The laundry pick-up and delivery business is exploding and will only continue to grow as more people realize they can outsource their least favorite chore. This boom in laundry pickup and delivery is probably the best opportunity for significant growth for laundromat owners today. Here is a complete guide for starting a laundry pickup and delivery (PUD) business, including the top reasons why this is an excellent business decision, how to start, how to scale, and what laundromat software can help you achieve success.
7 reasons to start a laundry pickup and delivery business
One of the best ways to scale a laundromat business is to implement a laundry pick-up and delivery service with your laundromat. Here are 7 convincing reasons to start your own laundry pickup and delivery business out of your laundromat.
1. You already own the equipment
Since laundromat owners already own the most expensive equipment to start a laundry pickup and delivery business, it allows you to utilize the equipment you already own for your self-service laundromat for a dual purpose.
2. Your laundromat's radius expands dramatically
Adding a laundry pickup and delivery service dramatically expands a laundromat's radius, allowing it to service customers in new areas. In addition, those customers tend to be a different demographic than self-service customers.
3. Utilize your employees better
Utilizing current employees of your self-serve laundromat further cuts down the costs required to start your new business venture by sharing staffing costs with your existing self-serve laundromat. This cross-utilization of assets and staff makes it easier to get your business started for less money up-front.
4. Great margins
The laundry pickup and delivery business can have great margins. The owner or manager does need to make sure systems are streamlined and, particularly, drivers and driver routes are utilized efficiently. But, when the system is in place the margins for laundry pick-up and delivery can be great.
5. Growing demand
The demand for services to outsource America's least favorite chore is at an all-time high and growing. Laundry is the next chore to outsource to someone else.
6. Scales quickly or slowly
One unique aspect of growing a laundry pickup and delivery business out of a laundromat is that you can scale at the rate you want to scale. The business can scale quickly by investing in a good laundry pickup and delivery software, a decent vehicle, and employees to wash, dry, fold, and drive. These relatively minor investments paired with a solid marketing plan can lead to rapid growth.
7. Technology makes it easier than ever
Technology like the business-in-a-box solution that Cents offers makes starting a laundry pickup and delivery business easier than it's ever been before. With its intuitive, robust design and its convenient integrations, Cents makes starting a laundry pickup and delivery business a relative snap.
How to start a laundry pickup and delivery business quickly and easily
Starting a laundry pickup and delivery business can feel overwhelming. What if there was an easier way to get started that would allow you to scale up your business without venturing into the unknown too soon? Here are step-by-step instructions for starting a pickup and delivery service quickly and easily.
1. Choose the right software to manage your business
The software you choose is vital to the success and size of your pickup and delivery business. It will be the heart of your operation, which is why its important to choose the right one.
Cents Dispatch is a laundry pickup and delivery software that checks all of the boxes. Not only is it a great platform that has all the features your business will need, but a top-notch team also backs it. You can book a free demo of the Cents software to see what it has to offer, and—just as importantly—to meet the team behind the effective tools.
2. Build your website
At the bare minimum, you need an informative 1-page website that looks professional, a complete and updated Google Business account and a Yelp Business account.
You want to make sure that customers are able to order your services online through your website, so you'll need to integrate your software into your website.
3. Hire your employees
Here are the minimum roles you'll need to fill (either personally or with employees):
Laundry intake: Accepts laundry from the driver, ensures it's properly in the software system and initiates the process.
Wash/dry/fold: The clothes need to be washed, dried, then folded. This includes keeping the laundry organized, packaging the laundry in a bag, and replacing it in its proper place for the driver to pick it up.
Driver: Responsible to pick up and drop off the proper laundry at the proper place at the proper time.
One person can fill some or all of these roles, or you may have multiple people doing each of the roles.
4. Market your services
Here are a few tried-and-true ways to drive customer conversions:
Good signage inside and outside your laundromat
Digital advertising on Google and Facebook (by far the most effective advertising platform for a laundry pickup and delivery business)
Upsell your current customers
5. Improve your operations every day
A laundry pickup and delivery business is not a set-it-and-forget-it business. It's crucial to constantly look for ways to improve every day. Here are a few things to keep improving on:
Customer service: You can NEVER be good enough at this.
Efficiency: Look for ways to save time, energy, effort, and money.
Leadership: Look for ways to lead your team and your business better.
Growth: Look for ways to continue to grow your business, your vision, and your people.
