The holiday season is about family, friends, gratitude, and joy. This time of year is a favorite not just because of the weather, the decorations, or even the extra time with family and friends, but the feeling of holiday cheer.
It’s also one of the busiest times of the year from a business and personal perspective. As the year closes, there are a lot of things that you have to put together in preparation for the new year. To help you, we spoke with some of our operators and compiled a list of 10 tasks you’ll want to keep in mind as you prepare for the holidays.
10 tasks to check off before the holidays
1. Decorate your laundromat
When decorating your laundromat, it doesn’t have to be anything extravagant. Even a simple wreath on the door can put your business in the holiday spirit. If you’re feeling extra festive and have the space for it, you can even put up lights or a tree (because it’s never too early to start celebrating).
Another way to make your laundromat feel like a Winter Wonderland is to orchestrate a holiday playlist. You’ll only want to do this for a couple of weeks closer to the holidays, or your frequent customers and staff might start to get a little stir-crazy with the same songs on repeat every time they come in.
2. Winterize your property
If you happen to live in a state that snows or sleets in the winter, it’s crucial to winterize your property to keep customers and employees safe. Not only that, but an unplowed parking lot can deter customers from coming to your laundromat at all.
When winterizing your property, make sure to:
Pour salt on all walkways to keep ice from forming
Hire a local snow plow company to help keep your parking lot clear
Add extra rugs to any entryway to keep water from pooling on the floor
Put up “wet floor” signs near entrances to warn customers floors may be wet due to snow
3. Collect holiday time off requests from your staff
The holidays are a busy time for everyone, including you and your family. Remind your staff to start requesting holiday time off early. Not only will this help you create the schedule and plan accordingly, but it will also allow them to make their own holiday plans once they know which days they are scheduled to work.
4. Put out your staff schedule ahead of time
As mentioned, putting out your staff schedule ahead of time gives them the opportunity to adjust and plan for the holidays. If you have a full-service laundromat, consider being conservative with the number of attending staff. Not only from a payroll perspective, but as business slows down with the holidays, you don’t want staff standing around without anything to do.
5. Get staff gifts for holidays
Whether it’s a holiday bonus or a small gift card, the holidays are the perfect time to show your appreciation for your staff. Another way to say “thank you” for their work is by throwing a small, post-holiday party. You can use that time to talk about what you want to accomplish in the new year as a business and all the great things to come. You can provide beverages and food, giving the staff an excellent opportunity to mingle with each other.
6. Adjust seasonal hours
With business being slower during the holiday season, it makes sense to adjust your hours to accommodate the dip in traffic. For example, if you’re normally open from 8am to 10pm, maybe lower your hours from 8am to 8pm with your last wash at 7pm instead of 9pm. Maybe on Christmas Day and New Year’s Day, you decide to close with half days on the eves.
If you have commercial clients, make sure you alert them as soon as you can about your adjusted hours. You can send an email to all of them letting them know your closures and policies for any pickups or drop-offs during then.
Once you know your holiday hours, make sure you update them across the board from your website to Google Business. You can always make a banner alert on your website letting customers know about your adjusted hours. Google Business is also a great way to advertise your hours. Google lets you select exactly which days and time periods your hours will differ from your normal operations. If you use social media, you can make a post about it and pin it to your profile.
7. Plan for holiday discounts or promotions
For the hours and days you will be open during the holidays, you can incentivize customers to come in to help boost traffic during a normally slow time. You can offer a credit promotion for drop-offs where customers get a certain amount of credit to use in January for any order they bring in December. A promo code for a percentage discount is also easy to offer for customers who come in during the holidays.
8. Advertise holiday promotions
Once you make a plan for any discounts or promotions make sure you advertise them so customers are aware. Social media is a great place to post about your promotions with a quick caption explaining the terms behind the promotion. Google Business also allows you to advertise promotions for free. If you have a website or email list, you can let existing customers know about your promotions by sending out the details.
9. Have inventory orders in early
Make sure you get any inventory orders in early. Just like your laundromat, other businesses will experience shortened staff, decreased hours, and closings for the holidays. You don’t want to come across a situation where you run out of stock and have to rush to find more or go without.
10. Plan your days off to rest and recuperate
Rest isn’t just essential for your staff — it is for you, as well. It won’t hurt your bottom line to close your laundromat for Thanksgiving, Hanukkah, Christmas, or New Year’s so that you can take some time off. With an all-in-one laundromat POS in place, you can monitor the goings-on of your laundromat without even being there.
To prepare your laundromat for the holidays, download this checklist to guide you through and relieve some of the stress of planning.