared to in-store transactions, these digital and remote experiences don’t hinder your customers from spending more. Cashless machines are also gaining popularity. They are easy to use, provide an alternative to handling cash and the cash management process, give customers a temporary or permanent contactless solution tailored to their preference and prevent theft.
Bolster Service Offerings
The rise of double income families and the pandemic have accelerated the growth of on-demand and full-service laundry. With people having less time or resources to do laundry at home or limited access to physical locations due to urban living or lockdown restrictions, there is a growing demand for software companies to help laundromat owners respond to these needs.
The Cents platform makes this possible by keeping all order data integrated and updated under a single, unified platform. These digital records provide staff members with a comprehensive view of all order details to ensure accuracy and help to decrease overall bag or garment loss. Research shows that customers who use wash-and-fold services on two occasions are more likely to continue using this service.
Add No-Cost Delivery
Offering delivery services has traditionally been a risky and high-cost barrier for laundromat business owners. There’s a laundry list of costs covering van or car expenses, insurance, drivers, gas and a way to manage accidents and other emergencies. These costs can eat your margins. Restaurants leverage food delivery services like Grubhub and UberEats and grocers partner with platforms like Instacart to offer on-demand delivery and save on operation costs, so why should it be different for other businesses to adopt this same model?
The powerful combination of Cents and the gig economy gives laundromat owners a no-cost delivery model and customers a low-cost delivery service. Laundry does not need to be delivered hot out of the dryer, making it a huge cost-saver for laundromat business owners and an attractive option for customers.
One of the largest US laundromat retailers has seen the impact of Cents technology, and here’s what they had to say. “We’ve been utilizing the Cents platform for almost a year and it’s incredible to see how the product continues to develop and help our business. I’ve been able to test new operating models, add on-demand delivery without any cost, and run 40+ stores easier than ever before. Cents is the game changer that our industry has been waiting for.”
Level Up the Laundromat Business Experience
Frictionless payments, value-adding services offerings and Cents all-in-one laundromat business operating system make your staffs’ jobs easier, freeing up their time to make great customer service a priority.
The time saved on time clock, payroll and shift management can be used to ignite an experience that will make your laundromat business stand out from the rest. Laundromat business owners across the globe are continuously trying to outdo the competition by offering a better experience.
- Splash Laundry in Barcelona is a laundromat by day, entertainment venue by night. They’ll rent their space out for functions to drive additional business.
- I Love My Laundry in Cape Town will tailor services to individual customer quirks such as how you like your socks folded and offers coffee, tea and cupcakes in a cafe environment surrounded by innovative art displays while you wait.
- Sunshine Laundromat & Pinball in New York City is a laundromat with a comprehensive beer menu and pinball machines. Proceeds from its pinball games are donated to hospitals and cancer patients.
Whether it’s engaging with regulars, going above and beyond for customers or offering a unique laundry-day experience, growing your laundromat business with a fully integrated operating system provides owners, operators and managers with the information needed to easily accommodate their customers' needs of the hour and make the entire laundromat experience an enjoyable pastime.
V. Try Cents
An all-in-one laundromat business management solution gives owners the knowledge they need to capture a greater share of the market and create new revenue streams. Cents provides a unified platform to run every aspect of your business.
- Single store owners can provide better customer experiences and increase revenue by optimizing operational workflows and processes such as pickup and delivery.
- Multi-store owners have a 360-degree view of all operations across locations enabling them to discover low-performing areas and home in on opportunities for growth by taking action.
- Franchise owners can keep all data such as locations, revenue and operations in one system across stores.
Owners and operators find incredible value in the Cents system. “The Cents solution is a game-changer in our industry. I used to have 5+ systems to manage my stores. With Cents, I spend less time managing my locations physically and more time growing them remotely.”