Technology: Technology can give you a huge advantage. Cents is a great example of how new, high-powered technology can rocket your business further, faster!
What to look for in a pickup and delivery software
Now is one of the best opportunities for laundromat owners to grow their businesses and expand the radius of potential for their laundromat. At the core of any quality PUD service is a software platform that helps the owner manage the business, keep track of employees, serve customers well, and run an efficient operation. Choosing the right PUD software is essential.
Essential qualities and features of a great laundry pickup and delivery software
1. A top-notch development team
When you're choosing a software to work with, you're not only choosing which software to use—you're also partnering with the people who created it and who are managing it. Whenever possible, have conversations with people in the company before making a final decision. For example, you can get a live demo of Cents and interact with a Cents rep to get to know the software and the people building it.
2. Top-notch support
If you're going to build a business on the back of a platform, you want to know that if (when) things go wrong or you have a question, you're going to get fast, responsive support from the company.
Related to support, you want to ensure that the software is continually being updated. As the company receives feedback from owners, they should constantly improve it.
3. Simple, yet complete
It needs to be simple enough for your attendants, drivers, managers, and anyone else on your team to be able to operate it. However, the software needs simplicity without giving up the necessary features, processes, and capabilities. Simple means intuitive and easy to use, not a lack of depth.
4. Necessary features
So what features do we need to confirm haven't been sacrificed? Here are a few to make sure are included:
It needs the ability to integrate with a POS system that can be configured for a laundry business.
It must have a driver route management feature. Money can be earned or lost in the efficient or inefficient deployment of drivers.
It must have a way for the team to communicate with one another to ensure your business runs smoothly.
Data reports will help you take your business to a whole new level.
The ability to grow with your business.
This concept works on both ends of the business spectrum. You need your software to allow you to work small when you're just starting out. On the other end of the spectrum, it would be a nightmare to scale up your PUD business only to find out that your software no longer meets your needs. So make sure the PUD software you choose can grow with your business and scale to as large as you want to scale.
3 proven ways to scale your laundry pickup and delivery business
You’ve successfully started your laundry pickup and delivery service and now you’re ready to grow. Here are three proven ways to add more customers to your PUD business.
1. Have a strong online presence
Here are 3 places to ensure your laundromat and laundry pick-up and delivery can be found online organically.
Build your own laundromat website: Having a professional-looking website where you can direct potential customers is essential. When growing your laundry pickup and delivery service, make sure your software can integrate seamlessly with your website.
Google Business: Be sure to create and claim your laundromat's Google Business account to be found in searches and on maps.
Yelp: Some of your customers will use Yelp to help them make a decision on where to do their laundry. When you own the account and monitor it you have the ability to respond to reviews and manage the narrative about your laundromat.
There are also two effective places that Laundromat Resource Marketing suggests acquiring customers online through advertising.
Google: Advertising your laundry pick-up and delivery service on Google allows you to target the people who are actively looking for this service. These are hot leads.
Facebook: Advertising your laundry pickup and delivery service on Facebook is a little different. You're not putting your business in front of the people actively searching for your business, but you are able to target people who fall into your target demographic and are more likely to utilize this service. This gives you wider exposure.
2. Incentivize your existing customers to help
The second effective way to scale your laundry pickup and delivery business is to recruit your customers to be your ambassadors and salespeople.
One of the most effective ways that I have seen laundromat owners leverage their existing customer base to scale is by offering referral discounts to both the customer and the people they refer to you. One of the easiest ways to grow your pick-up and delivery business is to convert your drop-off laundry customers into PUD customers.
Enlist your current customers to help you recruit new customers online by asking for and encouraging them to leave a rating and review on your business on Google and Yelp.
3. Use promotions to hook new customers
Effective usage of promotions can help you hook new customers and break them from doing their laundry however they currently do it. Giving an initial discount or offering extra perks such as free upgrades to higher quality detergents can help incentivize potential customers to give you a try.
The one caveat to all of this helping you scale your laundry pickup and delivery business is that, once you do get a customer to try you out, you need to deliver a great experience for them to keep coming back. You don’t want to put in the time, effort, and money it takes to get a new customer only to lose them to bad service or poor systems. Utilize a great software system like Cents Dispatch to ensure your customers have the best experience every time. That is the true secret to
Book a free demo to see how Cents can help you grow your laundry business and better streamline your overall processes.