Commercial laundry is a common growth step for you to generate more revenue for your laundromat business. Since only 31% of laundromats offer commercial laundry, there is immense opportunity for growth into this much-needed service. If your laundromat is located in close proximity to other businesses, commercial laundry can be very profitable and isn’t very different from residential wash and fold services. As you plan to integrate commercial wash and fold services into your business, consider these best practices for securing local clients.
Benefits of Expanding to Commercial Wash and Fold Services
It goes without saying that adding commercial wash and fold services to your laundromat creates more revenue. Commercial clients typically have laundry in more volume, creating larger orders for your business. Depending on the agreement and customized plan you develop for each company you work with, whether that be a weekly or monthly recurring service, it can also create long-standing revenue for your business that continues over a longer period of time.
Commercial wash and fold also requires less effort and a limited amount of expenses, even though you’re receiving a larger order. Since you’re also adding more volume with fewer expenses, you get more bang for your buck. For example, if you’re doing pickup and delivery for commercial laundry, a driver will go to one location and pick up multiple orders. Your driver no longer has to go to numerous residential homes to get that same amount of volume.
How to Approach Commercial Clients
There are small businesses around every corner, even surrounding your own laundromat. You can easily approach the businesses right next door, in the strip mall, down the block, or in a specific radius of your store. Some business types that are optimal for commercial clients include:
How you connect with these businesses is entirely up to you. You can cold call, email, mail letters, or drop off brochures in their store. If they’re active on social media platforms like Instagram, LinkedIn, or Facebook, you can also reach out to them through direct messages and offer information on the services you provide.
Whichever you choose, you’ll want to make sure you’re getting in touch with the decision-maker of the business. The method that requires the least amount of time to get in touch with a manager or director of a store will be the easiest way for them to engage with you.
“We drop off packets in the store. We walk in and talk to a manager or director, and we even send them cookies and different treats in the mail once we do make a connection with them. It’s all about making an impression.”
If you have a website, you should also be advertising commercial services. This can help with referrals from existing customers or clients, and it can help when businesses are actively searching for a laundromat that can help them with their wash and fold needs.
Expert Tips for Offering Commercial Wash and Fold Services
Price It For What It Is
As with all wash and fold services, you have to price it appropriately. Be honest with yourself and look at the level of effort it will take to complete the job. Sometimes, owners who offer commercial services will price it cheaper than their residential wash and fold since they’ll be getting larger volumes. In reality, every business you work with will have different articles of clothing, soil levels, and stains compared to residential wash and fold. Ask questions about what it will require to clean a business’s laundry and make sure you price it according to the work it will require.
“My motto is: price it for what it is. It might be more than what you charge for normal wash and fold, depending on what they want to be washed. In my opinion, high-volume can get some discount, but I think it’s very little. I see people discounting stuff heavily to get big accounts or a large volume from an individual, but you still have to be able to profit from it.”
For each business you work with, you should consider providing a different quote and get details based on the level of service they want or how they want the laundry done. A beauty salon or spa might want towels they use for employees and ones they use for guests separated. They may also want them folded a specific way so it’s easier for them to store. In these cases, excessive handling takes more time and requires more effort and customization. Charge clients according to the type of service they want, as well as how they want the product finished.
Consider What You're Washing
When communicating with businesses, it’s important to know everything you can about the items that you’re going to clean. Some places use different liquids or greases that can be combustible at a certain temperature point. Not only could they start a fire in the dryer, but also when they are in the car waiting for delivery. Fresh out of the dryer, the heat can be trapped between layers of fabric and start smoking.
For example, restaurants, gas stations, and repair shops all have rags, towels, and uniforms that come in contact with different types of greases that could potentially cause fires.
But, that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t do business with them. It just means that you should be asking these types of questions so you can be prepared and wash the clothing and materials appropriately to avoid any hazardous fires.